Little Boutique, for those Special Things in Life.
One thing that makes Nelson City stand out from most other towns or cities is its proliferation of boutique retail shops. Owned and managed by Julie Forbes and her sister Anne Remington, Little Boutique on Bridge St is one of Nelson City’s highlights. As soon as you enter their shop, you know you will walk out with something special, they have a great selection of beautiful lingerie , nightwear including silk pillowcases and a large selection of swimwear.
Originally called Foxy Lady Nelson , Julie changed the name to Little Boutique 10 years ago. Julie and Anne have always been involved in customer service roles. “I think the most crucial thing of any business is the level of service, it is what the customer always remembers, you want people to come into your shop and leave feeling good about themselves”, Julie explains.
Their customers are not of any particular age or demographic. “We are across the board , we want to provide women with well fitted bras for all ages , shapes and sizes, we specialize in fuller cup sizes and Prothesis bras and pocketed swimwear for women who have had a mastectomy , a lot of new mums were coming in to get fitted for maternity bras and we were often asked if we could provide more baby friendly products ,we listened, and we now have some lovely ranges of organic bamboo onesies, Merino Kids gogo bags, Muslin wraps, and a small amount of soft toys”.
Julie and Anne are always looking for different products that will enhance and compliment the shop and recently got in the Glasshouse range of candles and room diffusers.
They are also willing to order in for their customers and happy to deliver to resthomes or the hospital when required.
It is a beautiful shop that caters to all ages. Anne explains, “ Price is important, people think because it’s a Boutique it must be expensive, but our products are all pre priced so they come with a recommended retail price the same as any other shop, we do have a comprehensive range, but it’s a special selective range. We stock with the product that sells well”.
Covid highlighted an essential part of their business that was missing, online sales. Last year when we all went into lockdown, Julie contacted her daughter in Auckland to set up their first e-commerce, Shopify. Interestingly, the site went live just as we were coming down through the different levels, and people could return to shop in Nelson City once again. Julie and Anne learnt a lot from having an online e-commerce site and still are. There is a lot of stock control involved, but they have embraced it and see there is a solid need to have both a shop front as well as online sales. One of their strengths and something they both enjoy is the feedback they get from Instagram and Facebook.
Being locals, they love to support local businesses, Julie explains “when you own a business you realise how important it is to support each other and you try to spread it out as much as possible, and its great to see those business owners do the same.”
During Covid, they are very thankful for the support from our local community. Anne explains, “ We have incredibly supportive local customers, we are so grateful for them continuing to support us as we don’t know what is ahead of us during these unusual times, what is the new normal”. Julie and Anne both agree that their e-commerce needs to become a part of that normal whatever happens.
Explore the virtual tour at Little Boutique Nelson
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I visited this shop on a friends recommendation about a month ago and was so pleasantly surprised with the personal service. Finding bras at an older age is troublesome and these ladies were just so helpful and knowledgable. I won’t shop anywhere else for bras again, thanks Janet