Lauren Bailey Pollard took her first steps toward owning her own store, Edit by LBP, in the midst of tragedy, having moved her dreams to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Now her store features carefully “edited” selections of clothing and accessories meant to last for several years. To learn more about the store’s history, and what kind of work goes into curating every season, check out our Q&A with Pollard below.
1.What is a typical day like for you and your team? Mornings are exciting and full of opening new deliveries, then we get to share them with our clients as they walk in and dress them head to toe, no matter what they are in search of. Other than that, it’s keeping up with social media networks and operational tasks throughout the day.
2. What is your professional background? How did you get into the retail field? I majored in business, with a minor in fashion merchandising, not intending to work in that field. I moved to New Orleans, where I got my start in the fashion industry. I found that I loved working in retail, and here I am 11 years later loving my job just as much as I did the day we opened.
3. What are the first things customers see when they visit the store? They are probably greeted by an Edit stylist. We are known for being very friendly and attentive, and for acting as personal stylists to our customers. We really love finding the right garments or pieces for our clients to wear and enjoy for years to come.
4. What sets your store apart? I think we are known for our fashion-forward pieces, mixed primarily with neutrals, and elevated basics. It’s a unique mix that still caters to everyday lifestyle. I think our one-on-one customer relationships set us apart as well.
5. What is one thing you think customers should know about your store that they may not be aware of? We truly are a small Edit family and work to make our clients feel and look the best. We have an in-store account that allows clients to reserve an item with a 30% deposit and then receive the the item the following month. This is great since we usually get our collections way before the season actually hits, it gives you an opportunity to be prepared before things sell out.
6. How do you keep your store’s inventory fresh and up to date? I spend many hours in showrooms and long days at market in New York, to make sure we have the best selection. I never buy online from my vendors, and always must see the fabric and style in person. I search to find new up-and-coming designers during each market period, and usually end up adding two or three to Edit each season. They often become sought-after brands, but we pride ourselves on introducing them to our clients first.
7. Can you share a hint about what shoppers will see in your store next season? Some of the styles that will be huge for the upcoming spring season are hitting the floors now. New trends that our Edit stylists are excited about are the crop kick flare jean silhouette, sneakers with everything, and simple slip dresses paired with loose knits.
8. What was your reason for opening the store? When did it open, and how has it grown or changed since then? I was living in New Orleans and managing a boutique when Hurricane Katrina happened. I partnered with my then-boss and moved to Baton Rouge to open the boutique 11 years ago. I found a niche for doing sophisticated, fashion-forward neutrals and showing customers how to style the looks and get the most wear out of their clothes. I soon met my husband, Steele, in my store while he was buying a Mother’s Day gift! Years later, I bought out my business partner and changed the name to Edit.
9. What are a few must-have items this season? Lightweight cashmere sweaters are the perfect fit for our weather, and many options are a one-size-fits-all, which makes gift giving easy. Velvet is in full effect—ranging from dresses to handbags. Jewelry has been exciting; it’s a mix of edgy with classic hoop shapes, and of course…chokers! Studs are all over the scene as well, and they and add just the right touch to stand out. If I had to name a few must-haves for Edit girls, they would be OTK boots, a choker or screw cuff, a silk piece, and a pair of leather or coated kick flare jeans.
10. What are some of your best-selling products? Edit is known for having a well-edited selection of everything from ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories and swimwear to loungewear. Brands include Vince, Helmut Lang, ALC, Rag & Bone, IRO, Veronica Beard, Loeffler Randall, L’Agence, JBrand and so many others. We’re definitely known for our jewelry, especially around the holiday season, and we have a unique assortment that stands out from pieces people already own, so there is always something new to see. Accessories and outwear are always best sellers!