Is your style more Brooklyn or Wicker Park? And what if you don’t even live in either New York or Chicago? No matter, new online retailer Shoptiques will bring the neighborhoods’ boutiques to you.
It’s one of the first e-commerce businesses we’ve seen that doesn’t focus on brands; instead, Shoptiques sources its product, town by town, boutique by boutique, across the U.S., and presents everything, by location, online. There’s an emphasis on bigger metropolitan areas, of course (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago) but Atlanta and Miami are represented, too. And once you use the site to get into those cities’ best small stores, the site lets you shop them by a close neighborhood breakdown — Flatbush vs. East Flatbush, anybody?
A sampling of the boutiques to be accessed through Shoptiques.
That said, if the idea is to browse by location, it makes a lot of sense to categorize each and every ‘hood where a boutique is represented on Shoptiques. Olga Vidisheva, the site’s founder and a Harvard MBA, told Mashable that she eventually plans to incorporate a mobile strategy that allows users to find recommended boutiques near them in real life. Meanwhile, the site focuses on product priced between $30 and $300, and doesn’t even show brand categories — clearly, the emphasis with this fashionable start-up is on the partner stores, and the local style they represent.
Oh and if perusing, say, Los Angeles’ best boutiques from afar isn’t enough sartorial inspiration, Shoptiques also operates a style blog, CoutureTalk. It provides details about the boutiques from which they source their wares, and where to find comparable items to various celeb and runway styles.
Our interest is always piqued by e-commerce that successfully integrates itself with brick-and-mortar shopping. The emphasis here on real boutiques, and where they can be found around the country, is a very cool way to bring offline business online. Partnerships with stores in Paris, Tokyo, and Bali are just around the corner, which could send the site on its way to being a virtual stand-in for all those cool little places you might not get to visit in real life.