Feb. 24, 2013
Herbie Business: Joanna — Plus Your Chance to Win $50 for Cute Clothing and Accessories!
This giveaway is now closed.To enter to win a $50 store credit to Lovenell, comment below with what your favorite article of clothing is. This is open to U.S. residents only.
1. Tell us a little bit about your business.
My husband, Jon, and I recently started an online boutique for Juniors' and Ladies' Clothing called Lovenell. Our mission is that we are an "honest boutique," which means that we sell the same clothing that you see in other boutiques, but literally at a fraction of the price. You may see a lot of boutiques initially price their products high, only to later mark these items on sale. We feel that being honest from the beginning is the best policy.
2. How did you get into the clothing business?
We have family with connections that helped us in the wholesale arena and set up contracts with well-known suppliers and distributors.
3. What motivated you to open a boutique?
This all stems from my own experience and not wanting to spend a lot on clothing, but still liking the feeling of having something new. I'm quite the frugal shopper and I love seeing sales. With that, it is almost frustrating when you miss a great sale. Jon and I came up with the concept of starting with a fair price point and after asking around, people seemed to love the idea.
4. Is this a full-time gig, or something you do on the side? a hobby?
We both run this business on the side (Jon is a business student and I work in healthcare) and although it has been stressful at times and quite a bit of work, we really love it.
5. How long have you been a member of the HH community?
Joanna: Vegetarian for 4 years, Vegan for 2 years, and HH member for 2 years.
Jon: Vegan and HH member for 2 years.
6. What advice do you have for anyone interested in pursuing their dreams of opening a boutique or selling clothing?
Lots of research and becoming familiar with your market and your customer, as with any business! Also ensuring that the clothing you are selling is quality clothing.
7. What is the most rewarding part of your business/work?
While I love healthcare and helping people, opening this boutique has been such a breath of fresh air, because I absolutely love the work and the detail that it entails. I really love that, especially in the economy that we are in, we can be "honest" with our prices by keeping overhead expenses low — which in turn, still helps ladies feel good about themselves. We handpick each item to ensure the quality of the piece and like I said, we really love it.
8. What is the most challenging aspect?
A lot of online boutiques are able to spend quite a bit of money on marketing, but they also drastically mark their clothing up in price. So the most challenging part is keeping our prices low, but still finding creative ways to market our business.
9. Does your business directly relate to your Herbie lifestyle?
It does not directly relate to our Herbie lifestyle per se, but I feel that being health conscientious and compassionate for the lives of animals ultimately plays a role in your entire life and the person that you become when you make a lifestyle decision like this. Your kindness and caring for the health and well-being of others (both human and animal) becomes portrayed in every aspect of your life.
10. Anything else you'd like to add or share?
We are so happy that Lindsay and Happy Herbivore are doing this small business spotlight (refer to our biggest challenge in #8). We personally always try and support small businesses, as well as vegan-owned businesses and we are so incredibly thrilled to receive support ourselves. Jon and I actually have a "future Herbie" bun-in-the-oven, so we are excited to start not only our online clothing boutique journey, but a brand new journey in life as well, and we truly appreciate the support.
Update 2/19 — We had our "bun in the oven" that I wrote about! (I had a 100% vegan pregnancy that physicians surprisingly commended!)
Be sure to check out their site, Lovenell Clothing.