Lorena & Melissa are the owners of the Bella V Boutique in New York. Lorena opened up a mobile boutique in 2014 and then eventually partnered with Melissa to open a successful brick & mortar store.
- Bella V was launched in 2014 in New York.
- Lorena was hesitant at 1st when planning to start the mobile boutique, but 2 years later when she had a life threatening illness, that was a game changer for her and she decided to take the plunge.
- She quit her job and November 2014 she had her 1st event.
- Her 1st event she collaborated with a salon.
- One mistake she made with her 1st event was she forgot to put gas in her generator and all of the lights went out.
- After her 1st year, she meet her partner Melissa, who initially came to the truck as a shopper.
- Prior to meeting Lorena, Melissa had already started a Personal Styling business.
- They met up and discussed business and afterwards started working together.
- They started collaborating at events and Melissa worked for free doing her Personal Styling.
- They decided to do a successful pop-up event together that led them down the path of wanting to open up a brick & mortar store.
- At the time that they were opening the brick & mortar store they didn’t really think about how much work it would be to run both the store and the mobile boutique at the same time.
- With their families, they prefer to have a set schedule with the brick & mortar store. And the plus side with the truck is that they already had customers when they opened.
- Most of the time the truck was only used for marketing purposes and otherwise it just sat there parked.
- At the time of this interview the mobile boutique was listed for sale.
- Lessons learned when opening your 1st brick & mortar store: 1. Pay attention to your expenses. 2. Inventory control is important. Do not over buy. Buy smaller quantities and turn over more often. 3. Know that your time is dedicated to the store – you have to physically be there all of the time.
- They alternate responsibilities for the business.
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