Type of Business: An online clothing e-retailer of modest clothing for modern women
Address: 7337 Stanford Avenue, St. Louis
Telephone: 866-828-9178 toll free,
Founded: August 2005
Top officer: Rachel Lubchansky, president and founder
How would you describe your business?
“We are an online boutique catering to modern modest women who have a hard time finding suitable clothing in stores to suit their lifestyle,” said founder, Rachel Lubchansky. “We mainly reach out to modest women – including religious Jewish women.
“We cater to a broad spectrum of women who dress modestly while maintaining their femininity. We have teenagers and women with families and women well into their 50s who are shopping our site. We have something for everyone with the brands we carry at prices from $35 to $200.”
What makes your business special?
“We are fulfilling a niche for style. It’s a one-stop shop. I had one call from a man in the UK (United Kingdom), saying ‘I’m sick of my wife going out all day and coming back with one item.’
“This is an opportunity for women to wardrobe themselves in one place. It’s also a timesaving factor for shoppers, because we carry many difference designers and manufacturers – including Mac&Jac, Kenzie, Three Dots, French Connection, Rinascimento, Hazel, XCVI Wearables.
What goals do you have for the business?
“We want to expand our range of merchandise and our price points. We want to provide stylish clothing, regardless of the customer’s size or age. We have quite a few avenues to grow into.”
How has your business changed?
“We have only been in business since August of this year. What led me to this came as a result of me becoming more observant and seeking out cloting to fit my more modest lifestyles as a Modern Orthodox woman. I had trouble finding stylish apparel. I didn’t want to sacrifice my old look for this new lifestyle. I’ve always had a passion for fashion. I returned to St. Louis after getting a BA degree in integrated marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and working in the business areas of the fashion industry. I found there was a need for more fashionable modest clothing. I heard this communicated among the peers in my community and I began working on a business plan.”
What was your most important deal?
“Starting a business with a preview trunk show in my home, then opening the e-commerce site. The response has been overwhelming with over 1,000 hits on the website in the first couple of months and repeat customers already. Quite a few inquiries have come from Canada and the UK. It’s become a very large word of mouth business.”
What changes do you expect in your business in the next 10 years?
“Before 10 years, we expect to be growing to carry sizes for everyone, as well as developing our own line of stylish modest clothing.”
What is the most important thing you’ve learned?
“The importance of having a business plan before you start a business. However, a great deal of what I learned about a business was picked up during my childhood from my mom who’s a good mentor. Her school – Beverly Milder’s Musical Arts in St. Louis, specializing in voice and keyboard (piano) – has more than 700 students and 10 teachers. I learned about time management and had a lot of working experience. After graduating from FIT and working in New York City, I moved back to St. Louis to run the school.
“Since starting this business, I learn something new every day. It’s not really a one woman shop. I work with wonderful people on a contractual basis – a professional photographer, graphic designer, web designer. It’s quite a team, and having my hand in all efforts of the business helps me to grow professionally and learn to be a successful retailer.”
What advice would you give to someone considering your line of work?
“The fashion retail business is fun and ‘sexy.’ However, behind all of the beautiful merchandise is a business like any other – structured by a vision, financial and marketing efforts and lots of planning. So, my advice is for the individual who is considering opening an e-retail business to do your homework before diving in headfirst. I spend months developing a business plan, which now serves as our road map to making decisions and, ultimately, to success.”
Is there anything else you would rather be doing?
“Nothing! I am incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to merge my love for fashion and my interest in business in a boutique which actually provides a service to our customers.”
The Jewish Journal