Warehouse Collective offers hot fashion deals in cool pop-up sale in Nashville – The Tennessean

When I heard about a new local pop-up sale described as "an organized treasure hunt of designer clothes and accessories at huge discounts," I was sold.  

Warehouse Collective "is like a local — and cooler — version of a Marshall's, where they get excess inventory and mark it way down during their warehouse sales," the friend-of-a-friend who told me about the pop-up said.

Warehouse Collective organizers Allison Taylor and Kathleen Hoefflin plan to have more than 6,000 pieces of inventory from about 30 boutiques, designers and manufacturers at discounts ranging from 50-90% off  at their first Boutique Collective sale this week.

"We call it a warehouse sale, but this is not a hot, steamy warehouse. The location is a really wonderful new wedding and events venue. Shoppers will love it," Taylor said. The Boutique Collective will be held at 14TENN, located at 1410 51st Ave. N. in the Nations, Thursday and Friday.

Warehouse Collective concept

The concept is very creative, with Taylor and Hoefflin offering smaller retailers and wholesalers a lucrative outlet for surplus products in an upscale setting, where they share in the proceeds but are not invested in the product.

"Every retail business has an inventory problem (whether big or small), and there are so many consumers who would love to get their hands on the product," Hoefflin said, adding that it is very expensive for retailers to hold onto excess inventory that is not selling.

"This really helps retailers to have a new revenue stream while getting the product in the right (shoppers') hands," she said. 

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"People like to shop this way," Taylor said. "They like the experience, they enjoy having an event around it. Our customers are fashion-forward individuals who love a fun shopping experience and the bragging rights around finding a great deal. It is exciting, and you are saving money."   

Taylor and Hoefflin, both 34, work with a financial split between Warehouse Collective and the boutique or manufacturer with the goods. The arrangement is similar to consignment, in that Taylor and Hoefflin do not buy any merchandise. Instead, they accept the inventory on a 50/50 split and whatever does not sell is either returned, donated or stored. 

Warehouse Collective offers hot fashion deals in cool pop-up sale in Nashville - The Tennessean

Unlike consignment though, everything in this sale is new. Nothing is used, Hoefflin emphasized.  

There are multiples of some items, while others are one of a kind. Most of the sale tags have the original price along with the sale price. Sales tax is not included. 

High-end product

With the heavy discounts on designer pieces, the prices could be almost as low as what you might see in nationwide discount stores.  

"It is not cheap product, but the price range is $10 to $400 for things that the original retail would have been $65 to $750," Taylor said.  "Everything is at least 50% off." 

She said the product is overstock, end of season, discontinued and off-price.

While the merchandise is largely what would be categorized "fashion-forward," Taylor insists all ages and tastes will find items they would like.

"Our target market is every woman, everyone from a college student to women in their 60s, and the sizes range from xx-small to 28," Taylor said. "There is a nice line of plus." 

Brands and pricing

The sale will include 35 racks and 20 farm tables loaded with merchandise, some of which is provided by the brands themselves, like Milly, Tuckernuck, Alice and Olivia, Rebecca Taylor, Tory Burch, Vince, Mumu and Free People.

Other merchandise comes from boutiques, including Hemline, Elle Birmingham, Manhattan South, Nashboro, My Style Scoop and others that preferred anonymity.   

The 6,000 pieces of women's clothing and accessories includes $25,000 worth of Sapahn handbags, wallets, clutches, totes and cross-bodies priced between $25 and $250. Suggested retail would have been $50 to $600.

Warehouse Collective offers hot fashion deals in cool pop-up sale in Nashville - The Tennessean

There is a lot of jewelry (brands include Lele Sadoughi and Mignonne Gavigan), lingerie including bra-lettes and camis, upscale holiday wear, scarves, shoes, denim and plenty of apparel. 

I saw a $795 Milly skirt priced at $295 and a $318 dress for $170.

There is "lots of jewelry under $20, as well as basics like bralettes, camis and headbands. We also have several tops and casual tees at this price point, and we have a ton of product under $50, including rompers, pants, blouses, dresses, etc.," Taylor said. 

How the sale works

Admission to the sale is ticketed. A Thursday night $15 ticket includes wine, cocktails and shopping from 5-8 p.m. The Friday sale, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., has a $5 ticket. There is also a Friday happy hour with extra discounts after 2 p.m. and a happy hour bar from 5-7 p.m.

Warehouse Collective offers hot fashion deals in cool pop-up sale in Nashville - The Tennessean

The organizers also plan a Kids Collective sale of children's clothing and accessories in October or November and a Formal Collective in early 2020 in time for prom and party season. They also hope to have an Influencers Collective, which is more of a consignment sale that would feature items from trendsetters' closets.     

Payment methods include credit cards, cash and checks, and there is a $3 service fee on credit card purchases. 

Purchase tickets at: www.eventbrite.com/e/the-boutique-collective-tickets-62893161138.

Testing the concept

To test their concept, Hoefflin and Taylor held a four-hour sale in January with about 300 pieces leftover from Taylor's shop.

The sale was in the basement of Taylor's Green Hills-area home, and they got the word out via a neighborhood listserv and Facebook.

More than 60 shoppers showed up.

"It was crazy that that many people wanted to come to some random lady's basement to shop. But people really like a deal. The demand was definitely there of people wanting this kind of merchandise. We had a great response and now vendors are coming to us."

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A little background 

Warehouse Collective owners Kathleen Hoefflin and Allison Taylor were both Bella Bridesmaids franchise owners — Taylor's in Green Hills and Hoefflin's in Indianapolis.

Both bought their franchises in 2013. They met at bridal markets and found they had some of the same strengths and many of the same challenges in their businesses. 

Their paths aligned after they each sold their franchises in 2018 to concentrate on their young families, and Hoefflin and her husband moved to Nashville for his job. 

"This idea really came out of the challenges we had faced in retail. Everyone has an inventory problem and offloading excess merchandise is a challenge," Taylor said. 

"So many of our pain points were shared," said Hoefflin, who said that they started contacting local and regional boutiques, manufacturers, heads of showrooms and designers offering to help them sell their overstocks. 

Although Taylor and Hoefflin are seasoned retailers, their husbands, David Taylor, "tech extraordinaire," and Eric Hoefflin, a CPA, have been offering invaluable expertise and services to the "collective" startup. 

Details: thewarehousecollective.com

Reach Ms. Cheap at 615-259-8282 or [email protected] Follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/mscheap, and at Tennessean.com/mscheap, and on Twitter @Ms_Cheap, and catch her every Thursday at 11 a.m. on WTVF-Channel 5’s “Talk of the Town.”

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