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Gado-Gado Goes Global

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New Online Option for Shoppers

By Jann Wiswall

Every woman has a favorite fashion boutique or two that brings back memories from a vacation or visit to family. It’s that little shop where you found a blouse that still gets compliments, where you found a gift for someone that you wish you’d also gotten for yourself or where a salesperson introduced you to a designer that suits you to a tee.

Gado-Gado in Ellicottville is one of those very special shops with artful clothing and accessories and knowledgeable customer service. Now you can shop all year long at both the physical store on Monroe Street and online through a new, highly selective company based in New York City called Shoptiques.

“I’d been looking into e-commerce as a future goal,” said Gado-Gado owner Suzanne Roberts, “but was still trying to work out the logistics.”

As luck would have it, Roberts got a call last summer from a Shoptiques representative who said a writer from Glamour magazine had visited the shop in Ellicottville and suggested Shoptiques get in touch. After extensive discussions, Roberts and the company decided there was a great fit.

Shoptiques was launched in 2012 by a Wellesley College and Harvard Business School-educated investment banker/fashion marketing professional/model, Olga Vidisheva, who knew that small boutiques could use some help tackling e-commerce. Vidisheva created a central website for women looking for unique fashion from boutiques in Paris, London, Manhattan, Beverly Hills and, of course, Ellicottville!

The company carefully curates the boutiques it represents, choosing only “the world’s best boutiques” that are known for their unique fashions and superior customer service. Once selected, the company provides a menu of services including creating the store’s Shoptiques presence and providing all of that complicated back-end operations support. The site now markets almost 1,000 individual boutiques, has hundreds of thousands of customers and consistently ranks among the top online fashion shopping sites.

“Shoptiques handles all of the customer service, orders, shipping logistics and credit card transactions and then emails us a UPS label, so all my staff has to do is package and send the item,” Roberts said. “They also help us develop marketing tools to build personal customer relationships in other ways. They are incredibly savvy social marketing experts who are always introducing new ways to market their customers’ products.”

Shoptiques recently launched a shoppable Instagram campaign that enables shoppers to buy simply by clicking on a photo. Roberts expects to be part of this strategy, too.

Gado-Gado currently has 30 or so of its clothing items for sale on the Shoptiques site — a number that will grow significantly over the next several months.

“Shoptiques has taken a lot of the trial and error of e-commerce out of the equation,” Roberts said. This means she can focus on choosing the products she wants to sell on the site.

“I think this will be immensely beneficial for Gado-Gado. I’m confident that the online side of our business will never detract from the in-store customer experience, but it will help us introduce our products to people who’ve never or rarely visited.”

Already, she said, she’s sent orders to Texas, Florida and Rhode Island.

If you love Gado-Gado and don’t get to Ellicottville for every new fashion season, if all your friends want to know where you got that gorgeous dress or if you just want to shop in your PJs, visit www.gadogadoellicottville.com and click on “Shop Online,” visit http://gado-gado.shoptiques.com or follow the store on Instagram at gadogado98.

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