Interview Contact Name and Job Title: Adriana Green Owner and Partner of Scarecrow Boutique
Website URL: http://www.scarecrowboutique.com/
Social Media Links:
Number of outlets: 1
Location(s): Crouch End, London
Market(s): (eg. Homeware, fashion etc) Fashion
Other relevant info: We are a mother and daughter run business.
Modern Retail talks to Adriana Green, Owner and Partner, of the diverse and gorgeous fashion label Scarecrow Boutique where trendy clothes and accessories are found.
MR: How do you aim to stand out as a boutique?
AG: We are an eclectic Boutique and quite vintage inspired, we are known as the Aladdin’s Cave. We spend a lot of time sourcing and looking for smaller niche labels, brands that do not produce huge quantities and labels that sell to niche markets. We tend not to follow the Fashion trends and sell pieces that are timeless with a modern twist that will never date.
MR: How would you sum up your target customer?
AG: Our customers are from all age brackets and all backgrounds. We have many customers in mind when we buy and the pieces need to work for a 20-year-old up to an 80-year-old.
MR: Why should people shop with you?
AG: Our customers love to shop with us as we offer such a diverse range of clothing and accessories. With our 20 year plus experience in Fashion, designing and styling we can style and dress our customers from head to toe. Another plus is that we are honest with our customers. We do not hard sell like many shops and offer alternatives and make suggestions that would suit them better. We have made our Boutique to feel like a home from home so customers are relaxed and spend time with us.
MR: What do you want to do differently to your competitors?
AG: We buy differently to many of our competitors. We tend not to forward order from labels and source more short order labels and then top up weekly with new stock from our existing labels. This way we can ensure there is always something new for our regular customers.
MR: What challenges do you face as a business, and how do you aim to overcome them?
AG: The main challenges as with any business is the constant cost increases, rates, rents etc and now some of our labels have had to increase wholesale prices since Brexit as they cannot absorb the extra costs anymore. For us we are introducing more accessory labels as they are a better price point for customers to update their outfits and therefore produce more sales.
MR: How do you use technology/media/ecommerce to improve your offering?
AG: I run our social media and websites. Facebook is used mainly for showing and promoting our new products and find this platform the best for interacting with customers and creating any sales. We’ve our own ecommerce website and sales are growing. But we do not promote it as much as we find our customers use it more as a shop window for Scarecrow Boutique. We joined Shoptiques last year which is a website based in the USA for Independent Boutiques. This has given us extra exposure and marketing of our products and has enabled us to sell worldwide without the added expenses in marketing it ourselves.
MR: What do you love about your work/business/brand?
AG: It is our baby! I have loved watching how our business has grown, changed and evolved. Every week is different and brings new excitement, challenges and opportunities.
MR: What advantages/disadvantages does your location bring?
AG: As our customers are mainly locals and not tourists we need to keep our offerings fresh. We are just off the main high street which in itself brings other issues, as some customers are still finding us after 16 years. But the advantages are that we have built up a loyal customer base and have made many new friends by being a local business and part of Crouch End itself.
MR: What are your growth aims for the next 12 months?
AG: To introduce more accessory and jewellery lines which have a better price point and to look into home accessories and gifts. We are also looking to join and Independent website for Boutiques based this time in the UK.
MR: What advice would you give to a new retail start-up based on your experience?
AG: Research! Especially if you are not on a high street. Spend time looking into the area and what your potential customer base will be. You need to find out what the customers spending habits are and whether your offerings will attract them. And have money behind you to invest into the business. Many businesses open and assume sales will roll in from the get go, it is not always the case. You may need to amend or change either the labels you sell or the layout or add new lines.