The Lovely Mai from Ruche ~ Her Blog! All fashion photography by Stephanie Williams
Good morning. :) I'm sorry I went MIA on you yesterday. It's just been a crazy couple of weeks! I'm really excited this morning and feel so fortunate to be posting an interview with the lovely Mai from the online women's fashion boutique, RUCHE. I'm surprised I haven't thought of interviewing Mai before since we collaberate on an "Item of the Week" each week (see the "item of the week button to your left). Mai has been so great to work with and is such a genuine and sweet person. I think you'll really enjoy her interview. O.k., here goes!
All Images from the Ruche Fall Lookbook
Have you always loved fashion and design?
I've always loved drawing, arts and crafts ever since I was a little kid. I was a very simple kind of girl and fashion wasn't really a big deal to me. Honestly, I wasn't very much into fashion until I got much older. My favorite places to shop in high school and college were vintage shops. I've always wanted to find unique things that no one else had but my sense of style wasn't too great back then. As I grew older, my fashion style grew to be exactly how Ruche turned out to be.
When/how did you come up with the idea of an online boutique?
My dream was to start my own business because I didn't LOVE my career as a computer programmer. I couldn't see myself sitting in front of a computer for the rest of my life..it just wasn't ME. After years of selling on ebay, I felt that there was a need for a shop like Ruche. I finally launched Ruche in July 2008. I felt that ladies needed a store that could make them feel feminine but the most important thing is that they don't have to spend a whole lot of money. I could charge an arm and leg for a dress, but its not all about making money; its about sharing something that I love and seeing how happy customers are when they enjoy my finds. I know what it is like to work hard for your money and how great it feels to get a good deal. I wanted to give ladies a unique selection of clothing and jewelry that they can't find at their local stores, just so they can stand out in a crowd. I know I'm successful when you get your first compliment on your item from Ruche, whether it be a dress, a pair of shoes, or even something small like a ring. I LOVE customer feedback so please send them my way! Every time I get one, it gives me motivation to keep Ruche growing.
What is your greatest challenge having your own successful shop?
The greatest challenge is time. It seems like there is never enough time in a day! There are many challenges along the way and I learn something new almost every day. The hardest part for me was to balance Ruche and my full time job. There were times when I just couldn't do it anymore and almost gave up because I was so exhausted, but with a little encouragement and lots of help from the hubby, I kept on pulling through. I now happily run Ruche full time, but time is still a challenge. There is still so much work to be done and I struggle to balance work and fun.
Do you have a favorite fashion designer?
Honestly, I don't really have a favorite designer. I just like to pick and choose certain pieces from different designers. I keep up with the recent trends, but I don't always play the rules. I get most of my inspiration from fashion & design bloggers. When I shop for Ruche, I just get whatever I like!
What are three things you would like readers to know about you?
- I find it difficult to name items sometimes...my husband comes up with a lot of the names! haha =D
- I love to eat.
- I believe that if you have dream or a goal and you work REALLY hard at it, anything is possible! You just have to WANT it!
Thanks for the wonderful and inspiring interview, Mai. :)