We're turning 8! In celebration of Local Eclectic's eight year anniversary, we took a walk down memory lane with Local Eclectic founder and CEO Alexis Nido-Russo for all the details on the LE timeline, the biggest milestones from each year, and a sneak peak at what's to come!
2013 I launched Local Eclectic as a drop ship business with the goal of creating a marketplace with the most talented independent designers from around the world. For the first 3 years I worked with designers across different categories, not just jewelry- we sold clothing, handbags, jewelry, home goods, etc. My idea was to launch one new designer every week! I built the entire website myself (on Squarespace) and even created our first logo.
2014 I was working full time at the Chicago Artists Coalition when I launched Local Eclectic- my office was really close to my apartment so on most days I would go home on my lunch break to work on the business. I was focused on Local Eclectic every free waking moment! I also launched our first ever brand collab that year with Chicago artist Claire Ashley and handbag designer Ogechi Anyanwu of Eye of the Sun.
2015 The summer of 2015 I finally decided to quit my full time job to see if I could make Local Eclectic work! Sink or swim! The business was definitely not in a place to support me financially so it was a huge risk but I knew I would always regret it if I didn't try. At this time I re-branded and re-concepted Local Eclectic to only sell jewelry. What I heard from the few customers who supported us in the early days was that they loved our jewelry assortment so I felt that was where I should focus my energy! From the beginning, we've been listening to our customers!
2016 From the summer of 2015 through the end of 2016 I worked tirelessly from sun up to well past sun down. At the start of this year I also started working from a shared desk space at WeWork. Eventually, I moved into a very small private office with a good friend who was also starting her business. 2016 was also the year that I slowly started transitioning the business model from drop ship to a more traditional retail model where we ship all the orders. One of my goals has always been to offer an incredible customer experience and I felt like in order to do this, we had to own the customer experience from A to Z.
2017 I hired my first full time employee, moved into our first real office AND found out I was pregnant!
2018 This was a massive year of growth for Local Eclectic and for me personally and professionally. I went from never having managed anyone to hiring a bunch of people who all reported to me and relied on me. I made a lot of mistakes but I learned so much this year. Many of the people who work for Local Eclectic today were hired this year!
2019 This was a learning year! We grew so much and so fast from 2016 to 2019 from the business and team side that we spent a lot of 2019 fine tuning our process and working together as a team to plan the things we wanted to focus on as a business. We redesigned our logo this year to what it is today and reimagined all of our packaging. And in November of this year we hosted our first Tiny Shop pop up shop in Chicago.
2020 At the start of this year we launched Family Gold- our line of affordable heirloom quality jewelry. In February 2020 we hosted our second Tiny Shop pop up shop in New York. We were so excited about the year to come and just a month later things were turned upside down by COVID. I'm so grateful for our team that worked together to keep Local Eclectic operational during a really challenging time.
2021 The thing I'm most excited about so far this year is all of the amazing collaborations we're working on! At the start of this year we collaborated with Bia Yapp of Bia Blooms out of LA and we have a handful of other collabs in the works including one coming up in late summer with Melanie Graves of Overglow Edit! This year we're also continuing to grow our team...check out our open jobs here. Most recently we hired a COO and a VP of Marketing. We're continuing to focus on working with the most talented independent jewelry designers from across the globe and offering a world class customer experience. Aside from this, we have so many amazing product launches and collaborations planned for the rest of the year and SO much more....stay tuned!