The temporary shop at the retailer’s door on Cahuenga Boulevard will be paired with live band performances, with 20 percent of proceeds going to the charity A Place Called Home. All of the company’s product will be available for sale during the pop-up, which includes tech accessories, bags, paper goods and apparel featuring the artwork of founder Ilse Valfré. The temporary door comes ahead of a category expansion for Valfré expected next year.
Valfré, which is sold in about 250 stores internationally including Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and Nasty Gal, started as a blog by Valfré dedicated to her own illustrations and other art related to fashion. Valfré, a former preschool teacher, quit her job in 2010 to be her own boss and travel. In 2013, she officially launched the Valfré online shop.
She rolled out the site selling both accessories and apparel, something, in retrospect, she wouldn’t recommend to anyone starting out.
“We thought it was going to be easy, so we opened with a lot of categories and it was a mistake,” Valfré said.
The Los Angeles company counts 15 workers and is projecting revenue this year of about $2.5 million.
Valfré took on a business partner to finance the launch of the store. That investor later left to focus full-time on his other company and Valfré said she doesn’t see the need to look for funding any time in the near future. She later brought on her husband to serve as chief executive officer to focus on the business so that she could concentrate on the creative.
The company, which is known for its accessories, saw growth of jackets and dresses this year as Valfré said she found firmer footing with her own style aesthetic after somewhat muting her taste at the business’ onset, she said, to compensate for her lack of education in fashion.
Up next for the brand is the expansion into jewelry and shoes early next year.
The company’s now also mulling physical retail after dabbling with pop-ups since its launch. A store, if one did open, would be located in Los Angeles, but the decision’s not being made lightly as Valfré carefully considers whether now is the right time to enter physical retail.
“We are in talks,” Valfré said. “We are a little bit hesitant so we don’t know if it’s a good move.…It will be a big step for us because we started as an online shop and sometimes when online shops convert into brick-and-mortar it doesn’t work out. Hopefully we [can] do it.”