The U.S. retail sector may be taking a hit in this economy,
but Kim Ciliberto, owner of
children's clothing boutique Tutti Bella, says the benefits
of not being a bricks and mortar store are even more pronounced
than ever before.
I wouldn't say business is thriving this year, but because we
serve a global audience, we are still able to focus on providing
a great and varied selection of children's clothing to our
customers without feeling the pinch quite as much as a store
that relies on one community or region, says Ciliberto.
Tutti Bella, which offers fashions for babies to tweens from
more than 100 brands, has amassed a loyal following of customers
who appreciate the quality and variety of a unique inventory of
boutique, designer, and popular brands.
store's California warehouse, a small staff handles everything
from inventory control to shipping, customer service to website
updates and posts to Twitter. Ciliberto herself serves as
head buyer and makes regular trips to L.A.'s fashion showrooms,
as well as New York and European markets to find the latest
trends and must-haves.
If you have ever tried to shop with a toddler or two in tow, or
if you are frustrated by the limited offerings you can find in
your local department stores or boutiques you understand
immediately the benefits of online retail for children's
In addition to making the latest fashions available to a
worldwide audience, Tutti Bella also features budget-friendly
deals, including the store's popular Deal of the Day which is
one deeply discounted item, (40-75% off original price), that is
usually limited in quantity and lasts just one day. The Deal of
the Day may be past season merchandise, early current season
items, or special purchases through vendors.
Ciliberto recently registered for a Twitter account: @TuttiBellaKids,
Tweet Deals from Tutti Bella as well as updates on
new arrivals, sale alerts, and other daily news.
As an internet business, we stay on top of the online trends,
and with the popularity of Twitter, it makes sense for us to
jump on that bandwagon and extend our email notification program
to the Twitter platform, Ciliberto says.
Just a couple weeks into a Twitter Test, and Ciliberto is
convinced the medium works for her purposes.
We're just getting started with Twitter, but so far it's worked
great. Our Tweet Deals are becoming as popular as our email
alerts, and our list of followers is growing daily,
What has helped the online boutique thrive the most is the
Tutti Bella Style, which the owner describes as a combination
of California breezy and big city chic. Special occasions also
drive business, and for the upcoming graduation, wedding, and
reunion season party dresses from Luna Luna Copenhagen, Flowers
by Zoe, Isabel Garreton, and Saurette will fly off the warehouse
shelves. Eco minded moms are able to purchase organic cotton
and bamboo clothing from Positively Organic and Kicky Pants, and
with Father's Day coming up, the boutique is stocked up on its
masculine yet fashionable diaper bags for men.
We find that the many of our shoppers are fashion conscious
first and budget conscious second. Because we are accessible to
a global audience through the internet, we don't rely so much on
any one economy to keep us going. People still want their kids
to look good, and fashion is one of those things that can lift
your spirits when other things in your life are bringing you
down, Ciliberto says.
Another thing that has helped this nine year old online boutique
thrive is a commitment to its medium.
We have had many requests from customers who ask when we're
going to have a real
store. At this point, we have no plans
for a brick and mortar storefront. By being an online retailer,
we have access to a global customer base and loyal shoppers from
throughout the U.S. Our inventory reflects that too, and we
have literally thousands of items online. Customers in some
parts of the country often don't have local access to the latest
fashions as early as shoppers on the coasts, but when they shop
online at Tutti Bella, they find the latest trends and hottest
styles. Because we don't sell anything we don't have in stock
and ready to ship we also can provide fast delivery,
A down economy has affected online retailers some, but the
impact has not been as devastating as it has been to traditional
stores. Just the same, Tutti Bella has adjusted to economic
realities by offering additional promotions and incentives.
Our goal is to always treat our internet customers as well as
we would treat them if they were walking in a door and standing
in front of us. So far, that philosophy has paid off, so we'll
keep doing what we do. By adding new technologies like Twitter
to communicate with our market, we are recognizing the
challenges of this time period and doing what we can to weather
this economic ride, she says.
For more information on Tutti Bella, visit
To monitor the store's
Tweet Deals and other news follow them
children's fashion news.