New store pays off for online retailer
After developing a loyal and supportive customer base for her online store, entrepreneur Andrea Fubler was positive about taking a plunge into the bricks and mortar retail environment in May.
“I wouldn’t have started a shop if I had not felt I had built a loyal clientele, a loyal following of people who would be excited for me to open a store,” Ms Fubler said.
Seven months on, her optimistic outlook for the all-natural beauty and lifestyle store Salt + Cedar has been rewarded with monthly sales figures that have increased “substantially” since it opened in the Emporium Building on Front Street.
The artfully-designed, 300-square-foot shop carries a range of “green” products for face, body and home including moisturisers, cleansers, bath and body products, make-up, essential oils and diffusers, as well as glass straws, candles and all-natural dish soap. The shop also has a refill station for liquid soaps.
Salt + Cedar was launched online in November, 2016, while Ms Fubler was eight months pregnant with daughter Amara, who is now 3 years old. She ran a one-woman operation, even handling deliveries to customers. Now, she employs one part-time staff member in addition to her full-time role.
“An online business only has so much potential in Bermuda, particularly when you are serving only Bermuda,” Ms Fubler said.
“I couldn’t resist this space because it is so light and airy, and I also couldn’t resist having a Front Street space. The view is beautiful.
“Now, we get foot traffic, and tourist traffic, too. I had a big following on social media, but within the beauty and self-care industry, people like to smell the products, feel the products, feel the texture of things. Opening a store has allowed people to test the products before they buy them.
“A lot of people who followed me on social media hadn’t bought anything online, but now they come into the store on a regular basis.”
Ms Fubler, who still delivers online orders, has developed strong relationships with her customers.
“It’s all about providing them with better customer service, and a better experience,” she said.
“I know most of my customers by name, I know what they like, and I help to build their skin-care routine for them. I always ask what results they want to achieve before I provide any suggestions.”
She added: “I continually try to evolve to meet the needs of my customers by bringing in what’s hot and fresh in the green beauty market. I am continually doing research to follow the latest trends, and know which products are not only clean, but effective.”
The store carries 25 brands, for use by women and men, including popular international products from Lovefresh, Leahlani, Simply Earth and Mad Hippie, plus locally made items such as toiletry bags from Bermuda Born and body-care products from Tricia Lines.
“My goal for Salt + Cedar is to be the only place you need to visit in order to find all your favourite natural beauty, lifestyle and self-care needs,” Ms Fubler says. “I’ve done the research, so you don’t have to.
“I don’t try to scare people, but we can do so much better. We can use cleaner, safer products.”
She added: “It’s also about the environment. Everything I carry is biodegradable. I try to look for products with less wasteful packaging, too.”
Ms Fubler said some 60 customers have signed up for a green beauty subscription box. Offered quarterly, it includes a selection of green beauty items including one full-size product, “two or three” travel-size samples, as well as sachet samples.
This evening, Salt + Cedar is having a “grand opening holiday shopping event” between 5pm and 7.30pm featuring storewide discounts, giveaways with every purchase, and the launch of a new liquid eyeliner product with a make-up artist on site.
Wooden gift cards, available in any denomination and which never expire, will also be available, as will pre-made gift boxes to make the Christmas shopping experience easier.
Salt + Cedar is open Monday to Saturday from 10am until 5pm. See the website at www.saltandcedar.bm</i>
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