Tag Archives: Random

Our 5th Birthday Shoe Sale!

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We turn 5 on March 4, 2017. Just like that.

I was just reading through one of my old blog posts (“A lookback on our first year“) and feeling nostalgic. Since our move to the bigger store in November 2015, we’ve been indulgent in celebrating two birthdays a year – in March when we first moved into #02-29 and in November when we shifted to our current double unit!

In the second quarter of this year, we will be unveiling a new website, new packaging and style – a fresh new look for this 5th birthday! We’re really excited about that!  But just as we’re trying to work on these behind the scenes, we’re keeping up with activities going on in-store as well.  We have to make space in our store and warehouse for new Spring/Summer ’17 arrivals, particularly for the many shoe brands we carry!

So, for our 5th birthday, we’ll be having a shoe sale at our Cluny Court store for six of the brands we carry.  Enjoy 30% off past collections from sizes EU 19 to Eu 36 (yes, even your tweens will be able to find shoes to take on their March school holidays)!

1. Old Soles

Time to stock up on your favourite styles such as Sienna sandals (in white, silver, navy, blossom)!

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Other sandal styles such as Nevanas, Fiestas, Capreses will also be on sale!

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If you’re a fan of the Cruise and Brule ballet flats, you’ll be pleased to know the classic colours such as silver, gold and pearl will be on sale! We think these flats make great dress-up shoes!

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2. Saltwater Sandals

Selected Saltwater Sandals will be on sale including  and especially classic styles such as sweetheart sandals and surfer sandals! If you’re a fan of Saltwaters, this is the perfect time to pick up a pair or two!

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3. Converse

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A wide range of Converses will be on sale! You can find high tops for your tweens (largest size US3) or sneakers for the little ones to run around in!

4. Natives

Limited last pieces of Native shoes will be going on sale!

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5. Livie and Luca

Lil E wore her Livie & Luca Pio Pio shoes in Japan and they were such sturdy, reliable shoes throughout her trip!

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6. Pom d’api

It’s the first time Pom d’apis will be on sale in our store! Enjoy 30% off the full collection!

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Meduse

As a bonus, grab a pair of Meduse sandals for $15 to wear to the beach, for skate scootering or just hanging out on weekends!

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As these brands’ past collections are at the end of their season, not all sizes will be available so we do advise you to come early to grab the sizes you’re looking for. Our full range will be launched on Friday and we will not be topping up any styles during the weekend.

Birthday Shoe Sale (3 – 6 March 2017)

Store opening hours:

Friday 3 March 2017: 10 am to 7 pm

Saturday 4 March 2017: 10 am to 7 pm

Sunday 5 March 2017: 10 am to 6 pm

Monday 6 March 2017: 10 am to 7 pm

Location:

The Elly Store is at #02-31 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259760.

Do note that on Thurs 2 March, our shoe section will be closed to set up for the sale!

See you there!

x, Audrey

 

Getting our ducks in a row

It’s been awhile since I wrote a post about running our small business so I thought I’d do a summary of what we’ve been holed up in our office/warehouse/studio doing this year!

We started January 2015 with the launch of pre-orders for our CNY 2015 Home collection and for days after, we were hit with an avalanche of pre-orders and online sales (which we didn’t see coming). Obviously we had planned for our normal peak period with staffing based on last year’s crowds BUT we didn’t plan for growth. I know everyone says it’s a great problem to have but it really wasn’t. It was miserable because we were constantly trying to catch our breath and chase our tails, despite having thought we had planned everything neatly in the weeks before that. We barely slept all week!

By 2015, we had two stores running at full steam and it felt as if we couldn’t stop for a day to go through our to-do list or plan ahead because we were constantly managing staffing, incoming stock, production, promotions, events, marketing and admin / accounts etc etc etc.  There was always a longer list of missed deadlines than the ones we actually made.  And that felt miserable too.  Running two physical stores meant that we would continue paying rent and salaries, and customers would walk by and continue to want to be excited by their shopping experience. So in turn, we had to constantly update the store and come up with promotions or events or new products.

