In anticipation of our Yoga+ Trunk Club collaboration this Saturday, we asked Kelsey Brown and Katie Wortman, two of Trunk Club's finest, to take us behind the brand.
Those of us who have yet to visit Trunk Club with a male friend are dying to know what the experience is like. What happens during an in-person appointment in your Chicago location? How does this in-person styling service differ from the online service delivered to men around the country?
The in-person experience is something completely unique to Trunk Club and unlike shopping anywhere else. When guys come in, they're started off with a drink of their choice (whether that's Monkey Shoulder whiskey on the rocks from our 40-foot bar or a vanilla latte from our coffee bar downstairs). They will be lead to one of our specially-designed fitting rooms where their stylist will chat with them for a few minutes to get a better sense of his lifestyle, style preferences, and what he's in need of to help personalize the experience as much as possible.
Then, clients will presented with a selection of options to try on and be styled in person. Each stylist will help explain how the items can be worn in different scenarios that are applicable to each individual client's life. At the end, he is free to purchase what he likes (with no charge for the service), and enjoy a drink on our awesome rooftop space. We offer head-to-toe looks - focusing mostly on dressy casual but we have everything from formal to super casual wear. If he wants something that is 100% one of a kind, our custom service is out of this world.
What are the most common wardrobe mistakes Chicago guys make & how do you address these during the sales process without hurting their ego?
Chicago guys tend to have a more casual style which I never try to completely re-do, but rather elevate so they still feel like themselves - just a better version! One area where a lot of guys need some help is in fit. Tons come in and are wearing things 1-2 sizes too big, or a cut that is just completely unflattering. Instead of pointing this out to them, I'll put them in an awesome fitting pair of dark jeans or a dress shirt that fits the way it should and let them see for themselves what a difference fit can make. Additionally, many guys aren't aware of how much a little bit of tailoring here and there can help transform their clothes. We have a tailor on-site and offer complementary pant hemming (a must for almost any guy).
As far as style goes - there are a couple fashion faux pas we see from time to time when it comes to what guys wear to go out on the weekend. Pairing a suit jacket or black shoes with jeans are the most common "issues" :). I look at it as an opportunity to educate them about proper ways to dress - we explain that dark denim is a perfect option for going out and can be easily dressed up, but that it's all about picking the right color and texture options to accompany the look. They leave feeling much more confident and empowered when it comes to dressing themselves.
How would you describe the Chicago Trunk Club team and office culture?
Much of our culture relies on trust. In a company like ours, we are all held responsible to act like owners. This fosters a unique and compelling culture filled with hardworking and motivated employees. Not only does our team work incredible hard, but I've never met a group of people that I value as, not only coworkers, but as friends. We have incredible talent who has the ability to make an impact every day. We take risks, we think creatively, work together, and strive to make the best of this disruptive concept that we can. It's exciting and rewarding day in and day out.
We can't wait to tour Trunk Club's HQ space - what should we expect? What are your favorite areas of the multi-floor loft space?
Our space is completely unique. This is why we always encourage prospective candidates and members to come to the loft to see what we are building. Trunk Club is on the 5th, 6th, and 7th floors of our River North location. We also have a one of a kind rooftop with unbelievable Chicago skyline views. Whether it's DC, Dallas, Chicago, or LA, there is a Trunk Club feel to each location. We try to provide a relaxed, welcoming, and enjoyable space for our guests. Unlike most shopping trips for men, we want guys to have fun with the experience! Fitting rooms align the perimeter of the entire 7th floor, each with their own look and feel of our most loyal vendors. Members enjoy the privacy of each fitting room and employees have access to an open floor plan. Outside of the loft space, rooftop views, 7th floor bar, and 6th floor coffee bar, you have the ability to enjoy receiving invaluable insights from our top employees and Stylists.
You an LA location this month (your 4th after Chicago, Dallas, and DC), and recently announced a partnership with Nordstrom - Congrats! What does the future have in store for the Trunk Club brand?
It is an incredibly exciting time for our team right now. We are so grateful to be joining forces with Nordstrom. This partnership will afford us a lot of exciting opportunities. Our biggest priority is to make LA a success. There is still a lot of hard work to be done at all locations. Next on the horizon will likely be an additional east coast location. We also are not shying away from all of the inquiries regarding Trunk Club for women. It is something that we are open to and would consider as a future addition to our business offerings.
Thanks Kelsey and Katie! We're looking forward to meeting the TC team and touring your space this Saturday!