La Femme Dangereuse
“Women need stores like La Femme Dangereuse, where they will receive special attention and leave with a proper fitting garment.”
by Michelle Broomes, Lingerie Journal Editor.
With a love for all things lace and an educated eye for design excellence, Nikky Waters, owner of La Femme Dangereuse boutique has built a lingerie haven to be envied. She, herself, is passionate about what she wears underneath and has made it her mission for other women to enjoy the sensational high that comes from wearing the best brands in the market. Her background in design and keen sense of luxury gained from working as a personal shopper under the iconic Burberry name, has positioned Nikky as a lingerie professional capable of identifying what best meets the needs of her clientele and how to source these products.
Nikky’s boutique offers a woman everything from everyday foundation basics to beautiful bridal and boudoir pieces to make her resplendent. With a selection of services, including bra fitting, to ensure that each woman finds her most flattering fit, Nikky has the perfect MO to turn any woman into “la femme dangereuse”. And she tells the TLJ all about her boutique in this interview.
Interview with Nikky, owner of La Femme Dangereuse
“When designing the store, I wanted to create an ambiance that was distinctly feminine and sexy.”
Nikky, could you give us a brief overview of what la Femme Dangereuse is all about and why you chose such a daring name for your boutique?
La Femme Dangereuse is a specialty lingerie boutique in the heart of Woodbury, Long Island. We provide a fun, sexy shopping experience, from a foundational bra fitting to assisting a client in choosing something special for her anniversary. We specialize in bringing people out of their shells, finding the item that is that perfect fit, and making customers leave with a smile. Our boutique also doubles as a meeting place where many of our clients will pop in just for a chit-chat! We are a family run, friendly, fun shop!
“La Femme Dangereuse” is French for “The Dangerous Woman”. I chose this name because I wanted something that would catch the attention of all women. Dangerous is sexy, it’s bold, and above all, empowering. Who doesn’t want to be viewed as a bit dangerous?
Truthfully, the idea has been floating around my head for years. I would always try to find my way into the Curve tradeshow even back when I was in college. I have always had a passion for all things lingerie and like to stay on top of what’s trending, and Curve is the perfect place to do that. My family and I started seriously planning to rent a space in Spring of 2014, and we opened our doors December 13, 2014. Women need stores like La Femme Dangereuse, where they will receive special attention and leave with a proper fitting garment. We are merely filling that niche.
In your opinion, what defines the La Femme Dangereuse shopping experience?
My customers choose to come to my store because they know they will be well taken care of. We specialize in personal service, and each client’s needs are catered to on a case by case basis. My team is well versed on product knowledge, fit knowledge, and customer service. Our fitting rooms are designed to feel as comfortable as your own boudoir. In fact, I’ve had customers even taking selfies in them! We make the experience fun and fulfilling whether the customer is in for her first bra or her hundredth.
Could you describe some of your store’s aesthetics and how you went about choosing your fantastic French influenced décor?
When designing the store, I wanted to create an ambiance that was distinctly feminine and sexy. The color scheme is spiced plum, gold, and black with curvy furniture and art nouveau details. There is also a strong birdcage theme running throughout the store, that can be seen in the chandeliers, the artwork, and the mannequin props. I am very detail oriented and this store is proof of that.
What do you think sets you apart from other lingerie boutiques offering similar products and services?
Firstly, the team. Each of us has something different to offer, whether it’s my design background and fit knowledge, my mom Laurie’s helpful nature and impeccable customer service, or Lorraine’s outgoing, funny personality that will make even the most shy customer feel at home.
Secondly, the product. I am very meticulous with what I bring through these doors. If it is not quality it doesn’t come in! Also, I am a very tactile person, so if a fabric feels rough or cheap to me it’s a no-go. Most of the lines we carry are made in Europe or America, and several right here in New York! I like to support local designers as much as I can, and my customers seem to have the same mind set.
Lastly, the mood of the boutique. It is sexy and fun, and we are always having special events for our clients.
“I am very meticulous with what I bring through these doors. If it is not quality it doesn’t come in!”
How do you and your team approach customer service? What’s the secret to getting it right?
Well, we are never ones to tell secrets, but maybe just this once! Basically, be NICE. You wouldn’t believe the results you get when you simply care enough to ask about someone’s day. If there is one thing I pride myself on, it’s how my team treats our customers. There is nothing worse than a nasty or pushy salesperson!
