Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Interview by Roman Moreno, Austria
Along the busy street in Vienna, a boutique owned by a Euro-Pinay is making its name. Streetlook is an eight-year-old boutique of Leni Dimailig-Grünauer, a fashion enthusiast with a fondness for designer brands like Chanel and Gucci. The boutique offers a combination of branded and trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories making the perfect outfit for its customers. With her boutique, the shop owner Leni Dimailig-Grünauer wants to ensure its unique identity in the area.
In an interview with Rawmags, Leni spoke about the humble beginnings of Streetlook and the experience she has gained as an entrepreneur in almost ten years in competition with flagship stores of major fashion brands in Vienna.
How were you able to come up with the idea of having a boutique and made it to where it is now?
Streetlook started in June 2013. I was hesitant if the business would be a hit because Vienna has a lot of fashion retail stores. I was initially focusing on teen fashion, but I was not selling for half a year and noticed that teens do not have extra money to buy my products. So, I flew to different countries to get a new concept.
When I brought in the concept of the latest fashion trends, I had to face skeptical customers who were asking if my products were original and not made in China. Gradually, I was making my portfolio of fashion styles by blending tops, skirts, and accessories of different brands. It’s a unique portfolio that customers would rarely see downtown.
The boutique has established itself with a wide variety of customers, with product prices ranging from low to high. I have customers from the fashion industry and jet-setters. Word of mouth was my primary source of marketing, and now digital marketing through social media platforms is helping me promote my shop and sell products even from different countries.
What advice would you give to fellow Euro-Pinoys who want to venture into this kind of business?
Have no fear in trying things out. It was a bold move to have a boutique because, besides being labeled with counterfeit products from China, women are also hard to please when it comes to fashion.
You must be ready to offer many options. I change my display in the mannequin almost every other day. And I always keep myself updated on the latest fashion trends.
Don’t underestimate or judge people. Any customer walking inside the store deserves the best service. A customer may tend to dress simply, but who knows what’s inside her pocket.
Always be grounded. I do not tell the customers that I am the owner of the shop. I work as a salesperson and most importantly, as a fashion stylist who makes sure that customers feel confidently beautiful when leaving the shop.
Streetlook is one of the many pieces of evidence that Euro-Pinoys can be successful business owners. With its eight years in the business, it shows how the Filipinos can make it to the fashion scene as well. The boutique offers a unique experience of having branded items and a stylist at the same time, making customers feel a sense of individuality.
Roman Moreno and the Roots & Wings team would like to thank Leni Dimailig-Grünauer for the interview and the insights of a Filipino entrepreneur in Austria.
Visit the store at Billrothstraße 43, Wien, 1190, or follow them on Instagram: @streetlook19 and like their Facebook Page: Streetlook. Their website is www.streetlook19.com.
About the Author
Roman Moreno is an exchange student from the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, Philippines. He is taking his last term of MBA at the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business) as an Erasmus Scholar. He has worked in various multinational banks and private companies in the Philippines, mainly in Sales and Finance. He is also known as a flexible professional, always open to challenges and opportunities. He hopes to gain more knowledge in the fields of International Relations and Human Eccentricity in modern times. Contact Roman at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org