Meet MONI Boutique owner, Monika
MONI Boutique is a brand new fashion boutique for ladies, situated in the Burlington Arcade, Bournemouth. The store has been opened by Monika Theodoris, originally from Poland. Monika has been living in Bournemouth for the last 10 years.
Elite Living’s team got to know what makes Monika, and MONI Boutique, tick…
Monika, tell us a bit about how you came to reside in Bournemouth…
My brother first came to Bournemouth 15 years ago, and I came over a couple of years later.
How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
I started my journey in the fashion industry around the age of 16, supporting my sister in her boutique business in Poland. After coming to the UK, I spent several years working for various well-known high street retailers. As I have always had a keen interest in fashion, I spotted a gap in the market after hearing that many people were looking for fashion which is more unique and that stands out. As a result, Moni Boutique was born.
Take us through a day in your life as a fashion entrepreneur….
As a unique Boutique, I aim to bring fashion items to the UK which are not found anywhere else on the high street. From the research I have done, people want to stand out and are becoming less keen on the chain store fashion offerings. I spend a lot of time researching new trends and ensuring my items are completely unique which will bring an elegant, stylish yet fashionable look for shoppers.
One imagines that running a boutique has its challenges…?
Absolutely! Having unique items means that I need to bring a constant flow of new stock as the items I have are usually one off’s (up to 6pcs max) which are not repeated. It’s important to keep an eye out for what is coming and also meet the expectations of what shoppers are looking for. Additionally, given the current state of the high street, it’s impossible as an independent start up to be able to afford the high street rents and therefore, being just off the high street means shoppers need to know I am there, when they’re on their shopping trips in the town centre.
The boutique is based in Bournemouth’s Burlington Arcade. What are some of the fashion trends you’ve taken note of in town?
That’s an interesting question. It very much depends on the type of person. There seems to be want for classy but sexy outfits, but in addition, I’m hearing that shoppers want something different. My boutique offers both and with stock constantly changing, getting that next hot outfit is important to regular shoppers.
Are there certain pieces and accessories that are always in demand?
In general no. Elegant dresses which are suitable for a romantic dinner date, clubbing dresses and dresses for specific events such as weddings are very popular.
Do you think that clothes have the power to transform lives, like it’s often been said?
I think clothing is just one part that can transform someone’s life. Feeling good, positive and confident in yourself is half the battle. We hear so many people suffer with image conscience, which is often a psychological effect. Clothes have the power to assist in helping someone overcome that.
Who’s your target customer?
My ideal customer is anyone who is fed up of finding the same style outfits through traditional high street chains. Someone who takes pride in how they look but wants to stand out. Someone who may have struggled to find that next wow outfit and/or has had bad experiences with online shopping and someone who wants to visit a boutique, try items on (which is essential) and take their time to decide if an outfit is good for them. Having the guidance of myself to help them choose outfits that suit them, how the outfit should be worn, what to accessorize with it, and someone who I can build a personal relationship with and understand their needs/wants in their outfit style.
What would you say to other female entrepreneurs who are contemplating following in your footsteps?
Fashion is hard work and needs a lot of time and money. If you want to be successful, find your identity and stand out from others.
Do you have a favorite fashion era?
Not particularly. I tend to look more to the future.
What are some of your goals for the future of MONI Boutique?
My goals are to be known as the boutique to go to when you want to find that next wow outfit for your dinner date, to attend a wedding, a girl’s night out and so on – where it can be assured that my items are not found anywhere else on the high street. I’d like shoppers to be able to call/visit me and tell me what kind of outfit they need for what event and work with them to get the right outfit by adding that personal touch and making them feel special and appreciated.
Unit 4, Burlington Arcade
Old Christchurch Rd