1. How did Lace get started?
To start, it wasn’t initially going to be named LACE. We had another domain that we thought could work that had a somewhat comical approach. However, that idea didn’t make the cut since that wasn’t how we wanted our first impression to be. Our business plan describes a shopping destination that women and men can shop for lifestyle intimates. We wanted to provide a place for our customers to browse trendy styles that they could not find at the mall. This led us to LACE.com. Easier said than done. We negotiated. Once we acquired the domain for a sum that, let’s just say – we played hard ball for, LACE was born. From there our team went full force on creating the site that people are now familiar with. That being said, LACE is in a constant state of evolution. From where we began to where we are today there have been vast changes, improvements and developments that we continue to introduce. It is extremely motivating for our team, and exciting to announce that this past month [August] set a new company record in lingerie sales. LACE surpassed last year’s holiday numbers!
2. What makes Lace different from other retailers? What are your goals for this year?
LACE is inclusive of everyone and our customer service alone ensures repeat buyers. We carry thousands of styles in sizes small to 4x. LACE recognizes that its customers want and love their purchases. We state directly on our site that if an order is placed by noon EST it will ship the same business day.
We now sell gift cards! Heading into the holiday season this was a given that our team wanted to have on the site. Available in $20, $50 and $100 increments, our customers can now shop and email a gift card with a personalized message attached. In addition, we just launched our loyalty program for customers. LACE Loyalty points are earned on every product, excluding gift cards, and can be used toward wishlist items or any future purchase.
We have a few other projects that will be released before the end of the year that we are very excited about and believe that they will only add to the overall look, feel and functionality of the site.
As we are still within our infancy, our goals are to continue to grow our brand and customer loyalty.
3. What are your bestselling styles from Seven’til Midnight?
Our customers love Seven Til Midnight! Garter belts, hosiery and all the panties sell all day every day! These are items that customers buy several of and continue to return to purchase other styles and colors. We have been doing really well with all the curvy bustiers and corsets in bright pinks, greens and blues. Our team can’t wait for the holiday shipment to come it as this collection has been much anticipated around our office for its rich colors, fabrics and absolutely fantastic imagery!
4. Do you have any promos going on right now?
Currently we have the entire site 25% off. There is no coupon required. We have changed all the prices to include the discount.
Along with price adjustments, we have just introduced our Fall lines and customers can expect to see our holiday lines by the beginning of November.
5. What trends are you predicting for this upcoming season? What do you believe will NOT be popular?
This season women are looking for styles and pieces that they can incorporate into outerwear looks. Pieces like bodysuits and bralettes. It’s all in the details, so pieces with fun straps and accessories like harnesses that can be used to spice up a cute top will be doing well. Our customers of course love lingerie, but they aren’t just looking for bedroom attire. They are the conscious shopper who want
1. How did Spicy Kiki get started?
When we first started Spicy Kiki (means Spicy-Fun Party) in September of 2015, it was more to see if we could have a fun side business where we could help women of all shapes and sizes feel sexy (our friends and neighbors) while trying to positively cash flow the company in a short timeframe. It quickly became my pet project outside of my ongoing sales career. We first came up with the idea while visiting Desire in Riviera Maya near Cancun. My husband’s Ecommerce and retail software experience coupled with my creativity, put us in a a good position to start an online retailer. One that blends the style and disruption of a Nasty Gal but focuses exclusively on what women wear underneath and out to a sexy parties and/or clubs while always being mindful of price and fit.
2. What makes Spicy Kiki different from other retailers? What are you goals for this year?
Although we are new to the Lingerie and women’s apparel scene, we are quick learners and have set out to provide (out of the gates), what a lot of retailers are being forced to reverse engineer into their business model. Our website is cloud-based and is 100% responsive, meaning it adjusts to whatever device you are using, thanks to Zoey Commerce. Our foundation has been laid with an omnichannel blueprint. We are providing personalized service and support to our customers while stocking what they are telling us works for them and what is trending. Being new, there is a lot of trial and error but we are having a lot of fun.
We are not limiting our marketing to just our online store. We are also building our presence on Instagram, Twitter, snapchat and Facebook. We have hosted several local and international lingerie/bra fitting parties and are sponsoring adult-only vacation and social sites. We will soon be guests on Playboy Radio. We are already developing relationships abroad to leverage the growing need for our brand.
Our goal is to build Spicy Kiki into recognizable international brand within 3 years that is known for providing a five star customer experience while working closely with our top vendors like Seven ‘Til Midnight to supply the latest in lingerie styles. We aim to keep our customers feeling and looking sexy. This includes rolling out pop-up and boutique brick & mortar Spicy Kiki stores. As a couple, we want to be in a financial position within the next two years to dedicate 100% of our time and energy into Spicy Kiki while traveling the world to build our business and generate new business. As we look to grow our business, we are looking to secure additional capital to achieve our goals.
