New campus boutiques experience early success
Both Piper boutique owner Alessandra Coffenberg and Bonded BoutiqueCleaner owner HanNa Jung agreed that business has been good this fall
November 17, 2011, 10:41 pm · Updated November 21, 2011, 12:33 am·
The two new boutiques around campus have seen heavy traffic since their openings in September.
Both Piper boutique owner Alessandra Coffenberg and Bonded BoutiqueCleaner owner HanNa Jung agreed that business has been good this fall.
Jung found that her boutique is “getting a really good response” and that people “like the decor.” Her line of animal hats has sold well recently and her texting gloves are “sold-out.”
Coffenburg’s best sellers at Piper include her BB Dakota items as well as handbags, iPad cases and other accessories. The “grab-and-go items” have been a success, Coffenberg added.
A new collection of fashion-related books and two new jewelry lines are just in at Piper, while Bonded is featuring her own “cupcake tanktop” gift creation as well as a line of headbands. Bonded will see more “outerwear and soft sweaters” in the coming months while Coffenburg plans to bring in BB Dakota coats to keep students warm this winter.
When Coffenburg opened shop, she expected her store’s “price point to be a big hit” — she has not been disappointed, she said. Likewise customers at Bonded “expect it to be expensive because it’s a boutique” and are then “surprised by the price,” Jung said.
Though Jung’s customer base is varied, she does get a lot of “birthday girls.” Many customers “just want to indulge,” she added. Coffenberg said she caters to about a fifty-fifty divide of Penn girls and business professionals from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Coffenberg has also found that customers enjoy the setting of her “small independent store” and has started to from relationships with regulars. Customers appreciate that she limits the number of each item ordered such that purchasers are ensured a “unique” piece.
Like Coffenberg, Jung prides herself on her “unique” items and makes certain that her “mannequins change frequently.” Jung tries to “do her research” and keeps her collection “current but different.” She continues to work on her own line, and expects to have the dresses ready “hopefully this coming summer.”
Coffenberg labeled the Penn customer base as “riskier” buyers that flock to hangers boasting items like “reindeer leggings.” She tries to “cater to the fast-paced college student” and has devised a speedy text-message system to let customers who have placed a special order know that their merchandise has arrived.
College senior Rachel Sebastian has so far been enjoying Coffenberg’s selection.”It’s great that there’s something cute and affordable on campus,” she said, adding, “I bought a shirt [from Piper] and I love it.”
Coffenberg is excited for her Black Friday event in which the entire store will be 40-percent off in the first hour, beginning at 9 a.m. She looks forward to doing private events with “a couple [of Penn’s] sororities” in the coming months.