We are all very willing to help in any way, and are always taking special orders for customers, which they seem to really appreciate. It’s something you won’t find a department store doing. We pay attention to what the customer is looking for and try our best to pull it in. We are also very sensitive to each client’s individual needs, whether they be medical or aesthetic.
What’s your target group (customer/client profile) at La Femme Dangereuse?
La Femme’s target group is anyone who wears intimate apparel! We carry bras in cup sizes A through H, sleepwear up to a 3x, and if we don’t have what someone is looking for at the time, we try to get it! I have tried to carry items to fit all needs, from a first bra to comfy PJs and slippers, to massage candles.
Are there any perks you give to clients?
I am always running some kind of special in the store, whether it is a gift with purchase or sales or the like. I usually announce them on Facebook and Instagram, for the public, and emails for my previous customers. I also host client appreciation events in store, and have an ongoing entry box to win a party for up to ten people.
Could you touch a little deeper on your personal shopping service to customers and what you think prompted the need for such a service?
My professional background includes working as a personal shopper for Burberry’s Flagship store in New York. I have taken my clienteling skills and personalized service from my years there and brought them to life here. I feel that shopping for lingerie is a very personal experience and should be treated as such. Women frequently need help with proper fit and style, and also honest opinions. Our clients love us because we will never lie just to get something sold. Also, men would be lost without us! I do applaud the men who are brave enough to come [and] shop in the first place, and when they do, we are here to personally assist.
What’s the geographical area like around your boutique and does this have any kind of positive impact on your business?
The store is on the North Shore of Long Island, in Nassau County. It’s a very affluent area, but also an area where the women prefer to shop small. They are very community-oriented and prefer our shopping center to a mall. We also stand out in this area, as I’ve heard from many a customer how surprised they are that my staff is pleasant to deal with. Apparently, not all the stores in our area have the customer service mindset we do!
I think it also helps that the women in this area are familiar with New York designers, and they like that they can get certain brands from me without shlepping all the way into Manhattan for them.
Tell us about your relationship with social media and how important it is to your business. Do you have a favorite social media platform for reaching out?
I prefer to use Instagram and link my posts to our Facebook and Twitter. Instagram is great because it is such a visual app. Nowadays people decide in a split second if a post is worth a look, and Instagram allows you to catch their attention visually first… And then you hope they read your captions! If I were you, I’d keep my eyes peeled for a contest where you can win prizes in the near future!
I do also have a soft spot for Pinterest, but I try to only log on once in a while because it sucks me in for hours! Pinterest is also great because of all the bridal posts, and has brought us some bridal lingerie clientele.
I have found that social media is a great way to boost my online sales, and have made a resolution to stay more on top of it and offer more contests.
We’d also love to know what are some of your favorite brands and which are your best sellers?
Personally, I love Nevaeh Intimates and Bordelle. Nevaeh will always entice me with imported fabrics and delicate details, and the fact that it’s made in NY is a big draw for me. Bordelle is just bad a**. I love to wear a shirt with a low back and let the bra’s harness details show through. I have also been not-so-secretly coveting the Angela dress I have in store, I just need a good excuse to wear it!
My customers are truly all across the board, but there are a few items I can’t seem to ever have enough stock in: Commando thongs, Marie Jo bras, and believe it or not, various body chains.
As a store owner, you must get a ton of information from new brands and designers. Some of the emails, calls and mailings must blur together. But in your opinion, what sets a brand’s communication apart, or makes it attractive enough to get your attention?
I personally prefer physical catalogs over emails, just because as you said, it can be VERY overwhelming, especially immediately following trade shows. I like to take my time and go over the books, make mock orders up to budget out what is feasible (because, let’s be honest, sometimes we just get a little carried away in our shopping!) and then go over everything with my team. One thing I will say is, I am very turned away from a brand that calls incessantly, especially when it’s not something I’ve ever displayed an interest in carrying.
The buying aspect of my job is both the most fun and at the same time stressful part. I enjoy it so much (maybe too much sometimes) but I do have to be very careful not to be impulsive and over-buy; something I’m recently learning.
Visit La Femme Dangereuse
7925 Jericho Turnpike,
Woodbury Village Shopping Center
Woodbury, NY 11797