Store of the month January 2022: Ellen’s Corner
Ellen´s Corner is a store in Vallentuna Centrum with an assortment that includes everything from fashion and accessories to interior design and gifts. In connection with us naming Ellen´s Corner Store of the Month January 2022, we took the opportunity to ask some questions to the owner Linda Lägdén. Among other things, we talked about how it came about that she started the store, her approach to customer service, and whether she believes that a wider assortment of different types of products is more important today than it was before.
Tell us about Ellen’s Corner, how did it all start?
“The year was 2016, that’s when it all started – my adventure with Ellen´s Corner. Because that’s really how it is, every day I feel lucky to have a store that I get compliments for and my customers are so fantastic. We have a lot of fun together!
I had passed 40 years and it was time for new challenges. What did I want? I have experience in service, am a trained coach, and have an interest in fashion & design, how could I combine that? The feeling of being my own boss attracted me and when a small room of 30 sqm, which was located on a secluded street to Vallentuna Centrum, became vacant, I thought ‘why not try to create a wonderful meeting place’. A playful, happy, and driven Scanian girl with visions and a business idea about a cozy lifestyle store emerged. It became Ellen´s Corner. I was nervous at first but I felt that the range was appreciated and customers found their way to the store, even though it was a bit remote. Already after 1 year, I felt that I had grown out of the space and needed a bigger store. I moved from my super nice little cozy space to a new store of 95 sqm. Everything has gone so fast and I meet new curious customers who come to us every day. Today, 5 years later, my Ellen´s team consists of Fia who is a full-time employee and Josephine who work hours. The world’s finest team and we have wonderful days at Ellen´s together. I want a good energy and feeling in the store and the customer in focus. We want to give our guests an experience that they take with them, regardless of whether they have bought something or not. A feeling that they mean a lot to us and that we are curious about how we can best help. Very proud and happy about my nice customers who enrich my days with laughter and nice conversations. We drink coffee & sparkling wine while I and my staff get the opportunity to advise, inspire and help in an environment that makes customers relax & trust us. Ellen´s Corner has become exactly what I want!”
What type of products do you sell and what market do you turn to?
“I want my assortment to feel fresh, exciting, and ‘in time’. Classically sustainable with influences of trends. We sell mostly clothes, shoes, and accessories, but the store is also very cozy with interior details and gifts. We are happy to help with both everyday clothes and party clothes. I like that fashion is more about what style you like, than age and I have great variation in age among my customers. I guess those who come to my store like the variety in my assortment and the brands I have. I notice that my customers like that I have both known and unknown brands.”
Photo: Fine products in the store
Would you say that today it is more important to have a wider range, so-called lifestyle, than it was before?
“It may be a little different from before, that time is not enough and therefore many people appreciate finding several different brands in the same store and a slightly different assortment. They want to save time and buy things that can not be found everywhere. They want honest and personal treatment. Of course, the range is very important, but for that matter, it does not have to be wide, but more that the brands complement each other.”
What is the best thing about running a store?
“My shop is my second home. It requires a lot of care and love, just like everyone who visits Ellen´s Corner. Having your own shop is a lifestyle and no days are the same! It’s wonderful to be able to do what I think is edifying and fun.”
What is the most difficult thing to run a store?
“It is difficult to set boundaries between work and personal life. It is important to stop and enjoy, reflect, recover and dare to take time off sometimes. Social media can be stressful and I want my feed on Instagram to be inspiring and meaningful. I’ve only had my shop for 5 years and I have ideas and visions, but there is not enough time.”
Photo: Josephine that works hours at Ellen´s Corner poses in clothes from the store
The issue of sustainability is high on the agenda in these times, how is it in your industry and how do you work at Ellen’s Corner with sustainability?
“Many customers are aware of how our industry affects the environment and we must take responsibility at all levels. To be skilled and knowledgeable on materials and choose suppliers with care. Together with my customers, I try to inspire them to the right purchase and I really want them to get use for everything they buy at Ellen´s Corner. Sustainable fashion and find different combinations with both old and new. ”
What do you think are the most important ingredients for success in what you do?
“For me and Ellen´s Corner, I feel that I have found a winning concept with the right ingredients. The little extra and unexpected in both treatment and assortment. To have the feeling of buying the right products and have great interest in the customer. We are happy, positive and at the same time committed and very curious about our customers. Genuine. We have close to our feelings and the customers notice that.”
What does your industry look like today and what does the development look like going forward?
“The industry is tough so it’s important to have a little skin on your nose. To be creative and driven. There is always an interest in meeting in physical stores and getting inspiration beyond the ordinary. That you create a meeting place where you with your competence and professional skills as an inspirer makes a difference. We know nothing about the future and it’s part of the excitement, to be changeable. Dare to challenge and do something different. I really want to keep up with developments and take on challenges that come and see them as opportunities instead of obstacles.”