3. Tell us about Club Spicy
Club Spicy was inspired by the poolside conversations between couples. Club Spicy membership is an intimate online exchange of the information necessary to make sure the garments fit the customer the first time. Sending samples to our Spicy members to try on and determine best look and fit, enables us to pick out lingerie and/or club wear that the giver can “gift” regularly or on special occasions with the confidence the recipient will be able to enjoy and wear from the moment they put it on. We have quickly learned that sizing is the main component with online shopping. Subscription increments reflect the various degree’s of commitment for lingerie beginning with a pair of panties monthly and upward. Our goal is to make it easy for men and women to “gift” the other or themselves Spicy Kiki apparel.
4. Imagery is everything these days, especially with social media marketing. Have you noticed a difference in response between product shots versus editorial imagery?
Imagery is our passion. Personally we love the product shots provided by Seven ‘Til midnight. They are professional, give us credibility, and are super sexy. So far, the response we see: Product shots and videos are used as instructional imagery. aka – how does the product show on the model and what is “the intended” look. The editorial imagery is more realistic as Spicy Kiki does not photoshop our own models. Our viewers get the feel for the “look” and relate to our models for the most part. A trend we are seeing implemented successfully in apparel companies such as H&M and Free People. As an aside and since we are a start up- our models are our friends and they happily let our photographers shoot them in our samples, and thank us for the experience afterwards.
With an already successful chain of stores, you are now opening up Sam & Delilah! Why the new venture?
In today’s changing retail environment different customers are expecting different experiences when shopping; especially for adult products. Romantix has been around for 40+ years and has a well established brand. Rather than modifying or tampering with the Romantix brand, which we are very proud of, we have decided to open Sam & Delilah. Sam & Delilah will provide a different shopping adventure for those customers that may not shop at Romantix for whatever reason. We believe it’s not solely the products you offer but rather how you offer them. Sam and Delilah offers an entirely new approach.
Where will the first store be located and where do you plan on expanding to after?
The first store was opened in Fargo, ND on January 8th 2016. Though it may seem odd to open a lingerie store when its -22 F, we are very excited about the location and so are the customers. Fargo has a growing and underserved retail market. We have been welcomed to the area in our short time and we’re already showing very strong support from the community.
What makes Sam & Delilah different from Romantix?
All of our stores no matter what brand offers a warm, well lit, friendly environment. Where Romantix stores offer arcades, theaters and other traditional adult services; Sam & Delilah stores will have a soft more inviting design for customers, particularly woman and couples, who might be uncomfortable with some of the more aggressive parts of our business. Sam & Delilah offers a large selection of lingerie and apparel, and a full assortment of bath and body products. Similar to Romantix; Sam & Delilah will offer DVDs and adult toys however the stores will vary in brands, designs, and selection. Our customers will get the same great service, they’ve come to expect from Romantix, in a more upscale setting.
What is the target demographic you are hoping to reach with Sam & Delilah?
Sam & Delilah has something for everyone. Men, women, gay, straight, experienced and newbies alike; essentially anyone looking to further their healthy intimate expereince. We have put together a great selection of items in a very comfortable, non-judgmental environment with friendly, knowledgable and relatble staff. We look forward to seeing everybody enjoy the store.
How did you come up with the name?
Sam & Delilah, what’s your love story… a playful take on one of history’s greatest love stories. Samson and Delilah, similar to today’s relationships, involve a wide range of emotions: passion, deception, betrayal… but most of all love. We invite our customers to create their own love story, and we would like to be part of it.
This month we are featuring plus size speciality store, Angelique, and getting to know them on a deeper level. Let’s check out how they got started and what their mission is.
1. What is the idea behind Angelique?
Angelique was founded on the idea that women should feel sexy and beautiful at any size. We believe that women should complement their curves instead of hiding them. Having a wonderful assortment of plus size lingerie styles and great customer service helps us live up to our motto.
2. What are the most popular items you carry?
Babydolls are really moving lately and hosiery items are always a fast mover. Babydolls are always the perfect go to item because they are comfortable and sexy.
3.How do you select brands to carry?
We pay a lot of attention to sizing and quality. Many items are labeled as “Plus size” but don’t fit anyone above a size L (that is not plus size). We also like to choose brands that hold up well over time and still look gorgeous even after washing. If a product has both accurate sizing and quality, we usually carry it.
4. With social media marketing being the most accessible and popular way to reach directly to your customers, what methods have you used and found most successful? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram?)
Social media is really the big thing now. We use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram regularly for both product features and coupons. It’s a great way for our customers to interact with both us as a company and our fabulous products.
5. Are you currently running any promotions?
We always have a great promotion running. Currently we are offering $15 off $100, $30 off $150 and $75 off $250. The codes are on our main homepage under the banner.
6. For a first time lingerie customer, what would you recommend they try?
Always start simple. I would suggest a chemise or babydoll – they look great on everyone! As your adventurous side increases we have everything else under the sun to help fit what you’re looking for.
