G Boutique Retail Spotlight
“Built on the premise of making women feel good about themselves, g boutique is centered around women having a resource to call upon when catering to their sensual and sexual needs.”
Story by Michelle Broomes. Photos by Robert Erving Potter III REP3.com
g boutique is one of those shops providing a holistic approach to women’s demands for intimate goods. Apart from supplying beautiful lingerie sets, the boutique also offers sensual paraphernalia and mood-enhancing accessories.
Built on the premise of making women feel good about themselves, g boutique is centered around women having a resource to call upon when catering to their sensual and sexual needs. Founded in 2002, by a group of ladies bent on altering the male inclined culture of the sex store in Chicago, the boutique was established to show the more feminine perspective of what women desire when they walk into an intimate accessories shop. To this end, the company has searched globally to bring a respectable line-up of sensual merchandise targeted primarily to the female market.
G boutique is conceptualized around women being girlfriends – being relaxed in each other’s presence, with freedom to talk, laugh and share even about things that can be a little embarrassing like intimacy and sex. Co-owner Cheryl Sloane has overseen the physical design of the boutique to coincide with this outlook.
The shop interior is like stepping into a friend’s studio apartment. Its rustic stance but colourful notes sprinkled over the shop floor have created an informal, relaxing and inviting feel. And don’t expect the contemporary set up of shop furniture often with stock hanging on rails suspended on opposing walls, as these have been overlooked in favour of an eclectic mix of old-fashioned tables, cabinets and drawers to present the boutique’s array of eye-catching products.
Interview with co-owner of g Boutique, Cheryl Sloane
G boutique is about women and sensuality and pleasure and desire and beautiful things.
How did you come to decide on the name?
We wanted a name unlike anywhere else. A name that inspired inquisitive minds. Also, I was reading Rolling Stone and saw a John Mellancamp quote where he said that g was the sexiest letter of the alphabet.
“Great Sex, Great Accessories…” How does your boutique’s tagline, this sentiment shape the kind of brands you bring into your store?
Our brands are chosen to empower women to feel positive about themselves and their choices. Sensuality comes from within. Feel good, look hot.
In your opinion, what defines the g boutique shopping experience?
The g experience is really defined by our associates. We work hard to find people [to work with us] and do extensive training so that our associates are fit experts, trained to help customers in so many different aspects of their lives. The ability to talk openly about sensitive topics and make customers feel comfortable is the defining difference at g.
Could you describe some of your store’s aesthetics that set you apart from other boutiques?
When we opened neither of us had a lot of retail experience, so we just bought lots of antiques and furniture we liked and then used it for display.
How do you and your team view your customers and customer service?
We have great customers. They are loyal and appreciate what we do. Customer service is everything in the boutique setting.
What kind of fit services do you offer at your boutique? Are there any perks you give clients?
We are available to fit anytime. No appointment necessary. All of our associates are fit trained. We have a terrific rewards program where clients earn $20 for every $500 spent.
You’re very active with your fans on Facebook showcasing brands (Unpacking), specials and great photos of the occasional puppy dog. Why is social media so important to g boutique?
It’s a great form of engagement with our customers and also a good way to introduce our brand to others. We are all about creating community around what we do.
“g boutique was established to show the more feminine perspective of what women desire when they walk into an intimate accessories shop.”
Are there any events coming up that you’d like us to help get the word out about?
We have monthly workshops and are in the midst of a birthday raffle.
Could you tell us about g Boutique parties?
Our parties (www.gboutiqueparties.com) set us apart from so many others. Education is at the root of what we do but we always have a good time doing it. Our workshops and parties are well known in the Chicago area. We are not just another home party. You will definitely learn something from the g girls.
Will you be attending any trade shows this year?
Curve, Anme, Xbiz.
We’d love to know which brands are your personal favourites and your bestsellers at g. Boutique?
I love Simone Pérѐle, Skin, Irely, Eberjey, Fleur’t . ..so many. Our best basics are Natori and Parfait. In fashion we have a loyal Cosabella customer and sell a lot of Eberjey and Fleur’t. Of course, Hanky Panky thongs always sell. Lines such as Mimi Holliday, Elle Macpherson, Huit and Affinitas also do well for us.
As a store owner, you must get a ton of information from new brands and designers. But, in your opinion, what makes a brand attractive enough to get your attention?
Style, fit, comfort. I always have to feel the fabric and see it on the body [before deciding on it].