For the woman who is busy with their social, professional or family life there is Want Boutique, the boutique who’s customer ranges from a mother shopping with her teenage daughter to the 20-something year old whose just beginning her career and the 65-year-old woman who’s still young at heart.
For those who haven’t heard of Want, the boutique was launched by Pari Davis in 1998, who started her career as a personal shopper and decided to expand into a storefront to extend her expertise to a grander scale of women. We got to sit down with Davis, to talk a bit about her entrepreneurial spirit, the team behind the boutiques and what inspires her.
Today the boutique has three locations; Avenue Road, Richmond Hill & Oakville and offers everything from basic tee shirts to formal gowns. The concept of Want, was that it was to offer a boutiquey feel, unique, “wow” pieces and housed every category of clothing, minus the pretentiousness that some boutiques exude, “When you’re asking somebody to leave the comfort of their own home and come into yours, you need to make them feel extremely comfortable. [The store] is very warm, friendly and accommodating. If someone’s going on a Starbucks run, they’ll yell into the change rooms to ask if anyone else wants anything. If you need more money put in to your parking meter, we’ll run out and put it in for you, that’s just the type of store we are.”
Hospitality and service are what Want has been built on. It is the understanding of a real woman’s needs that has made the boutique so successful, “I’m more inspired by our clients and their lifestyles, I don’t pick brands because they’re a celebrity brand, I pick them because I think they’re a good piece and a good fit for our shoppers.” And with over 120 brands including Wildfox, J Brand, Nicole Miller, Rich & Skinny and more, we can see why new and returning customers want to shop there. “I still have pictures of my clients on my desk and I look at them and see them as my muse, my celebrities.” A personal shopping philosophy that is still applied to all customers is for the employees to give them the utmost attention, to learn their lifestyles and who they are. That way, employees are able to pull the room for individual customers in order to provide what works best for them. They also provide services online, through their “Ask a Stylist” section of their website. “As a personal shopper, I was asked so many questions and I don’t know why, most women are embarrassed to ask questions – I thought it was a really good way for women to go out there and ask what do I do? I just wanted these women to get the proper attention.”
Aside from a killer brand list, Davis’ entrepreneurial spirit and personal shopping philosophies, she’s got a killer support staff to help bring customer’s everything they want. “I don’t have a crystal ball and I’m not the be all end all. I don’t know everything but I have some amazing people that work with me. I like to collaborate with my employees. [The secret to an awesome team is to] have great people, you need to be surrounded with people that are smarter than yourself.”
So what’s next for Want Boutique? “It’s a secret. We have a few coals in the fire that we’re going to keep under wraps, but there will absolutely be more stores in the future.”