We recently spoke with Britt Barkwell about her company Trouvaille, a bespoke shopping website that help busy women navigate the world of online shopping and finding the perfect outfit for their needs, and wants.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Trouvaille is a bespoke shopping site. We aim to help on-the-go women navigate the world of online shopping. Through curated collections, editorial content and customized wardrobe solutions, we help women discover and define their personal style.
What made you want to do this work?
I’ve always had knack for finding things online. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed crafting my style and decorating my home with unique and special pieces, but after having my daughter Izzie and returning to work, I realized that I was seriously lacking time. Naturally, any free moments I had I’d spend with Izzie rather than scouring the Internet. Around the same time I started to have friends reach out with design and styling questions. They knew my love for fashion, and were in similar life situations, so they didn’t have the time to do it themselves. It was that common theme of being time-starved and in search of an edited assortment that kept coming up – and ultimately inspired Trouvaille.
What problem does this solve?
Our target demographic is busy women who are strapped for time. Through a very distinct point of view, we bring together a collection of fashion, interior and lifestyle products in one convenient hub. Our clients can rely on Trouvaille to feature unique and well-designed items in all our edits. We also offer personal styling services. Our custom wardrobe solutions are digital, so they’re convenient and tailored for each client’s specific needs and budget. It seemed like there was a hole in the Canadian market and that we could add value by helping women live beautifully, simply.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Style conscious women from roughly 25 to 50, with disposable income. She is busy building her career, growing her family, and fostering her personal and business relationships. She has very little time to spend searching the web for a ‘perfect find’ and will use Trouvaille as a convenient and trusted site with an expertly curated collection of ‘perfect finds.’
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We launched with 3 revenue streams: affiliate sales, partnership revenue, and revenue from our services. We wanted to launch broadly and see what woman would find most useful and would drive traffic and sales. Since launching just under six months ago, we’ve seen success with all streams and have had such a positive response to our services that we are currently looking at ways to improve them so we can take on greater volume.
When it comes to partnerships, we look for partners with a like-minded approach. For example, we recently partnered with eBay Canada to create a curated collection of fashion items inspired by six key trends for spring. We shopped the site to find unique fashion pieces at different price points. Going back to our original mission, it’s all about helping women navigate the endless possibilities of online shopping, and eBay certainly has an unparalleled breadth of fashion inventory that where we came up with a lot of lucky finds! Check out our top picks at ebay.ca/trouvaille.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
We pride ourselves on being trusted style advisors. From interior and fashion to beauty, we approach everything we do with a distinct perspective. The most rewarding part of what we do is knowing that we’ve genuinely made a difference in someone’s life. Helping our clients simplify their wardrobe and dress with confidence and ease is something we’re excited to do every day. The only downside would be that there are so many great brand and products, sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time to discover them all. But we’re on our way!
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
Fashion tends to be an easy target. It’s not uncommon to hear people joke about the industry being superficial or ‘fluffy’, but in reality, fashion is an industry that impacts everyone. We all have to get dressed in the morning! When you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing and confident that your clothing is a reflection of your personal style, it can have an amazing and positive impact on your self-esteem.
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
We love supporting Toronto-based brands and businesses, especially those run by female entrepreneurs! Since launching, we’ve had the opportunity to work with the founders of some amazing companies – like KIP Sleepwear, Mejuri, and Gee Beauty. What’s really special about Trouvaille is that we get to connect and work with such an inspiring community of female entrepreneurs. As a lifestyle hub, we bring together a hand-picked selection of home, fashion and beauty products from leading brands, and of course, include Canadian designs as often as possible. This spring, we also had the opportunity to support eBay.ca – another brand we’ve fallen for! From local to international designers, eBay.ca is a great source for finding hidden gems.