We are well into the season and breaking records every month. We had our first million dollar month as a company in August, and have continued to beat that ever since. Even though it has been over 20 years of building this, each day brings new excitement, new possibilities, and new opportunities to help others, and change lives in the process. Our successful owners come from all walks of life. Anitra of Winston Salem was a stay at home mom. She just had her largest month ever selling over $134,000 in one month! Then there is Dyana in Savage, Minnesota who came to us as a young single lady who had been in fashion and wanted her own thing. She was just voted the number one boutique in her area, and continues to astonish us with her numbers. This list goes on and on. The best part of it is our culture of being a TEAM and BELIEVING and wanting to be the best at what we do, as we cheer one another along in the process. It was a long road to get here, and I faced many challenges, but the journey has been worth it.
Before I talk about what is HOT In fashion right now and give you my take on it, let me first share a group of us on one of our recent buying trips.
As you can see from the picture above, we are multi generational in every sense! This is part of our success. We bring our customers the best collection every season. I personally travel to every major market throughout the year. Just got back from Dallas where the Market Center flew me in for market and put me up in a hotel. What a treat for me to spend time with Michelle, franchise owner of one of our Houston stores. Prior to that I was in the Denver area settiing up one of our new beautiful stores in Aurora. Each month brings me somewhere new and everywhere I go it influences our vast collection. Here goes our portfolio of fashion - the chosen ones from our customers around the country - as this is what they are wearing right now...
Sharon, one of our lead stylists at the corporate store in Apple Valley, Minnesota, cuddles with one of our new faux fur coats that flew off the rack. This new line was a great addition for us. One of the things we do as buyers is always offer newness, and we do this by scoping the markets to find gems like this!
Sharon looks amazing in everything, but more importantly she enjoys helping women leave our store looking and feeling great in just the right item. The flowy top below is a hit and we offer it in a multitude of colors. Another great thing about this top is it can be worn all year round so it is great value for all the style it provides! Printed leggings are the number one trend of the season and here you can see why! Pair them with a solid black top, and boots, and you are on trend, comfy, stylish and ready for anything!
Did you know fashion denim sales are down nationwide? Many of the premium denim suppliers are scrambling to figure out what to do about getting back some of that market share they keep losing. We have seen two of the hot lines merge as an example. Women use to drive miles to find the latest $200 pair of denim, and now they love living in our much less expensive and more comfortable leggings! See an array below that is literally flying out our doors! So hey denim vendors out there - this is one reason why your sales are down!!!
So, what should I share next? There are so many hot items! Our flagship store in Apple Valley is experiencing huge growh yet again with sales up 25% over last year. Here is one of the reasons why...
Even though I know our competition reads this and is on our tail, we always stay a step ahead by finding new gems like the one above! The quality and fit of this line has made us one of their top retailers! And hear this peeps, we are in the process of developing our own line in 2014! We are doing this so when a great item sells out, and the vendor no longer produces it, we can still offer something similar because our focus is THE CUSTOMER! They decide what is successful, not us. We just observe, listen, and know the trends before they are trends! All of it is timing, and that is why the only thing competition does, is make us better! We will travel to that one extra show. We will go wherever we need to for that special item for our customer! It shows in our portfolio and in our sales!
On to another TOP TREND FOR THE SEASON - Pleather! Here are some of our customer favs...
With denim sales declining we are also seeing the dress category GROW, and I predict it will continue to grow into spring. Each month we study categories, and pour over reports so we can be prepared for the next season. Here are some amazing dresses from our portfolio of fashion from this season.
Tis the season of sweaters! Of course, ours are AMAZING!
We try to buy American when we can, but could not resist this great line from the Netherlands:
Great GIft Options from our stores:
Everyone can use a solid dolman sleeve top in their wardrobe! Each month our stores bring in new colors. Priced below $30, this is a perfect gift!
We also bring in fun new scarves weekly, and often have giveaways on our individual Facebook pages. We also post new items as they come in on our Facebook pages, so be sure to follow us! The great thing is we also sell off Facebook every day! Regardless of where you live, you can wear Mainstream too!
The great thing about the scarf and fingerless gloves below is that each is handmade, and no two are alike. They are made of reclaimed material, and often have cashmere pieces mixed in!
We always try to give back! This month when you bring in a non perishable item to donate to the food shelf, we give you 20% off up to two items! Everyone wins!
So from myself and our amazing TEAM we wish you abundant blessings!
Inc just named us as one of the top 5,000 fastest growing privately owned companies in America!
Last night I was a guest on a CBS powered radio show interviewed by reknown author Caroline Dowd-Higgins. (Our segment starts around 34.)
Our growth continues exponentially with 35 stores either open or in progress. I believe it is our attention to detail, and our incessant goal of ensuring each customer get a favorable shopping experience in each of our stores that contributes to that success. Our goal is to be the very best we can be at what we do. it is not a commodity to us, but a love of fashion and helping women look and feel great that brings us this success.
Personally for me coaching, mentoring and teaching each franchisee is what I do, and love to do. Seeing them be successful, changing their lives, is the great reward I strive for. Back in 1994 when I attended one of the success seminars that came through town, it was a life changing experience for me. As I hung on every word Zig Zigler spoke, I bought into that if you help anough other people succeed, you will succeed. I love knowing I am building something that will be here long after I am gone.
So today's blog is about being thankful that I know I am doing what I was born to do.
Robin, our Mainstream Boutique Northbrook IL franchise owner, offers useful summer fashion tips for the workplace.
Marie DeNicola, President and CEO of Mainstream Boutique, is the leader of our franchise operation.