Violet Loves Vintage is a vintage inspired boutique based in Afflecks in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, selling brand new and beautiful clothing that takes inspiration from the 1940’s and 1950’s Offering leading retro brands along with jewellery, handbags and Irregular Choice shoes.
I had always dreamed of running my own business and had been considering different ideas and options when my Mum sadly passed away, quite suddenly, in January 2017. 3 weeks after she died I was made redundant from my job as Business Manager at an online shoe retailer. I decided that the time was now or never and decided to go for it and Lucy Loves Violet was born!
I started off with a stall at Altrincham Market in March 2017 and after building a small local following I secured a concession space in a vintage style emporium, also in Altrincham, (where I live). I ran the concession space and the market concurrently, whilst building an online presence (It was very hard work but worth it!) however I longed to have a shop in the centre of Manchester in Afflecks – an eclectic indoor market style shopping emporium in the Northern Quarter of Manchester as I felt the vintage vibe and my lovely dresses and clothes would be the perfect match.
In September 2017, after 6 months on the waiting list, the perfect space became available in Afflecks – a large shop on the 2nd floor. I closed the concession space in Altrincham to focus on Afflecks and after a quick redesign and re-decoration of the shop unit I opened the doors to the new store on September 23rd and I have never looked back!
Afflecks contains over 60 individual stalls or shops where you can find anything from artisan ice cream and cakes to an art gallery and hand made gifts or perhaps original clothing from the 1960’s – virtually anything you can think of can be found there and it is wonderful to be part of the rich history and iconic building that is Afflecks.
Recently, I have decided to re-brand the business to make it clearer what we do, so as my daughter is called Violet, and my Grandma was also Violet – Violet Loves Vintage is now the new name.
My business has evolved and grown through hard work, persistence and by learning as I go and from my mistakes. Social media has been a vital aspect of the growth of Violet Loves Vintage as it is the way I engage with my customers and reach future and potential customers, so in July 2017 after reading excellent reviews about Altrincham HQ, I booked a training session with Alex and since then Violet Loves Vintage has grown massively.
Alex had prepared training tailored to my business and gave me extensive notes that I could take away and refer back to whenever required. He gave me so many great ideas that I started implementing straight away and achieved excellent results pretty much immediately. I won’t give away his secrets but he suggested ways to increase the number of reviews that were left on my Facebook page, how to engage more and how to reach more people that might be interested in what I offer.
After implementing his training I very quickly saw an increase of reviews, likes on my page and general engagement – especially of ladies sharing photos of them wearing my dresses. He showed me that I should shout about my business successes and happy customers – as customer service is at the heart of everything I do. Alex also helped me with an Instagram strategy which has increased my reach and interaction with like-minded vintage ladies.
Violet Loves Vintage would not be where it is now if it wasn’t for the exposure that social media has offered me. I post photos of me wearing all my outfits so everyone can see what a ‘normal’ 40 ish woman looks like wearing the clothing and see the fit and exact style. I share business updates, successes and special offers, news and competitions.
There are still many tips and hints from my training notes that I have yet to apply, so I look forward to continuing with my plan and seeing the results. Before my training with Altrincham HQ my social media following was modest – with less than 2,000 likes on Facebook – I now have over 7,500 Facebook followers, over 3,500 on Instagram and 5,000 on Twitter and it is growing all the time.
2018 sees me launch the Face Of Violet Loves Vintage competition, with a year’s supply of dresses and a year’s modelling contract as 2 of the big prizes – this will be launched shortly on Facebook. We also plan to attend more vintage festivals, hold pop up shops, add a pop up vintage hair salon at the shop and a hopeful return to Altrincham Market. There are also several exciting collaborations on the horizon too. 2018 looks to be an exciting year for Violet Loves Vintage!
Armed with my Altrincham HQ training I plan to continue to grow my social media presence and I will more than likely book in for a follow up session later in 2018 for refresher training and to develop my online strategy further.
For more info on Violet Loves Vintage go to www.violetlovesvintage.com
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Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 350+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.