7. How important is imagery when it comes to selling? Do you ever reshoot or create your own images?
As a 100% pure online retailer images are everything to us. We have both done reshoots as well as edits and swaps of images to make sure the best image possible is selling the product. If the product doesn’t look great in the picture, the customer won’t imagine how great it will be on them.
Based in Denver, CO, Romantix is a chain of adult stores across the U.S., with an strong presence in California. Romantix promotes fun and safe intimacy and carries an assortment of adult toys, novelties, and lingerie for all sexual identities.
Romantix recently hired Josh Porter as their Director of Special Projects. Josh, a leader within the adult retail market, plans to focus on opening new stores focused on lingerie. We sat down with Josh to get updates on Romantix.
Q: What trends are you predicting for this summer? What do you believe will NOT be popular?
I believe color will be big this summer. Vibrant pinks, Cool greens, Bright yellows, and Radiant purples will monopolize displays this summer. We’re finding that people who shop with Romantix are looking for something bold and different. The typical black, red, nudes and white are out! Bright, fun and flirty colors are in this summer! I feel like the retro 50’s designs have passed. High waisted panties, bullet bras, and low riding garter belts will be soft except in very niche locations.
Q: What are your customers looking for in regards to lingerie?
With stores all over the country, we get a great mix of information. The California customer may be looking for something different than our Mid West customer, or even East Coast customers. We will respond accordingly to each market. However our customers are consistently looking for good fit and good value. Good fit is paramount, as anyone in the business would agree. Good value doesn’t mean inexpensive, rather the product has good hand, nice design, and shows well for the price. Its all about perceived value!
Q: How was the first quarter of this year for you in regards to sales? What do you attribute your growth/loss to?
First quarter was very strong this year. We broke several records and have continued to grow this spring. A lot of this credit has to go to our devoted sales staff in store, and experienced buying team. Having the right product, at the right price, and in stock has let our sales staff shine and propel us forward in the first quarter.
Q: What changes can we expect in the next few months?
Expansion within the apparel categories. Amber and I are planning the rest of 2015 with consistent changes, and constantly testing new opportunities. We want to wow new customers, and always have something fresh for our core consumer. The shopping experience is very important to us.
Q: What is your goal this year for Romantix?
We are focused on continued growth in key categories, and increased frequency with our customers. We have a robust marketing plan for 2015 introducing more people to the Romantix Nation.
Q: What image do you believe Romantix represents to the consumer who shops at adult stores?
Romantix is a fun and invigorating shopping experience. Our newly remodeled stores offer a welcoming color scheme and inviting displays. Our knowledgeable staff can make a first time guest comfortable in moments or answer the wildest questions from long time customers.
Q: Where do you see Romantix 5 years from now?
I expect to see Romantix on a solid growth plan, popping up neighborhood stores wherever possible.
1. TELL ME ABOUT THE ADAM & EVE FRANCHISE. WHY ARE YOU CONSIDERED A PREMIERE ONE-STOP SHOP FOR ALL ADULT PRODUCT?
Adam & Eve Store Franchise offers entrepreneurs’ a way to operate a women and couple friendly “adult” store , with a well-recognized brand and a proven operating system. The stores offer a range of products from lingerie, pleasure products and dvd’s, that customers can shop to create a total romantic experience. This is all offered in a clean and comfortable environment with staff that are knowledgeable about the products they sell and are willing to take time to work with customers on their selections.
2. SINCE THE CONCEPTION OF THE ADAM & EVE FRANCHISE, WHAT TYPE OF CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN WITHIN THE ADULT INDUSTRY?
Over the last 25 to 30 years, we have seen the business becoming very female and couple driven. In the past, adult stores were frequented mostly by men. Also, many adult products are now showing up in more main stream stores such as drug stores and mass merchandisers – I feel this is a good thing, in that it makes purchasing that product more acceptable and will drive new customers to a store like Adam & Eve which offers a much wider depth of pleasure products, as well as great customer service and has sales staff that can answer questions and provide education on these products to the customer.
3. WHICH ITEMS FROM THE SEVEN TIL MIDNIGHT LINE ARE YOUR CUSTOMER BASE MOST ATTRACTED TO?
I would say the Bustiers are #1 and then would be the chemises and babydolls.
4. HOW MANY FRANCHISES DO YOU HAVE NATIONWIDE?
We are up to 58 stores in the USA and we have 1 franchise in Winnipeg, Canada. Our goal is 400 stores over the next 10 years.
5. DOES THE ADAM & EVE FRANCHISE HAVE ANYTHING SPECIAL GEARED UP FOR THE 50 SHADES OF GREY MOVIE NEXT YEAR?
We will certainly be promoting both lingerie and pleasure products that are themed to the movie, as well as in-store displays and signage. We have some other marketing and promotional ideas in the works. –Stay tuned!!!