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Business Profile

Unicorn BoutiqueThis was an assignment for my Intro to Print class. Go out and profile a business. So I did. I wanted to interview my sister Eugenia who is a fashion designer (www.eugeniadesigns.com, check out her new blog!) but that’s not very objective. So I asked her about one of the stores she gives her clothes to. She set me up with Amelie Thellen at Unicorn Boutique. It’s a really nice clothing store and Amelie was super nice! Here it is:

Where to find the unicorn
by Sarah Leavitt

When customers first walk into the quaint little clothing shop on St. Laurent Blvd. the first thing that catches their eye is the majestic black unicorn bust that adores the pure white mantelpiece.

Unicorn Boutique, at 5135 St. Laurent Blvd., is a very unique clothing store. Not only have the owners fully embraced technology through a blog, Facebook, and Twitter, but they have provided an outlet for new, up-and-coming Montreal designers.

Twelve local designers—including Eve Gravel, Uranium, and Valerie Dumaine—have found a home for their designs at this boutique.

Opened in September 2008, Unicorn Boutique had been a success since the doors were unlocked. Offering vintage and middle-end clothes for women aged 20-45, prices range from $5 for a simple vintage shirt to $400 for a brand-name dress. The average item is $100-150.

Co-owner Amélie Thellen and her business partner, Mélanie Robillard, worked together for a fashion distributor when the idea of opening their own store came into being.

“Mélanie and I had both finished a degree in fashion at l’Université du Québec à Montréal and took the first job that came our way,” Thellen said. “We both dreamed of having our own shop so we said, ‘let’s do it!’”

Some prime real estate scoping and several loans later, their dreams were realized.

“Unicorn Boutique is a great place to stock up on unique clothes for going out at night or for a day at the office,” said Eugenia Leavitt, whose Eugenia Designs are sold at the store. “Not only are the clothes great but Amélie and Mélanie are extremely nice people to talk to about all things fashion.”

The owners take their artistic talent and lend it to weekly events held at their store. For $10 to $20, anybody is welcome to join in on cooking or photo sessions, painting on fabric or refurbishing vintage jewellery. And it’s all diligently written about on their blog.

“It is a way of interacting with customers on a daily basis,” Thellen said. “We aren’t necessarily neighbours with them so it’s a way for them to know what is going on.”

The blog also serves as a form of advertisement, something the owners have decided to let happen through word-of-mouth rather than paying for it. So far, magazine editorials and press releases have served such purposes well.

The first 10 months have been thriving ones for the two owners and talk of expanding has already been brought up.

“Of course in our business plan we have some projects [for expansion],” Thellen said. “If it keeps going like it’s going then for sure something is going to happen.”
You can find the Unicorn Boutique blog at boutiqueunicorn.blogspot.com

I received a 9/10 for this assignment….nice! Except that when asking Amelie if I could post it on my blog, she told me I made an error, so in proper journalistic fashion:

In the article written on the Unicorn Boutique, I gave the impression that Mélanie Robillard received an undergraduate degree in Fashion. She in fact received a degree in Haute-Couture. I apologize to Ms. Robillard for the error.

I wanted to make sure that people could see that errors are made and it’s an everyday occurrence. That doesn’t make it right however! (Check out Craig Silverman’s website or book for some interesting information on errors: www.regrettheerror.com)

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