BUYER PROFILE: BRANDI BERTRAND
Throughout 2016 we will be showcasing some of our beautiful buyers and store owners around the globe… What better country to start in than a place where we live 6 months of the year, USA!
First interview is with out beautiful friend, Brandi from online bikini heaven Vida Soleil – who loves being knee deep in bikinis as much as we do!
We had the chance to chat to her about what inspires her, the typical day in the life of a buyer, fave spots to eat, that perfect summer holiday destination and all her favourite Aloé suits!
ALOÉ: Why did you decide to start up your (AMAZING) online store Vida Soleil? Was it something you had always wanted to do?
VIDA SOLEIL CEO: Vida Soleil was started with a dream after traveling to the most tropical destinations all over the world! We wanted to bring together our beachy lifestyle and love of the sun, ocean, and surfing to the everyday beach girl in a seem-less carefree experience while supporting the hottest up-incoming designers from all our oceans around the world!
ALOÉ: What’s a typical day like for you living in Huntington Beach?
BRANDI: I was actually born and raised in Huntington Beach (Orange County) and have grown up a total beach girl. Hence my love for swimwear! Traveling with my brother and dad to surf contests since I was little, any chance I can get I love being at or by the beach. A typical day is of course going to work which is just a 10 min drive up the coast for me. Answering emails and talking with brands on a day to day basis and keeping up with when orders are due. As well as trying to create new marketing tactics for our site and social media. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes here we could be here a while 🙂 After work I will either go to a kick boxing class or meet up with my girlfriends for a bite to eat. Some days I’m so exhausted I just want to go home and relax.. with a glass of wine 🙂
ALOÉ: Where are your favourite spots to eat?
BRANDI: Being that I am pescatarian (only eats fish); I absolutely love sushi, and any kind of fish. We have a really good local spot that me and my friends will go to all the time called Sushi on Fire. We have fun with the chefs and everyone is super nice! I’m also a huge salad eater and not in that kind of way haha I just like the freshness of them. A new spot here in Huntington overlooking the water has an amazing Salmon Salad!
ALOÉ: Your one stop shop for all of your inspiration!
BRANDI: I’m a boutique shopper we have a lot of super cute boutiques here. Merilee’s which has been one of my favourites since I was younger is a great go to. It’s on 6th street here and is swim boutique actually but no matter what you can always find something cute and bohemian there. Beach vibes and what some of our brands represent help with that too!
ALOÉ: When you’re buying your range for the season, what are the main things you look for?
BRANDI: Always forecasting the next season’s colours. I took a class in New York for forecasting and it plays a huge role. Key styles and cuts play a role too. Our customer is all about cheeky! So knowing that, we stay away from fuller cuts but want to offer a wide variety for everyone since our demographic is from teens to moms.
ALOÉ: We all live such busy lives these days! How do you spend any down time you have?
BRANDI: My Friends and family are my sanity. I have an awesome family who is so much fun and supportive. As for down time in the summer it’s sun kissed summer days at the beach, bike rides and hanging out with friends. During the winter I snowboard quite a bit on the weekends and make trips to the snow a lot. Anything outdoors is fun to me, total outdoors gal, I am one not to be cooped up what so ever.
ALOÉ: Do you have any advice you could give someone wanting to start up their own store?
BRANDI: To have a goal in mind with the kind of demographic you are trying to reach. Networking is always huge too. Have a positive attitude when working with everyone! People see that and then they want to reach out to you. I think that your vibe plays into your store whether it is the buying to the marketing, have it all flow together 🙂 Have fun and be confident in what you are doing. Set goals and make sure they are met. Customers come first a happy shopper is a return shopper:)
ALOÉ: What is your all time summer holiday destination?
BRANDI: Anywhere tropical! As I know you guys are from Australia, I would absolutely love to visit there. I love the style of all the girls, they are so fashionable and dress really well. I feel the style there is more me: beachy-boho. I love the all-around vibes of your country. Bali is next up on my trips though. Hopefully in the next few months I will make my first trip!
ALOÉ: We would love to know, what’s your favourite Aloé suit?!
BRANDI: I honestly fell in love with Aloé since I tried my first one on. I feel I could be an advocate for you guys haha. I hate anything that digs in. Biggest pet-peeve. They rest SO nicely on your hips as I told Chloe. It has the perfect stripe and this year’s prints are amazing. I love the brightness of the blue in the Boho print (can make you look super tan) and the animal is so fun! Not to mention the cheekiness of it, it’s perfect! I don’t have a favourite I love them all!