At some point, it was all just too much and so, we decided it was time to stop and fix broken parts and press the reset button.  We spent March looking for a warehouse, April setting up our new office-warehouse-studio, and May and June were for checking the boxes for “the things we still hadn’t done list” and boy, was this list long!  July was finally for “the things we always wanted to do list” and for putting systems in place.  WE HAVE SYSTEMS IN PLACE!!!  Good grief, I’m so chuffed I could shout this from a mountain top I tell you.  Yes sure we are still hacking away at the last outstanding bits but it feels so good that we managed to chug through the whole list!  On one hand after four months, it felt like we barely accomplished anything because it was just clearing up backlog (as opposed to taking nice big leaps ahead) but at the same time, it was vital we cleared up everything that was holding us back before we took our next step forward!  Taking time to focus on clearing up backlog also meant ignoring the stores for abit whilst our staff “held the fort” and took on additional responsibilities.  It also meant we would consciously not chase new ideas, new partners or new products which at the time required more time and effort than we could offer. In short, it was really about putting aside things that wore me down and made me constantly fed up about being behind and having to problem solve and never being able to get a system in place or “get better” at doing what we already did.

More importantly, the past three months finally gave us a chance to think about what we wanted to accomplish for both our businesses and for ourselves. For a while, I think we were taking every new thing that sounded exciting or new (rather than what would actually be in keeping with who we were) and as we kept doing that, we started to lose sight of what we had actually set out to be.

My 3 takeaways from this is to: (1) get your systems in place before you start anything; (2) fix a broken leg before you start running again (and I’m not really talking about running here); and (3) keep at it.

Our Online Store

In the past two months, we have (1) expanded the products available online, and (2) created a Gift Section especially for newborns also on online!  Over the past two years, we have had numerous requests to upload more of the products we sold in the store online as well so you wouldn’t have to trudge to Cluny Court and also for baby hampers of varying sizes and price ranges, some for corporate gifts as well. We’ve finally been able to do both!

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– You can find more Elly clothing online and we’ll be growing our Elly range in the course of this year!

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– You can find over 120 Jellycat plush toys, books, soothers, rattles and stroller toys!

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– You can also find the beloved Paddington Bear plush toy!

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– We’ve uploaded organic pyjamas and underwear from Maxomorra for boys and girls!

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– You can find Kid-O toys (some of which make great bath toys)!

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– If you’re looking for a newborn gift, we’ve put together a unique selection of gift sets!

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– There is even a category for mommies! Mommies can shop for Catseye makeup pouches, travel wash bags and coin purses!

And if you need to send any of these as a gift because you might have missed a birthday or not be able to attend a birthday party, opt for the courier option and add on one of our gorgeous gift boxes for just $3. We’ll include your gift message as well!

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So it’s almost August when we’ve finally gotten our ducks in a row!  Ok it did take a month longer than I anticipated but it feels so good to de-clutter and start each day wanting to actually be at work. Now for the next leap forward!

 

x, Audrey

Elly wishes everyone a Happy New Year!

Thank you all for your enthusiastic support for our Horse Parade collection and in this past lunar year. We can’t wait to see your children wear Elly during CNY! Please feel free to share your pics on our fb page or post it on instagram (tag us @theellystore and use the hashtag #thehorseparade) so we can see all your lovely pics!

We wish you and your families a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!

gong xi

– Audrey & Carol

Happy Holidays!

Hi everyone!

We hope you’re almost done with your last minute Christmas shopping! If not, we’re still opened tomorrow (Christmas Eve) from 10 am to 6pm!

Our holiday opening hours:
– Christmas Eve: 10 am to 6 pm
– Christmas Day: Closed
– New Year’s Eve: 10 am to 3 pm
– New Year’s Day: Closed

Thank you for shopping at Elly this holiday season! We hope you have a wonderful festive season and we’d like to wish everyone a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Xmas

x Audrey & Carol

What would you like to hear from us next?

Hi everyone! 

I hadn’t realised how many people have found this blog but it’s really nice to meet blog readers at the store who chat about things they’ve read (especially if it’s about Disney and you know I can go on and on about Disney). 

Well, I’m wondering what else you’d be interested to read about on our blog? Could you leave a comment here for me if you’ve got something in mind? 

x, Audrey

Starting our second store from scratch

“Starting from scratch” sounds like an exaggeration considering the Elly store has been opened for 1 year 5 months before TWELVE opened. Technically, opening a second retail store should totally have been easy-peasy right?  We thought the same too. There was one difference though – when we were setting up the Elly Store, Elly already had collections ready for sale (even collections in production) plus a collection of toys. Elly also had its “backend” sorted (well, sort of). For starters, it had a name + brand + website + logo + hang tags (have you seen the old tags which had Elliot who is Elly’s original elephant on them? They’re now vintage! Ha!).  That was a huge weight off our shoulders. By the time we signed on the lease, we had an idea what the look and feel of the store was going to be and we didn’t have to fuss with production and sourcing, at least not whilst renovations were ongoing.

