One of my favorite savings in life is "what goes around comes around". The current relationship HairBoutique.com has with Gerard Yosca is a classic "go-around" example.
Note: April 3, 2008 - Please visit the HairBoutique.com blogs. I will be writing a lot more about Gerard over the next few days with some updated information.
For those of you who don't know, HairBoutique.com was literally started with $1,000 out of piggy bank in late 1997. The harsh realities of doing business on the Web forced a regrouping in late 1999.
Although it was really cool to offer all sorts of free hair articles, tips, hair images and message boards, I was horrified to realize just how much money it actually cost to maintain all of HairBoutique.com's content goodies.
The original concept of using advertising as the site's sugar daddy disappeared along with the go-go days of the Web in 1999. I learned that we had to come up with a new way to pay our Internet Service Provider for the rapidly expanding bandwidth that we were gobbling like raisinettes at the movies.
Necessity is the mother of all invention and thus was the case with the launching of the HairBoutique.com Marketplace designed to keep me out of bankruptcy court.
Although the Marketplace started with a small handful of products, by 2001 we were getting serious about growing a hair, beauty & fashion related e-store with quality products.
Sounds like a great idea but I was instantly shocked to stumble upon the very dark side of product acquisition.
Searching For World Class Designers
You would think that any corporation would appreciate the opportunity to sell their products to a new, growing company like HairBoutique.com. Well think again. Unless you sign your Purchase Orders with names like Fred Segal, Nieman Marcus or Henri Bendel, many accessory vendors just don't want to be bothered with smaller boutiques.
Luckily determination is my middle name springing from my strong Irish heritage. I began to totally obsess about finding some world class vendors for our growing little e-store.
One night while watching Friends on TV I was taken by a gorgeous retro style flower hair accessory adorning the head of Phoebe's buttery blonde locks. I was awed by the piece. The very next day I bugged everyone I could get to at the network to uncover the fact that the design was by Gerard Yosca.
I immediately started noticing similar designs on other celebrities and TV shows like Charmed, ER and Oprah. As I became familiar with the line I was taken by the uniqueness and beauty of the pieces. I started lusting after the gorgeous fashions wishing upon a star that we might carry the designs at HairBoutique.com.
Looking For Mr. Gerard Yosca
After a long period of searching, I finally tracked down Gerard Yosca and I nervously inquired about carrying his gorgeous hair accessories. Not only was I warmly greeted by the folks at Gerard Yosca, everyone was incredibly nice. Unfortunately timing was off and Gerard's pieces, although gorgeous, were not compatible with our hair accessory pricing strategies at the time.
I tucked Gerard's 2001 info away in my file cabinet for a rainy day, which came in very early 2004 as I was cleaning out my bulging vendor file cabinets. There hiding under my Y file was the original notes about Gerard Yosca with stunning images of Gerard's Spring Hair 2002 collection.
A lot had changed since 2001 and Gerard's hair ornament pieces seemed perfect for our planned hair accessory expansion in 2004. I picked up the phone on a whim and dialed.
I was amazed that the Yosca rep seem to remember HairBoutique.com. Unfortunately, he sadly informed me that Gerard was no longer doing hair accessories, for a number of reasons. Even so, he graciously invited me to a special show being held in Dallas the follow weekend so that I could personally see Gerard's latest designs.
Timing Is Everything
Even though I agreed to attend the Dallas event and meet with the Yosca rep, I was very disappointed that I had waited too long to capture some of Gerard's hair accessory designs. I decided to keep an open mind and check out what Gerard had been doing over the past few years.
Needless to say, when I walked into the room where the Gerard Yosca designs were displayed in sparkling glass cases, I was completely overwhelmed by the spectacular array of breathtakingly beautiful designs.
Although there were no hair accessory pieces displayed, my second weakness, bracelets and cuffs, were centerpieces of Gerard's latest collection. Although Gerard had stunning necklaces, earrings and brooches, his candy colored cuff bracelets screamed my name.
Even better, I was offered the option to "custom build" the different bracelet cuffs for HairBoutique.com. My mouth was hanging open when I figured out that I could select a pristine white lacquered cuff and then select the jeweled centerpiece I wanted.
I stood there for what seemed like hours selecting each cuff and each jeweled centerpiece that would adorn it. I tried a range of different jeweled centerpieces on a wide range of rainbow hued cuffs.
The results of my mixing and matching are currently displayed in the Gerard Yosca Boutique in the Marketplace. Every one of the currently displayed bracelets were personally and carefully handpicked by me while in a state of total bliss.
The bad news about my great fortune to be able to build the cuffs is that I adore each and every one of them. They hold a special place in my heart because I remember helping to pick them out.
Of course I do have a very special favorite, even though I try not to show any favoritism. The Gerard Yosca - Key Lime Cuff w/Yellow & Blue Daisy still takes my breath away. I have bought a few of the cuff designs since there is no guarantee that once the bracelets are sold out at HairBoutique.com that they can ever be recreated.
Even when very similar stones are located and utilized in designs that are very similar, it may be impossible to completely duplicate the designs. While that means that no two bracelets are ever completely alike, it also means that when the stones are no longer available, the designs will be discontinued forever.
Bracelets Are Not Hair Accessories
Yes, I know what you may be thinking. So how are cuff bracelets related to hair accessories? OK, so I admit it, I have fallen slightly off the hair path. I do believe that unplanned events can often nudge us in new directions. Which is what I feel happened that day in Dallas.
I just knew in my heart that rediscovering these gorgeous Gerard Yosca gems were a sign from the Accessory Gods to take new risks. I also felt that it was karmic somehow that I had easily reconnected with the Gerard Yosca folks since they had been so good to HairBoutique.com when we were just a tiny speck of an e-store.
And yes, in keeping with the Donald Trump business model, I will never do business with those companies that couldn't be bothered with us the past, even though many have since come calling.
On the flip side I always be loyal, like Mr. Trump, to those vendors that took a chance with us. Which is why I could not forget Gerard Yosca's long ago kindness and willingness to work with us.
Nothing, in my opinion, ever really happens by accident and so it goes, HairBoutique.com is now happily expanding into new realms of the fashion accessory world.
Watch out world!