I can’t believe it’s been one year since we opened our second store, Twelve by Elly! Cliche as it may sound, it really seems like yesterday when I was blogging about starting our second store from scratch and when we had our Grand Opening.
Since then, we’ve brought in a gazillion new products and brands! We now stock Rainbow Looms, Catseye, Notbooks by Epigram books, Salted Caramel accessories, Herschel bags, Shwings, Old Soles and Pura Vida bracelets. We had to do minor renovations in May to create more display space for the accessories and clothing, and to get more storage for the new products!
Today, we have more than twice as many suppliers as when we first opened and we’ve slowly expanded our age range to 6 to 14 year olds. And that’s just for this one store. Whilst we’re sad that a lot of our early Elly supporters have outgrown Elly dresses, it is quite exciting to know they’re moving into the Twelve age group and we’re looking forward to hearing more about what your tweens want to see in our store!
At the same time, we’ve had to watch over Elly as we grew our online store and uploaded more products such as Jellycats, Automoblox and Old Soles shoes, and in particular, our newborn baby hampers partnership with Pamper Me products. And of course, the Elly store at Cluny Court is still in operation, so it’s really felt like we’ve had 3 stores for the past year! What we’ve had to do for each store has been to:
– constantly monitor stock with the many suppliers we work with and refresh our inventory;
– update our social media platforms (i.e. preparing blog posts, emailers, instagram posts and Facebook posts) and this includes first taking product pictures / styling pictures / store pictures ourselves before editing them (yes we like to do it all from scratch);
– design our collections;
– source for fabrics and work on production for our in-house brand;
– train our new staff at our stores + work at the store ourselves on days we have no staff + send parcels out;
– do extremely mundane paperwork and accounts for both companies;
– meet with our (old and new) business and marketing partners and suppliers and interview new team members; and
– code and price tag all the incoming stock.
Rinse and repeat.
It’s been madness. Yes. Madness.
On top of that, we’ve had a new addition to the Elly modelling squad. Lil S had a new baby sister earlier this year – talk about having our hands full!!! (I’m just pleased I have a chubby new model!)
Well, at least I think we’re coming out the right side of the craziness now with some semblance of a system in place. I think we’ve learnt much more about running our own business in the past twelve months alone than we did in the first two years of running Elly.
And as icing on the cake, little magazine delivered this wonderful surprise last week! (Thank you little!)
YES! Twelve by Elly won the award for the Best Retailer of the Year – Kids’ Fashion!!!!!
I don’t think the awesomeness of the award has hit yet but there’s going to be an award presentation on 16 August 2014 – I think that’s when I’m going to be bawling unceremoniously like a baby.
Each of our store has won an award this year (Elly won the Sassy Mama 2014 Award for Best Children’s Clothing Boutique earlier this year!) and that’s just crazy! We’re super happy for all your support and we definitely are spurred on to work harder to keep both our stores fresh and original! We’ve got a new clothing label joining us in September, and new accessories and our own designs launching soon, but more importantly, our annual sale is coming up in the middle of this month! So do pop by the stores to check out the sales! It’s going to be good!
Happy 1st birthday to Twelve by Elly!