March 20, 2020

Shop Impromptu still providing service even with doors closed

By Zoe Watkins–

Though many stores are closing until the coronavirus pandemic has settled, there are some who have found ways to keep open.

Shop Impromptu is owned and run by University of Louiville alumnus Jordan Mannel. The boutique store sells women’s clothing, shoes, accessories and home decorations.

Mannel said she began her business in 2016 by starting it as an online boutique in her living room. She mostly relied on online ads the first year, but her business quickly took off.

“As it grew, I expanded into a 550 square feet showroom in Butchertown to get it out of my home. We quickly got there and moved into the mall in October of 2018. We occupied 1100 square feet and I gained a staff of about 6 people. In July 2019, we moved into a 6000 square feet store in Oxmoor across from Apple & Sephora,” Mannel said.

In the beginning, Mannel’s inventory primarily consisted of derby fashion which she said is how she got started.

“Everyone wanted me to dress them for Derby. My mom makes all the hats and fascinators, and I sell more in Derby season than in Christmas season,” Mannel said.

Even though Shop Impromptu had to close for the time being, Mannel said it was the right decision.

“I feel I did the right thing by closing my door early Saturday to ensure we take precautions of not spreading COVID-19. People were not staying inside, and I did not want to be the one to give them a place to go,” she said.

Since Shop Impromptu sells more derby fashion than anything else, she said it will be a hard time.

“I currently have a staff of 12 and with all the current events, doing my best to make sure what I’ve created stays afloat,” she said.

But there’s still hope for stores to keep going and make money even with their storefront closed. Such as with Shop Impromptu, there is an online store and a Facebook page where customers can still order products which Mannel said can go a long way.

“Buy online if it something they are something, purchase gift cards, share their posts and comment on their posts. All of these simple things can help,” she said.

Even though everything may seem rough right now, and there is still a lot of uncertainty, there is still some advice that can be shared.

“It’s going to be okay, we are all in this together. And lucky for us, most of your derby dresses will still be in season for the beginning of September,” Mannel said.

Photo courtesy by Jordan Mannel

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