Vrootje Magen | Owner
Vrootje Magen has 20 years of work experience that is directly relevant to managing and operating a successful clothing boutique. The first eight years of her professional work experience were spent in retail sales and banking, and the last 12 years have been dedicated to a professional career in marketing. The sum of these experiences truly integrates the key disciplines for running a successful business: sales, finance, and management.
Ms. Magen's initial experiences in retail and business sales were formative insofar as they helped her early on to understand how to best work with all types of personalities, meet individual needs through listening, and develop strong creative problem-solving skills. Much of this experience was spent "in the trenches," developing practical skills on the floor at retailers including JCPenney, Gottshchalks and Ann's Boutique. She has an understanding of what it takes to work in a retail environment, from stocking the sales floor and utilizing loss prevention skills, to ringing up a sale and counting back cash, and most importantly, reading a customer. Her five years as a Financial Service Representative at two banks directly benefit the day-to-day operations of the boutique.
With a successful and award-winning career in corporate marketing for the last 12 years, Ms. Magen understands how to create successful communications and marketing strategies and have experience marketing fashion for top retailers, such as Levi Strauss and Gap Inc. Much of this work involved developing and maintaining high profile campaigns that were structured around generating increased customer sales within the store environment and through sales associate training. She has led successful teams, which involved qualified and thoughtful selection of employees and consultants to help ensure the success of a project.
Her current efforts toward opening De Kliek Style Studio have heavily depended on all the skills and abilities that she has developed in her past professional lives. Her combined skills and knowledge of the right types of clothing a woman should wear based on her body type and personality are enhanced by her retail experience, and her current training within the Association of Image Consultants International for the last two years has solidified her expertise.
Ms. Magen is extremely dedicated and motivated to creating a thriving clothing boutique and feels confident in succeeding based on her well-rounded experience, established sound vendor and customer relationships, and strong work ethic.
Team of Advisors
Lisa Bakke, Certified Image Professional
As a personal stylist, Lisa Bakke has helped people look and feel great for fifteen years. Known as the Shopping Sherpa, she is dedicated to leading people to their style destination. Lisa was born with a remarkable, discerning "eye" for beauty and detail and started winning national art awards at age twelve.
Lisa graduated from Colorado College in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in art and education. By 1989, Lisa played a key role in launching a women's ready-to-wear line by designing, marketing and selling it via hugely successful trunk shows. It was then that she recognized women wanted one-on-one attention in helping them determine their optimal clothing designs and colors. In 2000-2001, Lisa served as president of a prestigious international organization for image consultants. She is also the editor of a 12-page publication for image consultants. Today, Lisa regularly shops for clients in Paris.
Rilke Szanku, Creative Director & Principal, Blue42
Throughout her 15 years of experience in the design industry, Rilke Szanku has found that her best work has harnessed the power of striking visuals grounded in solid strategy to meet client objectives. She founded Blue42 to provide cutting edge print and web design. Prior to founding Blue42, Rilke was the Creative Director at COmpany X. Her work for top clients has been widely acclaimed.
Nicco Q. Smore, Architecture & Design
Nicco Smore received his B.A. from Florida State University in 1991 and his Masters in Architecture from the University of Florida in 1997. Since 1998 he has worked for Big Architecture in California and has been involved in the design and construction of diverse project types, including educational, civic, and religious facilities, as well as several residential projects. Much of his current work includes design and construction administration of renovation, and modernization of existing secondary educational facilities.
Schulden F. Kopff, CPA
Schulden Kopff has been a CPA for more than ten years and is certified in two states (California & Missouri). [Private information removed for confidentiality.] Mr. Kopff currently operates his own tax practice in Los Angeles.
Fanny Packer, Attorney
Fanny Packer, J.D., M.B.A., C.P.A., is an attorney in independent practice who provides business law counseling and transactional support to entrepreneurs and growing business organizations. Fanny is an experienced professional who has worked in the legal profession since 1998, and has been heavily involved in sophisticated business transactions and major business contract negotiations in various roles for over 20 years. Her core legal competencies are in corporate, contracts, intellectual property, and commercial real estate law.
Gordon Grido, VP Merchandising Analyst, RMSA
De Kliek is working with Merchandising Analyst Gordon Grido to develop a specific plan that will guide the company through making purchasing decisions, as well as planning and inventory management. Gordon has been with Retail Merchandising Service Automation (RMSA) for 17 years, working with LA Area retailers similar to De Kliek. His focus is to enable merchants to make merchandising decisions that keep a healthy cash flow with maximum profitability as the main goal of business operations.
RMSA has maintained its status as the leading provider of inventory management and forecasting tools for retail businesses nationwide. RMSA Forecasting is a merchandise planning service that combines information from a retailer's sales and inventory with RMSA's extraordinary retail database to help retailers forecast and improve the performance of their retail operations.
Hugh Enmity, Fashion & Merchandising Instructor, Academy of Art
Mr. Enmity has spent over 20 years in retail as an executive with a leading traditional department store (Macy's), off-price chain (Ross Stores) and mall-based chain store (Footlocker). His background is primarily in Menswear with extensive experience in tailored clothing, shoes, sportswear, activewear, dress furnishings and basic furnishings.
Astrix Komma, Copywriter/Creative Consultant
With nearly 20 years of solid direct response, advertising and Web experience for agency powerhouses up and down the West Coast, Astrix Komma has been a lead creator on high profile marketing campaigns. Her creative work has won numerous industry awards including a Clio and Communication Arts award and a host of direct marketing accolades, including multiple John Caples awards.
34% of Americans in 2002 cite having "neat and attractive salespeople" as a reason they decide to shop where they do, compared to 29% in 2000. [Yankelovich Monitor, "Getting the Goods," May 2003]
The personnel plan is included in the table, below. In addition to the owner, there will be one part-time (30 hours/week) Assistant Manager and two part-time Style Concierges by the end of the first year. The Assistant Manager will be paid at a rate of $20.00 per hour and the part-time Style Concierges will be paid at a rate of $15.00 per hour, plus benefits.
Employees of De Kliek will be paid competitively and will receive in-depth store training and membership into the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI). Additionally, employees will receive special store benefits including:
As De Kliek grows, medical insurance will be provided to full-time employees.
My philosophy is to empower my staff to do the best they can and give them the freedom to do so. Inevitably, they will make mistakes and if they don't make mistakes, they don't learn. I will lead by delegation but I won't let them "hang themselves." As a manager, I will provide appropriate objectives, guide them throughout the process (utilizing Management by Objectives) and help them make decisions based on the company philosophy. I believe in recognizing good work and letting my staff know that I value and appreciate them when a job is well done. I have confidence my philosophy will not only attract smart and loyal employees, but also develop strong mutual respect, as they will feel that their ideas are valued and that they are respected.
De Kliek will provide in-depth training to new staff, which will include education on the designers, products & services offered, and systems and procedures to follow. There will also be employee manuals provided to support the training as well as examples set by the owner and assistant store manager on customer service. Special awards will be given for great customer service and knowledge imparted.