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Online adventure that will help us blossom

Katie Free

Spring brings new collections like a breath of fresh air, their vibrant colour palettes giving the boutique an exciting new appearance, as if in full bloom. And the season for new life seemed an appropriate time for the launch of our first website, Freeloveboutique.com.

A year in the planning, our main concern was to create an individual site that stood out from the many existing online boutiques and to keep firmly to our branding, maintaining all the elements we feel make us unique as a bricks-and-mortar boutique and providing an online version that is just as special.

Presentation and customer care are very important to us and are key in building a loyal customer base. Every order placed is beautifully packaged in gift boxes without extra charge, and we aim to offer online customers an exceptional support service so they feel as special as our visitors to the boutique do.

Our ‘Also recommended’ section alongside each item allows outfits to be easily pieced together, encouraging multiple sales. And we’ll update our home page regularly to advertise new up-and-coming labels. As we attract more business we’ll source labels and brands from further afield. Unlike our Guernsey-based boutique, there is no concern with lack of space and there’s room to experiment to reach a wider audience.

There are still teething problems and the site is already being upgraded. Our brand mix offers accessible price points that are competitive with the high street together with entry-level designer labels allowing for a broader customer base of varying ages. To introduce our site, we’ll be advertising in many leading UK magazines. Our latest motto: even if we can’t be working 24 hours a day, our website can.

Katie Free is co-owner of contemporary womenswear indie Free Love Boutique in St Peter Port, Guernsey

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