Millennial-targeted accessories brand Neely & Chloe is leveraging the Internet to establish a personal connection with consumers.
Founded two years ago by sisters Chloe and Neely Burch, the handbag, shoe and small leather goods line operates via e-commerce, trunk shows and limited wholesale partnerships.
“A lot of our brand is built around the holes we felt as consumers ourselves. We were young, just out of college, moved to New York and tried to keep up with all the chic girls running around but couldn’t figure it out on an entry-level salary — all of the bags we wanted were in the four-figure range,” Neely said of the brand’s premise. Most of Neely & Chloe’s products are priced at under $300.
The sisters grew up surrounded by retail and fashion — their uncle is Chris, and their aunt is Tory. For them, fashion was a typical dinner table conversation.
The company was hatched from “five pain points,” that Neely and Chloe identified in talking to consumers their own age. “Quality at a certain pricepoint that didn’t break the bank, product that felt targeted and special, a curated assortment, and a sophisticated shopping experience that feels elevated,” Chloe explained of the brand’s founding principles.
With a consumer base largely hailing from the selfie generation, the sisters have noticed a higher engagement on products that are promoted with their own images. “There is a founder focus. It can be candid photos, too. We are seeing about 2.5 times the average engagement of a simple product shot with pictures that feature either one of us,” Neely said.
Trunk shows that are personally spearheaded by the sisters have also lead to growth in sales. “We are building a brand with an identity. Our generation connects on a deeper level when they know who is making the product. They want to identify with you, so the experience is more than just purchasing a bag that is cute. Something goes off when there is a human connection. People want to buy into that and be a part of it,” Chloe said.
Personalization is proving to be a popular feature, particularly in trunk shows — where, if offered, personalized goods tend to outsell regular ones by 50 percent.
The next hurdle, the sisters believe, is to maintain this founder-client relationship as the brand continues to scale. They are examining how to expand upon their trunk show model with digital technology.