Author: Ben Skaggs, BSU student
Eco Chic is a local small business operating two stores in Plymouth and Kingston, MA. Founded in 2011, Eco Chic quickly established itself as Plymouth’s leading eco-friendly boutique that boasts an impressive selection of stylish and trendy items. I sat down with co-owner Jen Fuss to ask her a little bit about the beginning of Eco Chic, how the business is handling the COVID-19 situation, and her thoughts on the future of her store.
When was Eco Chic founded?
Eco Chic was founded in Plymouth in 2011 and expanded to our Kingston location in 2013.
Tell me about your business. Why did you choose this line of business?
We are a gift boutique specializing in recycled, upcycled, organic, all-natural, and chic products such as jewelry, home décor, and bath products. We wanted to be able to have people shop and feel good about their purchases environmentally.
What was it that made you want to start this business?
We are a father-daughter owned and operated business, and when we started our founder, David Fuss, really wanted to bring something different to the town of Plymouth. Essentially a different style gift boutique that would stand out from all the others, and I’d say we’ve accomplished that goal.
What was the toughest thing you went through when opening? What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
We opened during the aftermath of the Recession, and the biggest help was that people were shopping for small things to make them happy. We had initial success with Alex and Ani bracelets that made people smile and could accessorize with at the same time.
If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently?
We wouldn’t change much, to be honest. The mistakes we have made, we have learned exponentially from and it has made us stronger as a result of that. The only thing we would change is we would shift our focus to social media more from the start.
What was the toughest part about owning a business throughout 2020?
Having to navigate new ways of doing business such as curbside pickup, social distancing and mask mandates. One benefit of the pandemic has been the emphasis on small business shopping and supporting your local businesses.
If a customer was to choose between your business and others just like it why would you suggest they give you a try ﬁrst?
We’re family owned and have close connections to our customers and try to make everyone feel like family. We’re always searching for new products to bring in and have new shipments arriving daily from all over the world.
What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
Social Media. Within the last few years, we’ve really been putting more emphasis and focus on our social media presence. It has definitely paid off, as the money we would have put into traditional marketing has paid off with higher returns from social media.
If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future, where would you like to see your business be?
To expand and hopefully open a third location.
How has internet technology played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
We love being a part of such a welcoming online community. Our growth online has made a large impact and helps keep our customers up-to-date and provide them with more information on what we have to offer.
Long-term, would you prefer to increase or decrease your workload and be more of a manager?
I need to be at work every day and I love being involved and overseeing everything going on, I can’t imagine not coming in every day and seeing my amazing customers.