Chic Q&A with Pamela Raley of “Touch of Fabulous”

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TouchofFabulous.com is an online boutique featuring the work of handcraftsmen and designers from across the globe. From resin jewelry to  made-to-order dresses, Touch of Fabulous appeals to those seeking one of kind finds. Check out our interview with Pamela Raley – CEO & Founder of Touch of Fabulous.

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O So Chic: What inspired you to start Touch of Fabulous?

Pamela Raley: I have worked in digital media for a number of years, and I felt that there was a lack of a genuine boutique shopping experience on the Internet; a place where customers can find an aggregation of the most interesting merchandise from designers from all over the world – the type of merchandise that one finds in “off the beaten track boutiques.”

Unfortunately, shopping has become so homogenized. All the famous shopping streets such as Fifth Avenue (NY), Regent Street and Bond Street (London), or Rue Saint-Honoré (Paris) all look alike – the same brands and the same boutiques. And online, it’s mostly about deals. The invite-only and deal mania that is infecting the shopping environment, especially on the Web and in the US, is not sustainable. Those customers are loyal to a deal. They are not the Touch of Fabulous customers.

OSC: What sets Touch of Fabulous apart from other online fashion boutiques?

PR: We feature designers who epitomize what luxury used to really mean – they produce high quality items by hand, in small quantities. They get great press in magazines such as Vogue Paris, Vogue Russia, Elle, Bazaar, and others, and yet are barely distributed, even in the high-end stores.

OSC: How is the Touch of Fabulous merchandise selected?

PR: We try to find designers who:
1) produce high quality items by hand in small quantities;
2) get great press – magazine in particular;
3) have no interest in having a website or don’t want to bother with commerce online.

OSC: What is the Touch of Fabulous price range?

PR: $65-$7,000

O So Chic picks from TouchOfFabulous.com

OSC: Describe the Touch of Fabulous customer.

PR: She likes boutique shopping because she likes unique items. She’s a trendsetter, not a follower. She wants pieces that aren’t mass-produced, and she wants pieces that are timeless. She reads the fashion magazines. Some of our customers spend as much as $100k on fashion. This is not their income. This is what they were spending on fashion before the recession. She is not afraid of wearing a statement piece.

OSC: How long have you been in the fashion industry?

PR: I don’t consider myself a part of the fashion industry just because I like dressing up and created a shopping site. The Internet is where the world is increasingly spending more and more time, and many things, especially shopping, have become digitized. My background is digital. I want to improve finding the fabulous online.

OSC: On O So Chic, we highlight celebrity style and how to achieve particular looks. Which celebrity’s style do you admire the most?

PR: I don’t follow celebrity styles unless you’re counting models as celebrities too. I’m sorry to say that I think they all dress the same. However, models tend to have a style. I don’t know if it’s because they know what looks good on them or if it’s because they have been photographed in ensembles that they then know how to wear, but they do have a style to them. The most famous one who comes to mind is Kate Moss.

OSC: What are some items that every woman should have in her closet?

PR: Things she knows look good on her (this is different for every woman), a black dress, a statement piece of jewelry, a timeless handbag, and a raincoat that could pass as a coat.

OSC: What’s next for Touch of Fabulous?

PR: We’re looking for an angel investor, more discriminating customers, more fabulous designers, and improvements to the site.

Visit Touch of Fabulous at TouchofFabulous.com

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