A good product doesn’t just solve problems, it makes a customer feel good. And that can start with the buying experience itself.
Smart retailers know how to balance a hard sell with a soft touch, making customers believe that they are in control, and most importantly they are special.
For a lot of retailers, that means cultivating an experience. For Rusty Phillips, co-owner of The Bougie Bar in Downtown Lafayette, the experience is everything.
Bougie Bar is essentially a candle-making activity center. Groups book time at the shop and bring snacks and drinks to enjoy while they make custom jelly candles. The shop also retails goodies like shirts, mugs and chocolates.
The Bougie concept was a natural extension of Bourbon Royalty, the candle manufacturer Rusty founded with his business partner Jamie. Jamie made candles as a side hustle and the business grew into a pretty big producer, with around 800 wholesale accounts in 14 states. The Bougie Bar was born out of customer demand. Folks wanted to pop in the warehouse to make candles. In 2019, Bougie Bar was born.
When you’re selling clothes, you’re selling something personal. All the more so when you’re selling something intimate, like bras and lingerie.
Meaghan McCarron Savoy is the owner of La Femme, a bra fitting studio and retailer in Lafayette.
La Femme’s specialty is quality and customization. Meaghan’s staff is expertly trained in fitting the hand-selected brands they carry. And they help customers think through all of the possible applications and needs for their purchases. They have a lactation consultant and an expert in mastectomy fitting on staff.
It’s a complicated business. Women often hate bras. They can be uncomfortable to wear and awkward to purchase. La Femme’s answer is attention to detail and a community vibe. They’re selling confidence, Meaghan says. She would know. Meaghan was a loyal customer before she bought the shop in 2021.