Ted Vayos, BODY: Describe your store.
Nicole Martin: Overall, Belle Mode Intimates has a modern, yet feminine aura to it. Sectioned off into three rooms to emphasize the diversity or our products - the first room includes sleep wear, bras and panties. From the contemporary animal print paneled walls, to the color changing light accenting some of the stores highlighted merchandise, the entrance sets an intriguing tone for the store. The second room has a more sensual vibe. It’s black walls and elegant chandelier centerpiece directly correlates well with our silk products, corsets, negligee, bridal gifts, and mood setting beauty products. The third and last room is where most of the action takes place and includes the fitting room area, lounge area, and cash wrap station. Everyday bras, shapewear, hosiery, athletic wear, maternity essentials, and fashion jewelry fill this space to complete the store. We strive to offer a blend of styles for every mood, occasion and lifestyle as we know that each women has a very different fashion sense as well as need when it comes to their undergarments.
Ted: What makes your store special?
Nicole: Customers come to us because we offer services and products that are hard to find, while staying committed to providing every individual superior customer service. Shopping with us is about the experience rather than a mere transaction. Our bra fit specialists have been trained with proper knowledge and are honest. Customer satisfaction is the number one priority to all of our staff members. For example, if we do not carry a particular style or size that is desired by our customer, we special order for them with our non commitment ordering process.
Ted: What do you look for in a brand?
Nicole: With our brands we look for companies that pride themselves on customer service, honesty and most importantly have products that are desirable for our customers. A good relationship with our sales representatives is something we value and can make or break the business that we do with that particular designer. Let’s be honest, many brands carry high quality products that would sell amazing in our store but we chose to do business with particular ones because of the relationship that is established between us, which is almost entirely up to the sales people that we work with. All of the brands we carry are important to us in their own ways.
Ted: What are the latest trends?
Nicole: Right now with the holidays coming up some popular items are strapless bras and shape wear for underneath special occasion dresses, black bra and panty sets, patterned and non patterned hosiery, leggings and layering pieces, silk and flannel pajamas, soft sleep wear, cozy robes, seamless underwear for no panty lines, sexy lingerie.
Ted: Describe your price points and size ranges.
Nicole: About half of our merchandise comes priced by the manufacturer and half does not. Majority of the items that are not priced, we mark up less than other stores making our prices competitive within the market. We try our very best to have something for everyone who walks through the door, with bra prices varying from $20-120 and sizes varying from 28AA-50K.
Since we are a specialty store and ladies seek us out for our services, we tend to have a lot of customers who are a “hard to find” size. Band sizes 28, 30, 32, 40, 42 and cup sizes AA, A, DD, E, F, FF and so on.
Ted: What does the average customer spend per visit to your store?
Nicole: This is completely dependent upon the purpose of their visit, but I’d have to say our average customer spends $100-200.
Ted: Describe your customer.
Nicole: Our customer base tends to be but is not limited to, females between the ages of 14 and 65, who are seeking well fit undergarments, looking for a hard to find bra size, value good quality lingerie and sleep wear for reasonable prices.
Ted: What else can you tell us about your business?
Nicole: As a team, the women at Belle Mode do much more than solve bra fitting problems. We uplift the confidence of our client. We show women that the right styles combined with the right fit will provide her comfort, and improve her body image. Enhancing our customer’s personal style and raising her self-confidence is our main goal along with building strong trustworthy relationships with our customer base.