We were lucky to catch up with Penny Karabey recently and have shared our conversation below.
Penny, appreciate you joining us today. Before we get into specifics, let’s talk about success more generally. What do you think it takes to be successful?
To me, success has more than one interpretation. In the broadest sense, success is knowing that you have done something to the best of your ability, that you know you have put all of your effort and energy into something to achieve the best possible result for yourself. It is knowing you have made the best of something. In a more specific sense, success is more measurable. For instance, attaining financial success or achieving certain metrics of business growth whether it be revenue, growing your customer base, expansion into new markets or product categories. I see many people caught up only in the measurable forms of success which can be detrimental. I look to find success in all things I do, even if I have failed at something or something has not gone to plan, I ask myself “What did I learn from this?” “What would I do differently”. I consider this to be just as vital as attaining measurable goals of success.
Penny, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My name is Penny Karabey, I am the founder of Luxury Next Season, an online luxury destination that specializes in the location and procurement of rare and unique luxury goods. I began my career in IT, a field totally unrelated to fashion where I now am. Fashion has always been my passion and after spending many years focusing on my education and subsequently working in IT and in HR, I got married and had my son. Following the birth of my son, I realized the importance of following ones passion. My tastes in fashion are decidedly more edgy than most who live in my area. I would walk the streets and see women with the same five designer bags in the same three colors and I decided to create a way for women like myself to find the pieces that capture their attention. Over the years I have utilized my personal relationships within the fashion community and my position as a valued client of top houses to track down special pieces for women like me across the world. It brings me immense joy and fulfillment to be a part of someone being able to express themselves and be authentic through fashion.
How did you build your audience on social media?
I have built a large presence on social media both personally and for my company by engaging with my audience, however small it was, from the beginning. I post everything from my latest fashion obsessions, to my own personal style, musings, my family, and available products. My social media grew when people felt they could connect to me in some way. Whether they relate to my personal style, a piece that I love, my latest travels, posting about my family, my audience has found a way to relate to me. Making your audience feel seen, valued, and heard is imperative for growth. There are dozens of followers I converse with on almost a daily basis, regardless of whether it is business related or not. By making my customers and audience feel like they are more than just a consumer, they see that I value them and my relationship with them, they remain loyal and my audience continues to grow. I have customers and followers tag me in things daily, send me articles, and even send me holiday cards My biggest piece of advice for those looking to build an audience is remain authentic to themselves, being inauthentic on social media is so easy to see and when one is inauthentic, it breeds distrust with their audience.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
I have always had the mindset not to stock or sell anything I wouldn’t wear or select myself, regardless of what the profit opportunity is. This has been my ethos since day one. When a client see that I have something available or can find something for them, they know it is a piece that I stand behind one hundred percent and would wear myself, they know that I would rather not sell them anything than sell them something I do not believe in. I also think that my presence as a private consumer in the luxury space helped legitimize me and solidify my reputation. I have worn and loved pieces like the ones I sell for almost twenty years, I was a consumer for over a decade before I entered the business myself. It took a long time for me to gain the knowledge and understand both of the products and of the market in general. I had the luxury to take my time and make sure that I was putting my best foot forward.
- Website: luxurynextseason.com
- Instagram: @penny @luxurynextseason