Monday, 27 September 2010

Chic&Seek - be on trend for less

Chic and Seek is an online shop for high quality second hand clothes.  The web business was created by Tara Nash-King who acts as a broker between sellers and buyers. Tara selects,  sets the prices, photographs and stores the clothes, shoes and accessories presented on the website. The designers she features include Anya Hindmarch, Balenciaga, Chanel, Chloe, Christian Louboutin, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Mulberry and YSL.
My friend Estelle organised the meeting and we went to see Tara to better understand her venture. Whilst the business is online, Tara's showroom is located in her Notting Hill house where she hosts open days (the next one is Wednesday 28th October) and receives clients by appointment. Fresh faced and personable, Tara exudes enthusiasm for her business and professionalism. The clothes or accessories might be second hand, but service is first class, down to sleek pouches and personalised carrier bags.

 Tara explained that she had long resisted her family's all-consuming entrepreneurial passion. After university, she started working for other people, an accessories company then handbag queen Anya Hindmarch, but soon realised that she too is an entrepreneur at heart. Having sadly lost both her parents at a young age, she took up their mantle, bought a house where she knew that she would some day set up a business. Starting with friends and family, she sourced designer clothes that could have a second life.  Through trial and error, she developed her ability to assess what sells and at what price, and Chic & Seek was born!
Whether they are looking for a bargain or wish to make a return on good clothes they no longer wear, Chic & Seek appeals to women with a taste for high fashion.  Buyers might be time-poor and appreciate Tara's ability to select pieces for them, especially if they make use of the online "chic list" where customers can select items they like.  Others might have a bit too much time on their hands at work and enjoy browsing her website for favourite designers.  Another category of customers is mums who don't want to spend too much on clothes but still look smart and up-to-date. From what I saw on the rails and on the shelves, I think 40+ women could find very good pieces - as long as they can fit a 10, as clothes tend to come in the smaller sizes. Shoes mostly come in size 39-40.  
Louboutin, £260

 Chanel, £1095
In memory of her mother who supported many good causes, Tara organises charity events where customers can combine the fun of shopping with doing good. The next event (focused on breast cancer awareness) takes place on 14th October at Doyle Devere gallery at 30 Ledbury road, London W11 2AB, where hungry shoppers will be able to cross the road to enjoy a 50% discount at Beach Blanket Babylon.
Balenciaga, £1500

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