The advances in technology have our dependency rate climbing upward – especially when it comes to online shopping. Some shoppers still prefer catalogues but there’s a definitive group of people who take their disposable income online. From eco-friendly furniture to deliveries from gourmet grocers, you can find just about anything online – almost anything at least.
There’s one section that still hasn’t burst at its seams, mainstream multicultural e-tailers. Women of color represent billions of dollars in buying power but there’s still a shortage of e-tailers that offer furnishings for their needs.
Thai Randolph noticed her chance to fill that void. Using her marketing skills, she launched Dezigner’s Den – a place where women can find the duds of Elizabeth Cole, Ghita and Trina Turk among other multicultural designers.
With the company’s plans for expansion by Fall 2009, Randolph is a busy woman. Taking a few minutes out of the daily tasks of running her own site, she discusses her strategic game plan and why out-of-the ordinary indulgences exemplify the meaning of luxuries.
Clutch: Tell us a little about yourself and how you came up with the idea for Dezigner’s Den?
Thai Randolph: My background is in marketing, but I’ve always been very interested in fashion. I do a great deal of my shopping online and realized that multicultural women are underserved, and multicultural designers underrepresented in the high-end women’s wear market. So I conducted some research and decided to launch an online boutique that would celebrate diversity in fashion by embracing a diverse cross-section of women and design perspectives.
Clutch: Was an online boutique always a plan for you?
Thai Randolph: It has been for some time. I came up with the idea when I was college, but just launched the site on January 20th, 2009 (Inauguration Day)
Clutch: What criteria do you use in selecting the designers sold through Dezigner’s Den?
Thai Randolph: We carry established mainstream designers like Trina Turk and House of Dereon but love to highlight emerging brands like Sukari and Shree Moni. The one requirement is that the clothing has to appeal to the Dezigner’s Den customer: She’s smart, driven and not afraid to express herself. So we provide her with what we like to think of as “statement pieces”.
Clutch: Dezigner’s Den caters to such a carefully targeted audience, what advantage do you have over your competitors?
Thai Randolph: Online boutiques are showing up every day, but very few cater to multicultural women the way we do. We believe our advantage lies in our dedication to and understanding of our customer base. We have a dialogue with our customers so we have our fingers on the pulse of their fashion needs.
Clutch: For summer 2009, what can the Dezigner’s Den customer expect?
Thai Randolph: We’re adding some new designers, some really hot swimwear lines and we’ll be holding some exciting giveaways and promotions including a contest that will give the winner an opportunity to be featured in our Fall ad campaign.
Clutch: You offer some of our favorites like Ghita, Trina Turk and Melody Ehsani, what brands can we expect to see in the future?
Thai Randolph: We’ve just started carrying some styles from the Shree Moni shoe collection as well as a new handbag and accessories line called Sukari. Both designers were recently profiled on your site. We’re expanding this Fall and will nearly double the number of designers we carry. So, you see can expect some really famous brands that you already love and new names that you’ll definitely fall in love with.
Clutch: What’s your philosophy on luxury and style?
Thai Randolph: We believe luxury is about out-of-the ordinary indulgences. In terms of fashion, that doesn’t have to mean a high price tag, just special, high-quality pieces that make you feel good about yourself. Our goal is to fill our boutique with little “luxuries” from a diverse pool of talent.
Clutch: If we opened your Clutch, what would we find in it?
Thai Randolph: My Dezigner’s Den business cards, an extra pair of earrings (I swap out constantly) and lip gloss.
For more information about Thai Randolph and Dezinger’s Den please visit www.dezignersden.com.