Jan and Matt owners of Spoilt Boutique
How it all began........Jan's story
Frustrated with mall shopping, I felt the retail market needed a new more personal shopping experience aimed at women 30+years. I wanted colour, fits to suit a ‘yummy mummy or granny’, fantastic service and a variety of prices. I had experience in business, but not the fashion industry. I thought “how hard can it be”?
I found a retail premise, on Trade Me. I sat in the carpark for a few hours watching people coming and going and decided it was the ‘right location’. I then signed a lease, bought some of the shop fit out from the previous tenant and then began the search for labels to sell. Naively I had thought if you wanted to sell a fashion label, you’d be able too. However, I soon learnt that labels had territories, and some were already represented in our city.
I hunted through my own wardrobe to find names of labels and got on the phone. Calling and sometimes ‘begging’ labels to give me a go. After sourcing around six fashion labels and some giftware I opened the store in August 2016. My family all rallied around with my sister helping to style the store, my dad putting up racking and my long-suffering husband taking charge of stock management, point of sale and everything else I couldn’t do!
We soon realised that opening was just half the battle, as products sold you needed to re-order stock. We had no idea how much to order, and most labels were sold six to twelve months in advance so learning how the industry worked was a constant challenge.
I loved the job of helping women find an outfit. Soon I was chatting to customers about what they were wearing and what they were looking for. Talking to agents who sold me my initial stock and listening to what customers wanted was so invaluable in sourcing the right stock. We tracked every sale and could easily see how well particular brands were performing. Being loyal kiwi’s, we were keen to support others in business, so selling New Zealand fashion was a focus.
Soon our wee store blossomed, and demand was such that our hours and days of operation were expanded.
Seeking fantastic staff who wanted to offer superior customer service was imperative. We know many of our regular customers by their first name and a great loyalty reward system to encourage repeat customers.
Eventually we moved our flagship store (next door) to a bigger premises. We added more giftware, changing rooms, accessories, shoes and of course more fashion labels.
In May 2018 the website was upgraded, and we relaunched our new online platform. The online store has enabled the Spoilt brand to reach women throughout New Zealand.
Fast forward to today, and I still work on the shop floor and am privileged to work with a fantastic wee well-established team. Spoilt Boutique has blossomed and now offers vibrant fashion to many like minded women.