You might ask, Why London? On Monday’s Merchant Spotlight, we featured Westland Coffee as Team Blockchain’s favorite coffee joint in East London. If you couldn’t tell already, London is home to Blockchain’s European HQ!
On today’s Merchant Spotlight, we continue to celebrate our love for London by featuring Elizabeth DuBois and her British-inspired luxury lifestyle boutique. Among many accomplishments, Elizabeth launched the first bitcoin ATM in New York City and got a huge amount of press, notably from TechCrunch that covered the story! At FLAT 128, Elizabeth combines her passion for fashion, business, and British design. Stop by 15 Christopher Street to shop hard-to-find and exclusive jewelry, accessories, and home decor—all with bitcoin. Chances are you may have never heard of the many brands as they are new to the USA and New York.
**Esther P: **Aside from living in London in your 20s, what are some things that you can point to in your background that you think were instrumental in giving you the tools to open FLAT 128?
**Elizabeth D: **I’ve always wanted to have my own business and be my own boss. I knew it had to be fashion-related, but it wasn’t quite clear when, where, or how until after living in London. I thought it would be great to have a store that launches new, rare, and special designers based in London and England. Americans love everything British, and I wanted to be the first to share the amazing talents!
EP: Congrats on recently celebrating the two-year anniversary of FLAT 128! How has your vision changed over time since the beginning?
ED: I’ve become intrinsically more customer-driven. I understand, focus, and deliver what customers will want tomorrow, in a month, and in a year. My buying tactics have been tweaked to fit the needs and tastes of my customers and friends in the West Village neighborhood who appreciate the finer things in life. Most importantly, I feel lucky to actually know my customers and to see them on a regular basis. I know their names, their addresses, and their stories, and might even recognize them if I bumped into them on the street!
Full-service and undivided attention to customers results in high touch. If you want to buy it, I want to get to know you first. Ultimately, I want to know who my customers are so I can really fathom why they want to buy what they want to buy. I want to know if I can really help them.
**EP: **What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew at the start of the process?
**ED: **When I think of something, I want it done at the given moment. However, I’ve learned the importance of keeping calm and carrying patience. Some things take more time than you hope for. Things worthwhile don’t come easy and fast. It’s more critical for something to be perfect than launched immediately.
EP: So why West Village?
ED: West Village is a beautiful area of the city filled with residents who have good vibes and good (and high!) taste. It often reminds me of London and is highly trafficked by tourists from all around the world who are looking for nothing ordinary.
Thanks to social media, consumers have more power than ever before to share their positive customer experiences at FLAT 128. Facebook, Twitter, Polyvore, Pinterest, Instagram, and blog posts including yours undoubtedly generate more traffic through our doors. It’s also worth mentioning that having the first bitcoin ATM in New York City has given a lot of attention!
EP: Speaking of FLAT 128 installing the first bitcoin ATM in New York City, what is your view on bitcoin and why are you so excited about it?
**ED: **Bitcoin has so much potential, and I am very excited to see how it will progress. Just recently, major companies including Microsoft and Expedia have started to accept bitcoin, so I wonder what other businesses will jump on board. The greatest benefit of bitcoin is that it’s free, instant, and easy! Bitcoin is a solution to expensive and time-consuming international transfer platforms such as Western Union.
EP: Who and what influences your boutique?
ED: I handpick every season from London-based designers who are doing something unique and displaying their vivid points of views. I’m a lover of all things extraordinary and I can immediately recognize the individual designer. At the end of the day, it’s not so much about my personal taste as much as it is about the taste of my customers. If you’re a business owner, talk to your customers. And let them inspire you.
EP: Speaking of your personal taste, what is one item in your closet that you cannot live without?
ED: I would say…my Acne leather jacket!
EP: What a great answer. Who doesn’t love Acne? Tell me about your personal style.
ED: Think comfortable and a mixture of high and low. My favorite brand is Acne, and I wear neutral colors with bold, unique accessories.
EP: Can you tell us about some of the upcoming events or items at FLAT 128?
ED: Stay tuned for holiday events, which will be publicized on our website in the weeks to come. Some of our new products include the award-winning Cowshed Christmas Crackers, cozy sweaters, and more clothing styles! Be sure to swing by, we’re always accepting bitcoin 🙂
– Monday through Saturday from 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
– Sunday from 12:00 AM – 6:00 PM
You can give us the scoop on an awesome new merchant via our Merchant Map in our Android wallet, or if you’re a merchant who accepts bitcoin you can also add your business to our map through Blockchain Merchant on iOS.