Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Callender.
Courtney , please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
So I knew I wanted to own an online boutique since the age of 17 when I worked at a super popular boutique in my hometown of Nashville, TN. I loved helping women pick out pieces that literally made them glow from the inside out when they came out of the dressing room. There’s just this like crazy feeling I get when I see a woman’s confidence and presence just like catapult when they put on that one piece or pieces that make them feel absolutely magical. It’s so dope!
Fast forward, I graduate college and up and move my life to LA to begin my career. Nonetheless, my passion around owning my own business in the fashion industry kept tugging at my spirit so I took the leap and launched Eclectic Bella. This was actually before the industry became “super saturated” so I learned a lot by trial and error without any e-books, online courses, etc. Thankfully, I had a friend that was a photographer so I found a studio to rent, a model on Craigslist, and we made it happen! I still get butterflies looking at pictures from my first shoot because I’m just so proud of how fearless I was at such a young age. However, I began to promote quickly within my career so Eclectic Bella took a backseat.
Fast forward again, I came to a place in my career where I could slightly exhale and more importantly I became more in tuned and honest with my authentic self. When I allowed myself to really think about what my perfect day/life would look like, Eclectic Bella was written all over it. A beautifully decorated show room, an amazing brand that women loved to shop, and just me at my most authentic, happy self-living out my true passion. So, I relaunched Eclectic Bella about a month ago and here we are! I am so excited to begin this journey again as I pour everything I have into my brand and business and collaborate with so many other women entrepreneurs out here going after everything they want out of their life.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
WOOHHHH!! A smooth road is the LAST thing it has been. LOL! It’s definitely been tough because like I said, there’s so many online boutiques nowadays so it’s like what makes Eclectic Bella a stand out brand? What makes my own personal brand create trust between myself and my customers? These are all questions I’m consistently asking myself and making business decisions around.
Thankfully, I learned a lot of the “tough lessons” when I first launched so that has definitely saved me time and money now. But, there are still many tough lessons and seasons I continue to grow through as the market is completely different now than it was three years ago.
It’s honestly the small things that can be the most frustrating. The going to shoot lifestyle pictures, getting to your location, and realizing you left your memory card at home or setting up a new email marketing campaign for your email marketing company to not work and support not being open until the next day. I literally keep a nice bottle of wine at my place at all times for moments like these lol Have a glass, scream in a pillow, and then get back to it! lol.
Also, it can be quite difficult finding the balance. I work a minimum of 10-hour work days so between that, trying to stay fit and healthy, being in a relationship, blogging, and running Eclectic Bella…it can get tiring sometimes to try to make time for it all. But, it’s just crazy when you know you’re aligned in your purpose, you know absolutely everything is working FOR you and you just have to keep working and trust the process.
Eclectic Bella – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Eclectic Bella is an online women’s boutique based out of Downtown LA, for today’s Fashion savvy woman that wants to stand out in the crowd in unique pieces at affordable prices. I have made the observation that nowadays most women want the best quality for the least expensive price so I try to apply that exact mindset when picking pieces for Eclectic Bella and then pricing them accordingly. If you look at my shop you will see that my prices are reasonably priced. I don’t markup my prices at percentages that most boutiques do in order to engage my customers.
One thing that distinguishes my shop from many other online boutiques is I hand pick all of the pieces in my shop. When I go to showrooms I literally dissect each piece: inseams, lining, stitching. I make sure that all pieces are of the best quality so my customers trust my brand and can always shop confidently with me. To be honest, there have been so many pieces that have been so cute but I haven’t purchased because the quality just wasn’t there.
I also buy in limited quantity and really try to provide my customer base with great staple pieces for their closets that you don’t see on any other online boutique website. No woman wants to see other women walk around in pieces they have in the closet. It kind of just kills the magic of feeling fabulous and unique.
Lastly, I really focus on my models being very “every day woman”. So frequently I see online stores with models that have this crazy hour glass figure so pieces look totally different on them than they do most women. I truly want women to see themselves in my pieces when they look at my website and social media pages.
I’m really proud of all the details that go into Eclectic Bella. We never take the short cut. Even if that means pushing back a campaign launch date, waiting until we find the perfect photo shoot location until we shoot, anything. Detail is what makes Eclectic Bella the brand it is and it is something I will never waver on.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment so far is a pop-up shop I did in Orange County. I had no idea what I was doing to be honest lol. I just knew I wanted to get my brand out there and meet women who probably would have never known about Eclectic Bella outside of my pop up. It’s not the actual pop-up that I’m most proud of because many shops do them, but it’s how fearless I was when I went for it. It was shortly after I launched my business and I seriously had zero fear in my spirit. I went full force after it all. I admire the young woman I was when I first started this journey because I had every reason to be fearful, I had NO idea what I was doing lol but alignment, faith, passion, and hard work can make a woman an absolute fearless force to be reckoned with.
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- 20% Off for all first time shoppers with coupon code on site!
- Website: www.eclecticbella.com
- Phone: (213) 290-3183
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: eclecticbella
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/eclecticbella