HOLIDAY PUSH: Aella’s hoping the holiday spirit will help it build its brand offline.
The Los Angeles e-tail startup — which touts performance fabrics on tailored pants, blazers, pencil skirts and tops for women — has opened a pop-up shop in the Larchmont Village neighborhood of Los Angeles in a final marketing push for the year before it turns its attention to other tactics to scale the business in 2016. The 400-square-foot store will operate through Dec. 23.
“There’s only a couple of neighborhoods for foot traffic that has a certain kind of community feel,” Aella founder Eunice Cho said. “We were looking at a lot of different neighborhoods like Abbot Kinney, the Fairfax area, downtown and Silver Lake. But given our clientele, we just found that Larchmont Village was a really good fit for our brand.”
The store is merchandised with additional offerings from two New York brands: candle and incense company Land by Land and intimates maker Cheeki Brand. Aella is also offering store shoppers exclusives on new top silhouettes and colorways to further entice customers into the physical location.
“The holidays are a great time [to do a pop-up],” Cho said. “Even though pants are not necessarily what you envision when you think gifting, it’s still such a great season for us so we wanted to make sure we were accessible to as many customers as possible.”
If successful, she added, the goal would be to open a permanent shop next year, which would also function as office space. The company this year opened an office and showroom on 9th Street within a bustling block of downtown Los Angeles with neighbors that include Acne, Aesop and the future home of Australia-based e-tailer BNKR.
“Even the showroom that we have in downtown and also the special events that we’ve been having here and throughout Los Angeles, it was all us dipping our toe very lightly into retail and a personal shopping experience for customers,” Cho said. “We just felt we were ready to do something a little bit larger in scale.”
The strides the company has made this year — slowly rolling out new T-shirt styles and the showroom opening — have helped it learn more about its customers. They’re mostly Millennials. But Cho said the most loyal group and biggest spenders are women in their 50s and up.
“When they like something, they know they like it and, financially, they can really continue to invest in the couple of brands that they really love,” Cho said. “We found once they really like something, they just buy the whole brand.”
Aella, which has been growing 20 percent month-over-month since September, according to Cho, will next turn its attention to collaborations in 2016 as well as opportunities in wholesale distribution.