Store of the Month August 2023: Modebruket
“Start from the customer’s inner style, everyone has one!” – says Mia, owner of Store of the Month, Modebruket, when she helps her customers with styling. She describes the store as a mix of sweet and spice and says that they have something for everyone. In the interview, Mia shares, among other things, what it’s like to run a store and her opinion on how to build a solid basic wardrobe.
Tell us about Modebruket, how did it all start?
My mother-in-law Görel started the store in the late 80s, more specifically 36 years ago. I was involved in the start-up and worked for a few years with Görel. I ran a children’s store in the premises next door for 14 years and also worked in many stores in between, but always kept in the same industry. Six and a half years ago, when Görel was about to retire, I took over the business. Now my daughter-in-law also works with me so it’s a third-generation store, very cool!
We felt that we needed to make a small update to the store to attract more customers and to reach a wider target group, so we made a name change after four years when we felt we had built a good connection with all customers. It was a little nerve-racking, of course, and a little sad, but we ended up saving the old sign as a keepsake. It turned out to be a good change and we like the name. We have doubled the sales in our small shop, which is just under 50 square meters.
What kind of range do you offer and what type of customer do you target?
We offer a very wide range, something that is quite unusual and time-consuming when it comes to purchasing. I was and am determined that I want to offer a wide range, and many would like to lump us into one category, but we don’t want that. It’s fun to mix, spice things up and be on the move all the time. We offer something for everyone, both grandmothers, mothers and granddaughters, which was my goal when I took over. I don’t want to limit myself to a specific customer, hence the name change “Modebruket: a mixture of sweet & spice” – because that’s exactly what we are!
What is your strategy when it comes to assortment?
We are proud that we still sell our original seven brands that have been in the store since the very start. We have since spiced it up with shoes and a lot of new clothing and bag brands. We haven’t stopped selling that many brands, just added a few more. We sell sizes from 34 to 54 so it’s also a constant hunt for new assortment during the season. We have no warehouses but calculate the turnover rate from the time we unpack until the clothes leave the counter. We only have sales twice a year and we never have deals on weekends or during Black Friday, which is also a better decision for the environment. It was difficult the first year, but now it works great, and the customers feel comfortable with it.
Tell us about your personal opinion on building a good wardrobe.
We always start by helping our customers to sort their wardrobes and recommend them to donate or give away things that are no longer used. When we make the selection of which items to keep, we always use the customer’s job as a starting point, that’s important. Keep basic clothes in your wardrobe, such as black or blue blazers, preferably in a soft jersey and also a suit. I always recommend a pair of classic jeans and a pair of chinos in a basic colour, I also think it’s good to have shirts, blouses, knitwear, polo shirts and some nicer T-shirts in both basic colours and more colourful shades. A denim shirt, a denim skirt and a black skirt are items that I think you should have in your wardrobe. Fake leather or leather trousers are nowadays a must in the wardrobe if you ask me, there are so many different fits. Then, I think that a classic dress in a basic colour and a top in a seasonal colour, which is trending at the time, is a nice addition. After that, you can build on these items in the wardrobe, supplementing them with seasonal items and varying shoes, such as sneakers, loafers or sandals. When it comes to jackets, I like leather jackets and denim jackets, they are perfect to dress up or down. It’s better to invest and buy a few matching garments when you do shop, it’s more sustainable in the long run. I have also noticed that colour analysis is trending again, I took a course in the 80s and we use that knowledge quite often. Today colour analysis has evolved and it encapsulates more colours in the range on the colour wheel, it is also not as strict as before, which is good. Last but not least, it is important that you use the clothes in your wardrobe and that you don’t feel like you are ‘playing dress up’ when styling, start from the customer’s inner style because everyone has one!
What would you say is your biggest recipe for success?
It is that we see our customers as guests, we have created a family feeling and offer a high degree of service. Although we have grown a lot in recent years, you always feel at home with us, especially when you become a regular. We provide the “personal shopper”service, but our customers say that they always get that with us when they come. However, if you want me or Emelie completely to yourself, you’ll have to make an appointment.
We help in the fitting rooms and give tips if you want them, but if you want to be left alone, that is of course also okay. We love people and that goes a long way. Our guests want us to stay, so we help each other. To many of our guests, we are not just a shop, we are so much more than that.