Store of the Month February 2024: Butik Underverket
In Arvidsjaur, located in the beautiful region of Norrland, we find Butik Underverket, named Store of the Month for February. We had a conversation with Amanda, the owner and operator of the store since 2020, to gain insights into her perspective on the store and the valuable lessons she has learned over the years in order to cater to a diverse range of body shapes. Read the full interview below!
Tell us about your Store, how did it all begin?
For me, it all started with an internship at HM in 2005, I immediately felt that I wanted to work in a clothing store. Owning a store then became my dream. I continued to work as an extra employee in a jewelery store in Skellefteå for a few years, and then I moved to Arvidsjaur where I worked in various clothing stores. After my maternity leave in 2019, I got a part-time job at Underverket, just a few months after I started, I found out that my boss was thinking about selling the store and I had told him about my dream. She asked if I was interested, but my son was only 1.5 years old at the time, so it didn’t feel like the right time. But the months passed and no one else bought the store. So in the end I went for it. On April 1st 2020, I took over Underverket, the store had then existed for almost 20 years, but I have made the store my own and replaced almost all the clothing brands.
In the store, the customer will find several different exciting brands, what kind of strategy do you have when it comes to your assortment?
I have always believed that the store should offer something for all sizes, it has been my niche and my pursuit from the beginning. I myself am an XL/XXL and I have many times experienced that I do not fit in the largest size in several stores. I don’t want others to have to have that experience. I want to help women of all ages and shapes find clothes that fit, to make them feel comfortable and beautiful, and therefore I only carry brands that go up to at least XXL (either from XS or S), but some brands are available up to size 56. I always make sure to have a large range of sizes in stock and this also applies to underwear. I also want there to be more than just black for us bigger women, I want everyone to have the opportunity to have patterns and colors just like other sizes.
Do you have a speciality, please tell us more about it!
As I mentioned, the store also has a very large range of sizes for underwear as well. I myself am about an 80N and therefore of course I will be more successful in determining what is required for the larger sizes. Because I can try it myself and know how it feels. Many shoppers come from neighbouring towns to Arvidsjaur because they know that we have a wide range of sizes in the store. Over the years I have become very good at choosing the right models for bras, something my partner claims I practice in my sleep.
But otherwise, I love to help the customers with clothing combinations and to help them dare to go outside their comfort zone, and show that even those of us who are a little bigger can have really fun clothes!
How do you work with customer flow?
We have quite uneven years here, summer and Christmas are our peak seasons while the rest of the year is a bit quieter. I took over the store exactly when the pandemic came to Sweden, so I had to be very creative to keep the store alive. It quickly became very important with social media and to be seen when customers did not dare to go out. I then drove the clothes home to their mailboxes and thus got to sell a little. Since everything got better after the pandemic and people started going to stores again, social media became more like an advertising pillar, customers came in and tried what they saw in the picture.
A little more than a year ago, we also started live shopping on Instagram and Facebook. A super fun way to reach out to new customers but also as advertising for the store. It is also a very fun variation for us to do something like this 1-2x/month!
What is the best thing about running a store?
I have the best job in the world and I LOVE all the client meetings! Laughing with the customers, encouraging them to dare, talking about everything between heaven and earth and just having a good time together. Then, of course, I also love everything about clothes, going to shopping fairs and ordering clothing combinations that you then hang neatly on the walls when you get to the store – it’s also great fun!