All the fashion lovers out there know that high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Christian Louboutin and Hermès are to die for. It would be every girl’s dream t have a wardrobe collection filled with these designer brands, right? I like to say that with great fashion comes great sacrifice — and I mean great financial sacrifice for the most part. But this is when businesses like Yoogi’s Closet come to save the day for many.
Yoogi’s Closet is an online consignment store selling high-end designer clothing and accessories at a high discount. Founded by Eugenia and Simon Han, the business was featured in Lucky Magazine, Allure and the Wall Street Journal. Puget Sound Business Journal also recognized Yoogi’s Closet as the 18th fastest-growing private company in Washington state this past October.
When asked why he chose the name Yoogi’s Closet, Simon said, “I named the business after my wife’s nickname — and [to note] the fact that it really did start with inventory from her own closet.”
Eugenia and Simon seem to be the perfect duo to handle this authenticated, pre-owned luxury online store, considering their contrasting experiences from previous jobs.
Eugenia oversees merchandising, product procurement and product authentication, while Simon manages operations, the online shopping experience and marketing for Yoogi’s Closet.
Simon was formerly the co-founder of CarDomain, one of the largest online communities for car enthusiasts — a venture that he recently sold to Source Interlink. He and his team built a cutting-edge e-commerce store completely from scratch, which he later used to build a leading e-commerce solution for Yoogi’s Closet.
As for Eugenia, she spent a decade long indulging her passion for fashion by buying leading lines for young adults and managing the product development of several in-house private labels. Let’s just say she is the expert on all things fashionable.
The revelation of Yoogi’s Closet came upon Eugenia and Simon in early 2008 when they were vacationing in Japan and Korea. They saw the concept of the “high-end” consignment store in the cities they visited — a stark contrast from the ingrained Northwest image of worn, musty consignment store clothing.
Simon then took that very idea and applied it to an e-commerce business model, which he has been running since the late-‘90s.
The idea of businesses like Yoogi’s Closet is so appealing to Asian Americans that Eugenia and Simon thought of starting their own. According to Simon, most Asian Americans are very hardworking and often make great sacrifices for their family. So, a Louis Vuitton handbag at the end of a stressful month may serve as a small, but satisfying reward.
“I also believe that Asian Americans see the value and benefit of buying a gently used pre-owned item vs. new, especially if concerns of authenticity are put to rest,” he added.
As e-commerce continues to boom, especially with this past Black Friday and Cyber Monday being the busiest shopping days of the season surpassing $1 billion in sales, Simon said the “secret-sauce” to Yoogi’s Closet is two-fold.
“One is to perfect [the website] to deliver the best online shopping experience, and two is to continuously ‘wow’ our clients with amazing support both on the selling and buying sides of our business,” the entrepreneur stated.
The service provided by the duo has been given rave reviews Clients from all over the United States and even some from Singapore and Australia have left testimonials, proving the online store’s authenticity.
Buyer Lucy G. from Singapore said, “I never thought that I would be comfortable with buying used Tiffany jewelry being that there are so many fakes available online. However, the bracelet that I received was gorgeous, and of course, 100 percent authentic. I also enjoy having the peace of mind that I can return the item in 30 days if I’m not happy with my purchase.”
Seller Alice C. from Calgary, Alberta in British Columbia, also left a similar note saying:“What a far cry from dingy consignment stores! Everything about your consignment program is first-class. The presentation of my bag was beautiful, and your commission was far less than what a consignment store would have charged. Now that I’ve used your consignment services, I won’t go anywhere else to sell my bags.”
Moving forward with the success of Yoogi’s Closet so far, Eugenia and Simon Han want to continue to grow and become the largest online service for buying and selling authenticated, pre-owned luxury items for women.
“Our core competency is the online space,” Simon said, “[And] we have no intention of venturing into the brick and mortal world.”