Kitschy retail giant Nasty Gal might seem like an unlikely incubator for the budding founder of a minimalist shopping site, but stranger things have happened.
Former Nasty Gal buyer, Lisa Williams, used what she learned at one of fashion’s fastest-growing retailers and launched a brand-new shopping site called Lisa Says Gah, leaving the bright colors and sexy silhouettes of Sophia Amoruso‘s powerhouse behind in favor of simple, more minimalist offerings.
So far, the site is packed with under-the-radar, independent, and emerging brands like Dusen Dusen, Just Female, Kara, and Miansai, with a strong mix of prices that aren’t cheap by any means, but make sense for shoppers looking to curate a versatile, less trend-driven wardrobe. A pair of flat mules will set you back $128, for example, while a silk dress clocks in at $278, and a sleek leather bag costs upwards of $390.
Williams, 28, filled us in on why she ventured out on her own, and what shoppers can expect from Lisa Says Gah.
StyleCaster: What prompted you to start your own online store?
Lisa Williams: There’s a lot of clutter in retail right now. Mass production companies are offering upwards 500 styles a month to consumers, and markdown sales are built-in strategies. It’s a lot of product with not a lot of meaning behind it. In a world of fast-fashion, it’s important to me to support new talent in design and share that with our customer.
In a way, our goal is to declutter the market and to present a well edited assortment that highlights new designers that are creating beautiful, original pieces. Pieces that will become a staple in one’s closet.
What are the biggest differences between running your own business and working at Nasty Gal?
Nasty Gal came with a salary, a great reputation, supportive co-workers, and big budgets to bring ideas to life. I walked away from a cushy job, great friends, and nice perks to start Lisa Says Gah. With that said, Nasty Gal started small and grew overtime.
The biggest difference from working at Nasty Gal to LSG is that I’m not just managing an assortment, I’m doing it all. From styling, photography, content, buying to shipping out orders.
Why did you opt for such a minimalist aesthetic?
The aesthetic represents a well edited, minimal, uncluttered approach to fashion. We believe if you choose well you can do more with less. Our products can be worn over and over again without falling apart or feeling outdated. We want to keep it simple- offer best in design, quality, and wearability.
How do you pick the pieces to sell on the site?
When buying an item for the site, I think about quality and wearability first. I want our customer to buy something she can wear multiple times a week, and that will last beyond a season.
How often can shoppers expect to see new stock?
It ranges. Currently we’re bringing in about three to five new designers per month, eight to 10 styles per collection. There’s not a style count quota, we want to present the best of what’s new.