In a series of interviews£¬ online showroom yourbrandspace asks retailers all about their business£¬ from stock to sales£¬ and everything in between. This month£¬ the company sits down with Kirsty McAspurn£¬ owner of Essex-based Curvature Boutique.

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    ¡¡What is the ethos of your store£¿

¡¡¡¡I aim to cater for all women£¬ in a comfortable environment£¬ with a friendly attitude and fabulous stock.

¡¡¡¡Which brands do you stock and which are the most successful for you£¿

¡¡¡¡We stock Bassoni£¬ Bluebella£¬ Boobs and Bloomers£¬ Got Wood£¬ Legwear International£¬ Little Minx£¬ Parfait£¬ Roza£¬ Ruby and Sweetling. The corsets are brought in from the US and aren’t branded. To be honest£¬ I have found that all the brands are popular£¬ as they aren’t available on the high street. I am also chuffed to be the only stockist of South African brand Ruby£¬ which has also been selling nicely for me.

¡¡¡¡You stock up to a K cup – is there a big demand for large and small bras£¿

¡¡¡¡I think as large-cup bras are more easily available£¬ as well as being more trendy and affordable nowadays£¬ large-cup bras do sell well. But£¬ I have just had a run of people asking for small-back and small-cup bras. It can change on a week-by-week basis.

¡¡¡¡How do you find the space to stock larger-cup bras£¿

¡¡¡¡Unfortunately£¬ due to pure amount of sizes available in larger sizes£¬ it is impossible for me to purchase as many large-cup ranges as smaller-cup collections. However£¬ in order to try and cater for as many customers as possible£¬ whilst providing new stock and variety£¬ I buy fashion ranges for large cups in my core sizes£¬ and I order in any requests for cup sizes I haven’t already got in stock.

¡¡¡¡You also offer teen bras. How important is it for retailers to cater to this market£¿

¡¡¡¡I feel that teenage bras are largely under represented. Girls should get used to checking their bra sizes from a young age£¬ as fit is just as important then as it is when you grow older. Likewise£¬ I believe that teenagers should be able to enjoy fun£¬ matching underwear as well.

¡¡¡¡And you stock menswear. How has this gone down with your female customers£¿

¡¡¡¡The ladies love the menswear - It doesn’t take up much space in the store£¬ and is a fun style that they are attracted to. It has been a very good investment for me.

¡¡¡¡Is there a difference in the way you sell women’s lingerie and men’s underwear£¿

¡¡¡¡Primarily£¬ I sell lingerie and corsets. That is the main reason that people come into the shop. The menswear is an added extra sold at the end of a transaction£¬ normally. I try to gauge what each customer is after and then tailor the service to what they need£¬ rather than having a set routine.

¡¡¡¡What do you look for when deciding which brands to stock£¿

¡¡¡¡I look for individuality£¬ something unusual and practical£¬ and I take note of the price as well. I believe customers come to boutiques to find something different£¬ as well as for the service that they receive.

¡¡¡¡Are you looking for anything new or different at the moment£¿

¡¡¡¡I always have my eye out for the next set that makes my heart stop£¬ and makes me think ‘I must sell that’£¬ but I have been spending a lot of time looking at maternity and nursing bras£¬ as I feel that they will also go down well with my non-wired ladies. I have also just started stocking a small range of nightwear.

¡¡¡¡Are there any key trends you will be buying into for SS15£¿

¡¡¡¡Not specifically. I stock collections that I would like to wear£¬ and my customers seem to respond to this.

¡¡¡¡How do you engage with your customers to keep them coming back to the store£¿

¡¡¡¡I like to chat with my customers£¬ not just about the lingerie£¬ but in general. Customers hopefully feel comfortable in my store£¬ and£¬ when I talk to them£¬ I can really find out what they are looking for so I can suggest things that they might not have thought about. I try and remember my customers as well£¬ and ask how they have been since their last visit£¬ how they got on with the sets they bought etc.

¡¡¡¡What is the biggest challenge you are facing at the moment£¿

¡¡¡¡My biggest challenge is two-fold. Marketing in the right place£¬ in order to raise awareness of the shop£¬ is always a primary goal. However£¬ I am also conscious of letting people know about the teenwear. Putting the words teenager and boobs in the same sentence seems to come against a lot of closed doors. But I always keep my eyes and ears open for an opportunity£¬ so I am sure something will come along and help me with both challenges.
 

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