Retailer of the Week
Francesca Durante, founder of Lol Tulum in Mexico (right), and friend
16 May. 2013
Francesca Durante, Lol Boutique, Tulum, MexicoPositioned inside the ecologic beachfront resort Posada Margherita, the luxury boutique lol tulum is based in Tulum, Mexico. It carries an assortment of brands by small designers from Mexico and the US. Founder Francesca Durante her two friends Daria Hines and Coni Malleville opened the shop in November 2012. Our New York-based contributor Rudy Gonzales recently met up with Durante while in Tulum to delve into her beach style by way of Italy and Mexico and discuss Tulum becoming a seasonal destination for fashion insiders, the trendy set and elite celebrities.
What are some of your current bestsellers brandwise and itemwise?
For brands our bestsellers are Samudra (canvas pouches with full-color prints of Tulum landscapes), Varigotti (beach towels and pareos inspired by the Italian Riviera town) and Custom Made Projects (sunglasses handcrafted in Mexico City from sustainable wood and mounted with Carl Zeiss lenses).
Lol Tulum in Mexico
Itemwise, our bestsellers are our own lol bikinis designed and manufactured in Playa del Carmen, Posada Margherita's own merchandise (tees, hoodies and tank tops made from organic cotton) and VK Lillie (traditional medicine bags with healing stones to be worn as necklaces).
Have you been surprised by the sales performance of any particular item or brand?
Yes, particularly the Custom Made Projects sunglasses. Orlando Bloom bought a pair a few months ago.
What US brands do you carry?
VK Lillie, Newbark, Mamacita, Loup Charmant, Samudra, Lure swimwear, Nancy Melet and Cheyann Benedict.
People who have an appreciation for the quality of the materials (organic cottons, Italian linens) and the simplicity and refined sense of design of our products.
How does the store compare to other shops in the area? What sets lol tulum apart?
The three partners bring to the table three different styles and backgrounds (New York/Los Angeles, Italy and Mexico) so the collection has a broader appeal than other stores in the area. This combination creates a unique beach style with local Tulum inspiration and chic materials.
What has been the biggest challenge of having the store thus far?
Since Tulum is a very seasonal destination, the biggest challenge has been to maintain good sales levels in the slower months of the year and since we are the “new kids on the block” to make sure that our customers’ experience is a positive as it can be.
Building the store step by step and when Posada Magherita’s guests’ kids were running around the store wearing our colorful tees and hoodies!
How do you find new brands and merchandise?
Research, research, research...Magazines, the Internet and suggestions from people in the design/fashion world that are either friends or guests of Posada Margherita.
Like Posada Margherita the store is simple, essential, rustic, refined–a cozy beach boutique.
What are two or three rules that every retailer always needs to follow?
Offer quality products, friendly service, honest opinions and freedom of choice to all our customers.
What fashion trend, brand or specific piece are you excited to carry for the spring 2013 season?
Carolina K and Julia & Renata, two Mexican brands of very high quality women’s dresses, designed and manufactured in Mexico City.
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km. 4,5
+52 984 119 0573
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