Affordable, Simplistic, Olive You

Photo by Luu Nguyen ASU Sun Devils and sisters, Michelle Tranberg and Taylor Kerley and their store Olive You. Photo by Luu Nguyen

A number of girls are sitting alongside one another, exchanging photos of their attire for the upcoming event. Each of the girls let out a silent sigh of relief as they realize no one else is wearing the same outfit as them. But there’s always one girl who feels a surge of panic wash over as her eyes scan everyone’s photos. Unlike the girls around her, she still doesn’t have an outfit.

Olive You, a boutique located at the Vista del Sol complex, is dedicated to helping girls in a similar situation. They create put-together attire rather than the last minute outfit so many girls are all too familiar with.

“We try to keep it fun and fashionable, on the edge, yet still affordable for the college girl who’s also on a budget,” Director of Merchandising Michele Tranberg says.

Tranberg, along with her sister and art studies junior Taylor Kerley, have always had a sixth sense for fashion. Kerley acts as the store's Director of Trends.

“We’re always on the hunt for non-expensive stuff, but still has that quality look,” Tranberg says. “We found ourselves going to all these different stores just to get that specific look. We would always stay under the budget, but it would take a lot more time. We always jokingly begged our parents, ‘please let us open our own clothing store.’”

On Sept. 25, Tranberg and Kerley fulfilled their childhood ambitions when they opened Olive You. Staying true to their original values, the store never carries a clothing article over $49.99, yet makes sure every piece is what their customers would want. In addition to their affordable prices, Olive You highlights the uniqueness of their items by only carrying six of each of the pieces.

“We knew we were going to have the same girls walking past here every day and we need to keep the inventory fresh for them,” Kerley says. “No one wants to walk into a store and see the exact same thing for a month.”

Olive You relies heavily on the input of its customers to convey the style of clothing they wish to see in the store. The sisters will make frequent trips to the Los Angeles fashion district to select clothes to bring back to the store. They highly encourage customers to share with them their ideas, whether it is through social media sites, such as Instagram, or in person.

“Going into it we were trying to stay true to our personal style, but that’s because we also didn’t know what would sell well and we were going off of what we liked,” Tranberg says. “Now we know what’s going to sell, what our clientele likes and what they’re looking for.”

Instead of following some of the latest trends, the sisters pay close attention to what girls are buying, such as dresses and rompers. They also hope the selective collection of clothing items make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.

“I like the whole vibe of it, that each rack is specific to the clothing item so you don’t get distracted,” marketing freshman Kavitha Ramohalli says. “It’s really clean, very modern and simplistic.”

The boutique also takes advantage of its prime location on campus being so close to the Adelphi complex, which houses the ASU Greek sororities, and underneath the Vista del Sol complex. During sorority events Olive You makes sure to stock up on the items members are required to wear for events, such as the Red Dress Formal. Being located near an apartment complex also builds a stronger community between the residents and boutique.

“I couldn’t imagine owning this store without this community around us,” Tranberg says. "We see the same faces from upstairs and they come down whenever they need an outfit.”

The boutique has also recently begun getting involved in hosting events. At the beginning of the fall semester Olive You collaborated with the Business of Fashion club in hosting a launch event. Members who attended were given a special discount for attending.

“We have a great space for it and it is a great opportunity to get our name out there,” Tranberg says.

The boutique plans on expanding its online presence by launching a website within the next few weeks, which will include a limited number of items available for sale. However, overall the pair hopes to focus on the growth of their single location.

“Right now, this is what we’re focused on,” Tranberg says. “This is our baby, they need to grow up and go to college and then maybe we’ll think about expanding.”

Reach the writer at mchavan1@asu.edu or via Twitter @manalichavan72.


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