More than just a student
As a full-time student working part-time, Chloe Fulton has a lot of her plate of commitments as she juggles studying, work shifts, and her social life. However, her busy schedule hasn’t stopped her from reaching her entrepreneurial goals.
Fulton has had a passion for fashion for years, and the ambitious 20-year-old launched an online clothing store called Bloom Boutique in October 2018. She ships clothing and jewelry locally and globally. It all started in 2012 when Fulton participated in a beauty pageant and placed as a finalist for Miss Teen Alberta which sent her to Toronto to compete in nationals. As one of the youngest girls competing, Fulton recalls that the pageant “inspired her sense of fashion.” She describes her style as “not over the top” and uses this as a benchmark when choosing clothes to sell on Bloom Boutique.
The online store has a variety of different pieces, all that are picked by Fulton herself with young women in mind with a selection of items ranging from outerwear to dresses.
Getting her start
It has been a successful learning process for Fulton who had done plenty of research in the early stages of development in her brand that started with finding a platform to sell on her clothes on. She sources the clothes from a distributor in B.C., after buying a cartful of items to ensure they were high quality, which has been important for Fulton from the beginning.
In an age where the majority of online stores seem to be resorting to drop shipping, which means the products is shipped directly from distributor to customer, Fulton decided to go a more personal route. She wanted to make sure she was offering her customers products that she can stand behind and know the quality she is offering.
“I want the clothes in my own hands before I sell them.”
Making her mark
For Fulton, the branding of bloom has a personal connection. One translation of her first name, Chloe, means “blooming.” It felt right to her and she ran with the idea, all while designing the logo herself. Fulton said, “In the beginning, marketing was everything.” She faced a challenge of driving people to her website initially, but has found that word of mouth and organic marketing is driving most of her sales.
Building her brand
This weekend, Fulton was a vendor at the Parkland Night & Day Market in Stony Plain. She didn’t know what to expect because she had never attended a market as a vendor. Fulton said, “It was a learning experience because now I know what to adjust for next time based on what I learned at the market.” It was an easy “yes” for Fulton when deciding to go to attend the market as a vendor. After seeing other similar events on Facebook, she said, “this one fell into my lap so I decided to go for it.”
Many people stopped to look and feel the clothes on the racks and check out the jewelry. She was happy with how many people were interested in the clothes and took a business card when passing by. While the demographic of this market may not have been Fulton’s targeted market, it was good exposure for her brand. The market goers were mostly mothers and their young daughters, and Fulton’s target market falls somewhere in between. But Fulton was pleased to get her brand in front of people in the community. “With online stores, you need to get that exposure,” Fulton mentioned.
There were a few customers who recognized the jewelry that is sold on Bloom Boutique from an Albertan brand Alora Boutique based out of Calgary. Pricing varies on different products but is incredibly reasonable. Canadian customers can receive free shipping on orders over $150.
Fulton was busy behind her booth, but the rest of the market was bustling with other vendors selling handmade soap, skincare products, leggings, and kitchen essentials which gave the market a good variety for customers. She is looking forward to attending more events similar to this weekend’s market.
Upon realizing that she cannot have a booth at Farmers’ Markets because vendors must hand-make the products, one of Fulton’s friends suggest maybe she should start something new for local business with online stores. This has sparked her curiosity and Fulton has started looking into the local opportunities that are available.
Fulton is looking forward to expanding her brand awareness in the Edmonton area and stays active on social media. You can get 15% off your first order when you use the code FIRST15.
Support local Young Entrepreneurs in Edmonton and check out what you can purchase from Bloom Boutique.