Grand Forks boutique owner utilizes video to showcase clothes
One Grand Forks boutique owner has turned to making videos on Facebook to showcase her products, and the result has been promising.
Linda Bunde, who owns Mainstream Boutique, 2712 S. Columbia Road, Suite 100, bought the clothing shop six months ago, before the world turned upside down for most people and business owners, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mainstream is a franchise shop, and corporate leaders encouraged shop owners to make videos even before the pandemic, as a way to engage with customers. Bunde’s videos have become a lifeline for her business; a trend that business owners are embracing when customers can’t come into the brick-and-mortar store.
“I was just kind of shy and not excited about the idea,” Bunde said. “But I've been doing them now a few times a week, and they've been so much fun.”
Bunde appears on camera for 20 minutes to show new items of clothing and how they can be paired, different tops and bottoms for example, to create a look. She also shows what they are like with various accessories. She doesn’t model the clothing, but displays them with commentary.
The multigeneration shop carries clothing and accessories for women of all ages.
“Daughters start shopping with their mothers, and then eventually they'll start shopping here, and then the mothers and the grandmothers,” Bunde said.
Her customers are local people, but the videos have allowed her to reach a wide audience, which has led to additional sales.
“I've this regular customer in California and Texas, and now there's this gal in Georgia. I mean it just blows my mind; like how did you even find me on Facebook,” Bunde said. “Oh, and Canada, I have this husband and wife who just begged me to mail them stuff, so now I know how to send to Canada.”
Orders for the clothes can be taken over the phone, or through email by using PayPal. Bunde will make appointments for customers who need to try something on. She steams the clothes after they are tried on, to make sure they are safe. Just like at most shops these days, customers can pick up their items curbside. Business has been good, considering the pandemic.
“I'm not doing the numbers they did last year, but I'm still doing great,” Bunde said.
Despite a nervous beginning doing the videos, Bunde said she will continue to make them, even after customers are allowed back in the store. She’ll also have a grand opening celebration.
“Oh, absolutely, oh, my gosh, yes,” Bunde said. “And I’ll have a fun little celebration to celebrate and shop.”