Our favorite thing about western fashion is that anything goes. Don’t believe us? Then you’ve never met Bag Cellar before. This California boutique is the true definition of eclectic, with a majority of their inventory featuring one of a kind, handmade, local creations that you aren’t able to find anywhere else. The best news?! They’ll be in Vegas!!
Read through our fun interview with Bag Cellar’s owner, Salena, and see just what Bag Cellar is all about!
Tell us about life before owning a boutique? What consumed your life before fashion?
I’ve always worked in a corporate environment before taking over as GM for our family wine business and simultaneously opening the Bag Cellar in 2008. A focal point in my life has always been balancing a successful career and raising and competing on our own Quarter horses and running our ranch.
What tips do you wish someone would have shared with you as a new entrepreneur?
Tip.. Always trust your instinct, not necessarily the trends!
What has been the most fun or exciting part of owning a boutique for you? The most challenging?
Seeking out new and unique products lines, and focusing on featuring local handmade creations by other women in small business. The challenge is to always maintain a fresh look in the shop!
What’s in your closet? Do you have a go-to style?
Boots and jeans, slacks and blouses, boots, and oh dear–more boots! Boots are a staple for me…just call me boot obsessed!
How does your style differ from that of your boutique? Or is your boutique a reflection of your style?
I hope there is a reflection of the two different styles that I wear, I have to remember that not everyone loves leather like I do!
Who’s been your role models – both in business and in style?
No real specific role models, but I do admire a cowgirl or business woman that is put together, and my mom always says don’t leave home without your lipstick!
What scares you the most in life or business?
I’m pretty brave when it comes to my Business dealings, but taxes scare me!
More importantly, dark or milk chocolate?
Dark is important but milk is preferred!
What’s your favorite retail season?
A profitable one! But Christmas is a big deal in our Boutique!
What is your favorite social network and why?
Facebook, only because I navigate it better.
What’s the best marketing strategy you’ve discovered?
Try to entertain the masses! It’s difficult to know where everyone seeks info, so I rely on my sister, who is a Marketing Manager, to assist me!
If you could give advice to a young person, interested in fashion, and maybe one day hoping to start their own boutique – what would you tell them?
I would encourage the young entrepreneur to know her market, recognize the demographic in her area and listen to her consumer. Be willing to step outside the comfort zone of her own styles!
Owning a business is hectic, how do you unwind?
This Boutique is my unwind! My real job is to manage our family business, Bernardo Winery. I have two fab sales gals that run the shop for me but I do all the buying, usually late in the evening. It’s my retail therapy!
Is there anything big goals for you as a boutique owner that you are excited about reaching?
We’re excited to celebrate our 10 year anniversary in spring of 2018, I feel like this is a great accomplishment in a challenging economy.
What are some of the biggest fashion trends you’re anticipating to see at this year’s NFR?
Lots of Leather always, but I love the soft sophisticated touch of velvet, sequin and fringe we’ll see too. Today’s modern cowgirl is dedicated to the core values of a good pair of boots and a nice pair of jeans but learning to intermingle cutting-edge style with a little Louis Vuitton or Gucci!
If you’re an NFR veteran, what’s one thing you’d recommend a Vegas -rookie to make time for while they’re in town?
The Go-Round Buckle Presentations held nightly at the South Point Hotel, always fun to see the Contestants and their families and enjoy some good music afterward!
Now that we know you better, we want to know about Bag Cellar!!
Year your boutique was founded?
Founded in 2008
Your boutique’s brand in three words…go!
Unique, Sophisticated and Fun!
How did your boutique get started? Any fun stories behind your name?
We have a Village of unique shops at our Winery, I knew a Boutique that offered quality pieces and featured local designers & artists would do well – The focus was handbags, and we’re at a beautiful Winery so Bag Cellar was created!
When I walk into your boutique, what is the atmosphere like, how do you hope to make your customers feel?
Our Village Shops at the Winery allow our visitors to enjoy their glass of wine while they shop, which is a huge benefit and a treat for our customers! What’s not to love about the smell of leather and a glass of Estate Syrah! #sipandshop!
Tell us about the women who shop at your boutique?
We’re a destination property so we see a lot of tourists as well as locals, really a mosaic of ages and disposable incomes but most are fashion conscious that appreciate our price points.
In your store now – what’s one steal and one splurge?
Steal: A handcrafted piece of Linked in Love vintage crystal jewelry!
Splurge: A statement piece of Uno de 50 or a Jaime Cole original handbag!
What are your favorite trends at the moment?
I love the warm fall color trends, rich leather colors and the fact that turquoise has become trendy again… I love a quality Squash blossom.
Which brands you carry are your personal go-to’s? Customer favorites?
Uno de 50, Leatherock, HIME by Jaime Cole
What are some of the things you’re looking for when choosing a brand to carry?
Customer appeal, price point and artistic value are all important to me.
When you first started, what was the process like to carry brands in your store?
Meeting minimums on new brands as a young shop was challenging, but we made it happen and tried to keep the shop fresh with new merchandise always.
How do you decide what to buy for your boutique?
I keep on top of what’s trending, and what people are buying…and always think about the perceived value of items.
What’s been the best marketing decision you’ve made?
To keep our margins reasonable which makes our products very affordable and keeps the customer returning to see the ever-changing merchandise. We have a loyal customer base!
Do you use outside models and photographers or do you keep those things in house?
In house, my lovely models work for me which make it very easy!
If your boutique dressed a celebrity daily – who would it be?
Have to say, Miranda Lambert!
We so enjoyed this interview and can’t wait to shop Bag Cellar at the South Point’s Cinch Western Gift Show, on Aisle 1000!
Are you a fashionista with an eye for all things western?! Then you’ll want to sign up for our BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW western-focused email list! All you’ve got to do is follow this link, and leave your info!