Success Story: Always For Me
Posted | By: Susan Barone, Always For Me
Hi, Susan, tell us a little about your background. I'm curious what led to you launching Always for Me.
I have been in the Fashion Industry since 1985. I started out in the textiles end of the business, but soon went to the manufacturing end. I worked for top companies like J. G. Hook and Outlander. I was the Sales Manager of Evan Picone Dress, when they were part of Crystal Brands and the Sales Manager of Leslie Fay's Theo Miles Knit Dress Division.
In addition, I took on the challenge of running the Gigi By Gillian better dress division. At Gigi, I was responsible for all aspects of running the division and worked with production, design, merchandising and oversaw sales. After the birth of my first son, I returned to the industry and worked for the Kasper Dress Division. Since I left Kasper, I had a second son and began my journey in my quest for a business opportunity on the Internet.
I spent a year taking a course at the New Horizon Computer School called the Internet Professional, as well as, researched every aspect possible on the Internet in regard to running an Internet business. I have taken my knowledge and experience in the Fashion Industry and combined it with my computer background and training to create a business that caters to the Plus Size Customer.
You've been working with EYStudios for over two years now. What led to that business relationship?
I heard about EYStudios through another company that was hired to redesign my web site. They handled the technical end of things. They recommended EYStudios for the design and graphics end of things.
My initial impression was awesome. Eric spent quite a bit of time with me on the phone really trying to understand my business and our style. I felt like he was “in my head”. He sent me idea after idea that was “right on target”.
What kind of road-map did you and Eric plot out before beginning such a huge project together?
I actually had presented Eric with a 10 page document of all my thoughts and ideas. It also included screen shots of sites I liked, which listed what I liked about which sites. Together, we sorted through everything to hone in on a compilation of many aspects to create our own unique design.
Now, to retain your business for so long, we have to be doing something right. What keeps bringing you back?
My experience with EY Studios was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Still to this day I have never met Eric or Gina face to face. But, I feel like I have known them forever. AND, I feel like they are just as excited about my business as I am. It is almost like it is their business too.
Of course, as we went along we would both get other great ideas that we would continue to put on “the list” for after the core of the site was done. It was nice to have someone else besides myself coming up with great ideas and then presenting them to me. I pretty much allow them to be as creative as possible. AND, they are very truthful in their opinions. If I come up with something and they do not feel it is in my best interest, then they tell me that. It is not like they just try and agree with everything the customer says --- but in a good way. I respect their opinions and advice.
We continue to build upon our relationship. They know my style so well that I can basically give them photos for particular sections of the site and then they come up with all the graphics, tag lines, and colors. In addition, I gave them total access to my site so they can put up the graphics on schedule and I don’t even have to be involved.
I also give them my banner ads to develop. By keeping this within their company, they can match our banner campaigns to our homepage ads. This is very important for branding purposes.
I have never been disappointed in my customer service. They always get back to me in a timely fashion. We communicate via e-mail a lot. But, when necessary, we talk on the phone and I never feel rushed.
Overall, how has the store's look been received by your customer base?
We have gotten tons of e-mails from our customers complimenting us on our design. In addition, we have had great feedback on the professionalism of the graphics from vendors in the industry, as well as, modeling agencies. My business has been in a huge growth period over the last two year because of a compilation of many things coming together at once. The new web design was definitely a factor in that growth.
Susan, we really appreciate you. Thanks for answering a few of our questions. Any other thoughts?
If you want to work with a company that will treat your business as if it is their own, then I suggest you work with EY Studios. I feel like they are one of the most honest, fair and ethical companies that I have connected with since I started my business in 2000. I can confidently say that as long as we are in business, we will be in business with them. It is rare to find a business relationship like this.