Lyn Rose uses Vend POS and Xero Accounting to streamline their retail operations. See their story below, and don’t forget to register for Xerocon Melbourne coming up in September!
Fashion retailer Lyn Rose boutique sells a wide range of carefully selected clothing and accessories to suit any woman’s unique sense of style.
Since opening 18 months ago, they’re selling triple the amount of stock as they plan the opening of their online store. We spoke to owner Tracey about starting her own fashion business, and what’s contributed to her success.
Tell us a little about yourself, your business, and your local community. Why are you passionate about what you do? What’s Lyn Rose all about?
Fashion is for everyone, and I wanted to start a business that really reflected that. That’s why Lyn Rose caters from sizes 6 to 26 (which isn’t an easy feat!) and really does have something for everyone — from out-on-the-town tops and sustainable bamboo clothing, to special occasion dresses, shoes, handbags and more. I wanted to convey that fashion isn’t about spending a fortune: it’s about finding those key pieces, mixing and matching, and choosing a style that really suits you.
My passion comes from making women feel good about themselves, so creating an exceptional customer experience is the number one focus. We tailor outfits to suit the occasion, so spending 1:1 time with customers and really getting to know their background story, what makes them feel good, and what they’re comfortable in, is crucial when it comes to helping them find their perfect pieces.
What systems/technology were you using before you switched to Vend?
I’ve been a passionate retailer for over ten years. When I started in retail, we weren’t using any “technology” at all. Everything was written on notepads. Can you imagine the amount of time that took? When I was opening Lyn Rose I knew things had to be different.
Talking to my accountant at Smart Business Solutions, they showed me just how Vend and Xero could really change things. Running a business, there’s so much to manage. I’m definitely still learning new things about both systems as I go. But already, Vend and Xero just take away those hours of admin spent on invoices, ordering stock, and managing payroll — so I have that time to focus on personal interaction with customers.
What was setup like, and how has using Vend with Xero helped your business?
Using two new systems was a lot to get my head around at first, but now everything runs so smoothly — I don’t have to give it another thought. I receive a lot of stock, but tracking it in Vend is simple so that’s not a concern. Everything stays up-to-date in both systems; it doesn’t require much work at all.
I’d say the biggest help has been the insights I have at hand. When you’re a one-woman business, you can’t go digging in to check everything all the time. There’s just not enough hours in the day! But with Vend and Xero I can already see my best-selling products, how my business is performing in real-time, and who my top salespeople are. It’s invaluable really.
What do you do to stay one step ahead in retail?
I’m definitely of the mindset that things are forever changing in retail, and I have to keep up. Research plays a huge part in this. That’s why I take trips to Melbourne every two weeks to stay on top of up-and-coming styles, so we’re always stocking the latest fashions. I listen to my customers too: feedback is always helpful, positive or constructive. I ask shoppers what they’d like to see in-store, and make sure to source popular requests.
Engaging customers and keeping them up-to-date with what’s happening in your store is so important too, so they know you’re keeping up with trends. That’s why new arrivals are always being posted on Facebook and Instagram. And since opening a year and a half ago I’ve tripled my stock, which shows just how much we’ve grown and changed already!
Do you have any advice for retailers starting their own business?
My number one piece of advice would be to find something you’re passionate about. I truly believe if you don’t love what you do, then you shouldn’t be doing it. You need to back yourself and have confidence. If you don’t believe in what you’re selling — people will see right through that.
Secondly, investigation is key. Find your niche in the market and research as much as possible. Have conversations with potential customers. Get feedback. When I was opening my store, I spent six months on the internet sourcing products, putting our story together, and getting everything right before opening. First impressions count, and doing this played a big part in our success.
What’s your best retail tale?
I pride myself on the idea that “if it’s not right, I won’t sell it” — which is why I absolutely love when we get things right for a customer. Several times, we’ve had shoppers come back in to let us know that. It’s a delight when people say things like “I absolutely love this top, I’ve worn it so much, and everyone comments on it!” Those results are exactly why I’ve opened Lyn Rose and what keeps me coming back every day.
Vend and Xero are supercharging retail. See how at Xerocon. Xero brings together the best in business at Xerocon. We’re the only point-of-sale that posts cost-of-goods-sold (COGS) to Xero, and as Xero’s preferred retail POS partner, we’re passionate about getting your retail clients set up for success. Stop by and say hi at Xerocon on September 13th and 14th, and we’ll show you how quickly Vend starts adding value to retail business.
Plus, you could win an Apple Watch. We’re awarding an Apple Watch to the person who tweets the best picture of themselves with some Vend swag at Xerocon. So come along to the Vend booth and collect some goodies (we’ll even have our famous hot sauce!) — then get tweeting! Just make sure to include @Vendhq and #Xerocon in your posts to enter the competition.
About Ashley Gilgrist
Ashley looks after product marketing at Vend — working hard to bring exciting product launches to retailers around the globe. When she’s not busy talking all-things-Vend, Ashley also has a love of tea, candle-crafting, binge-watching, and hiking the pointy peaks of New Zealand.