How do women juggle the demands of their families and jobs with the desire to dress fashionably and affordably?
In Larchmont, some women are heading to their neighbors’ homes (or a tent outside Plates Restaurant) to shop at intimate trunk shows.
Larchmonters Colette Rodbell and Melissa Schoen, long-time friends and working mothers themselves, had experienced the convenience of trunk show shopping and decided to combine forces to bring the option to their neighborhood.
“We chose Etcetera, a contemporary women’s fashion line sold via trunk shows four times a year because of the extremely high quality of the clothing and the reasonable price point,” said Ms. Rodbell, who has been holding shows in her Larchmont home for five years.
“We’ve been using our knowledge of the fashion industry and selecting clothes that put our clients in the best possible light,” said Ms. Schoen, who began working with Ms. Rodbell last year.
Despite the down economy, the Larchmont duo has seen their business grow steadily. They attribute their success to their ability to save their clients time, money and aggravation.
“Our regular clients understand the greatest benefit of the trunk show setting. The collection is designed intentionally to build upon itself. Colors from previous seasons coordinate with new collections, and the styles are trendy, yet timeless,” explained Ms. Rodbell.
One long-time client of the pair, a bank executive, routinely completes her shopping in less than 10 minutes.
“Once we have established the best clothing fit for our clients, they can get their shopping done in no time at all. We keep a file on each client, complete with fabric swatches, to help them build a wardrobe that will stand the test of time. We know when a client already owns a great skirt or pant that will work with a top from the current season. Colette and I pride ourselves on the personalized service we offer to our clients. When the clothing arrives, we deliver it directly to their door,” explained Ms. Schoen.
Many shoppers new to the experience worry about the ability to make returns or exchanges. “Not a problem,” Ms. Rodbell replied. “We take care of that too!”
Beauty And the Feast – and the Frost
This week, the women joined forces with Plates Restaurant for a show, sale and luncheon to benefit Westchester-based charity Children’s Hope Chest. “We were totally oversubscribed and had to set up a tent outside,” reported Ms. Rodbell, as she hurried to the restaurant.
Dubbed “Beauty and the Feast,” the event is in its fourth year and is the brainchild of Ms. Rodbell and Plates owner Wendy Weinstein Karp. In addition to providing clothes, fashion and fun, the lunch highlights the good works of a different local charity each year and features a “feast” by Chef Matthew Karp.
“This year, we decided we should rename the event ‘Beauty and the Frost,’” quipped Ms. Karp. “Despite the falling snow, the event was a huge success,” she added.
“Money Magazine” has ranked Etcetera as one of the top 20 companies for women looking for high-end careers with flexible hours. Ms. Rodbell and Ms. Schoen said they have enjoyed the ability to run their business out of their homes and still make time to attend their children’s sporting events and to volunteer in the community.
They will be showing the Etcetera Spring 2010 collection from Ms. Rodbell’s home through Monday, February 8th. To make an appointment to view the collection, call (914) 772-2349 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.