Written Interviews

Interview with Candice Galek of

Today I am presenting a 2nd interview with Candice Galek of Bikini Luxe, a swimwear and clothing store. bikiniluxe_wordpress_header

Check out the interview:

1. What gave you the idea to start Bikini Luxe? Share your story.

Bikini Luxe has been a long time dream of mine, it encompasses both my love for the beach lifestyle and for swimwear. I am an avid window shopper, and online shopper. Working hard is my hobby, and what I want is an online shop with it’s own personality. I want women to feel comfortable shopping from Bikini Luxe, knowing that they will be getting great customer service and purchasing quality items for a good price.

2. How did you go about having products manufactured and designed, did you hire a designer or work with companies that specialize in clothing manufacturing to create something you wanted?

We started out focusing on South Florida based brands from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. We love a good face to face meeting. This allowed us to truly get a feel for the brands we were carrying, and they understood what we aiming for. We have recently included some West Coast brands into the mix, and are quickly expanding to feature brands from all over the U.S. and beyond. Our own brand, Bikini Luxe, is an ever expanding name which now includes clothing, cover ups, and jewelry.

3. How have you gone about promoting and marketing your site? What’s working for you?

These days it’s all about Social Media Marketing. SEO is always changing, but we try to keep with the times and change our game plan frequently.

4. Beyond your website, do you sell on other channels such as eBay, Amazon or Etsy? What are your thoughts on selling on multiple sales channels?

We do sell on many shopping websites such as Wanelo, Keep, Fashiolista, Bestie, Socialbliss, the list goes on and on, honestly we have a full time team dedicated to just shopping websites. And a separate in house team that takes care of our social media and SEO. Online shopping is really a numbers game, creating a buzz is something that takes a lot of hard work!

We try to make ourselves available wherever there’s an opportunity. Etsy is great for handmade jewelry and there is a fantastic and supportive community there. Lately we have been focusing our attention on Instagram ( and twitter ( to drive our social media. We only recently started with Pinterest ( but have been getting some decent results.

5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?

As this year ends, we are looking forward to celebrating an amazing first year, which went above and beyond our expectations. In 2015 we plan on expanding to feature many new brands and types of items offered, as well as enhancing our own brand name. I think we will be working on more Guerrilla tactics with social Media, Pop up shops at the local Miami Beach Parties and so on, overall it is a truly exciting job. Every day there is a new challenge and goal!

Thanks for the Interview (insert name of interviewer) please visit our store to see our constantly changing and evolving boutique!

Candice Galek

Written Interviews

Interview with Simon Cobb of Menswear Exchange

Today I present another written interview with Simon Cobb Menswear Exchange which is a mens clothing store specializing in Celebrity fashion, Urban streetwear and blogphotoIndependent brands. Simon is also launching a clothing label called Three Dreams in September.

Checkout the interview:

1. What got you interested in starting your own online store? Share your story.

I’ve always been interested in fashion but when I was 17 years old I would constantly receive positive comments regarding the clothes I was wearing so I began to realise that I could make money from sourcing cheaper alternatives which is what I started to do. Obviously over the years there’s been a lot of trial and error regarding suppliers and building reliable partnerships which is why I’m glad that I started through eBay for a few years before so that I could experiment and find the best suppliers with the best products and in turn expanding and having the financial clout to launch a world class web site, which is what I now have with

2. I’m curious to hear more about the Stock Exchange program, can you explain that in more detail and what gave you the idea to start it?

The Stock Exchange is a concept and idea that derived from eBay originally, I would have a lot of customers making me best offers as well as exchange or part exchange offers and I realised there wasn’t a clothing store out there offering this service online and certainly not for designer and collectible fashion, so I decided I’d be the industry leader with this concept and since its inception it’s been a success although it’s far from where I want to take it to. With the Stock Exchange products customers have the opportunity to use our online form to make an offer and specify their offer price or they can attach images and descriptions of any designer items they wish to exchange or part exchange, we can then accept or negotiate their offer depending on their terms, it helps for some people really into fashion but can’t quite afford the price to trade in something they no longer need for something they really want.  Similar to trading in an unwanted game for a newer one, I must iterate that we only accept trade-in/exchanges of authentic designer clothing that meets our specific standards in terms of collectability.

3. How have you gone about driving visitors to your site and what’s working for you today?

We’ve tried a lot of different techniques and different strategies and we currently employ two different agencies which tackle different sides of SEO and we’re in negotiations with a third to start a new campaign that we’re excited about. Luckily for us we have a very loyal customer base that we’ve built up over the years as ‘uniquemenswearstore’ on eBay so we’ve managed to mainly rely on our subscribers and social networking to generate visitors to our site whilst we are still growing.

4. What are a few productivity tools that help you run your eCommerce based business?

The tools I could not live without are Microsoft Office, particularly Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe InDesign and KeyNote on my iPad.  If you’re looking to start an online store I’d recommend having all of these software unless you’re planning on outsourcing, I’m very hands on and like to create the marketing materials and tackle spreadsheets but this isn’t for everybody I know and can consume a lot of time.

5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?

Well in 2014 I’m to be launching a collaborative streetwear label called Three Dreams in September which I’m very excited about, we will be offering affordable fashion but with our own unique twist on it and by our I mean the city of Portsmouth and the rest of the South Coast (UK).  We are involving as many talented people as possible to be a part of this, it’s about time the spotlight was taken from London and we know there are a lot of talented people on the South Coast and some very beautiful places so we want to showcase this. I’m also launching a high end clothing line called ARLO which is named after my son, this is a very special project to me and I will only be launching when ready whether that’s in 2014 or not but I’m only looking for the best quality materials etc so I won’t release until it’s perfect.  For Menswear Exchange I think the infrastructure is already in place, I want to build the blog and revamp the Style Guide but apart from that I think we’ve positioned ourselves very well at a gap in the market so it’s just a case of getting the name out there and building our reputation which is of course easier said than done but that’s part of the fun!