What’s the name of your shop, your name, and your role?
Winky Boo (www.winkyboo.com)
Amy Fiedler and I’m the president/owner, creative director & designer of all things Winky Boo. I own & operate everything myself.
Where did the name Winky Boo come from? And the monkey with wings logo?
Winky Boo derived from nicknames my late grandfather had given me and my siblings. I wanted a name that was meaningful and a name I could develop into an entire brand. Winky was a nickname my grandfather gave my sister because she played a flying monkey in the Wizard of Oz play at school. Boo came from “Boo Boo” which was my brother’s nickname that stood for Yogi Bear’s little bear sidekick. My nickname was Princess being that I never left the house without being all dressed up with my jewelry and tiara on my head. The logo is a 1/2 flying monkey, 1/2 bear wearing a tiara!!
I see that you had your two year anniversary in August. How exciting is that?
It’s very exciting that we just celebrated our 2nd Anniversary! I can’t believe how far I’ve come and been able to build this brand and the following I’ve developed and I look forward to what the future holds for Winky Boo.
I also noticed this on the blog: “Chase & Living Social’s Mission: Small Business contest for us to qualify for a chance to win a $250k small business grant.” Has anything come of that?
Unfortunately we were not selected as one of the 12 winners of the grant but we got through the qualifying round to advance to have the judges consider us for the grant which was a huge accomplishment in itself.
Can you explain to me the phenomenon of a Lookbook? Is it simply capturing your product on good looking people in an active photo shoot as opposed to a more staid studio session?
The whole principle and theory behind a lookbook is to show your clothing in lifestyle shots. Meaning, show your clothing being worn by people doing everyday, normal activities. It’s to help your customers and audience relate to your brand and then the clothing and think “oh look, she’s wearing it to the beach, I can wear that to the beach, let me buy one”. Not every brand does lookbook shots but the majority do and it’s great for advertising and promotion and branding. Sometimes the lookbook shots alone can make a sale for you because they’re that good.Editor’s note: Went to check out the Lookbook after Amy’s explanation and found this…”she’s wearing a tiny bikini to chop wood…I’m going to chop wood in a tiny bikini too.” Nonetheless, that’s a fun shot.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
Born and raised in New Jersey – still residing there!
Do you have a bricks and mortar store?
No we do not have a brick and mortar store – yet. I’d like to open one down the road in a year or two but we’ll see how the economy goes. We are currently in retail locations though which you can locate the stores on our website in the Retailer section. We’re also always looking for more locations to develop relationships with and welcome any suggestions or contact information our way.
What was the inspiration for launching this business?
I was working as a stylist assistant in NYC after I graduated college and had an incredible experience. Got to work with tons of great people and celebrities and the boss’s I had were amazing, but what really weighed heavy was the commute into the city from where I live. As much as I loved what I was doing, it got exhausting to commute and then run around from 8am until sometimes 1-2am, get a few hours of sleep and get up and drive back in. I decided with all my love for fashion from when I was very small until now and all my experience in front of and behind the camera, I’m going to use it to my advantage and create my own clothing brand.
What differentiates your shop from all the others on the Internet?
I think what really differentiates Winky Boo from the rest of independent clothing companies is that Winky Boo IS a brand. I’ve been saying this since I launched, every time I’m asked this question and that’s that I really made sure my branding was spot-on. I didn’t just pick a random word or name for my brand – I made it meaningful to not only myself but something that could relate to others. Everyone has or have had a grandfather in their lives – or someone who’s acted as a grandfather figure. My relationship with my grandfather was a very special one – we were very close and I loved his spirit for life. Everyone has memories; past, present and future – good and bad. Everyone has dreams and goals. Winky Boo’s tagline is, “designs for those who haven’t forgotten what being imaginative is all about.” or “Got Imagination?”. When we’re young the world seems so innocent and wondrous. I’m a kid at heart and that’s what this brand is. It brings out the kid in you. The smallest most simplest things when you’re little can bring you joy and yet for some can bring you sadness. Our designs make you wonder, make you think, make you dream. Our designs and clothing all correlate to our brand. Everything from our photoshoots, to our selections of clothing styles and color to our designs to even the way we promote our brand is all correlated to our brand. I think a lot of clothing companies out today think they can just pick a cool word, say it’s a lifestyle and have someone make some cool artwork to put on t-shirts and think they’re going to be a huge hit. Unfortunately that may be for a short while and then with lack of branding, as many other clothing companies have had to do; shut down and re-brand their entire label – wait a year and re-launch and start over. This is obviously something I’m passionate about but I think when starting a clothing company you need to really plan and think and learn patience. I took an entire year to plan, design and build what is now Winky Boo before I even launched.
Business is really good these days. We haven’t been as quick as I’d like in the last 2 months getting out new designs because we’ve run into some printing snags but in the coming months I plan on launching an entire Fall/Winter CASUAL Collection which I’ve had in the works since last year and I’m really excited about.
How important is social media to your business?
Social media is crucial to a business like mine – being that it’s online. It’s not the only form of promotion and advertising I use or feel is important but it definitely can reach a broader audience more easily then any other way. I make sure to keep all our social media outlets up to date daily from our Facebook to our Twitter to our blog.
What’s the weirdest picture of someone wearing one of your tees that you have seen? And/or have you run into a stranger out in the wild wearing one of your products? And/or celebrity sightings?
I’ve received or found a ton of strange photos of people wearing our shirts online. I think the weirdest one to date which being an animal lover I don’t find that weird, but definitely it caught me off guard, was someone put the tee they ordered on their dog and took a photo. Funny enough, it fit the dog pretty well cept I hope they took it off before the dog had to pee, just saying!
What type of person is a prime candidate to be a customer of Winky Boo?
Really anyone, anyone at all who has an imagination and a sense of humor! Our customers range in age from 6 to 60 years old. We’re able to reach such a broad spectrum with our branding!!
Where do you get your shirt designs? What’s the type of aesthetic you’re shooting for?
A good friend of mine worked with me before we launched and we collaborated on ideas and colors, since that initial launch I’ve done most of the design work myself. The aesthetic varies based on what style I’m going for. We’ve had some crazy artistic illustrations and then we’ve done some typography stuff. The key is that they all have a meaning.
Where do you see your business in a year?
I see business growing and expanding. I see lots more clothing and designs and hopefully I can hire some employees and get a little help around here lol.
What’s your favorite shirt design currently?
I have a lot of favorites but my favorite to date has to been our A Life In Progress series which was the first typography designs we produced and was one of our all time best sellers to date.
What sells more men or women’s apparel?
Surprisingly men’s apparel sells more. Being that I’m a girl, I want to put out clothing that I would wear and I like but for the men’s I put out what I like to see on a man. I can’t explain why we get more male shoppers over women at the moment but it is what it is.
What types of items sell best in your store? I see that you offer tees, swimwear, hats, cell phone skins, totes.
The t-shirts sell the best followed by the hats. Swimwear and totes are tied in for second.
Is the world going to end this year?
Nope, wasn’t it supposed to end last year too? We’re going to be around for a while, the world’s not going to end for a very long time – I still have a lot of things I need to accomplish!!
Anything else you want to add?
We’ve had a sale happening and it ends this Friday. Item’s are discounted as low as $4.00. Use code “TWO” at checkout for Free Shipping worldwide!! (shameless plug)
Where can people find you?
We are also on Pinterest and Youtube and a slew of other sites that you can find links to on our Facebook page!!