Behind the Boutique: Pink Clouds
I'm so happy to introduce a new blog series titled "Behind the Boutique" where I will be interviewing some great store owners and hearing about their retail journey! First up is Founder Jennifer Collins of Pink Clouds, a vintage boutique located in beautiful Soho, NYC. I had the opportunity to chat with her about the store and checked out some of Pink Cloud's amazing vintage product!
What was your inspiration behind Pink Clouds? What made you start the company?
JC: So we started Pink Clouds about four years ago, and we actually started online first. I personally was always a vintage collector; I was slowly building my own personal archives while working in the fashion industry as a consultant. I felt there was an opportunity online to build a vintage e-commerce site that was very modern. I wanted to target the type of customer who is mixing vintage with their everyday wardrobe and keeping it very crisp, modern, and fresh. That’s how we got started and it’s slowly grown from there. Now we have the retail store, which has been really exciting and a great opportunity for us to get to know our customer better!
That’s great! So what’s the story behind the name Pink Clouds? Where did it come from?
JC: It came from a candy bottle that I found in Barcelona, and I kept it because I thought the saying was cute! When it came time to name the site, I saw the bottle and I thought the name was so appropriate. It’s a name that I felt goes well with vintage shopping, it reflects something special that stands out when the rest seems boring and represents an item that’s one of a kind. So it kind of all fell into place!
The store is in the best location! Soho couldn’t be better; you’re on the same street as some great retailers. Was figuring out where exactly in NYC you wanted your first brick and mortar store to be located a difficult decision?
JC: It really all fell into place, honestly we found this space in August of last year and we moved in September 1st. So it was a really quick turn around. I knew I wanted to be within this area and the adjacencies of being next to Clic was really on brand for us. They are a home, fashion photography, and bookstore and that’s really kind of the same customer that would be shopping vintage designer pieces too.
So where do you source your vintage product from? Have you traveled far for pieces?
JC: I used to travel a lot when sourcing vintage, but I just had a baby so I haven’t been traveling as much recently! I really work closely with a lot of dealers and appraisers. Sometimes when there is a big estate that’s going into closure, they’ll contact us and we’ll work with them. Now that we have the store, we are working with some individual collectors because we’re able to interface with them better. So it’s a variety! If I’m traveling I’m always going to look, I'm always vintage hunting. The grand bazaar in Istanbul is probably one of my favorite places or the vintage flea markets in Paris but yanno you don’t always have time to get there, so I have to use other resources!
Is there an era that you love the most?
JC: I mean I tend to gravitate toward the 70s but I think it depends on what mood I’m in. Especially now that I have a store, I’m not buying just for myself anymore, I always have my customer in mind. So I definitely have an appreciation for a wide variety of eras, designers, and pieces than when I was just buying for myself. So it’s hard love a specific era, I like everything now! I’m influenced by my customers’ style sometimes. Eras that I wouldn’t normally wear that my customers gravitate towards I end up trying out and loving it!
Do you find it hard to sell vintage in Soho or just in general because there are so many contemporary brands to compete with?
JC: No I think it actually helps us in a lot of ways, the woman who is coming in here is pretty educated about Fashion. She’s reading Style.com, she’s reading the fashion blogs, ordering from Net-a-porter, and she’s going to Bergdorfs or Barneys to shop. She already knows what she wants within her wardrobe and what we offer is a more special and unexpected shopping experience for her. I think because there is so much exposure to fashion it’s taken away a little bit of that exciting discovery feeling. I can remember traveling and finding exciting brands that I had never heard of in the US when I was abroad, and I feel that doesn’t happen as much now because of instagram and social media. There is such enlightenment on fashion which is a good thing, but then it takes away that feeling of “oh I found something really special that no one else can have” unless it is one of a kind or vintage. It’s nice that we’re near all of the big stores because she’s shopping for all the things she knows she wants, but then we’re that jewel! We provide her with that piece she didn’t know she needed and now that she has it, no one else will!
Be sure to visit if you're in the area!
403 Broome Street, Soho NY, NY
|| Photography: DAG ||