I started Boutique To You in the autumn of 2005 from home. Initially, there was just me for the first couple of years - working from our spare bedroom/office. When I say me I should add that it was a family affair. Wrapping parcels and dashing to the post office in between the school run for my two boys and roping my very patient husband in for help when he arrived home from work. Looking back now it’s unbelievable to me that I only started off with about 25 products. Taking very small steps I realised that the internet gave me the opportunity to provide customers with something I really loved myself – personalised gifts. You just didn’t (and still don’t) get the option to buy this type of gift on the high street. This became my niche and especially when I started selling personalised jewellery by some fab designers from America. ‘Mummy jewellery’ was a phrase unheard of in the UK. I adored selling this, often spending a long time with guys on the phone helping them choose for their wives and partners. Just knowing that people took so much pleasure in giving, receiving and wearing this personalised jewellery was all I needed to spur me on.
Two office moves and several website upgrades later along with investing heavily in behind the scenes technology is where the business sits today and we have a growing choice of over 1000 gifts now. I am now also very proud to head up a small but very valued and extremely friendly and helpful team of people. They continue to be just as passionate about the business as I am and move it forward every single day. I love customer servicesso passionately and I am involved at every level, every single day!
Fast forward and the boutique has had another fab makeover and many improvements to enhance our customer’s online shopping experience. It has also seen the integration of our brand new ‘boutique concessions department’. We have sold other people’s products since we started but we thought it was about time we had the technology for them to showcase themselves and for us to champion the cause for backing small, independent, niche British businesses just like ourselves!
“Taking very small steps I realised that the internet gave me the opportunity to provide customers with something I really loved myself – personalised gifts. You just didn’t (and still don’t) get the option to buy this type of gift on the high street.”
My mission both now and from the very start of Boutique To You is to stand out against a growing breed of internet shopkeepers. Aside from offering unusual gifts it was always my intention to offer an old fashioned level of service. A service level that seemed to me to have disappeared and one that people are so surprised to find from an internet retailer. Many people expect it to be faceless
and anonymous and this we most certainly aren’t! The business has always been extremely transparent. We actually want to help and are grateful when you purchase from us. Yes, that’s right! So much so that we would love you to come back and you will only do that if we get everything right first time or at least action swiftly anything that we get wrong or can improve upon. We know things do go wrong but it how they are dealt with that really counts on how a customer values you and inevitably recommends and returns.
All of our customers have and continue to be fabulous in their support and for this our heart felt thanks go out to them all. They have helped get Boutique To You where it is today. It really is a team effort and we get a lovely warm glow when someone tells us we got it spot on for them. We will always welcome all feedback. We don’t have all of the answers but we promise to be as helpful and approachable as we possibly can. That’s what defines who we are!