Gaziza Yespayeva: “And now we are introducing a trend in the Arabic style…”
Gaziza Yespayeva, the owner of a chain of stores in Kazakhstan and the NFS brand, shared her memories from the opening of the first show-room, her opinion about advertising on instagram, working with clients and how she sees the NFS client.
1. You are rapidly expanding, but do you remember the opening of the first showroom?
Oh yes of course. I’ll even say more – I don’t really remember, but it was like yesterday. In general, we approached the opening of the first store not as opening our own network or production, but we started organizing parties for young people in the same coffee houses where we are now. We organized events with designers – our Kazakhstani and from neighboring countries. We were visited from Uzbekistan, designers from Ukraine and Russia sent their things. We did a kind of mini-events where people could buy these things. At our first event, 1,500 people visited us in one evening, people even had nowhere to go. We held similar events for half a year and realized that it was also not interesting to repeat ourselves and began to fly abroad and organize shootings with famous photographers. Later we decided to hold a major event in Astana and had to move to live there for a while. And then the idea came, so that we would not be forgotten in Almaty – to open a store. Initially, we did not count on any profit, but did it just for the image. We were new to this business and did not know how to properly decorate the interior and so on. Now I’m looking at photos from the opening of the first showroom and I’m just ashamed (laughs).
2. Instagram ads are very popular right now. Do you collaborate with bloggers, models, popular personalities?
Yes, constantly. When we first launched the event, the very trick was that we brought invitations to events to all popular girls with live roses. That is, we made a black envelope completely wrapped in a beautiful bow and there was also a white rose in it. Accordingly, these popular girls took pictures and posted on their social networks, thereby advertising us. All our photo sessions were with popular girls, even photographers were invited with promoted social pages. Last year we stopped cooperating so actively, because we set our sights on production, on expanding the network. Now, we are already more or less on our feet, so we are starting to cooperate with everyone again.
3. What designers do you have?
More than 65 designers collaborate with our network. These are designers from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and, of course, Kazakhstan. For some reason, we have established ourselves as a platform for the development of young talents. Although, initially it seemed to me that we would work with already established designers, but no – through exhibitions, all events, we began to receive applications from novice designers and we promoted many.
4. Your assortment is quite feminine and delicate. How do you select models for the showroom?
We try to look at the collection as a whole, because now there are a lot
of pseudo-designers who have a very vague concept of a collection, clothing design. If I see this, then I immediately remove it from the hangers and say that they don’t bring it anymore. I try to leave something coherent and unified in the store. It happens that newcomers bring things, and then we start sending them based on what there is a demand for.
5. What novelties can please fashionistas on the eve of spring?
Definitely, we bring Arabic style among our girls. I want to convey that absolutely voluminous dresses with wide ankle-length sleeves, when they are correctly combined with chic accessories, makeup, handbags and shoes, it can be presented much more expensive than anything else. And now we are making a trend in the Arabic style. This is a very risky move, as you have to change the basic things, which will 100 percent pass, for a new styling. There will be quite a few photo shoots to promote this trend.
6. Do you have a network of showrooms, but do they have a different assortment?
As far as our personal production is concerned, we all import in the same quantity. If designers exhibit in all our cities, they also try to make everything in equal quantities. Because small towns always feel disadvantaged in comparison with Almaty, Astana. They often imitate Moscow, Kyiv. And when they see that they have been cheated a little, then thousands of dissatisfaction, calls, messages immediately appear. And it is not a fact that they will buy these things, but they are obliged to come and look at them in the showroom (smiles).
7. Do you often arrange promotions, draws for customers?
Yes, especially lately. This is advertising, marketing that works well. We wanted to do a raffle with a trip to the islands, but then we weighed everything and decided to raffle the new iPhone-7. This is exactly the prize that everyone will like, but not everyone can go on vacation on certain dates. The back of the phone was engraved with NFS to always remind you of yourself.
8. If a girl came to you and was completely confused, would you help with the choice?
We start with basic questions: “Are you looking for something specific? where are you going to go? in what area does he work, etc. Since some companies have their own dress code, others have a free style of clothing, and this all affects what we will offer the client. When I myself go out to sell, I try to gather the maximum number of consultants that day so that they can see how to communicate with the client, close their refusals.
9. Do you often meet clients yourself?
No, the last six months is very rare. When opening a new point for 3-4 days, I am always there to prompt and help my girls. I fully show consultants how to behave. Now my hands are already a little untied, since production has been moved here and I can devote one or two days a week to staff and customers as well.
10. How do you see the NFS client?
You know, I recently realized that we had a fundamentally wrong idea about our client. It always seemed to me that this is a girl under 30 years old, free, who, in search of herself, earns from $ 1,000 a month and more, always sits in coffee houses, allows herself to go out with friends 2-3 times a week, but she does not like frequent noisy parties. It is, rather, an intellectual, an intellectual of a certain level and style of life. How much was my surprise when we recently did a survey among all the clients – to decide between the TV series “Gossip Girl” and “Sex and the City.” And 85 percent answered “Gossip Girl.” These 2 series imply definitely two different lifestyles of people. According to statistics, our clients are under 45 years old and the main backbone is 18-35 years old.
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