Lollipops Shoes and Accessories

by Terry Watson | March 8th, 2012

Lollipops (Photo by Howard Gaither)

Her desire is to cater to shoe lovers everywhere! If you are in need of some retail therapy or just love the rush of finding the hottest in heels, flats, wedges and accessories at shockingly low prices, Lollipops Shoes and Accessories is the next “add” on your list of retail “favs”! Lollipops, however is not just all about retail. The company also has a strong business to business wholesale clientele; offering the latest styles in shoes, accessories and apparel by the case. Denise Dawson of Fayetteville, N.C. has owned and operated Lollipops since 2009. Her first location originated downtown Greensboro. In 2010, she moved the location to Fayetteville. Gone but not forgotten, Dawson continued to service Lollipops’ wholesale and consignment customers in the Greensboro area, but always kept an eye out for a great new location for Lollipops. She has done so and is now opening Lollipops’ newest location at 2910 East Market Street.

A graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, Dawson has spent the last 10 years working in corporate technology for some of the largest companies in the world such as Siemens, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and VF Corporation. Her time at VF Corporation especially, taught her a tremendous amount about the fashion retail and wholesale business. She was inspired by the entrepreneurs she met while managing the technology aspect of the merger and acquisitions of such VF subsidiaries as Lucy, Seven for All Mankind and Majestic Athletics.

Lollipops began as a retail store only. However, Dawson’s company has grown to include a wholesale and consignment segment as well. The consignment arm is designed for other retail stores who would like to extend their product offerings without taking on 100% of the investment risk. “The products are provided by Lollipops and the store (consignment client) receives a commission from the products that are sold,” she explains.

The Wholesale segment of the Lollipops business is twofold. There is the traditional business to business segment where Lollipops sells shoes, accessories and apparel at wholesale prices to other businesses. There is also the Lollipops Girl™ Wholesale Program. The Lollipops Girl™ Wholesale Program was developed for individuals who do not have a retail store but would love to sell shoes, accessories and apparel. The Lollipops Girl™ Program is the newest addition to the Lollipops business and offers individuals the opportunity to sell shoes much like they would sell Mary Kay or Avon products at shoe parties, church, etc. They are also allowed to purchase Lollipops products at a discounted price and lower minimums than the full cases required in the B2B wholesale program. This program is designed for someone who wants to sell shoes, but is not interested in taking on the tremendous investment of opening a shoe store. Dawson says through the Lollipops Girl™ Wholesale Program clients can invest as little as $200 and purchase several styles.

She says Lollipops has over the years had its share of challenges. First she had to establish an identity for her company. “There are so many great ideas out there. And you will hear them all from friends, family and advisors. But you have to be very focused on defining your core business principles and offerings so that you can hone in on those really great ideas that support your model and the message you are trying to get across to your customer,” Dawson says. “Ultimately, the feedback you received from your customer base are the great ideas that will grow your business.” Lollipops Shoes and Accessories’ newest retail store location includes a full service hair salon where professional stylists offer all types of hair services such as wash and sets, lace wigs, full sew-in weaves, relaxers and more. The Salon at Lollipops™ is our newest venture. We are extremely proud to extend our fashion offering to great, healthy and fashionable hair. Customers of The Salon at Lollipops™ enjoy $8 Wraps and Wash’n Go services, as well as discounts on shoes.

Dawson says quality and price are what makes Lollipops a unique place to buy shoes and accessories. It is rare to find both at the same time; however, the Lollipops Team prides itself on offering the latest in fashion and remaining affordable. “Our stores truly offer the most popular fashion looks for less. Often times when shopping for a less expensive alternative to a high fashion look; the alternative can be upwards of $400. This is what makes Lollipops viable in the market,” she explains. Clients are offered a look for $20 to $30. The business concept and formula for success that Dawson practices isn’t complicated. She explains that if a fabulous Christian Louboutin shoe is listed on the maker’s website at a cost of $1200, some popular magazines may feature a similar, but alternative shoe for $400. Even that cost is not in the budget for most shoe lovers. Dawson’s specialty is to offer an alternative that will save a great amount off the listed price. This is a true fashion look for less!

Lollipop’s prides themselves on offering world-class customer service. “We may be a small business, but we treat our customers like they are in the most posh boutique in town. We are proud of the customer experience offered in our stores,” says Dawson. Over the last year they have been able to grow significantly due to our wholesale customer base. Their “business to business” relationships have positively impacted their business by helping them grow and network. She says there is so much to learn in the small business world and there are no better teachers than other small business owners who have been successfully managing and growing their businesses.

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