Customer Stories — 25 January 2018

Growing a fashion business and community with Dropbox Business

“I must admit I was a bit of a technophobe in regard to buying things online,” says Rowena, owner of Revival Retro, an independent, two times Time Out award-winning fashion business reviving 1920s to 1940s glamour. “I started with a bricks and mortar store in direct rebellion against poor online shopping experiences. You couldn’t try things on, they took ages to reach you and invariably customer service was poor. I wanted something more personal and felt the only way to do that was through a physical store. However, I soon realised that an online presence was essential if I was going to do more than just break even.”

Rowena’s first store was located in central London, just off Carnaby Street. She quickly built a solid clientele and community through word of mouth and excellent products, but Rowena saw an opportunity to grow. “It wasn’t long before I knew we had to expand, so we moved to bigger premises,” says Rowena. “Rent quadrupled almost overnight and despite plenty of repeat customers, I knew that we needed to find more.”

“I pride myself and the business on establishing lasting relationships with our customers and I actively encourage my team to make friends,” continues Rowena. “So, I figured that using the right technology we could adopt that policy online; creating an online store that felt like a physical store.”

Having used Dropbox Business to help manage the first physical store, I recognised the value of it in helping me and the team create and save imagery, text and other content for the online website.”

Revival Retro now employs two full-time and two part-time team members and receives over 300 orders a month from places as far afield as Thailand. “The success of the online business has been transformational and the prospects for the future look very bright indeed,” says Rowena. “Social media, community and great imagery is the foundation that this has been built on and Dropbox Business is helping us manage it all. All the product images are stored centrally, so when I need to post on Instagram or other social channels I can download, save, edit and post from any location, on any device. It’s so simple.”

With clients, suppliers and other retailers to meet up and down the country, flexibility and the ability to work away from the shop is important for Rowena. “I love the shop and working there, but I find myself distracted so I am not as productive as I could be. Now I often work from a café near my house and with everything centralised in the cloud, I can do that when I please.”

“Simplified access controls to our company data also means that I can control who has access to what, from any location” says Rowena. “I can work directly and privately with my accountant in Dropbox Business and setup folders for my team for images to share on social channels. I can also control access at a device level meaning if someone loses their laptop or mobile phone, I can wipe the content on it instantly. It has made everything simpler and I don’t have to worry anymore. It’s difficult to explain just how much of a difference it’s made.”

With the media often casting a shadow over the future of the high street, Rowena’s view of the future is far more positive. “I am excited by the future, technology is allowing us to connect with our customers and create a community. For example, we run a Thursday night social event where we invite our customers to come out with us and wear their fabulous outfits they’ve bought from us. My advice for independent retailers is to take advantage of technology, whether that’s simplifying the backend stuff or finding ways to reach new audiences. Always find things that will make your life easier and that have the flexibility to suit your individual needs as a business owners.”

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