Interview with Aline Machado of Bella Bella Boutique
Online boutique Bella Bella Boutique redesigned and relaunched its website earlier this month to great reviews so we called up Aline Machado the owner of Bella Bella to talk about all the work that went into her site and all the new features.
TLJ: Tell us a little bit about the inspiration to update your site
Aline:First of all, we recently celebrated our 4th Anniversary and I thought it was a great opportunity to launch on New Year’s Day, the Anniversary.
Aline: The other reason was to add a powerful platform to the site to enhance the online shopping experience for our customers.
Aline: It was definitely designed with the customer in mind to make it easier to navigate, providing a very powerful search feature to find products very quickly.
TLJ: What are some of the highlights of the redesign?
Aline: The addition of 44 new brands and the addition of a new category – Boudoir.
Aline: For the past year, this was a category requested by many, many of my customers.
TLJ: Are there more features going to be added?
Aline: Yes, there are more features to be implemented by the end of the month such as a “shop by” feature and a one-page check out.
Aline: This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. So we will be offering a one-page checkout that doesn’t require registration unless a customer wants to.
Aline: The “shop by” feature is is another nice integration because if you’re shopping by your size, color, or price, per example, you’re able to find all the products within your search really fast.
Aline: So, again, the whole site was built with the customer in mind
TLJ: What’s the reaction been like to the redesign?
Aline: I’ve been getting many, many emails congratulating us on the new site. Some of the customers knew ahead of time so of the development, so they are very excited and going crazy over the new products.
Aline: It was a huge make over, not just the design, but the addition of over 1000 new products. Everything is new, even the logo.
We redesigned the logo to really define what Bella Bella is. It’s a mirror in a feminine round shape and the BB which stands for Bella Bella is actually a reflection of you looking into the mirror and saying I am beautiful from the inside and out. It fits the concept very well.
TLJ: What was the biggest challenge in redesign and relaunch
Aline: It took longer than expected because I am a perfectionist. I kept on doing research and talking to other developers getting inside information and talking about what works and what doesn’t work.
Aline: So I changed a lot and drove my designer crazy. But I wasn’t in a hurry. I wanted to do it the right way and be 100 percent happy with the results. So I told my designer, whatever it takes. I just want it done perfect.
Aline: So I’m happy with the results.
TLJ: What are some of your bestsellers?
Aline: Well, our ultimate best seller is EA Lingerie from Colombia. I believe we’re one of the few retailers that carry this line in the US.
Aline: We also recently got into a contract with Besame from Colombia. We’ll be the first retailer carrying the line in USA. We’re very excited to offer that line to our younger customers.
Aline: Bordelle, one of our high end couture brands, is doing phenomenal. It’s also one of our best sellers with the signature Angela Dresses.
Aline: And, we welcome so many new brands so we’ll be introducing each one of them, highlighting them within the next two months. So our customers know a bit about the concept of each one, the difference in cut, why they should try and the benefits.
Aline: So hopefully, they’ll be more and more bestselling brands.
TLJ: We’re a big fan of your blog and I love how you promote these designers and brands.
Aline: I think the blog is very nice to have and very important, you can communicate with your readers in a more intimate way. It’s like a diary. You can feature news, the designers you carry, you can educate your readers, and share interesting stories.
Aline: I want to do more with the blog in 2011 to be more resourceful for our readers.
Aline: I started by developing a resource guide for customers and readers looking for the best Boudoir Photographers across the Nation. It was a lot of work looking into all the portfolios and reviews to come up only with the best. I want to create more guides like this.
Aline: Also do more giveaways and promotions in 2011.
TLJ: Can you tell us what you think about Trade Shows?
Aline: I think the Lingerie Trade Shows in USA can be a bit better. I still have to go to Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris to see if there is a difference.
Aline: I wasn’t very excited about [CURVE]NY last year in August. The atmosphere was a bit cold. The lighting was too bright. It wasn’t very sophisticated and it didn’t have the boudoir feeling as Lingerie Trade shows should have. I’ve heard that Curve Vegas is more fun, I will give it a try.
Aline: Trade shows are very important for us to meet designers and see the collection. It’s one thing to see in a paper catalog and another thing to feel it.
TLJ: Aline, thank you so much!