We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Kimberly Calabrese a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Kimberly thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Do you have any advice regarding quality control and maintaining quality as your brand grows?
Good quality clothing had always been one of my main goals ever since starting the business. As a consumer, I hated order things online and it be so overprices and not even good quality or timely. When I hand pick clothing for my boutique, I make sure everything is in good condition, if I wouldn’t wear it, I wouldn’t sell it to my customers!
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
My name is Kimberly Calabrese and I’m the owner and founder of Little Dipper! I started my business at the beginning of the COVID lockdown with the intentions of doing it mostly as a hobby to keep me busy. I was making hand made tie-dye apparel in my backyard, with zero experience of running a business. After a couple of days, it started to take off and I was making a lot of sales. Fast forward 2 years later, Little Dipper is now a women’s online clothing boutique for the fearless and unapologetic. I sell a variety of clothing ranging from loungewear, going out pieces, and accessories. My business has grown in many aspect over the two years of being up and running. I’m so proud to say within my first year of business my products were being sold in 4 brick and mortar stores. My clothes have been worn by multiple celebrities including reality TV stars, Tik Tokers, and more. What sets me a part from other online brands is that my main goal is making everyone who shops at Little Dipper to feel confident in what they are wearing and not care what others think. This is a community for women to lift each other up and look good while doing it. I always keep my pieces reasonably priced while still maintaining good quality items. I started this business all on my own with zero experience or knowledge, and I’m so proud of how far it has come over the past two years.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
My business started as a tie-dye loungewear only. At the time, loungewear was VERY much in considering everyone was stuff at home in lockdown. Tie-dye was also a super popular trend at the time, so everyone was trying to get their hands on a cute lounge set. I knew over time eventually the tie-dye trend would fade and I would have to pivot my entire business. Once the lockdowns started to lift and people were going out more, I knew I had to pivot my business to be a one-stop shop online boutique. I started introducing ready to wear pieces but still keeping loungewear as the backbone.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
I’ve found the best sources of gaining new clients for my business has been a mix of marketing as well as in person events. I think growing your email list and SMS marketing list is an easy yet impactful way to grow your business. People always opt in to emails or text message marketing especially when you give an incentive such as money off or special discounts. This is a great way to reach a mass amount of people to promote your products. I have also found doing as many pop up events has been really successful for my business. Not only is it great for sales, but I’m also meeting new customers face to face who may not have ever discovered me on social media. It’s a great way to spread the word about your business. You can hand out business cards, discount codes, and customers are able to feel and touch your product in person.