Market Insights: Highlighting Home and Accessories

The home goods and accessories categories have become increasingly important for fashion and lifestyle stores to consider within their merchandise mix. Here, we highlight three entrepreneurs finding opportunities within the space. 

 


k-apostrophe: Home Is Where the Heart Is

Images by k-apostrophe

As people spend more time at home, fashion retailers may consider stocking home goods to complement their assortments. k-apostrophe is a beautiful home goods brand that was launched in 2017 by artist and entrepreneur K’era Morgan.

Morgan left her career in public relations to pursue her passion of painting. Elaborating on her vision of translating art into the home space, Morgan says, “When I decided to start my company I had the idea of wanting to do things for the home and use my artwork as the basis for the textiles understanding that a lot of people don’t necessarily buy art, or feel comfortable buying art, but a lot of people are a lot more comfortable buying a throw pillow or a blanket to decorate their homes.”

Launching with eight blankets, Morgan has since grown her collection to include tapestries, throw pillows, throw blankets, notebooks, and more. And while she does have e-commerce on her website, k-apostrophe is mostly sold at independent specialty stores across the U.S. and Europe.

When asked if she’s seen a change in how people are shopping given that many are spending more time at home, she says, “In the beginning, people were buying a lot of blankets—and they still are—and I think it’s that coziness factor.”

Morgan goes on to share this anecdote: “One woman told me she’s working from home and doing all of the Zoom calls, and her colleagues were basically shaming her for her room where she was doing it because she was sitting in a second bedroom, which she had been meaning to turn into an official guest bedroom/office. They were like, ‘You need to do something. There’s nothing on the walls it’s so boring.’ And she was like, ‘Yeah, I guess I need to decorate this room. So here I am! Buying artwork.’ I think that was the case for a lot of people. They were spending more time at home and maybe they had a little more disposable income at their fingertips and they’re like, ‘Let me get this room done or what can I do to spruce this thing up since I’m spending more time here.’ And also just wanting to support smaller businesses.” 

 

Lucky + Lovely: The Influencer Component

It’s easy to feel inspired shopping products on Lucky + Lovely’s website. Especially with T-shirt slogans like “World Changer,” “Mama on a Mission,” and “Better Together” written in bright, beautiful typography featured prominently on the site. And that’s exactly the sentiment Lucky + Lovely’s founder Melanie Hernquist was aiming for. She admits she’s always had “a love for celebrating everyday moments, celebrating success, being a cheerleader for people, and being an encourager.”

Hernquist launched Lucky + Lovely in January 2019. The site features mostly her apparel, accessories, and stationary designs, but she does stock a few outside accessory items to compliment her product offerings.

When asked how the pandemic has affected her business, she says, “There’s definitely been highs and lows, because I will say one thing that I was actually pretty shocked by was that people were still ordering in such robust fashion. At first, I thought, ‘This is terrible. This is going to be the end of my store because this is not an essential item…[but] it never really slowed down.”

And when influencers feature her products on their social channels, it only helps accelerate her business. When asked about her influencer program, Hernquist explains, “There isn’t anything formal currently other than some women within my customer base who have big followings. So, typically what will happen is I will see that they order and post, and then there will be a huge uptick of that particular item. It is really great for me because I pretty much rely on user-generated content to repost, which has been so helpful.” She adds, “I’ve established myself as a strong designer with products people love that make them proud to wear, and that bring them joy.”

Shop Lucky + Lovely now at MAGIC Digital »

 

MAUVE: Communicating Vintage Finds Online

MAUVE founder Charmia Elam (left); vintage accessories featured on ShopMauve.co (center & right)

Charmia Elam has an extensive background in both business and fashion, so it’s no surprise that she found success selling her personal collection of vintage accessories online. However, it wasn’t until she built her own website and launched MAUVE in January 2020 that she turned her love for fashion, styling, and vintage into a full-time business venture.

“I have vast experience within the fashion world: completing my education from the world's fashion capital at one of the top fashion institutions, doing uncapped stylings, working fashion shows, having a career in fashion management, successfully running e-commerce,” Elam says. “It was time for someone with both the educational and work experience to provide a full one stop fashion service.”

MAUVE features an eclectic mix of vintage accessories and apparel from luxury brands like Fendi, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior. In addition to the product mix, Elam is a stylist, who, since the pandemic hit, has been taking appointments virtually through Zoom and FaceTime. “The digital world is such an evolving space, it's unbelievable,” she reflects. “Running an e-commerce Boutique and appealing to consumers in a time that is very uncertain is remarkable. I've started to focus a lot on structure. I'm a relatively new business, so I feel the need to be present and aware for my consumers. I’ve built more of a community through my brand during the last few months. We are no longer just able to talk fashion, but life, health, mental strength, struggles, etc.”

Connecting with her community online has become increasingly important for Elam. She has found success through utilizing her YouTube channel to share new arrivals and styling with her audience. “I've been very tactical in how I've approached my business strategy,” she explains. “Constantly evolving MAUVE and becoming more focused in digital marketing has been key for me. I am a very fresh business so it’s really important that I provide exposure of my brand to the public and my target consumer.” 

 

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