Julie Kennedy, Sisters on London

This boutique sits in the heart of central Hamilton and is committed to bringing high quality and fashion-forward designs to the residents of the Bay of Plenty region. After over a decade of service to the fashion industry, owner-operator Julie Kennedy is preparing to sell the establishment, presenting a prime opportunity for someone looking to begin or expand their career in fashion retail.

Kennedy expressed that it is Sisters on London’s extensive variety which makes them such a successful boutique. They mix entry-level brands, which provide transferable everyday items, with high-end luxury brands. “Having the prices vary between some designers allows us to cater to a wider market, and for many different occasions,” she explained. It is not just the price point which varies between the brands, but their overall aesthetic. “Sisters on London has a solid representation of brands, making the boutique stand out and become a destination experience,” shared Kennedy. With Australian and New Zealand brands including Karen Walker, The Wolf Gang, Zypher and LA Tribe there is a great variety of aesthetics on offer with the boutique.  A uniqueness and ability to stand out in the market is what links these brands together and is a key feature of the store. “A point of difference is what stands out for us, something we haven’t seen before within our current stock list of designers. We want to excite our customers with a new brand,” divulged Kennedy.  This point of difference allows the boutique to diversify their market, making them accessible to a variety of women. “It is good to have a variety for your customers and not get too channelled into one look, what I may like might not be what someone with a totally different body shape or age may like, so I am always thinking of all customers.” The retail outlet has managed to ride the wave between offering a point of difference with each of their selected brands and ensuring that they keep their target market in mind. This can be a difficult act to balance. Kennedy ensures that she asks the right questions while curating this portfolio of designers, as brands should sit well alongside one another but without doubling up. “They need to tie in together to a point, as stocking vastly different brands causes your target market might be too wide,” she emphasised.

Throughout Kennedy’s decade of experience with the boutique, she cited many changes within the industry, and she expressed her strong belief in its future. “I feel the industry has become a lot stronger, particularly with the rise of social media outlets and influencers. It has become such a fast-paced industry with online shopping and payment companies like Afterpay making items much more accessible.” This boutique oozes with potential for any new buyer and Kennedy is confident that new brands and ownership will see the store thrive after she is gone. “The establishment has so much potential to grow, and having new brands added to the designer list would be great for Hamilton. I would love to see someone with energy and fresh new ideas come in and take it that step further.”