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Industry + Insights / August 14, 2019 / Mary Zubritsky
Shop & Chat with Chic @ the Beach
Hey, beach babes! Even though you’re off catching some rays on vacay, you can still go luxe vintage shopping too. With over 600 designer resale partnerships worldwide, you can bet your bikini bottom LePrix’s got a boutique partner that’s under—or over—the boardwalk. Oh, and leave the metal detector at home…our version of treasure hunting doesn’t require getting sandy or toting heavy metal equipment that’ll ruin your mani/pedi. Well, it’s already August so that means summer’s almost over (sigh), but before we dish out pumpkin-spiced basic-ness and fall fashion tips, we wanted to dip our toes—and our credit cards—into a beachy boutique in Bethany Beach, Delaware called Chic @ the Beach. So, everybody say “surf’s up” to Ellen Didion, owner of Chic @ the (Bethany) Beach and its big sister boutique, Chic to Chic in Gaithersburg, MD. But first, a quick backstory: Ellen Didion, a former New York men’s fashion buyer turned high-end resale boutique owner founded Chic to Chic in Gaithersburg, MD just two weeks after graduating college. Now, over two decades later, she has not only built a name for herself, but also a fashion destination for treasure hunters. Chic to Chic has a fantastic, curated collection of pre-owned designer favorites, including Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. And following in the footsteps of her fabulously successful boutique, she ventured out to Bethany to open up Chic @ the Beach! Hi, Ellen! Thank you taking the time to chat with me! Can you tell me a little bit about your store? Chic @ the Beach is a mini, expertly curated boutique located in beautiful Bethany Beach, Delaware. It compliments my main shop, the Chic to Chic boutique in Gaithersburg, Maryland, that I’ve been running for over 22 years! It’s set up more like a living room so guests can come in, shop, sit down, relax, have a glass of champagne, take a "chic peek" at what we're featuring, peruse and shop from our online boutique…and just make themselves at home. If they see something they like in my other boutique, I’ll either bring it to Bethany next time or we’ll ship it directly to their house. Since there’s no sales tax in Delaware, that makes it all the more attractive for shoppers who are considering a big-ticket item like a handbag or piece of jewelry. Why Bethany? My husband and I purchased a small home here in Bethany Beach about two years ago and I started bringing some of our designer handbags down here for our VIPs in the area. I found that I was bringing a lot of merchandise to the beach to deliver and I thought...maybe we should just open up shop. We also needed a cool location to film more of our LIVE social media posts while at the beach and an excuse to spend more time at the beach, so that planted the seed of opening a little satellite location in Bethany. Nothing better than Chic Girls bringing a little extra Chic-ness to the beach! We have a special cell number for Chic @ The Beach, and encourage all our customers to call or text if they'd like to schedule a time to pop by and shop. Several times a month we host a Chic Champagne & Deck party, so customers can pop by right off the beach—like a no-shower happy houror stop by before you head out to dinner with your family and friends. This is a very popular vacation resort area. Located directly on Coastal Hwy (Rt. 1) we are in a tiny little shopping center with a law firm and a realty office on either side of us. Both close early and we have the whole deck and FREE parking. What are the most popular brands or items your store offers? We often joke and say we focus on the 3L’s here at the beach: Louis Vuitton, Lilly Pulitzer, & Lululemon. They're in HUGE demand at this location. We also have some fine jewelry, Chanel and Gucci accessories, and other goodies. Typically I work at my main Chic to Chic location during the week, and then on the weekends I load up my SUV and bring down tons of new arrivals and special requests to Chic @ the Beach. We also have VIP’s who live locally during peak season, and elsewhere during the off-season, so they'll swing by to consign some of their super sought-after treasures (such as limited-edition Louis Vuitton and Chanel bags, and designer fine jewelry). How did you get started in the designer consignment business? I grew up in Queens, New York and was exposed to fashion at a very young age, in fact, my earliest childhood memories involve it! So, of course I went into the fashion industry. After working at a men’s clothing company for 17 years, I finally decided to get my Bachelor’s degree in Business...and that lead me to the designer resale industry. Why do you love designer consignment or vintage shopping? Many of our VIPs love the thrill of the hunt, plus they LOVE the idea of picking up a special treasure while on vacation that they'll adore long after the trip is over. Not to mention that there are no calories involved in shopping—in fact you're more likely to burn a few! In our FABULOUS Chic World, we are either making money for our VIPs or saving money for our VIPs—and we're minimizing the carbon footprint on our planet! Sustainability is key and it's such a win-win! What's your authentication process like? I've invested in Entrupy, which is the world's first online, on-demand authentication system and that adds an extra layer of protection. Also, whenever new shoppers visit my store, I tell them about Chic to Chic and that I’ve been in business for over 22 years and it makes them feel more comfortable and trusting when it comes to purchasing a luxury designer item. Anything you'd like to add? With the help of my spectacular Chic Girl team, I continue to fulfill my dreams every day, I absolutely LOVE what I do, and I welcome everyone into our AMAZINGLY Chic World! To shop all Chic to Chic and Chic @ the Beach items at LePrix, just click here!
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