Full of charm Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010
Winner
Retail & Wholesale

It was 2004 when Charlie Chanaratsopon’s concept for a retail store became a reality. At the time, many retailers were competing to help women create their outfits, but there weren’t any large players focused on helping them complete their outfits.

His idea was to open an accessories boutique that would offer a broad assortment of products, allowing women to find trendy accessories to suit any occasion, mood or style at reasonable prices.

He opened his first store in Houston just six years ago and has doubled the number of stores each year. While there were challenges early on in building credibility and financing, Chanaratsopon used his personal credit card to pay the bills and refrained from taking a salary. Today, Charming Charlie has more than 42 stores and is spreading across the country. He says that the key to his success has been strategically selecting his management team and keeping an open mind about improvements.

One thing he does in his stores is aim to help customers as much as possible. While the stores used to be organized by category, he changed them to be set up by color so that customers could easily find the right jewelry or handbag to go with a particular outfit. This created not only a unique sensory experience but also a fun road map within the store.

The company’s CEO learned quickly that customers love the experience they get in the store, so he strives to build on that through in-store events, called CC Socials, e-mail and social media programs.

And on top of the success he’s experienced so far, he’s laying the groundwork for an online store and global growth to help facilitate this vision.

How to reach: Charming Charlie, (713) 579-1936 or www.charmingcharlie.com