Miss Kleckley: from Online to Offline
22 February, 2016
Sneakers, fashion and a feminine take on urban culture. Miss Kleckley was established as a blog and now has a physical and an online store.
“I always feel I set off along the road in the wrong direction. First I opened the blog, then the internet store, and later on, the physical one. People normally do the exact opposite. But our big advantage is that the online public already knew us and we had that bond of trust we had been building up since 2009 as a starting point,” says businesswoman and Miss Kleckley founder, Marina Jiménez.
It has been seven years since she started her blog, under the same name as the company that today markets multibrand products related to the world of urban culture and, above all, sneakers, as well as its own collections. “My passion for sports shoes led me to delve into the history behind each shape released on the market. I also wanted to understand the sociological profile of sneaker collectors. It’s such as fascinating area! But there are times when you can almost begin to hate it because of the massive obsession with buying sports shoes,” Jiménez says.
Her background in advertising and trend analysis gave her the tools she needed to convert her passion for sneakers into a benchmark publication. Indeed, the Miss Kleckley blog was one of the first communication channels in Spain dedicated to this fashion subsector from a female point of view. “Now things have changed and there are many girls using Instagram to show off the new shoes they’ve bought. To some degree I feel like a pioneer of this trend,” the author says.
Creating a public
The business plan hadn’t even been written when Jiménez posted her first blog entry in 2009. Until then she had published on another well-known site in the sneaker sector, 25gramos, for which she chose the content she wanted and wrote about the things she liked most, but it soon became necessary to “have my own personal space”. In 2014, when her own blog was extended to the reading public, her followers suggested she open an online store. “The blog ensured I kept active, researching and chasing up contacts. I’m a publicist by trade and have always worked in the online environment, whether in public relations, as a community manager or doing net-based research,” says this businesswoman who was born in Seville and specialised in trend research and coolhunting at the Elisava design school in Barcelona. The online store was almost a natural step thanks to the knowledge about labels, designers, suppliers and trends that she had built up during her time as the author of the Miss Kleckley blog.
She opened her internet store, focusing firstly on the public interested in nail art, a trend she had come across when living in Bristol, UK, and which she developed by contacting professionals in the US and Germany. “It was going to be a simple nail-painting store, but things started to take another turn. I was coming across incredible clothing labels and felt I had to shape the concept I had worked on in the blog for so many years.” Jiménez contacted firms such as Lazy Oaf, The White Pepper and Baby-G, which, along with many more, can now also be bought in the physical store. She found out about them through her constant online research. “I spend hours trawling websites every week, jumping from one site to another. I check out all the influencer profiles on the social networks…you have to always be on the lookout!”
The move from online to offline store was also made by listening to her public, who she realised still mainly preferred to touch and try on products. “With the online environment, it’s the audience who determines the actions you take. You have to listen and analyse. So we looked at our situation again and opened a small retail outlet in the Raval because people were asking us to. Then, as that went well and because we were able to become Lady Oaf distributors in Barcelona, we saw that a larger space was needed. Today the Miss Kleckley store necessarily includes the physical shop. The two bring value and boost public trust”.
Jiménez believes that Spanish customers still “aren’t 100% ready for online shopping” adding, “People need to touch, try on and see in order to trust in something. Especially in the case of clothing and women. Men don’t care so much if something doesn’t fit them that well. They’re more laidback”. In this regard, when it comes to fashion business models that operate exclusively online and which therefore only have virtual stores, the Miss Kleckley founder says there is no one formula that works for everyone, believing is necessary to “listen to your public” as she did, and then decide.
That’s why, and in response to growing demand, Jiménez has not only expanded the sales channels but also the collections. She has incorporated more fashion labels and will shortly expand the sneakers line, as well. She is also slowly but surely promoting her own label, with the same name as the store. “RulBayo is behind it, as the designer, and I am in charge of strategy, marketing and contacting suppliers and distributors from other national stores”. The label will involve unisex limited editions inspired by sneakers. “They’re not your usual designs and have a huge symbolic significance. The two latest collections paid homage to the Jordan Aqua and the sports shoes/fast food mix. We called them Sharky Aqua and Fast Foot. We always try to develop a concept on the back of the design, to create a story and to be just a touch sarcastic. Our target public are people who are as mad about sneakers as we are”. This formula has proven very successful and the firm’s own collections, made in Barcelona, can be found not just in the Miss Kleckley store in the Gràcia neighbourhood but also in different retail outlets across Spain.
For all these reasons, Marina Jiménez is a good go-to person for tips on getting an online and a physical store up and running quickly. She did it with a year’s difference between the two. She knows the stumbling blocks along the way and has the answers to make everything run smoothly. She has a number of ideas on how to improve virtual and face-to-face sales. She sums it up thus: “In the physical store, you have to pay rent, organise events and create window displays, but you need to invest in the online store, too. Some people wonder why they’re not selling well, but you have to make an investment if you want to sell on the internet. We get very good results from announcements on Facebook and especially by constantly analysing traffic information. We use that info to draft and adapt our strategy.” Regarding the need to attract visitors to the virtual store, Jiménez says that one of the best ways to do it has been her blog content. Her articles are still among the first positions search engines throw up when you enter a brand that she mentioned in her Miss Kleckley blog years ago.