I can’t shop online. I can’t do it. What looks lovely on a 14-year-old model probably doesn’t sit the same on a 30-year-old woman. What looks like a nice fabric under studio lights (and the heavy hand of an expert Photoshopper) could just as easily be some cheap synthetic blend that’s basically see-through.
And what if I want to send it back? Online stores tout their easy return policies but if it involves printing out a label (don’t even get me started on printers) and going to an actual Post Office, I’m out.
When it comes to shopping, I need to feel it, wear it and walk around in it a bit before committing to a purchase. And so for weirdos like me there’s Elsa Fine.
Elsa Fine is a brand new kind of online boutique that has an e-commerce foundation but changes the game with a focus on local in-home personal style sessions here in Charlotte.
Founder Jordan Dollard launched the concept as a passion project last year and dove in full time four months ago. For her, shopping is more about creating an experience than landing a sale. “I’m not into high-pressure sales situations,” she said. “Even if someone doesn’t buy anything, I still get to see how a product looks on a different body type and, of course, meet cool people.”
Sessions can be hosted in clients’ homes or at Jordan’s house in Oakhurst, which doubles as an inventory warehouse, fitting room and brunch buffet.
All style sessions are free and can include brunch and mimosas. “We take brunch very seriously,” Jordan’s business partner Lyndsay Cooper said over an impressive Saturday morning spread. For a session with my sister and me, they pulled together a build-your-own yogurt parfait bar, muffins from Sunflour bakery and mimosas. This is how all shopping should be.
After brunch, we hit the racks. Price points were very accessible with apparel ranging from $10-$56 and jewelry $16 and under.
Trying on clothes at an Elsa Fine style session is like shopping your super stylish best friend’s closet except that that best friend is Jordan and her closet is like something straight out of an Anthropolgie display window.
Here’s a look at some of what I tried on:
Geo print romper, $56
Palm print tie top ($42) and palm print swing shorts ($42.50)
I can’t find this one online!
My sister bought several things and I allowed a cheat on my year of buying no new clothes for a super discounted $10 black jumper. My justification is that I’m supporting Jordan and her new business hustle. My game, my rules.
My sister and I had so much fun doing this together and left saying we want Jordan and Lyndsay to be our friends. If you’re normal and can handle online shopping, you can shop now at elsafine.com. Note that Jordan and her friends double as the models on her site, which I think is pretty cool.
From online buying to in-house style sessions, the whole operation just feels like hanging out with your friends. And that’s not a bad way to shop.
Connect with Elsa Fine