If you are out and about in the DC area you might be looking for some unique places to shop. One place worth hitting up is the Fornash boutique located in the Ballston Commons Mall in Arlington, Virginia. Inside you will find a variety of preppy jewelry in a variety of coordinating sets in bright colors. You also can place an order for a custom monogrammed piece if you would like something truly unique.
Fornash was started by Jackie Fornash Kennedy as custom handbag boutique located in the Georgetown Mall. The Fornash business began around 11 years ago. Customers would place orders for the handbags they wanted to create.
Stephanie began to build her business from the profits of these bags and later switched to selling costume jewelry since it was affordable and people were more likely to purchase these smaller items due to their lower price point and ability for higher markup. Her current collections feature a variety of enamel pieces, bangles, beaded statement necklaces, oversized stud earrings and more delicate necklaces with charms. Bracelets, charms, necklaces and a variety of other items can be monogrammed using the vinyl machine the company currently owns. Many of the items sold are featured in the companies signature colors of orange, robbins egg blue and white and a few pieces feature the signature spade from the Fornash logo
We asked Stephanie how she was able to expand her company to reach consumers located in other areas. She did this a a few ways. She launched a website which enabled her to sell her pieces to consumers across the United States without having to open up additional store locations. She also sells her items at wholesale prices to other boutiques so that her items can be featured in other stores without her having to pay rent, hire additional staff and worry about managing multiple locations. Buyers from other boutiques purchase her products either through the online wholesale section of her site or at the various trade shows her company attends throughout the United States. At one of the trade shows, called Accessories the Show in New York one year Oprah purchased her Boa scarf and Gecko bangle and featured these items on her ‘O list’ which attracted massive consumer attention to these products and served as great advertising for the Fornash brand.
As Stephanie added more products and trade shows to her agenda she eventually hired a small staff to help manage part of her wholesale, retail, web and production aspects of her business to help spread the workload as it soon became an impossible job for just one person. Fornash is constantly bringing in new inventory and all of this inventory is stored in a large room behind the retail location. Counting, packaging, shipping and ordering of new merchandise must be done on a regular basis.
Another aspect that has attracted consumer attention to the Fornash brand is social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram and various blogs all serve a large purpose in reaching the young consumers in todays world. Giveaways are done once a week through Facebook, new product updates through Instagram, sales and specials through Twitter and blog mention and featured fornash products through Pintrest. Various bloggers that mention the Fornash brand also serve as a great way to advertise new or popular products.
Overall Fornash is a boutique worth checking out if your looking for a fun accesory to go with an outfit or for a unique gift for a friend. With such a wide variety of styles and colors there truely is something there for everyone. The bright colors featured on many of the products are also perfect for spring!
Heres a few must have Fornash pieces for your wardrobe.