Tuesday, January 11, 2011

designer goodies go to chic&seek heaven

New years resolution: Must be more environmentally friendly. Solution: Chic&Seek. Chic&Seek is heaven for unworn and pre-owned designer goodies, all in immaculate condition and on-trend, as masterminded by fashionable founder Tara Nash-King...

1) How did you start Chic&Seek?
I always knew I wanted to start my own business. My initial idea was a website called waste not want not.com. This would be a place for people to buy or give away things they no longer needed. This was a huge concept that would be difficult to manage, but I was aware of all the waste we accumulate and the difficulty in finding a good home for them.

Then I started to think I should utilise the experience and contacts I had gained working for Anya Hindmarch for four years. I have never bought or sold anything on eBay due to lack of patience and a fear of technology, but I liked the concept. For me the designer brands were devalued and how could you trust they were genuine, this is when I started to think about Chic&Seek.

I wanted to create a simple functional website selling pre-owned designer clothes. They were to be photographed and presented in the best possible way (with a limited budget) and packaged as if you were buying something new. I also have a seven day returns policy, so if it doesn't fit, you can return it!

2) What are your most popular items, bags/shoes/dresses etc?
Online all the accessories sell well, particularly handbags. When people visit the house it is always dresses!

3) You have a showroom, do most people buy through the site or come and visit and try on?
It really is about equal, although people tend to buy more than one thing if they visit the house. Often clients come in and say oh wow, you have so much more than what is on the site! Actually I don't, but I think they get over awed by everything. That is why I made the Chic List function, so they can look on line and make a shopping list. Then, when they come in I have all the pieces waiting for them in the changing area and they don't forget what they looked at on the website.

4) Do you have quite a few items from the current season, or do they tend to be from past seasons?
I have a small percentage of current season stock which is quite amazing. It is mainly from women who have been gifted because they are celebs, or have generous boyfriends or husbands who get it wrong!

5) The prices are relatively high, is this because they are barely worn and in very good condition? How do you ensure this?
If the price seems high, it is probably because it is brand new and never been worn and is in stores now. Also Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes hold their value because they never go on discount of more that 30%. I hand select everything I sell on Chic&Seek and have personal relationships with the sellers. We decide between us what to re-sell them at. Most prices are negotiable, but I always get this approved first by the seller.

6) Can you pick your favourites from the new stock?
This weekend I collected lots of new stock! New in are a really cute pair of black Louis Vuitton heels with a bow, Alexander Wang black halter neck, Balenciaga Lariat bag and a Chanel bag that is arriving tomorrow!

7) Are you able to ship internationally?
Yes, we ship all over the world. To keep costs down we are willing to take it to the post office and get a quote for the cheapest possible price.

8) Where do you usually shop and how would you describe your style?
I like to shop on Net-A-Porter or Matches which is close to my house. I am actually not a huge fan of shopping! I am very decisive, I know what I like and I prefer to shop alone. My style is quite classic, but I like bold accessories. Big rings, sunglasses, statement handbags, fur coats and killer heels! Its fun to feel a bit OTT!

...I spy with my little eye...

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