Archive for December, 2010

happy new year.

Photography & Concept by The Talented Mrs. Vasil

talk to the handsome

Hat / Oeuf

Shirt / Estella

Sweatshirt / American Apparel

Photographed by Rohner Segnitz

snowhere

Jacket / Rebel Active

Pants / Polarn O. Pyret

Boots / Sorel

Hat / Columbia

Scarf / Hand Knit

merry christmas

Hat / Santa’s Own

social graces

My name is Julia Samersova-Adler, and I love me a flash sale site!

One of our favorite sites to indulge (feed) our addiction is The Mini Social.

So we sat down with founders Dominique MacPherson and Melinda Marinack.

Dominique MacPherson and Melinda Marinack are the founders of The Mini Social, the pioneering sample sale website for mom, baby and child features designer clothing and accessories up to 70%.  They are both native Angelinos, and they are running their very successful company out of LA as well.  They have over 20 years of combined experience in the fashion industry.

Their vision for The Mini Social was simple; create an at-home haven for savvy, stylish moms like themselves who want to avoid the generic department store brands and stroller mazes.   Et Viola!

We had some questions, and these super busy ladies gave us some straight forward answers.

1)  I am a huge children’s flash sale site addict.  Why do you think flash sale sites are so hot right now?    Especially in this economy?

The economy is exactly what makes it work!  We launched the site about 2 years ago; in fact we went live right after the stock market crashed.  We literally held our breath to see if we what would happen.  We realized that in tough times people want deals and moms are more willing to scrimp on purchases for themselves rather than their kids.

2) Do you view social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook as an important tool for your business?  What about the Mommy Blogger Community?

Very important, especially mommy bloggers.  As a start up we did not have a huge advertising budget.  We relied on bloggers to get the word out in the first years and we continue to do so.   As far as Facebook and Twitter are concerned we are making a big push in that realm next year.  We just updated both pages with new looks, you should check it out. If you LIKE us you’ll be able to take advantage of exclusive shopping codes and sweepstakes.

3) Mini Social has grown leaps and bounds this past year; every cool parent I know is buying something from MiniSocial almost every day.  What does the future hold for MiniSocial?  How do you see yourself expanding and growing?

At the mini social we really pride ourselves in featuring the best brands around. We seek out hard to find labels.  Next year we hope to expand our offerings by featuring more international brands, as well as layering in more maternity and sales just for our moms.

4) I am always amazed at the hard to find, cool, niche brands I find on MiniSocial.  How do you source all the amazing, high quality brands for MiniSocial?

We scour the internet and attend most of the trade shows.   Once we find a really amazing brand, we are tenacious.  We keep after them until they say YES to sale.

5)  The Mini Social donates a portion of their proceeds to excellent women’s and children’s charities?  Can you elaborate on this please?  We love a company with a big heart.

The charity aspect has been a part of our business since its inception and we donate whenever we can.  Some of our charities are chosen by the brands we feature and we each donate a portion of our sales. The only stipulation we have is choosing charities that they benefit moms or children.

6)  Do you think sites such as MiniSocial are driving shoppers to make purchases just for the adrenaline rush of competing with others, or are they are purchasing items they actually want and need?

Perhaps, however once you have kids it seems like you always need something.  They grow so quickly, you need to update their wardrobe every 6 months to a year.  At the same time, it feels like you’ re attending a children’s birthday party every other weekend.   Why not stock up on clothing and toys when you have a chance to get a great deal?!

7) The tick-tock of the clock that starts running as soon as you choose an item for purchase, which tells you how much time you have to actually press the BUY button, do you think this kind of “time is running out” tactic makes for very compulsive shopping?

Sure.  It also makes shopping fun and exciting.

8. I look forward to my Mini Social email in my inbox every morning.   Do you think this kind of loyalty and excitement are the driving forces behind your success?  There are so many flash sale sites cropping up all the time, how do set your self apart and continue to raise the bar?

AH!  the million dollar question!  We certainly hope our customers are loyal.   We are very passionate about what we do.  The site is a labor of love for everyone involved. We are the only flash site started by moms for moms and the first to exclusively focus on kids.  That alone makes us stand out from the rest.  We also pride ourselves on our customer service to both members and brands.  This next coming year, you will see a lot of changes to the site, including enhanced features to make shopping easier, more content to keep the customers engaged, and few other tricks, we’ll keep secret for now.

9)  As someone who is very involved in the children’s wear market, I find myself drawn to the European brands for their craftsmanship and amazing quality.   Any plans to start carrying more European brands in the future?

Definitely!  We are big fans of the European labels as well.   Right now we feature brands that have distribution in the states as well as overseas.  However next year, we hope to showcase some of the brands that do not have a presence here.

10)  You are die-hard Angelinos.   Tell us about some of your favorite places and things to do while in LA.

There are lots of fun things to do with your kids in Los Angeles.  Kids Space in Pasadena and Travel Town in Griffith Park are great low cost local activities.  Palm Spring in the desert and Big Bear lake in the mountains are both less than a 2 hour car ride from Los Angeles, perfect for quick weekend getaways.  In the summer, the Annenberg Community Beach house is a beautiful place to spend the day at the pool and beach and only costs $24.00 for a family of four!

Thank you ladies!   You are very inspiration and I wish you much future success!
Thank you so much for your kind words and support!
A great big thank you to Jennifer Gutierrez of orsi public relations for facilitating this awesome interview!
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