Scarecrow Boutique - News, articles and cooperation

News

Nominated for 2013 Inspiring Indies By Drapers

22/04/2013

We are proud to be nominated as one of 2013 Inspiring Indies by Drapers.

http://www.drapersonline.com/news/independents/inspiring-indies

Late Night Opening

30/04/2012

This Friday 4th May we have a late night shopping event, at our Boutique, from 7.30pm-10.30pm.

Free to everyone.. We have stalls of jewellery, crafts and a bargain table!

Come and join us for a drink, nibbles, music and fun.

Plus get to visit the shops that take part in Crouch End, Barboot event is its name.

Articles

Interview With Your Brand Space

22/04/2013

 

Interview with Scarecrow Boutique

This week we caught up with Adriana Green, one half of the mother and daughter duo than run Scarecrow Boutique. You can find out more about how they support emerging designers and go about finding them.

When did you set up Scarecrow Boutique?
We opened Scarecrow Boutique just over 11 years ago. I had my own knitwear business Scarecrow, designing and making knitwear for women and children and a shop in Camden, which I started 20 years ago.

Who is your core customer?
Our customers range from teens all the way up to our oldest, who is 92, but I would say the core customer is 25-55. We only have one store but its funny, we have different customers coming into the area and shopping on a Saturday, so we are bringing in slightly younger ranges to cater for them.

You are a mother and daughter power team – what do you think this combination brings to your store?
Yes we are and it works very well. My mum has lots of experience as she had a boutique in Islington for years. We obviously know what our customers want, but equally certain styles I may overlook.  Funny enough I am the more classic one and mum is a bit more fun and experimental, she may suggest that a garment will work in a different context or styled differently to get the look we want. We compliment each other. Not many arguments to be had.

Which brands do you stock?
We have been stocking Yuki, Ceci Tokyo and Miwa since we first started, Japanese labels, Aftershock for evening wear and dresses, Ingenue London since they 1st started. John Zack, Rinascimento and H&R 50’s dresses. Nour London, Jianhui London, Zandra Rhodes and Parkside for jewellery. Handbags David Jones, Aftershock. Pamella Mann, Playful Promises for hosiery and lingerie. Victoria Anne Millinery for our fascinators. Phildon shoes and Robako Ceintures for our belts.

You like to support new designers. What’s the brand mix? Established brands/ new designers?
We have found new designers via Twitter bizarrely, they approached us and if it works we take them on, Masato who is a Japanese Designer and works for Giles Deacon found us this way. Jianhui London is a local Crouch End jewellery designer who approached us. We were the first shop to stock him and Masato. We have another jewellery designer who is one of our customers and designs modern acrylic jewellery that we are taking on. So none of them are really established when we take them on, we want to support new talent and give them a platform and help promote them. I know how hard it is when your starting out, so its good to give a helping hand if we can.

What are your best-selling brands?
Yuki Tokyo and Miwa, both of these labels are Japanese, they do not follow fashion trends as such, they are timeless pieces with a modern twist, with draping and ruching, very easy to wear pieces that can be dressed up and down. Our customers love the versatility of these brands. Ingenue London and Rinascimento for lovely dresses, again they can be dressed up or down and for great pricing and fun the John Zack label.

How do you find new labels for the store?
We attend Pure London every season and have found new brands there, which is great you have everything under one roof. We research for certain niche items on the internet and of course yourbrandspace. Many labels also napproach us, but not all are suitable for our customer base.

How many new labels do you introduce each season/year?
We tend to stick to the labels that do well for us and order from them year in year out. If there is a gap or our customers are looking for something different we will try and find a suitable label to fill it. So we may add 2 or 3 new labels seasonally and test them out.

What do you look for in a new label when considering stocking them for the first time?
Quality, fabrics, if the label will work and compliment our existing labels, price ranges and not having to buy quantities of 1 style. Also loyalty from a new label as we have had a few bad experiences where the label has promised noone in our area was stocking them and then find out a shop around the corner had stocked them for years, and visa versa. In a small area and with mutual respect for other clothes shops in our area we all avoid selling the same labels, so greediness from a new label puts us off.

How do you find your customers respond to new labels?
As we know a lot of our customers we will research and ask them what they are looking for and need, we take all this on board when sourcing a new brand so our customers respond well.

Has the way you buy changed over the years in terms of forward order/short?
Yes we do a lot more short orders and we go buying weekly. We have many regular customers so we need to update stock regularly as some do come in every week. Also the great British weather has had a huge impact, for instance we are still selling winter hats, gloves, scarves and jumpers as we have not seen any sunshine yet.

We keep hearing how thought things are at the moment. Have you seen this impact your business?
Yes. The media has a lot to answer for, it is feeding everyone doom and gloom on a daily basis, so naturally people start to worry about their finances, jobs etc. Also if our customers sadly have lost their jobs, moved away due to the economy this has had a knock on effect. Sadly we know quite a few of our suppliers have gone bust, closed down; it is tough times for everyone, in every trade.

Have you changed how you are buying for the current climate? Have you noticed a change in what is selling?
Yes the weather has had a huge impact on buying. We are fortunate that we can pick up stock weekly from some of our suppliers so we can cater for what’s happening on a weekly basis. If it happens to be very cold lots of customers will come in for hats, gloves, if suddenly the sunshines pops out sunglasses are in demand.

Are there any key trends you will be buying into for AW13?
Prints, navy and grey instead of black and tailoring.

How do you promote your stores?
Word of mouth seems to be the main references we get, great customers tell their friends. It is a village type area in Crouch End and people will recommend you. Also other businesses suggest each other if they do not have a particular item in stock. Also Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Crouch End project which helps promote and encourages a great community feel. Business Directories, Yell, Thomson, Yelp etc and we have signed up with Bouticard, 02 for promotions.

What is the biggest challenge facing you at the moment? Expansion instore and online, it takes a lot of time, dedication and financial input. Also our changing customer base, and climate, learning what is needed in the here and now.

What are the future plans for Scarecrow?
Expand and improve our website and we are looking to start wholesaling our knitwear label again, as many of my old customers have asked if I could supply them again.

You have signed up to yourbrandspace - how does this service help you?
It is a brilliant platform for retailers, it has many labels that you do not normally come across, and also gives you an idea of what the labels stock and their ranges, search for price ranges in the items you are looking for. The fact that you can contact the brand easily and now add items to your cart and order that way, so its seasonal and short ordering in one. I check your site weekly to see what new labels are in and if we are looking for a certain item I will check to see if any of your brands carries it.

Are you stocking any brands that you found through yourbrandspace?
We are just about to start stocking Ruby Rocks and we are also looking at your jeans brand possibly Jonny Q. We are also looking to expand our lingerie lines, we already stock Playful Promises but have found some new great brands on your site which we will look into.

 


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