Who is Blackfish?
Blackfish was founded by Timo and Ella about two and a half years ago, with the objective to bridge the gap between different fashion styles. Both interested in more outgoing patterns and styles, they noticed a lack of options in what was being offered to consumers with the same taste. They “missed a shop that had that outspoken look without being too alternative”, and so the idea of Blackfish was born; offering people new ways to express themselves through their clothing was their mission. Along with a limited stock of vintage clothing items, some non-vintage clothing pieces, accessories, and art, everyone is bound to find a unique piece that suits them.
Besides this, the great atmosphere guarantees a pleasant shopping experience. Everything sold in Blackfish is meant to help individuals find particular pieces of clothing in order to represent who they are through their own style. While their original vision only included a clothing store, Ella got inspired by the blank spaces on their store walls. A plan was created to use the walls as a gallery space, and no sooner said than done is the store now not only full of outstanding clothing, but also full of special art.
What makes Blackfish unique?
The theme of the store changes regularly depending on various factors; the season, what style they’re interested in, the art that is being displayed, and also on their current preference for the store at that time! This has progressed to Timo and Ella turning Blackfish into their best second home. Enhancing their vision of a unique shopping experience, for both them and their customers, has worked out very well within Blackfish. They enjoy when new customers come in with a more simple or safe style of clothing, contrary to what they sell, because they want to “lure them into trying something more outspoken. We want to be the people’s first step to having a slightly more alternative sense of fashion or style, and we also want it to happen in a very laid back way.”
With a mini bar located in the center of the store and a little space for live music, Timo and Ella create an inviting and engaging atmosphere for anyone who walks in. But there are more than a few things about Blackfish that sets them apart from other clothing stores. The relationship Timo and Ella have with the store alone helps enhance the experience for any shopper; one can feel their dedication to this space. Their gallery walls are there to give an opportunity to artists, big or small, to showcase their work and maybe even sell it.
The bar that stands in the center of the store is used as a small hub for some friends to sit down and chat, and for Timo and Ella to get to know their customers a little when they are hanging around the store. They use this as their normal relaxing space because this is their second home, and their goal is to make their guests feel just as comfortable.
What a typical day at Blackfish looks like
Since Timo and Ella are at the store 6 days a week, they’ve gotten their daily routine perfectly planned out. Before they open at 12 noon, they start with a fulfilling lunch in order to keep them on their feet for the remaining working day. They prepare the store by double checking that everything is organized and set for customers, but what this entails may differ depending on how the store is decorated and what else they may have going on at that moment.
After the store opens, they assist any customers who look like they need any help or direction when they enter the store, but giving shoppers their peace while they look around is also important; “We don’t follow you around the store and try to sell you stuff. You know, if you need help, just ask. We’ll keep an eye out if we see that somebody needs our help, but otherwise we let everybody browse at their own pace and have fun with music and a laid back place”. Some customers enter the store to check out the weekly new collection of vintage clothing, some are checking out the gallery and the other art being displayed on the walls, and some hang out for the atmosphere. A customer might enter one day and see that it’s entirely different from their last visit; it turns visiting the store into an event for both regular and new customers. Most of them are always in awe by the designs every single time they enter. This is their typical day, and it repeats daily except for Mondays when the store is closed and they’re able to focus on other matters.
How Packaly enhances their focus on local customers
Blackfish’s customers exist all over the Netherlands, so they’re regularly sending parcels outside of Utrecht. However, Timo found it a bit ridiculous to send parcels to a warehouse, which will then take multiple trips to reach a customer who’s only a kilometer or two away from the store. “You give the parcel to the local shipping service, and the customer will get it a day or two later, which is strange because they’re in biking distance. But now, that biking distance can be covered by someone else. I still want to make it as easy as possible for people to purchase something, and this way doesn’t feel counterproductive or wasteful.” So they believed Packaly would be a good fit for their Corporate Social Responsibility, since shipping is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Blackfish found that the 60-minute on-demand shipping option Packaly fit their individual needs because they were able to offer a CO2 free shipping method to their local customers, with one of the biggest perks of receiving the order the same day. This option appeals a lot to customers who care about their personal ecological footprint.
Blackfish also has a unique way of using Packaly for their Instagram giveaways in order to reach their local customers: locals participate in Blackfish’s story sales, where they sell their discount clothing once a month. When a customer is located in Utrecht their parcel gets shipped via Packaly. This shipment gets imputed quickly on the Packaly Dashboard, allowing Blackfish to send their parcels on a minutes notice.
Being able to ship via Packaly has helped Blackfish react to their direct environment. One of the benefits they found is also still being able to stay open and reach their local customers when their store itself isn’t entirely open; they were able to use their store location as a hub to send out parcels to customers within Utrecht.
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