Feb 27, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
When it comes to romance, Susie Birchenough thinks she may have been born in the wrong century.
“I like old-fashioned romance, the kind you see in old movies. I think our society has lost a lot of that intimacy in the sense of paying attention to each other,” said Birchenough, a Skaneateles resident and entrepreneur.
Birchenough’s belief in romance and intimacy, as well as her experience and keen eye for female fashion and jewelry, has led her to create a new online boutique business, named Scarlet Ribbon, designed to “awaken the sensual soul in females” and to provide a concierge gift service for men “providing ease and enhancing closeness in relationships.”
Scarlet Ribbon sells jewelry, handbags, fragrances and scarves, all from top-quality designers around the world. Her offerings are nothing easily found or mass-marketed, but more unique.
Basically, Birchenough, who has extensive experience in and knowledge of female fashions, reviews the work of world-class designers and specifically selects the best items for sale on Scarlet Ribbon.
“I’m very selective in what I choose to sell. I focus on items that are classic, timeless, exquisite and refined,” Birchenough said. “These are the kind of things women love to get but may not buy for themselves.”
Birchenough sells these items to the women and men who seek her assistance, whether it is to buy something for themselves, or, more likely, as a gift for someone they care about.
And that is in fact the main purpose of the boutique: to act as a concierge service to help men shop for the women they love.
When Birchenough’s clients approach her, they tell her what types of things their loved ones like, or don’t like, and she shows them the items she offers for sale.
“It’s nice for men. I’ve already done a lot of pre-selection of items. They see I’m very selective and they feel their wife or girlfriend will be happy with what they’ve chosen,” Birchenough said.
Scarlet Ribbon also keeps a client history and personal calendar to remind men of the important anniversary or birthday dates for their loved ones, and also what types of items they have previously purchased. Birchenough can also keep a wife or girlfriend profile so the man knows exactly what she wants.
The typical prices of Scarlet Ribbon items range from $100 to $400.
Birchenough, who is also a yoga and pilates instructor, has a long history in the female fashion industry. She was the buyer for Pleasant Rowland, the creator of the American Girl doll; she created her own upscale home furnishing store, “Windward Passage,” which she ran in Skaneateles for eight years; and she created and designed a fine white linen lingerie company called Linen Dreams. Birchenough continues to design jewelry and clothing, and has ideas for exclusive designs for jewelry for Scarlet Ribbon in the future.
She travels the country and the world attending trunk shows from designers looking for products to sell at Scarlet Ribbon. She also has her own trunk shows for Scarlet Ribbon.
“The Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to have the Scarlet Ribbon as one of their newest members,” said executive director Susan Dove. “With so many people buying online these days, I am sure Scarlet Ribbon will be a huge success.”
Currently, Birchenough is focusing on getting more products on the website and increasing her advertising and marketing presence to get the word out about her business. Scarlet Ribbon went live online shortly before Valentine’s Day, and already is receiving a positive reception.
“It’s been pretty amazing so far. For a new website it’s going really well,” Birchenough said. “It’s a process; it’s a work in progress. I’m very happy with the initial reception for it.”
For more information on Birchenough’s boutique and concierge buying service, visit Scarletribbon.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.