The Big Dream – Lavli living room
The BIG DREAM - my "business baby" to which I gave my ALL.
Lavli living room concept store combined shopping, training & events. A “happiness hotspot” of 250m2 in the heart of Helsinki comprised: Lorna Jane activewear shop, boutique training classes, speakers, wellness events, a space for private and business functions, temporary art exhibitions, tea bar, work space and lounge to chill out and gather.
As well as serving consumers, Lavli living room also served companies by offering them wellness services and renting spaces. For entrepreneurs it offered a market place to sell their products or services.
- Lavli living room was managed and operated almost solely by me (Asta👋). I had part time sales support in the first 2 months & kind friends helping me every now and then🙏. The project was financed with Lavli's bank loan.
The concept idea, branding & store design
The idea of having a place with a certain lifestyle & shopping evolved from Lavli's wellness events. There was undoubtedly a demand for the wellness place that took the customer experience to the next level. That was the heart of the Lavli living room concept: to offer a unique selection of products and services and reallyincrease people's happiness. Furthermore, celebrating unity and supporting other entrepreneurs by providing the market place for their products and services.
New brand identity for Lavli and Lavli living room concept was created. My vision was supported & produced by Graphic Designer Eve Eschner.
Online store design was renewed, together with Monkfish creative.
Store plan & renovation,together with Architect Anni Lahti and Kämp Galleria/ Ilmarinen.
- "Lavli Lola" and wall art ordered from artist Reetta Hiltunen.
- Giant standing paper flowers and wall art ordered from Mio Gallery
- Interior Design & decoration by Asta and supported by Interior Designer Anne Munkki.
Customer experience & Marketing
- The corner stones for marketing were central location and customer experience. The goal was to really WOW customers with the place itself and services provided, making them feel good. I think this is the best and onlyway to get people to share and talk about the product or service.
- The very central location was, of course, super high in cost but was calculated to have a return on investment through natural customer flow. I wanted people to get there easily, no matter where they live.
- Inspirational and unique "eye candy" interior design with full of details, mixed with art and stories behind the products, were perfect for a photos and selfies. Lavli living room had excellent (non paid) word of mouth marketing and social media sharing throughout its existence.
- Beautiful interiors also attracted a lot of magazines, bloggers and influencers to host their photo shoots at Lavli living room.
Above everything else, was the quality of customer service. My goal was to always connect with customers and make them smile. Customers would often stay and talk with me for hours. My biggest reward was being able to see the change in a person's demeanour after only a short talk. From grumpy and tired, to warm and smiley. Authenticity, openness and kindness are the key elements.
Touching the senses: fresh flowers, art, a delicious tea selection, cold pressed juices, background music and unexpected little surprises for the customers to feel good about themselves.
Boutique training classes delivered by the best professional instructors in Helsinki. More personal touch with smaller groups, themed music, a relaxing and fresh studio atmosphere and surprises after class every now and then.
Story telling: introducing the entrepreneurs and telling the stories behind the products.
- Lorna Jane product editorials in media.
- Social media campaigns: Lavli living room & Lorna Jane Finland, both FB & IG produced altogether about 6900 followers.
- Email marketing for the Lavli subscribers.
- PR events for bloggers, media and influencers.
- Free introduction classes & theme events for customers.
- Email & door-to-door marketing in the surrounding companies.
- Introduction events for neighbouring companies
Events: planning, marketing, organising and hosting
- Event products: e.g. Wellness events for businesses, Birthday Party package, Hen Party package
- Tailored events for the businesses (project management and hosting)
- Planning, marketing and hosting events.
- Space rental for companies, PR-events
So, what went wrong?
Lavli living room had to be closed down after one year. Location didn't deliver the customer flow that was expected. The shopping centre's customer flow was non-existent. Ironically, the thing that I was most excited about turned out to be my biggest downfall.
Even though customers praised the concept and customer base was growing steadily, I had been too optimistic with the business plan budget and timeframe. Eventually, closing down the store was my only option.
What was achieved?
- Lavli became a recognised brand among wellness and fashion-conscious consumers, influencers & media personalities.
- SUPERIOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. The concept WOWED customers and was praised by everyone who stepped through the door, no matter the age, gender, nationality or cultural background.
- Steadily growing loyal customer base in store and in social media (6900 followers altogether IG+FB).
- Effective word of mouth sharing through marketing & (non-paid) presence in blogs and influencer accounts
- Lavli living room was well presented in print media and in social media throughout its existence.
- Over 45 events held at Lavli living room, all with 5-star ratings.
A few lines from the guestbook:
"Tulin hurmatuksi ♥︎ Kuinka ihastuttava paikka, kauniin "emännän" sydämellään luotsaamana. Paljon kauniita päiviä ja huikeaa menestystä Asta & Lavli. This totally rocks! Elämä on nyt ♥︎" - Jonna
"Ruotsista asti tiedusteltiin Lavli living roomista, kun koskaan aiemmin ei ollut näin suurta pr-tilaisuuden näkyvyyttä somessa" - Sense of Karma PR-tilaisuus by Ellos
"Asta, Wonder Woman, olet meille kaikille hieno esimerkki rohkeudesta, asenteesta ja sisusta! Kiitos Sinulle!" -Leena
"Asta ihana, kiitos tästäkin illasta ja aivan upeasta vuodesta Lavlin kanssa. Kehon ja mielen huoltoa samassa paketissa: silkkaa luksusta!" -Annette
"Halusin tuoda ystäväni tänne ihastumaan ♥︎ ja samalla itsekkin unelmoimaan teekupin kera. Aivan ihana, että tällainen paikka on olemassa. Mieli rauhoittuu ja omat unelmat selkiytyy. Tälläisesta paikasta itsekin haaveilen – joku päivä se on toivottavasti totta myös Tampereella" -Zara
"Such a feel good place and really nice idea! You have great style and we love your passion! Rock on!" -Joust & Hanna
"Paikka näyttää, tuntuu ja tuoksuu ihanalta! Uskomaton rohkeus ja intohimo luo tälläistä! En voi kuin nostaa hattua ja inspiroitua." - Saara
"Helsingin ihanin ja paras paikka tulla viihtymään ja nauttimaan ihanasta miljööstä ja tunnelmasta! Onnea vielä, Asta! " - Kisse
"Ihana, ihana voimaluola!" - Inga
"Heti ovesta sisään tullessa ihana, inspiroiva, värikäs, ihana tila hurmaa! Mahtavat pilates ja tanssitunnit. Kiitos!" - Anu
"Mahtava meininki Flirty Dance tunnilla! Superihana ope! Lavli living huokuu hyvää oloa ja fiilistä, kiitos!" - Nina
"Ihana päivä Lavlissa ja mielettömät mimmit Flirty tunnilla. Tämä on ehdottomasti makein kaikista maailman "liikuntapaikoista"! - Ellu
"Kauneutta ja valoa täynnä tämä ihana tila! Kiitos Asta! Oli ilo olla täällä rakastu Elämääsi -kirjan julkkareissa." Lämmöllä, Marika
"Wau mikä kokemus, mitkä ihmiset ja tilat! Suuri kiitos Mippi ja Asta!" - Taina
"Ihana ja tunnelmallinen tila! Luennon aiheet eivät olisi voineet olla osuvampia. kiitos ihana Maaret ja Asta!" - Anni