My dear, dear friend and former colleague Dalia Kachouh left the corporate fashion world and went head-first into her own venture – the online retailer, www.chloelovescharlie.com. The site has been credited in magazines such as Life & Style and Cosmopolitan. She sat down with me to talk about her instant success and what it’s like to run your own business in the super-competitive fashion world.
Dalia! I am so, so proud of you for becoming your own boss. Why did you decide to make the jump from edit to retail?
Working in the fashion department of a magazine is tough but exciting work.
You have a lot of responsibilities, juggling several tasks at once keeps you on
your toes. Countless racks of clothing and accessories surrounding me day
by day was really the icing on the cake. Everyday, I was introduced to new
fabrics, silhouettes and styles but most importantly the unknown indie brands
and designers is what I adored most and is what inspired me to branch off and
create my own shop. I wanted to be able to share all these marvelous brands
that were super chic, stylish, and affordable to everyone. Most of these lines are from smaller independent designers that you can’t find in Macy’s, Nordstrom, and other large department stores. They are also unique and personal so they are not mass-produced like styles you find in chain stores such as forever 21 and H&M.
What makes Chloe Loves Charlie different from the other online retailers out there?
CLC is a girly girl shop - we sell an assortment of cute but flirty dresses, skirts,
tops, shorts, rompers, jewelry and handbags. We are not carrying any basics as
our customer can and will most probably go to a place like Old Navy or American Apparel for a plain tank, tee or sweater. CLC is still a baby trying to
find its way and make a name in the cyber shopping world. We see it blossoming into a radiant online boutique where our customers feel safe and comfortable browsing through our online shop and purchasing from
Great – now let’s get to the clothes! What fabulous collections do you carry? We carry lines from smaller independent designers such as, Ark & Co, Motel, Ya Los Angeles, C.Luce, Stylestalker, Evil Twin, Mink Pink, See You Monday,lucca couture, Blaque Label Blq Mkt. Minuet, and Gracia to name just a few!
People might be surprised to know that your husband is a huge part of the business. How is it working with him?
Chloe Loves Charlie would not exist if it was not for my husband, Roy. He is
the back bone and developer of the website. He built the site from scratch,
and we worked together to create the brand. There is constant updating and
maintenance that needs to be done on the site. Roy maintains everything
technology and photography-wise and we always strive to come up with new and interesting features to add to our site.
I’m the dreamer and Roy is logical so we work beautifully together as a team in
every aspect of our life. I hands down owe it all to Roy for making my dream into a reality.
What's a typical day like for you?
We are a two man shop, believe it or not! We do everything from designing and
maintaining the website, shooting all products and lookbook shoots, answering
customer calls and emails, shipping orders, buying inventory and all advertising, and marketing. This keeps us very busy 7 days a week.
Spill the beans – who is this Chloe girl that loves Charlie? Chloe Loves Charlie is the symbol of the duo behind the screen. A romantic
fashion lover and ambitious technology wiz that teamed up in life, love, and
business creating an online shop that allows them to work with what they
love most and provide an easy and rewarding shopping experience for their
customers. Chloe represents the stylish, fun, beautiful, and happy girl that is our customer.
I always ask this of my special guests, but it’s because I’m so curious about their answers and know that tons of women out there can benefit from the information: any advice for small business owners?
Creating and owning a small business takes a lot of work. It means working 24/
7, spending money from your own pocket, and taking a chance with a great idea that you believe in. I think what is key is having a competitive edge, something that makes your product or service stand out and of course there most be a large enough market out there that will embrace it.
Ambition and passion make business, got it. One final note on CLC that you want to share with WTSTA chicas? CLC carries lines from American and international indie designers. We add
new products every week to keep up with the trends and seasons. We like our
customers up to date with new fresh styles so they don’t get bored seeing the
same products when they come visit our shop.
We offer a fun rewards program for all registered users called Friends of Chloe. This engages our customer in our online community rewarding them with smooches (points) as they browse, comment, share with a friend and purchase anything from our site. The more smooches you have the more discounts they receive!
We also team up with style blogs and e-magazines each month offering our
customer fun giveaways, promotions, and discounts. We post all discounts and
giveaways on our Facebook page that has a growing following.
[Editor note: they have 1500 fans!!!]
Readers, I cannot tell you how fabulous it is that Dalia has done this – what all started as a dream she shared with me ages ago in a fashion closet has come her successful (profitable!!!) reality. She’s a huge inspiration to me, and I’m sure you can see why!
Visit Chloelovescharlie.com to see more of her goodies, the awesome blog and lookbooks, and purchase the ones featured here!
Dalia, her amazing hair, and her husband on their honeymoon.