In contrast, TWELVE BY ELLY was started from nothing. We didn’t have a brand or store name in January 2013 when we first talked about opening this new store. We didn’t have a logo, website, hang tags, name cards, a physical location (!!!) – all of which was dependent on us getting the brand name + concept nailed down. We didn’t have ANY clothes or shoes or stationery. We didn’t have a store design (which was dependent on us getting the location sorted)!  We were looking at many moving factors which were inter-dependent on each other and hence spiralled into a cycle of indecision.

Someone asked me what we needed to do in order to open a physical store? Well, I’ll try to take you through what was on our “To Do” list.

First, a brand name.

– Why TWELVE by Elly? We thought it was catchy and it represented the end of the age group we’re reaching out to.

– How did we decide on it? Played around with a couple of options before we unanimously agreed on TWELVE. I think like Elly, it’ll stick in your memory.

Once we nailed down the brand name, we found a designer who was going to design our logo, website, hang tags etc.

Then, we needed to decide on a colour theme.  TWELVE has 3 key colours which you will see on our website, paper bags, name cards and even the display stands in the store (more on that in the next blog post). At first, I was going for the all-black approach but the designer mentioned that 6-12 year olds were still attracted to vibrant colours and the all-black approach would’ve been too stark and too mature a look.

At this point, we were seriously multi-tasking!

(A)  Designing our logo design, website, hang tags, name cards AND postcards

We worked with a design team and together, we talked through what we thought was good (or bad) about the samples they gave us e.g. font size too big, don’t like italics, don’t like numerics, can’t make out the TWELVE word, too much emphasis on ELLY, colours are too pastel, colour board wasn’t suitable. We polled friends, friend’s children in the 6-12 yr age group, customers and anybody who walked by whilst we were looking through these designs!

Hang Tags

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(B)  Sourcing for Products

At the same time, we were sourcing for products for our store. We were looking at clothes for girls and boys, bags, stationery, loungewear and nightwear, shoes and accessories. We had more than 10 different brands to go through the ordering process for – pouring through catalogues, doing an order form, managing invoicing, following up with delivery, coding, inventorising and price tagging the items. My house was looking like a store-room with over 40 boxes of shoes and clothes delivered before our store opening. It was like living in a warehouse!!

Brands we carry

Photo Credits (Clockwise from top left): Aya Naya, Baggu, American Outfitters and Tappa Naki

(C) Designing a retail store

At the same time, we were designing the physical store (and by “we”, you know I really mean Carol… haha, designing stores and visual merchandising are her thing). So there was mega surfing for inspiration on google, blogs, Pinterest and trips to the library to borrow books on retail spaces to find store layouts, themes, colours, fittings and “statement pieces”. We wanted to find a distinctive look you would always associate with the store, e.g. Macdonalds’ golden arches sign; Page One (the book store) used to have slanted shelves that made me dizzy walking through it; Ben & Jerry + Marche have a variety of cows outside their stores. I would think of more examples than these but my brain seems to have turned to cheese these couple of days so I’m clean out of other examples.

After countless sketches, we finally nailed down a proposed furniture layout plan for the contractor. The contractor moved in pre-built pieces of our feature counter top, our step-display and our cashier counter. At the time they laid the counter top on its side, I must say I was a little disappointed. It well didn’t look like anything I wanted it to look like!

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But once they flipped it the right way round, I was all smiles!

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Here’s one of Carol’s sketches of our side wall and the picture below it is the finished product. As you can tell, we went through iterations even after we had “nailed down” the “final design”. It was constantly a work-in-progress!

Our side wall

Empty walls to be filled before the Grand Opening!

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(D) The Elly Store

Just to add icing on the cake, we still had Elly to worry about throughout this time. We had a new collection in production for end August / September which we were constantly eye-balling. We were already designing our collection for CNY 2014. We had to inventorise and tag our new collections. We had to continue re-ordering stock to manage our inventory levels. We had to continue with our administrative work. It was never-ending. Some say two stores would be alot easier to manage because we have had experience going through one store’s worth of hurdles but there were days it felt like 5x as hard!

But these pictures speak of a quiet pride in the knowledge that we did this through sheer hard work, without a professional designer and together, it was more than what we could’ve imagined it to be.

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Grand Opening

We’d like to spend the afternoon with family and friends so Carol & I would be honoured if you could join us for the Grand Opening of TWELVE! See you there!

x, Audrey