Name: Kelly Shatat / Current Company: Moon and Lola / Title: Founder and CEO / Years in Business: 12 / Education: BS in Pharmacy from UNC
What was your first job after college? Pharmaceutical Sales Rep – it taught me the importance of building relationships with your customer!
What was the process of developing the first Moon and Lola product? I was playing around with jewelry in my house after visiting a bead store. I was really looking for a creative outlet to express myself in since I worked in such a serious environment with pharmacy. I always try to follow my gut and design what I feel will be pretty and marketable. Pearls with ribbon was one of my first products and was a huge success!
You named Moon and Lola after you and your best friend from college. Will you explain those names and what it means for your business? My best friend Avis, aka Moon, really inspired and pushed me to do it. I am thankful for her everyday! I don’t ever really go the easy route, so when selling at my first show I knew I had to have a “brand”. I made pink jewelry tags, created a logo from an old stamp, and decided to call it Moon and Lola (Mine and Avis’ pretend names in college.)
The name Moon and Lola really is a story of friendship and is a happy reminder to stay light-hearted with my busines!
How do you decide on a city to open a new brick and mortar store? Raleigh was the birthplace of Moon and Lola so I wanted our flagship to be there. It felt like it was a representation of our brand and Moon and Lola’s roots.
Charleston was voted number 1 place to visit in the US by CondeNast the year I decided to open on King Street. I wanted people to see a live billboard, learn our story and take it back to their hometown all around the country.
Apex made sense to us mostly because we make everything right above our shop. It’s great that our studio team can just run downstairs and see the store, re-merchandise, or connect with customers. It’s such different experience to be in the store and helps us to remember the reason we all do this – to make our customer happy!
Cameron Village was where a lot of our customers loved to shop. We thought it would be great to have a location in such a great destination shopping location.
Southpoint was such a great experience. We were presented the opportunity to do a pop-up store during the best time of year in a wonderful location inside the mall. We’re right across from J. Crew! We painted it white and moved right in!
Do you have any plans to open more? I’m currently not planning to open another one anytime soon but if the right opportunity, in the right place, at the right time presents itself I just can’t say no!
All of your stores and images tend to follow the same look, lots of white with pops of vibrant color and modern design. How do you keep brand consistency amongst your different platforms (storefront, Instagram, website)? I have a wonderful creative team and e-commerce team. I have a strong vision and can trust them with making sure it is translated to our stores, website, and social platforms. The creative team helps bring my visions to life with photography and visuals and the e-commerce team implements them online!
How do you decide which brands to collaborate and partner with in order to maintain brand consistency? They are usually industry friends that I truly love and admire what they do. It has to be on brand before we even entertain the idea though. Staying on brand and building synergy through both brands coming together can really help elevate a product and help build brand awareness.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to also open a storefront, as well as, sell online? Be prepared to do it all! When opening a store, it’s the face of your brand. When people come in they get a feeling, a smell, a sound, and experience that all relates to how they feel about you and your brand. Little details make a big difference so don’t let them go unnoticed.
What goals for your brand can we expect to see from you in the future? I really want Moon and Lola to be a household name that people recognize as a lifestyle brand. I hope to expand into other markets such a stationary, apparel, and so much more! But my main goal is to always make people feel happy from our products.
Currently shopping for: quirky and fun iPhone covers (my most recent one is a case that looks like a Moschino bag)
Currently reading: Blogs and Magazine – literally have not thrown away a single magazine I have ever purchased!
Currently dreaming of: The Raleigh Hotel in Miami South beach – my most favorite escape on earth.
Currently eating: Peanut Butter on Apples – yum!