LOS ANGELES: Kate Nobelius and Shelli-Anne Couch founded Billion Dollar Babes, offers latest fashions from over 40 labels such as Vivienne Tam, Missoni, Tocca and Rebecca Taylor at a fraction of the retail price.
Nobelius was working in the music business when she met Couch, 38, then an editor at People magazine and a year later they started working together.
Being in Los Angeles certainly brought their business rapid attention.
"Fashionistas showed up at our events, and magazines, of course, were interested in where celebrities were shopping," says Nobelius.
The ten year old store is a worldwide sample-sale shopping event and dream come true for women seeking the latest fashions.
According to NPD Group, a market research company, spending on apparel in general has increased. The total U.S. apparel market for June 2006 to May 2007 was $194.8 billion, a 5.4% increase over the prior 12-month period.
"When you put together luxury and getting a deal, you have the gold standard of retail," says Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a national retail consulting and investment banking firm headquartered in New York. There's no more potent weapon than the combination of opulence and value.
The Billion Dollar Babes concept has certainly taken a part of the action. Its gross sales have been remarkable, growing from $1.6 million in 2003 to $5.9 million by 2006, says Couch, and are projected to reach $30 million in 2009. A single sale event, which usually spans two days, rakes in between $250,000 to $530,000.