Revel Boutique reworks business model for the COVID-19 era

Joplin Area Coronavirus

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The owner of Revel Boutique has found a new way to connect with customers since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Heather Orscheln, Revel Boutique owner and manager, says, “I’ve changed and moved with the community and what they want and what they’re looking for.”

Change is nothing new for Orscheln, who went from being a school teacher to helping people sell their belongings on eBay.

“I got started by just word of mouth, sending out an email, turning your clutter into cash, picking up stuff off people’s porches, and the next think I knew, I probably had over 300 people that I sold for,” Orscheln says.

She had to change her business again following the 2011 tornado, this time helping the community through donations.

“We had volunteers. We were doing it all through Facebook. People would order a care package for someone that lost their home or lost their things. We put together, you know, high end Ugg boots, Miss Me jeans for teenagers; nice things and you’d pick up your tub and take it to your friends or family that wanted it,” Orscheln says.

From there she went on to open a consignment store: Repurpose Boutique in Carthage.

That success lead to two new stores: one in Carthage in 2016 and Pittsburg in 2017.

Just a year ago, she re-branded those into Revel Boutique.

“Revel in what you love is my slogan and that’s kind of my slogan for life. Once you’ve gone through a crisis like I have, you do revel in every day, every hour, you sleep as little as you have to, you embrace everything,” Orscheln says.

Because COVID-19, Orsheln has had to change up her business again.

She closed both stores March 17 and turned to online sales as the store’s new platform.

With a young staff needing to pay car loans, tuition, and rent, she looked to her employees for help.

“All 14 of my employees, we, you know, some came to my house, some were texting, messaging, planning together in a group, coming up, brainstorming ideas. What can we do? How can we do business different?” Orscheln says.

With their ideas came “Revel at Home” kits for students or moms stuck at home.

You can also be personally styled over the phone.

“You can text us and make an appointment for a FaceTime styling session. So, you’ll be at home in your closet. I will be here at the store. We’ll FaceTime. You show me a skirt or something you need to make an outfit with. I personally style you through FaceTime and give you 30% off all of your purchases,” Orscheln says.

Orscheln has also been getting her family involved within the business.

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. on Facebook, Revel Boutique staff and family members will model clothes and viewers can comment on the live feed for items to purchase.

Her daughters put on a special live sale on Sundays.

“My girls have started a Sisters Sunday Singles Sale. So, they sell singles that we have one or two left of live from our house on Sunday nights,” Orscheln says.

Orsheln adds to have a successful business during this outbreak, ask your employees for ideas and use their skills to help market your brand.

Don’t be afraid to try new things like live sales on social media, and take advantage of SBA loans.

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