A talented entrepreneur defied all odds by opening her own designer fashion boutique in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mum-of-three Louise McIntosh operated her business LouSells Preloved Labels online from 2017 to 2020, before deciding to find suitable premises to take the brand one step further.
Offering a desirable range of pre-owned designer clothing and accessories at reasonable prices, LouSells Preloved Labels has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years.
“We started in 2017 with nothing but a spare room at home, a Facebook group and my laptop,” Louise said.
“I basically offered to sell anyone’s unwanted items that they no longer required, on their behalf, when they didn’t have time for a small commission rate.
“I was at home juggling mum life with three children, but it was a way of bringing something to the table after leaving my HR job in the oil industry, which I loved.”
LouSells Preloved Labels quickly developed into selling clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories on its website, which launched in April 2018.
And being eager to increase the designer fashion boutique’s presence locally, Louise also began hosting fashion pop-up shops across the region.
“The pop-ups grew bigger and bigger, and that’s when the hunt for permanent premises was established,” she added.
“There have been a few bumps in the road, largely due to Covid-19. However, we eventually found the perfect spot – based on Market Square in Stonehaven – and opened in October 2020 in the midst of the pandemic.
“Essentially, the business offers higher-end items at a better price because they are pre-owned – some items are brand new with tags still on them, while others are gently used.
“Designer items are checked and verified to ensure they are authentic and all items are quality checked to ensure they are in wearable condition and fit for purpose.”
The entrepreneur has made several changes to the way the designer fashion boutique operates since the coronavirus outbreak to survive the difficult period.
Louise went on to say that LouSells Preloved Labels “gives clients an efficient way to clear out their wardrobe and make some money back on items they would otherwise not be using”.
“Since the coronavirus outbreak, we have offered a click and collect option when it was allowed.
“The online side has been updated since the shop took priority and we have recently taken in a small selection of brand new clothing options, as we were asked lots about new items as an alternative to the pre-owned as it’s not for everyone.
“The shop will always be the main focus but I’m fortunate to have started online before the lockdown, so it’s not something we had to create from scratch.
“My plans for the future are to integrate a sustainable new items option both in-store and online. We have secured one supplier but are looking into suppliers for other areas also.
“This is a supplier of good quality casual wear, all crafted from organic, recycled and regenerated materials, certified by trusted global organisations – these are due in this month.
“We are also looking into recycled silver jewellery options and potentially a vegan leather handbag selection.
“Essentially, our focus is to bring a sustainable and ethical shopping option to the north-east with both new and pre-owned options available.”
Louise hopes to inspire others to support local businesses in these unprecedented times and has shown her support for the North East Now campaign.
The website, driven by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and backed by creative agency Hampton and Aberdeen Journals, is encouraging people to do what they can to support the local economies in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
“The website and Instagram pages for North East Now are great for connecting customers and businesses and promoting local suppliers and events.
“I cannot wait to reopen and see my loyal customers back in the store.
“We have lots of plans for the future and how to grow the business further and bring a more sustainable shopping option to the north-east.”
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