The first Local Eclectic pop up called "Tiny Shop" on the first floor of our Chicago office in November 2019.
A Note from Our Founder on International Women’s Day.
8 years ago I had an idea....
I wanted to create an online store that would work exclusively with emerging brands that I thought were hard to find online because major retailers weren't carrying them. I was very broke and working for a non-profit arts organization so I built a mock version of the website and used that to pitch my idea to designers hoping a few brands would take a shot and let me try to sell their creations.
Local Eclectic founder + CEO Alexis carrying some of the first Local Eclectic orders to the post office when LE was a one woman show.
I worked tirelessly for years tinkering with Local Eclectic trying to figure out how to build an audience for the brands that I felt so passionately about. All the product photography was shot on my phone, the first orders were shipped by me in my living room, the first customer service tickets were responded to by me under the fake name of "Nika Lorenzo" because someone told me you should make your company seem bigger than it is even when it's just you behind the scenes -- so that's what I did.
Alexis' desk at WeWork i.e. the first official LE space outside of her apartment.
The first "office" I got was actually a shared desk at a co-working space and I remember trying to get a discount on the desk because I could barely afford it and the manager of the space told me that "if I couldn't afford $250/mo for the desk maybe I should reconsider my business"....
Alexis and Mia of @gatherednutrition making product selects for an exclusive jewelry collaboration.
Thankfully I did not take her advice and slowly but surely we started to build an audience of customers who appreciated our mission and wanted to support the designers we carried. I remember how happy and surprised I felt the first time an order came in from someone who wasn't a family member or friend or friend of a friend.
The day Alexis got the keys to the first official Local Eclectic office.
From there I built the company brick by brick and day by day until 3 years in when I finally hired my first employee and moved into an actual office.
The launch party for Tiny Shop, our first ever pop up in Chicago.
Fast forward, skipping lots of ups and downs, we are now a team of 16 full time employees and 16 part time fulfillment team members we occupy over 5,000 square feet of space to manage our fulfillment and almost every part of the business is run in house from web development, photography, social media, fulfillment and SO much more!
You can shop all of Alexis' favorite pieces from Local Eclectic here. Happy International Women's Day!