If you've been visiting HairBoutique.com since we first clicked our way onto the Internet back in 1997, you may have noticed we're expanding our horizons into adjunct topics about beauty and fashion.
While you may think that we have lost our heads, there really is a method to our madness. And like everything else that happens at HairBoutique.com there is always a little story relating to our changing behavior patterns.
Hair As The Base
It all started two years ago when I received an email from a HairBoutique.com visitor who complimented us on our extensive selection of beautiful hair accessories (as of 2004 we have over 3,500 different hair accessories in our product database).
At the same time she expressed disappointment that we didn't have other fashion and beauty accessories that would allow her to build a "total look" starting with her shiny, lush locks and ending with her perfectly painted tootsies.
Hmmmmm. The proverbial light bulb went off in my head.
Maybe this Fashionista had a point. After all, when I shop, I like to have the option to buy several things at one place. Or I like to at least understand how all the trends dovetail together so I buy complimentary accessories.
Shortly afterwards, we sent a questionnaire to our loyal HairBoutique.com Marketplace visitors asking them to tell us what type of info and products they wished we would add for the future.
The results were surprising but totally in keeping with the original email I had received. Our visitors told us that they wanted earrings, necklaces and bracelets to match their gorgeous new headbands, hair clips and barrettes.
And they wanted handbags that were cute and fun to go with their great new hair sticks, pony elastics and scarf headbands.
They also wanted cool sash belts and beautiful scarves and even Newsboy caps to perch on their gorgeous blonde tresses.
Finding Our Way To The Fashion Lights
The good news was that we were finding out what our HairBoutique.com visitors and customers really wanted. The bad news? We had to expand our established way of thinking to include complimentary accessories such as cuffs, earrings, belts, caps and related fashion accessories.
Regardless of what we provide at HairBoutique.com, our commitment to providing detailed and comprehensive information has not been compromised.
To answer the call of expanding topics and fashion accessories, for the site and the Marketplace, I went back to fashion school.
The staggering pile of hair and beauty magazines that I read every month grew to include publications dedicated to shoes, handbags, jewelry, hats, rings and other high fashion accessories. I even found a magazine dedicated to hosiery trends.
I also subscribed to a dizzying array of fashion trend newsletters and hit the traveling Market trail. I attended trend seminars, cocktail parties which were definitely fun and lots of runway shows.
Hitting The Market Trail
Over the past two years I have personally visited major Markets in all the major cities and culled through thousands of fashion designer's displays.
At one market I signed up for a grueling four day marathon of non-stop meetings with hair, beauty and fashion accessory vendors every 20 minutes from sun-up until sundown.
Although I could barely walk at the end of four days, I had managed to personally meet hundreds of designers, manufacturers and distributors of everything from high end perfumes and fragrances to flip flops and heated slippers.
The results of my two year journey into the fashion and accessory jungles are starting to slowly show up at HairBoutique.com in the form of articles, news pieces and sizzling new designs in the Marketplace.
Which explains why you can now buy earrings to match your pony elastics, gorgeous cuffs and bracelets to compliment your total look and even fun, flirty purses.
Shoes you ask? Probably not. But never say never!
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Initially I was a little nervous about expanding into uncharted waters.
However, one of my fashion mentors advised me just to follow my same instincts about buying accessories as I had when buying hair care products and hair accessories over the years.
I took her advice and applied my same formulas. Quality and great value are always at the top of my lists when I add new lines to HairBoutique.com in the hair care arena. So I focused on those same goals when searching for earrings, purses or other accessories.
By personally visiting the major markets I have been able to meet many of the designers and talk with them about their design philosophers and their own values about quality.
In the process of my journeys I have had the great opportunity to meet some really fabulous designers, viewed some luscious fashion lines and made some wonderful new buys for the HairBoutique.com Marketplace.
I have also found some bad, okay, really unattractive designs that failed my quality and value scales. The good news? Those items never made it onto my purchase orders.
Slow But Steady
Although my initial thought was to just hurry up and buy everything that I thought was a good fit for the HairBoutique.com visitors, I have managed to control my buying binges to a carefully thought out long range plan.
I've also been learning to buy more intelligently for the different types of shoppers that include high fashion trend customers, "classics" shoppers and the special interest buyer.
Definitely I have made the commitment to bring in the best of breed from accessory designers such as L. Erickson, Gerard Yosca, Chan Luu, Jane Tran, Renee Rivera, Elizabeth Brady, Medusa's Designs, Amici Accessories and Mei Fa when it is appropriate to our visitor's interests.
Of course we will, as always, provide detailed information about each new line and key designer that is introduced.
Does this mean we are abandoning hair? To the contrary! All of this work learning about fashion and accessories has given all of us at HairBoutique.com a much bigger picture of hair. I believe it has personally pushed me to expand my thought patterns about hair trends and hair care products.
Now when I attend fashion trend seminars and watch models sashaying down the runways wearing the new fashions, I instantly think about how the overall trends will impact hairstyles for the future.
Interestingly, I've even figured out which runway styles will most likely pop up on the major celebrities at the Oscars and which ones will never leave through the back of the stage doors.
Ultimately, for me and HairBoutique.com, hair is, and will always be, the base from which everything else builds.
While everything to do about hair will continue to be the primary and long term focus of Hairboutique.com, I'm excited that we will be able to also offer new topics of related information to help consumers make their way safely through the daunting world of accessories and high fashion.
Think of us as now offering one stop hair, beauty and fashion information.
So power up your PC, position your mouse and come hang out with us as HairBoutique.com moves into these exciting new fashion and accessory territories.
Don't be surprised by the fun and unusual fashion items that pop up at HairBoutique.com over the next few months. After all, no one loves to shop more than I do!
Social Media Network Information
Please follow me on Twitter at: http://Twitter.com/HairBoutique. I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets. Visit us at Hairboutique.com located at: http://www.HairBoutique.com, on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.
Thank you for visiting us at The HairBoutique Blog and for leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated. We apologize in advance but must remove any direct advertisements or solicitations.
Original Publication Date: 10/05/07 - Revised Publication Date: 05/22/10
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