top of page
  • Ted Vayos

Retail Profile: Lounge With Us




BODY associate publisher Ted Vayos interviewed Erin Yates, the founder of the store Lounge With Us in Charleston.


Ted: How many years have you been in this industry? 


Erin: This will be my 13th year in the intimates industry. I have been out of the retail brick and mortar space since 2020 so I am so excited to be back in person and this time in my own store.


Ted:  How did you get started in this industry? 


Erin:  In 2011,  I was recruited to work for a local lingerie store here in Charleston and the rest is history. Having the opportunity to travel to Belgium and Paris in 2014, witnessing this beautiful lingerie being made right in front of my eyes (I’m talking to you Van de Velde and Empreinte) as well as partying at Versailles with the world’s boutique owners and buyers, I know was the moment I fell in love with this industry. I became the store’s buyer in 2016 and slowly left the sales floor to crunch numbers, spreadsheets and budgets.  2020 came around, knocked us all on our feet and I finally realized it was time for me to follow my dream and start my own business. I started Lounge With Us as a Facebook group as a space for women to share their real life stressors and ways in which to find comfort in our everyday lives. We launched our website December 2020, then launched the mobile app March 2023 and now we have the storefront. 

 

Ted:  When did you open  this new location?


Erin: October 27th, 2023 we cut the ribbon and welcomed over 200 guests to our grand opening.


Ted:  Where is your store located?


Erin: Five minutes from downtown Charleston, South Carolina on James Island, South Carolina.


Ted:  Please describe your store to our readers.  





Erin:  Charleston is much like NYC in that its divided into different boroughs or neighborhoods separated by bridges. People tend to stick to their neighborhoods. We may all look close on a map, but the traffic here is nuts making a 2-mile trip a 30-minute commute oftentimes. There is ample parking here in the shopping center opposed to having guests park in front of my home to shop the showroom in my home. 


Ted:  What other retail businesses and services are in your immediate area?


Erin: We are located in a large shopping center anchored by Publix. Also in the mix are a coffee shop, Mexican and Chinese restaurants, TCBY, UPS, dog grooming and Firestone Tire amongst others.


Ted:  Do any other local businesses send customers to your store?


Erin:  They do! We are still very new but, word of mouth has spread very quickly in our small community. 


Ted:  Do you have any competition in the area?


Erin: There are a few other clothing stores in the area, but no one else with lingerie.


Ted:  Do you have an internet website?



Ted:  What makes your store special?


Erin: We offer a wide variety of product all with the intention of keeping comfort at the core. Our gifts and accessories are meant to bring a smile to your face. All our everyday clothing is soft and comfortable, our lounge and sleepwear is super soft and with my initial bra inventory, I’m starting with the basics focusing on comfort again over anything. My goal is clearly to grow the lingerie part of the business as that is my true love but we gotta start somewhere Ted. Most folks know Lounge With Us primarily as a sleep and loungewear brand.


Ted: What do you look for in a brand?


Erin: Consistency in quality of product, wide size range, personal customer service, ease of reordering, exclusivity.


Ted:  List some of the key brands that are important to your store. 


Erin: Simone Perele, Chantelle, Natori, Honeydew Intimates, PJ Salvage and THML. 


Ted:  Do you sell lingerie?   


Erin: Natori, Simone Perele, Conturelle, Chantelle – fit, quality, comfort level – these all have that. We just added Evelyn and Bobbie into the mix and are selling nicely too. 


Ted:  Do you sell apparel, Loungewear, Sleepwear?  What are your top selling brands? How are they different?


Erin:  Yes, so most of our inventory is apparel. We love Aspen Dream, Honeydew, PJ Salvage, Bobi, Velvet Heart, Lucy Paris, Hello Nite to name a few. Velvet Heart uses TENCEL in many of their pieces. PJ Salvage “peach fuzz” fabric is the softest thing you’ll touch. 


Ted: Do you sell shapewear? 


Erin:  Little bit of Yummie. Love their leggings!


Ted: Where do you like to shop for your merchandise?


Erin:  Atlanta and New York City.


Ted: Have you brought any new products or brands into your store recently?


Erin:  Evelyn and Bobbie. I was looking for a comfortable wireless with a little contouring. We have started with two styles so far and  both are selling well!


Ted: Describe the popular styles or trends in your store.





Erin Yates, founder of Lounge With Us.



Erin:  My clientele is generally looking for something they can wear all day comfortably so with bras, I primarily sell more of the permanent collections. Plus, folks are JUST learning bras are in our mix now. Think everyday t-shirt bras. Although Natori Feathers Plunge is a huge seller here because it’s basic AND pretty – It’ll be a sad day if/when they decide to retire that bra. So don’t do it, Natori.


Ted: What are your most popular colors?


Erin:  Neutrals.


Ted: Describe your price points and size ranges.


Erin: Apparel averages $50-$250 starting at XS through 2XL. Lingerie averages $80-$150 starting at 30B to 42I currently. 


Ted: What is your typical or average customer size?  


Erin: Average apparel size is Large. Average bra size is 34/36F.


Ted: What does your average customer spend per visit to your store?


Erin: Approximately $120.

 

Ted: Describe your customer base.


Erin: We have a slightly older client base with women ranging from 35-75 being the most common ages shopping in store. Our repeat customer number is high due to neighborhoods being in walking distance from the shopping center.


Ted: What have you done to draw attention to your new location?


Erin: Started off with a few print ads in local Charleston publications, radio ads, physical signs on the road, but I’m very excited to kick off the year with a new digital package that is going to reach far more people!


Ted: Who are your favorite sales representatives?


Erin: This question shouldn’t be allowed because I can list so many that have helped me throughout the years and am so excited to finally reconnect with. Here’s to you: Johanna Summerfield, Saliann Giglio, Caroline Soulagnat, Natalie Tannor, Lauren Brickman, Linda Sagman, Olga Aragon, and Jeannette Edelstein.

Comments


bottom of page