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#DivasDoingBusiness: Renee Kostas, Posh Local

Do you ever shop online, see a great piece and think ‘I need this outfit now.’ You and me both, sister. Luckily for Pittsburgh, the best invention in fashion has arrived. Introducing Posh Local – your own personal stylists, your own online boutique, your own outfit same-day delivery service. This must have been created for this #DivaOnTheGo.

With Pittsburgh-themed collections designed for the city girl, Posh Local is Pittsburgh fashion upgraded. Four new collections, SOUTHSIDE, SHADYSIDE, SUBURBAN and DOWNTOWN PGH, were designed with the urbanite in mind and give a fresh look to our local city girl. Not to mention the delivery service is a huge perk!

Founder Renee Kostas made style her full-time gig after graduating with a degree in business marketing. Since the company’s official opening in March of 2018, Renee’s been personally delivering trends to city tastemakers and making moves in the local industry. This week’s #DivasDoingBusiness spotlight is on Renee Kostas – the gal behind the great idea.

Q: When did you begin Posh Local? What inspired the idea?

A: Posh Local’s website launched March 1st, 2018, but it had become an LLC in June of 2017, recently after I graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Throughout college, I relied heavily on the app Poshmark to earn what I call my “fun money”. It was tough being a full-time student without an income who was trying to keep up with latest fashions and always rock a new outfit for our frequent sorority events. I utilized the app to sell gently worn clothing in exchange for cash or a new outfit. After graduation, I spent the summer exploring sites like Indeed, Monster, and Ziprecruiter with zero luck in finding a perfect match for my degree, experience, and interests, so selling my clothing online became my full-time job. On my 4th trip to the post office one day in June, I noticed that one of my buyers was from Pittsburgh, PA and only lived about 15 minutes from me. “How cool would it be if I could deliver this item right to buyer, instead of them having to wait up to five days for the post office to ship it out?” Just like that the idea was born! I knew Pittsburgh would be the perfect market for an online delivery boutique, especially with my headquarters (AKA my apartment!) located in the South Hills.

Q: Where do you find inspiration for your styles?

A: I find inspiration for Posh Local’s clothing from all over! I strive to find pieces that you wouldn’t find at other boutiques, or retail chains like Forever21. Although I love shopping at other boutiques, I find myself either frustrated with the price tag on your basic items (tees, tanks, etc.), or underwhelmed with the the selection of BOLD eye-catching pieces. For me, I browse boutiques in hopes of finding something unique that no one else has. A truly original piece of clothing is worth the few extra bucks, but if I can find it at an affordable price too— I’M SOLD! I try to identity the current trends through newsletters from my wholesalers, what the celebs are wearing, and also what other retailers are carrying. I dissect the pieces other retail stores are carrying and then try to one-up them but finding a similar trend with a twist, because then it’s posh-approved. I also have a lot of help from my social media followers on choosing the new pieces for our upcoming collections. If you have noticed on our website, our clothing selections are broken up into four collections— the South side collection, the Shadyside collection, the Downtown Pgh collection and the Suburban Collection.

Each collection represents the styles you would find in each of these areas of Pittsburgh. The styles were inspired by the people, places and overall vibe in each of these different areas.
Q: What’s in store for the future of Posh Local?

A: The future of Posh Local is definitely to grow within the Pittsburgh community. I hope to continue collaborating with local entrepreneurs and business owners with a similar vision for success and uniqueness. Although we’re often asked if we will open a brick-and-mortar storefront, I don’t believe it will happen in the near future. I believe Posh Local’s business model would be better suited for an office/warehouse space to house the expanding product lines and serve as a physical locations for orders to be packed and delivered, or for clients to stop by for a try-on.

Q: Where do you see the brand in 5 years?

A: I hope to see Posh Local become a national name in the online retailer market. Expanding into other key cities is definitely a goal for the future, and it would give me the opportunity to bring more inspired, hardworking boss babes onto my team! I would love to give more local women the experience of working with a start-up, so growing the team is definitely in the 5-year plan as well!

Q: Do you have any tips for women starting out in business?

A: This is tough. I am still in the “seeking-advice” phase myself, but one thing I’ve learned is to trust my gut. When you are starting anything new in life, you should always expect to be in the spotlight. Any path you take, whether it be right, wrong, left or right, will be criticized and scrutinized at the beginning. Even though your family members and your friends may have the best intentions and just want to see you succeed, their advice and commentary will weigh you down. My best piece of advice is to not get caught up in what anyone thinks of the way you are running your business— sometimes even your own customers. It’s essential to always be listening to your clients, your employees and your competition, but once you begin to blur your vision for other people, the bigger picture begins to dissolve and it may no longer be the business that you intended to create.  Stick to your guns! There’s nothing wrong with adapting to the needs of your clients, but be careful that you are sticking to your niche and not bending your original ideas simply to blend in with competitors or to please everyone. You will never please everyone, so stick to your target market and truly value what they have to say. But valuing the opinions of others doesn’t always mean you have to make a change.

Q: How would you describe your personal style?

A: My personal style is POSH. I have always dressed “older than my age”. My ideal outfit would be form fitting denim with a simple, yet unique sleeveless blouse, a cape blazer, and a pair of pumps. I appreciate higher-end, luxury brands when it comes to clothing and style, but not at the expense of comfort or my bank account. I purchase the majority of my basics from TJMaxx and Marshalls, but tend to get my bold pieces online or from my favorite boutiques. My style is always evolving. I usually choose one piece of my outfit that I intend to “showcase” that day, and then tone everything down to let that piece take the spotlight. My style is more refined, but certainly not stiff or uptight. Like I said, it’s more important for me to be comfortable in my clothing so a great fit is essential. When I find a style that flatters my body, I tend to find new ways to tie it into several outfits.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote that motives you?

A: Constantly, I am coming across new quotes that inspire me. One that is currently on my vision board is this, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision”. This is such a simple quotation, but it holds true in every industry and to entrepreneurs at any stage in their journey. When I look up at my vision board, I see these words and whatever doubt I was fighting, or whatever worry I was debating seems to disintegrate.

As a young female business owner, it’s difficult fighting the urge to get caught up in social media and start to doubt your own successes or your own strengths because you are constantly being fed misrepresented information from other women and brands. This is a constant reminder to trust your intuition and to not be blinded by the cookie-cutter business model. Being bold in business is not for everyone, but being courageous is.

 

To SHOP POSH visit www.poshlocalpgh.com and follow on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.

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