idichic is most known for its affordable and stylish children’s clothing. Originally developed in Israel, the company has seen rapid growth in America — opening six stores and an outlet store upstate for the summer in less than five years. It has also cultivated a community of over 23,500 followers on Instagram as of press time, no easy feat these days. So what makes Kidichic so unique?
On a windy March day, I battled the traffic into the city to an incredible office space in Midtown to meet Galit Winer, who, along with her husband, Yitzchok, runs the US division of Kidichic International. She shared the company’s journey from its humble beginnings as an Israeli clothing brand to what many people have called “a revolution in children’s wear.”
Can you give our readers a bit of a backstory? How did the Kidichic opportunity come your way?
Most people don’t realize that Kidichic is an Israeli brand. It ended up in the hands of an Israeli businessman named Kobi Binet and his partners. About eight years ago, I was working for my parents’ jewelry company and Yitzchok was selling within the wholesale Judaica industry. We met Kobi through Yitzchok’s business partner at the time and were given the opportunity to bring Kidichic to the US market.
At first, we didn’t know how Israeli fashion would be accepted in American communities. But we felt that there was a serious hole in the availability of affordable, adorable children’s clothing in modest styles for younger and older kids. With that in mind, we dove into Kidichic head-on.
We decided to start with a pop-up shop in Lakewood before Pesach that year to test things out. People were over-the-moon excited. They were standing there thanking us profusely for bringing them such great clothes at such good prices. They could now afford to dress their whole families.
After that, we established a permanent location in Lakewood and opened a second store in Flatbush. We were so lucky to get the space we have. I remember asking someone, “What kind of location is Coney between J and K?” and she was like, “Are you kidding me?”
After both of those locations were set, we developed an overstock problem due to a situation with a wholesale customer. We could have taken a loss, but instead we decided to open two new stores, one in Boro Park and one in Monsey. So we went from two to four stores quickly. The next year, Kidichic opened two more locations, because of the high demand, in Cedarhurst and Williamsburg, making six stores in total.
We do all in-house designing with our two other brands under the Kidichic umbrella — Melange and Hadas. Each of our three labels has a distinct look, ensuring that everyone finds something they love. Now that we have multiple stores, we really try to cater to each community’s modesty standard and style. We do all the designing in-house and use our own manufacturers, which enables us to have control over the quality and pricing as well.
When we look back on our growth, we realize how lucky we got and now enjoy giving back to our various communities any way we can. We donate older styles to tzedakah organizations as well as to private clothing donations. The Israeli company does the same.
Wow, that’s some story. What are you most passionate about, and how does it translate into your business?
As a little girl, fashion was always my thing. I was the only girl in my family, and my mother and I both loved clothes. She’s still a big inspiration to me — she taught me how to be trendy and classy at the same time. When I worked for my family’s wholesale jewelry business, my father taught me sales and marketing techniques. So when this opportunity came to us, it was a no-brainer. We’re doing what we love every day and are so grateful to Hashem for our mazel. We live our lives and run our business with that in mind.
How will you know when the time is right to open your next store? What factors come into play when determining which location to pick?
We’re always looking for new opportunities, but we want to do it right. The options at the top of our list now are Crown Heights, Miami, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, Mexico, Australia, London, and LA.
We know it’s time to expand when we feel comfortable and are in a good place with our business. Business shouldn’t make you feel comfortable. When that happens, you get complacent and lose focus.
We determine where to go next based on the size of the Jewish population in that location, and if we feel that there is a need that we can fill. The ultimate goal is to have a store in each major Jewish community and to continue to reach others by expanding our website.
If someone is looking to open their own retail store, what should they expect?
Retail can be hard! A job like this needs constant work and focus on improvement. You have to be patient and take the time to learn what your clientele wants and needs — what works in one place may not work in another. It’s vital to maintain communication with your customers and to have an amazing staff who understands your mission. You can never just sit back and watch. When you finally get it right, something will change.
How do you deal with customer service issues?
We love our customers, so working with them is one of our top priorities. As we grow, it gets more challenging, but we take every comment and suggestion seriously. During the holiday seasons our stores and website are extremely busy, so we instruct all our brick-and-mortar locations to first take care of customers that are physically there. Anyone calling our stores for sizing or style inquiries is instructed to reach out via Instagram, where I personally take care of them.
(Excerpted from 2.0 Issue 3)