Boutique 18th Bloom combines luxury shopping with personalized service

January 21, 2021

18th Bloom’s company vision is one of excellence and authenticity. They strive to always be their best and continue to improve the customer experience in any way they can. Opened in August 2020, the boutique is constantly adapting their approach by being creative and innovative.  Read on for our interview with 18th Bloom’s Mary Ann Ar.

Tell us about your business.

18th Bloom is the first boutique of its kind in Asheville. When beginning the business, one of my main goals was to bring a luxury shopping experience to the area with a personalized customer service experience. Oftentimes, people have to travel all the way to Charlotte or Atlanta to shop, but having locals consign their unwanted luxury items here keeps our business sustainable and especially tailored to the Asheville community. We have a variety of items from preloved luxury handbags, to apparel for the whole family, all to suit different price ranges. We strive for quality over quantity, so every time you visit 18th Bloom, you can be sure you are getting something of value and history, made to last a lifetime!

Post COVID-19, we will begin to offer event design services for 18th Debut, Sweet 16, and Quineañera celebrations for daughters’ coming of age.This will include experiences    such as choreography, Father-Daughter Dances, and overall design to celebrate adulthood and independence. We are excited to be one of the newest additions to Asheville’s diverse shopping scene!

When I first began to purchase luxury designer handbags, it meant I had achieved something to buy them. Each handbag represented a remembrance of my accomplishments. Over time, I learned about the environmental impacts of the fashion industry. I soon realized the importance of quality over quantity, that it is smarter to purchase something of value because then it will last a lifetime. In today’s world, buying pre-owned items is more important than ever. By supporting sustainable fashion, we not only cherish the fashion industry and appreciate the history of pre-owned handbags, but we cut down on unnecessary waste and respect the beautiful planet we call home. At 18th Bloom, we take environmental responsibility seriously. We believe that it is possible to be sustainable while still maintaining a one-of-a-kind luxury shopping experience. When you shop sustainably, you shop with a style that is timeless!

What does “hospitality” mean to you?

Hospitality means a sense of caring, welcoming and relationship building. Here at 18th Bloom, we are a family and we want our guests to feel like they belong. When returning guests walk in the door, we want them to know we know them by name—we want them to be remembered. We have already developed wonderful relationships with our locals in just a few short months and those relationships are what make 18th Bloom special.

What experience do you strive to create for your customers?

We want each of our guests to feel at home at 18th Bloom. We want them to feel like their experience is personal because it is. Each of our guests has a unique style and preference that makes them feel more confident, beautiful, and empowered. Helping them find their perfect item, whether that is a handbag or a one-of-a-kind dress, brings us great pride!

How has your company modified during COVID-19? What have you learned?

It is no secret that COVID-19 has made things tough on everyone. We opened in August, in the middle of the pandemic. It was definitely a risk to open during such unprecedented times, but opening has also been a rewarding experience. It has urged us to work with a truly positive attitude despite the challenging times and reminded us to be grateful for everything that we have. We have realized that everyone needs a little bit of hope and happiness wherever they can find it, and we believe 18th Bloom has brought guests some sense of light while things seem dark.

With this pandemic, we have had to adapt in order to keep our team members and guests safe. Masks are required, we have a temperature scanner at the entry, and we have hand sanitizers readily available throughout the store. Health and safety are of the utmost priority to us.

What is your company vision? How do you reflect it in your daily work?

Our company vision is one of excellence and authenticity. We strive to always be our best and continue to improve the customer experience in any way we can. This means being creative and innovative, constantly adapting our approach until we get it just right. Our team members strive towards this everyday by treating 18th Bloom with care. When we all work together to make 18th Bloom the best it can be, that is when we achieve success!

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