Giving with Style: Deb Nichol on Living “The Latest Scoop” Dream & the Keys to Starting a Successful Business

By Sophie Collins  /  

#GirlBoss, #Interviews

For Deb, owner of The Latest Scoop, business acumen is simply not enough. She gets her drive from the creative side of her role as Entrepreneur and CEO. It goes beyond loving what you do and understanding what it is you need to do. And luckily for us, that involves curating the latest styles at her stores. Her killer statement piece to elevate a work outfit? A chunky heel or ankle strap stiletto. Sounds like our kinda gal! Read on to find out more about what makes Deb tick.

What is your number one tip for starting a business?
Opening a new business is exciting, it’s putting thought to action and living a dream! That being said, it also has it’s challenges so it’s difficult to only offer one tip, below are my top 4 (sorry, I tried to edit it but they are all equally important). Having proper financing in place is a priority but since that is a given I did not include it!

If you make me pick one I’d combine 1 and 2!

  1. You have to love and believe in what you do. You really have to love what you are creating and commit to it. Loving what you do will help you rise above the challenges you’ll face and make your success even sweeter! And, remember to have fun with it!
  2. Think outside the box. Whatever business you choose to open, make it unique and put your thought to action (meaning don’t talk about it, do it!). When I started The Latest Scoop, I didn’t want to open ‘just’ another store so I came up with the Pop Up concept with stores that open for limited engagements, we now have full time locations but I still am committed to being unique. Each season my creative team change the merchandise mix and the store visuals, it’s an immense amount of work – we do it because we like to offer our customers a fresh and enticing experience and so for us it’s a necessary joy. I want customers to feel our dedication to them, through our beautiful merchandising.
  3. Put your customers first. Customer appreciation must be sincere – we try engage with everyone that walks in our doors, we get to know them and they us. Every effort we put forth is with them in mind.
    I could write chapters on this – it goes back to loving what you do and your customers will feel it and follow you.
  4. Hire happy people who believe in what you are doing. My staff sincerely enjoy people and are definitely a large part of my success. Clever buying and merchandising is necessary but without the support of my team and their dedication to all aspects of the business we would not enjoy the success we have. We all really enjoy working together, which I think shows…we have happy stores!

What is the best part of your day?
I admit that I am happiest when I am in the stores or planning our creative strategy. In the stores I get to see it all come to play and I get to spend time with our team. They always make me feel joyful!

As for the creative, we really try to out do ourselves each season and so we think outside the box to come up with some new ideas. Some of our ideas start with, ‘this might sound like a dumb idea’…but those are often the ones we go with!

How important is fashion in a woman’s work life?
Putting thought into what you are wearing for business is important. It’s respectful to dress appropriately in business, but more importantly, you will have more confidence and feeling confident is empowering. Dressing well does not have to be expensive, all you need is to have a clean & simple look so that people are dealing with you and not your fashion trend of the moment. Fashion is not about trend or labels, it’s about personal style.

What are the three staples every working woman needs?
This would really depend on what type of industry you work in but there’s nothing like a few great basic pieces with a bit of style to them.

  1. A neutral colored suit or separates that work together. Choose a jacket style that flatters and fits your body and your look. You could choose a longer jacket with a slightly looser fit or a more structured one – both are fine so long as it’s ‘your’ look and you learn how to layer under it. A suit will take you from a business meeting to dinner but can also be worn as separates for a more casual feel.
  2. The perfect white top (washable!) that can go with many looks and is good for layering.
  3. A great shoe that works with skirts or pants, here’s where you can have a bit of extra style (remember style, not trend!). If you are wearing a pump choose one with a new chunky heel (Scoop has them!), or one with an ankle strap.

Where do you get most of your inspiration?
I love travelling and always visit unique stores in New York (my favorite store is ABC Carpet & Home for merchandising tips), Los Angeles (we are in LA buying twice a month). I think I have been to every store in Paris (Merci in Le Marais district is a faveorite), and of course, I love Pinterest and home décor magazines from Australia and London. I watch people wherever I am – how they put things together etc. My staff also inspire me as they all have a unique style about them. I am not the only buyer. I have a co-buyer, Caroline (age 28), and managers and staff members have a say in what looks we select. We include our staff in many aspects of the company as they are very creative and have many talents! Scoop is definitely a team effort!

Why do you support Dress for Success Vancouver and why is philanthropy important to you?
I am very pleased to support Dress for Success, there are so few places that offer such personal dedication and service to women. I believe all people need to support each other, especially women supporting women as it brings our community together and reminds us to stay connected. Supporting Dress for Success is showing women that they are not alone and that they matter, that is healing power in action!

Meet Deb at Giving with Style: A YES! Holiday Soirée on November 30th!