This interview is with Michelle DiMarco who is the owner of the fabulous Lilac and Lilies Boutique in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In this interview, we talk all about the business of Lilac and Lilies Boutique including its most popular styles and in-store events.
1. How would you describe your brick-and-mortar store?
For nearly a decade, Lilac And Lilies Boutique has thrived as an innovative fashion boutique and lifestyle destination in South Florida and now the local fashionable-fave can be shopped globally on LilacAndLilies.com. The luxurious and dynamic 2,300 square-foot store boasts sophisticated touches and feminine feel-good details that are mirrored for customers to enjoy online as well. Both spaces feature up-and-coming designers from New York, Los Angeles and overseas alongside community favorites hand-picked by owner Michelle DiMarco who encourages women to explore new finds and relish in their own unique personal style.
Both online and in-store experiences offer unique shopping moments enhanced with personal styling, designer trunk shows and monthly special events designed to connect like-minded women. Expect to find reasonably priced dresses, tops, skirts and jackets among curated accessories, gifts and other stylish curiosities. The Lilac And Lilies Boutique and blog within the e-shop both serve as a resource where fashion and beauty enthusiasts can enjoy inspirational tips and tricks on health, beauty, fashion, music and GAL-preneur advice. Michelle DiMarco specifically states the following, “Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to meet women who are doing amazing work for their communities, at work, and at home. My dream is to create a fun and creative community where like-minded women around the world team up to take center stage together.”
2. How is business at the moment?
It’s awesome! Don’t get me wrong, we have our challenges, but they are nothing that we cannot overcome. I actually love a challenge. It keeps me on my toes. We are also working diligently on building our website, LilacAndLilies.com so we can reach our customers globally.
3. What are your best-selling brands?
We go to market seasonally so are always looking for new brands. A few tried and true are Blank NYC, Chaser Brand, L*Space, Gentle Fawn, Bishop and Young, Buddy Love, Veronica M., Elizabeth Stone, Kendra Scott, Vintage Havana, Lucy Love Paris, Elan International and a bunch more!
4. Which categories are popular?
We operate from a Open To Buy Plan. According to our selling history, we have found that there are a few main categories like casual tops, jumpsuits/rompers, casual dresses, and necklaces that are our core business.
5. How successful is the online side of the business?
We have been selling via Instagram and Facebook for years. However, this past October, we launched our e-commerce site at LilacAndLilies.com. It is projected that the majority of the revenue will be brought in from our online business.
6. Do you sell to international markets? If so, which countries do you send your products out to?
At this time we do not sell internationally.
7. Why did you launch online and how much of your focus is on growing this side of the business?
We launched online to reach a bigger market. Pretty much the majority of our focus has been on building our e-commerce footprint through digital marketing and collaborating with influencers.
8. Where do you do your buying for the store and website?
We usually go to the Atlanta Market or Magic (which is a major apparel tradeshow that takes place in Las Vegas).
9. What do you look for in a new brand?
When buying a new brand we look for a few things including quality, price point and trend. However, the most important part is trusting your gut and knowing your customer. Ask yourself, “Where is she going and how is she going to style this?”
10. What are you excited about for the AW19 season?
Coming off the winter season we look forward to resort wear including swim, floral maxi dresses, lots of white denim and some floppy hats! I also look forward to taking some personal time off. 😉
11. Do you host in-store events to boost sales? What do these entail?
Yes, we try to host an in-store event once a month. These events include working with charities. We just did a HUGE fashion show to benefit The Boys and Girls Club of Broward County. We also host “sip & shop” events with a Bravo Housewife, most recently former housewife of the Real Housewives of Orange County Meghan King Edmonds was our guest. We find our customers really enjoy these events. They bring a friend or two, drink wine and shop! Who wouldn’t like that?
12. How else do you promote the store?
You name it, we promote it. We are super aggressive promoting the store because we are PROUD of the business we have built and BELIEVE in what we do. Personally, I promote the business every place I go. It could be from the hairdresser to the cashier at Whole Foods. Its part of my life every single day.
13. What are your future plans for Lilac and Lilies Boutique?
Online, Online, Online!!! And partnering with third party affiliates to sell through. I am also using Lilac And Lilies Boutique as a platform for me to do more fashion TV segments which I really love.