Standing-out on NYC-retail scene is no easy feat, but Saada has managed to succeed in distinguishing itself thanks to a well-curated selection of women’s fashions and accessories. I had the chance to chat with Mina Ferguson, the owner of Saada (which means happiness in Arabic), about her boutique, its success, and what’s next.
Q: How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
A: I had worked for a boutique in Manhattan, earning experience and learning the business from a salesperson’s point of view.
Q: What inspired you to open your own boutique?
A: The store I worked for was very successful at the time. I gained lots of retail experience and I said to my husband, ‘Why can’t we do our own thing?’ So we did research and took a chance.
Q: How would you describe your boutique?
A: Affordable, fun, unique, addictive…
Q: How did you pick the location?
A: Being on a corner was quite important to me. I did the research and stores on the corner have a success rate of 80%. When we first opened, there weren’t much going on east of 3rd Avenue but we knew it was an up and coming neighborhood. When I found out that The Sports Club L.A. was coming to the block, I knew I couldn’t pass up the deal.
Q: How would you describe your clientele?
A: We have all ages ranging anywhere from moms & babies, teens, working girls, designers, socialites, celebrities.
Q: What do you look for when you are picking items for your store?
A: I try to stay away from basics. Who wants to look like everyone else? This is the question I ask myself when I’m doubting a certain style.
Q: You stock a lot of great, below the radar designers. How do you discover all these great finds?
A: Traveling. Attending every show.
Q: Do you have any go-to designers that you always stock?
A: There are several designers that I can always rely on. One of our favorite is Kanvas.
Q: How often do you get in new merchandise?
A: Weekly. Something new is always coming in. A few of our regulars call us everyday to make sure they didn’t miss out on anything, because we do sell out very fast.
Q: You seem to know your clients very well. Have you every thought of offering personal shopping services?
A: Sure. If you know of anyone who needs the service, please contact me or any of our stylists at the store!
Q: What do you think about online shopping versus shopping in a boutique? Would you ever consider selling some pieces online?
A: We used to have e-commerce. However, our sales were much stronger at the store so we decided to just concentrate on that.
Q: Your boutique has enjoyed great success – any future aspirations? Plans to expand?
A: We are looking to open several other locations, east and west coast.
Saada is located at 1159 Second Ave., New York, at 61st Street.