Fayetteville's Btiques: Hitting Its Creative Stride

by Mark Carter  on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 12:00 am  

The Btiques staff poses for a group shot before a recent event on the Fayetteville square.  (Photo by Beth Hall)

Arkansas has been a wonderful area to start our business, and we look forward to continuing our growth in-state while we also begin selectively acquiring customers throughout the country.

Describe the startup environment in northwest Arkansas right now.

We would say that it is electric, and we love continuing to meet and collaborate with others who are interested in this space, because trying to pull this off in a silo would never work. You have to get out there and get involved.

Is there anybody else out there doing what Btiques does?  

While our platforms and marketplace positioning are not the same, our nearest competitor would probably be Snapette, which helps drive shoppers to enter the doors of local stores.

They were recently acquired once they conveyed that shoppers want the option to get access to the products without always having to visit the brick-and-mortar. So while this part of their model is not yet built, it is great validation for us that we are on the right track, having launched a full back-end and mobile platform as our first move.  

We put access to unique boutique products right in the shoppers’ hands, and highlight the beauty of the boutique community along the way. For example, be sure to check out our most recent blog post on Maude Boutique owner Becca Brisiel at Insider.btiques.com.

Obviously, your market seems to be geared toward women. Has there been any effort to reach out to men, or could you expand it to include men’s stores?

We love our male shoppers, and the females who shop for them. Currently, we are running digital strategy tests with a company out of Las Vegas called SmashMetrics.

One of our two testing platforms is highlighting the affordable men’s collections from both Brits & Turks and The Mustache, which are two of our customers located here in Fayetteville.

Did you have any technical expertise before you launched Btiques, and how did Innovate Arkansas help?

As rare non-technical co-founders, a mixed group of IA and Gravity Venture Fund members led us to meet and collaborate with the very talented team at RevUnit [another IA client firm] to build and launch our product. While we grow our internal team, we continue to work with RevUnit on a daily basis, both on platform strategy and development, as well as RevUnit’s Michael Paladino being assigned acting CTO of Btiques.  

Therefore, we know that creating a great environment, sharing the passion for our vision and motivating greatness is critical for continuing to recruit top technical and creative talent to join us.  

 

 

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