When was the last time you went shopping? I’m not talking about online. I’m talking about the kind ya do in a small boutique. You know, the kind of shopping where you stumble upon a gorgeous, drapey pair of pants or a fun graphic tee on a back sales rack. Honestly… when was that?
Now ask yourself, are there any of those small shops left? Sure, there’s a ton of funky, independent restaurants (do we really need another craft brewery?) but all of those little stores surrounding them are pretty much gone. MAJAMAS Boutique was one of them.
We closed our brick & mortar store over three years ago. After eleven years of being in business, we saw our customer base shrinking. Many of the customers who actually came in would pull out their phones to see if they could find whatever we were selling cheaper online (please don’t do this…it’s rude and unkind!) It came as a relief to close our shop. We didn’t have to worry about staffing an empty store seven days a week and our shrinkage and liability insurance went down considerably (the things shop owners pay for regardless of whether they have customers or not). Still, I miss our little store sometimes and I miss all the others I shopped in too.
There are tons of reasons for the end of brick & mortar retail. We’re a generation of bargain hunters and the internet is a perfect place for competitive pricing. There’s always someone selling that dress for less or doubling your discount. Plus every style from every store is at your fingertips within seconds. It’s difficult for a retailer to compete with that convenience.
We get it, shopping from home (in your MAJAMAS PJ’s, perhaps?) is hard to beat, but there’s something about walking down a street filled with niche boutiques, their front doors open and inviting, that makes a town charming, romantic and even profitable.
Now that those stores are harder to come by, where do we go to find those kitschy shops selling unique clothes and trinkets you can’t find anywhere else?
Off to a local market, that’s where! No! Not a grocery store or a flea market (those can be cool too..) but a well planned, selective market filled with small vendors selling clothing (ME!), accessories, home decor, food and even booze.
These finely curated market events have become the new niche-boutiques where you’ll find beautifully crafted quality items filled with character. You’ll have the opportunity to personally connect with vendors, hear their stories and see their craft.
Sure, lots of the vendors have online stores too, but there’s nothing like feeling that soft fabric in your hand or that polished bracelet on your wrist that makes you realize how much you’ve missed those tiny shops of yesteryear.
I have to admit, working these markets has become one of my favorite things. Sure, I could send someone else to sell at these events, but I absolutely love getting the face-to-face with our customers. It’s one of the biggest things I miss about not having a small boutique. A happy customer can make my day and every
client brings us the necessary perspective to make sure MAJAMAS EARTH is delivering our very best.
So go, get out, mingle and visit a local pop-up market.
You’ll score some one-of-a-kind finds and love the hip vibe
that comes with them.
They may not be your local boutique, but I promise you’ll feel just as good supporting and MEETING the local designers who’ve made all the little gems hiding there.
It’s good to know WHO MADE MY CLOTHES (and everything else too!)
Time to Care What You Wear!
– Germaine Caprio, Company Owner & Designer
Psst… Are you near Chicagoland? Visit ME at Style Chicago, Covet Market & Lively Athletics this weekend to pick up last minute local gifts for mom!
What’s your favorite local market or vendor!?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below! Your comment may even win you a free MAJAMAS garment this week!