Heart of Haute Blog
Hey Honeys! Mandie Bee, here. This is the first of soon-to-be many posts about our featured retailers!
I like to call it, the Shop Spotlight.
Online shopping may not be for everyone, so why not stop in to a local spot and try something on? Brick and Mortar shops are a unique way to socialize and build relationships with people in your community. If you're interested a unique selection of clothes and WAY better personalized service than you would ever find in a big box store, shop small and shop local! You'd be amazed at what you'll find and who you may meet....
Heart of Haute supplies shops all around the world with our American made garments and in an effort to keep our scene alive and friendly-made fashion in mind, we provide you with some fun features on our retailers!
Owners, Julie Ann and Andrew, are two of the coolest cats and we have been so lucky to work with them!
To share with our community and alert those that may be passing through Tonawanda, NY, be sure to visit Cats Like Us and let them know we sent ya!
*Where are you located?*
67 Main Street, Tonawanda, NY 14150 (Tonawanda is a suburb of Buffalo, about 20 minutes North.)
*Hours of Operation:*
Wed, Fri, & Sat 11-6 and Thurs 11-8 (We are open 12-5 Sundays in December)
*When did you open Cats Like Us?*
October 1, 2009
*What inspired you to open a retro-themed clothing shop?*
Andrew and I are born and raised in Western New York. I have a business background and he has a web/design background, and we share a great love for everything mid-century modern. We love the, fashion, design, and music from the 1940's through the 60's. But since we are actually children of the 80's, we experienced the 50's as a wave of revivals in movies, TV, and music. From Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Grease in the '70s, to The Stray Cats in the 80's, to Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and swing dance in the '90s--we have always had a great love of retro. After we finally made it to Viva Las Vegas in 2009 (and having a blast) on the ride home we started talking about opening our own store. Between Julie Ann's business education and retail experience, and my design and web experience, we covered almost all the bases we needed to get started.
The boutique was born of the desire to “do a store right”. Really it's a simple formula: attractive store, great merchandise and even better service – it's a winning combination. The clothing is a hand-picked collection of retro and vintage-inspired brands. We like classic styles with a bit of an edge. Retro for the everyday girl, and Heart of Haute is exactly that!
*What do you love most about operating your store?*
The people I meet whether through the store-front or as vendors. Many of our customers have turned into best friends. Everyone works well together and supports each other.
*What do you love most about Tonawanda?*
We are an up and coming neighborhood that you can take a day trip to. Our location has a nice "Main Street USA" feel with lots of shops and restaurant. Andrew actually wrote a blog about it a few years ago (http://catslikeus.com/blogs/
*Does your shop do anything special to participate in the local community?*
Yes, every month we have in in-store event that features a local artisan with a retro theme. It could be an artist selling universal monster prints, repro chalkware, or kitchen towels, a pinup hair and makeup demo, or dress seminar -- and that's only the beginning.
We are also strong supporters of the SPCA Serving Western New York. Every spring we collect food and items from their Wish List and, in exchange, we give our customers store discounts.
This year we are the Shop Small ambassadors for Tonawanda, to help promote the area on Small Business Saturday, November 28. It's fun to rally nearby places and show outsiders what a great hidden gem Tonawanda is!
Last but not least, we are organizing the 2nd annual Christmas in the City Swing Dance, a free dance with lesson included. Last year's dance was such a success, we were delighted to be asked to have another one this year.
So you can imagine there's always something going on!
*At what events might we find Cats Like Us vending?*
In the past we have vended at local burlesque shows, rockabilly concerts, and festivals. Since we run a tight ship, staffing can be hard. We limit ourselves to places nearby and only take select items.
*Is there anything your brick and mortar shop offers that the online shop does not?*
Our online inventory is the same as the brick and mortar.
We we offer friendly, personalized service – which is very retro! We pride ourselves in making sure you look great in our clothes--so we tell you when an items looks good, AND when it doesn't. After all, every customer is our brand ambassador, so we want you to look your best!
We bring varied and wonderful artisans and feature related businesses in our store monthly.
*Anything else you'd like to share?*
We have an updated website that everyone should check out, and always have something special for our newsletter subscribers.You can sign up here: http://catslikeus.com/
catslikeusretro Twitter: http://twitter.com/cats_like_ us Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ catslikeus/boards/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/ catslikeus
So...here's the thing. We made the good decision to move Heart of Haute to a new shopping platform
and that we think it will work MUCH better for us and for you, honeys! You may notice things look a little bit the same....and a little different around here.
SO HOW ABOUT A CONTEST ABOUT IT!?!?!?
All you have to do is register an account at the new HeartofHaute.com and you'll be automatically entered to WIN a $250 gift certificate!
Winner will be contacted via e-mail on July 1st, 2015 and we'll make a fuss about you, too ;)
The truth is you wont be able to check status on your order
without our assistance. Your old account at HeartofHaute.com will no longer be available to you to check on.
If you have an open order or questions, just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and either Alisa or Mandie will help you out with status/tracking information.
So here's a little bit of information if you care to read on:
So here's the news....We've been having a number of issues with our old shopping platform and finally decided to make the switch to something much more user friendly- for us AND for our customers. We've been making some changes around here about the way we conduct business as well.
To make things awesome for all of us, we are keeping inventory of the items we actually have in stock.
Heart of Haute has always been a "just-in-time" manufacturing type. Yes. We make everything here. If the item you want isn't in stock, WE MAKE IT FOR YOU! What other company does that? Irma, Irene, and Juana are our in-house seamstresses. Liza is one of our production and sample cutters. These are the MAIN people that put your dream dress into reality and we value you them greatly here at HoH. Our manufacturing type is NOT typical in this industry. We do not mass produce items overseas and pack them in a warehouse. Our inventory changes on a daily basis as we are supplying boutiques around the world as well as individual customers that order directly from our website.
All NEW items (especially new prints/designs) will still be subject to the 7-10 business day ordering process, as we will be making items to order to keep everyone happy. But instead of offering our entire line this way, as we have since day 1, we will be keeping our basics and best sellers in stock. All fashion/seasonal items will be phasing out as they sell out. If we have new items in stock- we'll mention it in our promotions. And if you have a question about the ETA on a certain item, you can always call or e-mail to ask about it. We're happy to help.
If you've made it this far into reading, you'll be happy to find that I've set up a coupon for you
to use for 15% off, valid today June 15-June 17, 2015. Thank you for being a loyal customer and avid reader! I appreciate it, truly.
Use coupon Code: ForTheLoveofHaute
We're showing our appreciation for our loyal Haute Honeys by giving you a $25 Honey Money Giftcard when you spend $100 or more this month!!
It's time to bundle up on separates or snag that dress you've been waiting for! Then use your $25 Honey Money Giftcard for your holiday fashion needs! This is a limited offer that ends Sept 30th, so act quickly!-Alisa <3