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I recently had the chance to chat with Elisabetta Rogiani, owner and founder of Elisabetta Rogiani Couture Fitness, to get all the details on how she got her start in the retail business and built her company from the ground up. Rogiani has found tremendous success selling custom-made fitness apparel and accessories through both her online store and wholesale.
Here’s what she had to share regarding her business, her website and how she stays relevant in an ever-changing fashion industry.
Endicia: Looking at your unique business model, you clearly had a distinct vision in mind for Rogiani. How did it all start?
Rogiani: I started creating custom fitness wear more than 20 years ago. Since I was born in Italy, my vision was to bring the European couture tradition to the Hollywood area.
I enjoy creating couture designs because it gives me the freedom to personalize products for each individual customer, including celebrities, athletes and fitness models. By collecting their sizes, measurements and style preferences, my team creates a very unique and personal service.
Can you please share how you started selling wholesale? And how did you start offering products on your website?
Once we began getting our products placed in fitness publications and celebrities started wearing them, the demand skyrocketed. We found that the more stores that want to sell your products at wholesale, the more products you can make available for wholesale.
It was pretty much the same with our website. The more demand we have for products, the more products we are able to create and offer on our site.
Customizing and hand-making each order must take up a tremendous amount of time! How do you do it all? What are some challenges you encounter?
The concept does sound very difficult, but I have a very specialized team that has many years of experience. I wouldn’t be able to do it without each of my knowledgeable team members.
Every day there is a new challenge, and I’ve accepted that there are always going to be hurdles. The fluctuating economy can obviously create busy and slower times, so it’s important to remain flexible and make yourself knowledgeable when it comes to marketing and business.
Also, having common sense, integrity and a quick response time are crucial when running your own company and taking it from a small to a medium-sized business.
We couldn’t agree more. What advice would you give to small businesses that are starting out with wholesale and/or online selling?
My biggest advice would be to study the products that you want to sell, everything from price to presentation to competition, and find a way to create a higher-quality product and market your product better. Never assume that your customers are going to notice the differences between you and your competitors, you have to be the one to point it out.
There is always a place for a new company in an industry. You just have to educate yourself, devise a plan and stay up-to-date.
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