Local Boutiques are Surviving the Close Down by Shifting to Online and Contact-Free Delivery
Retail has always been challenging, especially for small businesses – and with the shutdown of nonessential businesses, even more so. And what will it look like when the doors open again? It’s too soon to tell, but as a fashion industry insider, I can tell you that retail is not dead. Now, the small businesses need to be strong, creative, proactive and accessible.
So, what is our community doing now to hold steady and work through the pandemic? We spoke with four Coral Gables retail shop owners who are heeding all precautions and still managing to do business. They continue the dialogue via social media, new merchandise offerings and creative ways to help service their clients. These four also have strong ecommerce business which puts them a bit ahead of the curve.
Zoey Reva (147 Alhambra Circle) finds herself in a unique situation. Having started her business online and only later expanding to in-store shopping by appointment. So, as much as the pandemic has battered all brick and mortar stores, she has seen less fallout. And by chance, she started a loungewear collection a few months ago – without the intel of what that business could actually mean to her bottom line a few months later. The loungewear (think tie dye and camo comfies) is all made locally so the turn-around is quick; you can have a different outfit for every Zoom call during the week. The website is also filled with Zoey’s infamous dress and romper collections, for something fresh on Mother’s Day. You can shop via the website www.zoeyreva.com, through Instagram (@zoeyreva) or by calling 305-389-7525 to find special offers and discounts that change weekly.
Back and Forth
Brian Seage from Back and Forth (226 Almeria Ave.) has always been about customer service and building community. So now more than ever he is at your service. He will deliver orders to your door, ship for free, or meet you at the store and have your package waiting for you curbside. Seage says he has seen an uptick in his skincare and candle sales, but also his sneakers. He has a unique, well-curated collection of sneakers that you will wear now and later. So buy now before they are gone. One of his collections, Richer Poorer, is a crossover brand, and he will now offer additional color options to attract more women to shop the store. Visit www.backandforthmiami.com or Instagram (@backandforthmia) for special discounts and offers.
Oak Home and Apparel
The women at Oak Home and Apparel (116 Valencia Ave.) have also seen an increase in home goods sales – candles, gourmet foods, pillows, etc. Co-owner Kelly Nelson says their crystals and sage sales have increased exponentially as people at home want to create a grounded sense of wellbeing. Their site is offering free shipping, or door-to-door delivery locally with special discounts, a more relaxed return policy, and they now accept Venmo to make transactions easier. Since Mother’s Day is this month, be sure to check out the gifts tag on the website. They custom make gift boxes in three sizes and will fill it with all sorts of products. You can design it yourself or let them do the work and surprise mom with a beautifully delivered gift. Shop their store at www.shopoakonline.com or Instagram (@oak_miami).
Trend Boutique has great news to share while they have been weathering this storm. They will be moving and expanding their space to create a bigger selection of women’s wear, which will sit alongside their already formidable kid’s wear selection. When the shop doors can open again, you will find them at 2606 Ponce de Leon Blvd. (formerly at 258 Andalusia Ave.). Owner Ana Mari says the unknown is difficult to navigate, but with her loyal base she has found that parents especially want to create a sense of normalcy and happiness at this time. So, she has seen increased sales in kids accessories and gift items. Shop her ecommerce site at www.trendmiami.com, or Instagram (@trendboutiquemiami), to enjoy all of Trend’s special offerings, door-to-door deliveries and Mother’s Day specials!