A Girl Named Leney


The Limited Grand Opening: Interview and Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be one of the local fashion bloggers to cover The Limited's grand opening in Short Pump. It was so much fun, I had a blast! Everyone was so nice, and I met some really cool people. The Limited has 230 stores nationwide, with 11 in Virginia. Founded in 1963, they believe "in making clothes that let you walk out the door each day with confidence."
The look and decor of the new store is inspired by the new direction of the brand, which is described as; "More feminine, more approachable and more residential in feel," according to Linda Heasley, CEO of the company.
Some features of the new store include an e-bar with instant access to thelimited.com, from which online orders can be placed and shipped to your home with free shipping.
Also a nice seating area with books and magazines for shopping companions.
And in the fitting rooms they have white boards to write your name on, which personalizes your shopping experience! Isn't that neat?
A portion of the weekend's sales went to the YWCA, the oldest and largest multicultural women's organization in the world.
I also had the opportunity to interview the CEO of The Limited, Linda Heasley!

love your travel collection, and the fact that it's wrinkle resistant and machine washable is amazing!

And people don't understand that, but I think it's so great, because when I'm on the road and in a hotel - and you can't ever trust the dry cleaners now - you can just tell them to launder it. And it gets better with every washing. And it's environmentally friendly if you're not dry cleaning it, so I think it's great. We've brought it back by popular demand, and this is a better suit than what we had before. The wool is a better quality wool, it's less scratchy. But if you can help us spread the word about it, that would be great! It really is very wrinkle resistant. I travel with a lot of the clothes here. I'll be on the road for two weeks straight, and they're really strong and easy-care clothing. But it has to look fashionable at the same time. People are on the go all the time so we try to make it easy for them. Most of our stuff is machine washable.

Who is The Limited girl? What kind of woman are you targeting?

First we have the 25 to 35 year old. She would be a teacher, or working at a creative agency or as a lawyer. So the line is inspired by women that are in that whole spectrum of whatever they do, giving her a very versatile appropriate look all the time. And we really stress versatile, because at the end of the day it just really is great sports wear. You can mix it up, and what we know for a fact is that she appreciates fashion. She's old enough to appreciate fashion, and she's old enough to appreciate how she puts a look together, which speaks volumes for her in her environment, as well as getting on to the next level. And she'll spend money on it, which is good.
And we call that girl Tyler Monroe. We've given her a whole persona. She grew up in Chicago, and she is in a creative field. So a lot of the line is inspired by her. 

We also have an 18-25 year old who is typically introduced to us by her mother, and is getting ready for the first important interview. Her mother gets concerned that her daughter is going to wear something inappropriate to it, so she'll bring her to us. And I love this young women, because she says, "My mother says I need a suit but I don't want it to be my Mother's suit," and so we give her something more like what I have on, which is something more broken up, something black and has a little fun edge to it. We call her Amanda.

And then we also have another girl, who is the customer that is 30 plus, who used to be that Tyler Monroe girl, but now she's gotten either married or is in a relationship. She's starting to have children, so clothes are still important to her, but she has other things that are important also, like having a house and going on in the next level of her career, or balancing and juggling family and work life-type things. We call her Meagan. But she still thinks of herself as being that 25-30 year old girl, and she doesn't want to be stuffy, she doesn't want to be matronly. She wants to keep it young and fun, but she also wants to keep it appropriate.

So those are the muses behind the line. We can't be everything to everybody, so I would say that Tyler, that 25-30 year old is the one that really guides us. But there's a halo effect, and we pick up these other two segments as well.

I love how you have them all named, and they have personalities. It makes it more personalized!
Yes, It makes it more personalized for the customer, and it keeps it current. And it keeps opinions of merchant designers out of the equation, because it's very easy for me to say, "I might like this more." But I have to think, "Would Tyler like that?" So we want to make it not about us. It's really about our customer, and trying to keep that first and foremost.  I think that's something we try to do the most at The Limited, it's really about our customer. And it's not just about selling her clothes. We really hope that we'd be selling her confidence, and a look that is giving her confidence to do whatever she's doing, and look great every step of the way.
When you feel great, you are great, and that's what we try to do.

I love that. How long have you been with the company?
Since January 2007, and the CEO since August 2007.

What's your favorite part about your job?
The people. And the people for me are the customers, who I love. I love talking to my customers, and I love talking to my associates. I get so energized hearing about them and what they're doing. They inspire me all the time. And then retail is always changing, which is also fun. No day is the same. So that too is fun.

Why do you think that fashion is important to incorporate in life? Why do you think women should take the time to enjoy fashion and dress for themselves, and not just for functional life?
Because i think it gets back to: when we feel good, nothing's impossible. I really believe we can have fun with it. It can be seen as being frivolous, but I also believe very strongly - and I've seen it so many times - when we help someone put a look together, they come out of the fitting room and they twirl and they stand a little taller and you can see the transformation. And that's what I would say it's really about, it's not just about selling the clothes. Our brand positioning is your personal success, and we believe women define that individually, and personally, and differently, and for us its about helping her be successful. But it's however she chooses to define that. And we know that when she looks great, she'll feel great, and that's really what that fashion message is about. We're a brand that celebrates women. We believe all women work, no matter what they're doing. They can be a stay-at-home mom, they can be a teacher, they can be a lawyer, they can be anything. But they should always feel confident and feel great.

What is your advice to people who are trying to create a name for themselves, and who are coming up in the fashion industry, or any business, who have ambitions and want to get into that world?
What I learned in my career, was that when I was too specific about what I wanted to do, I cut myself off from opportunities. I would tell you to explore a lot of different opportunities, and be as focused on getting experience as getting to the next level, because it's from that breath of experience that I learned the most. In terms of this business, I think retail, and being in retail, and learning how to deal with customers, and finding out what they like, and learning how to put outfits together in the fashion side, is a critical step. Then for some positions like technical design or design, you do need to have some formal training as well. But find people that inspire you, and really shadow them. Ask them to mentor you, because you can really learn a lot about how they got to where they are, and also learn about how to be even better. You learn from what they do, to get better at what you do. But again, I'd say be open to the opportunities. I've been trying to speak at different schools saying, "You should think about a career in retail." I mean I know I was never thinking about being in retail, but look what happened! And originally, when I was asked to go into The Limited, I turned it down. I said, "If The Limited disappeared tomorrow, who would care?" At the time the brand was losing money, they had a whole bunch of people going through the brand, but when I started doing the research and started finding out what else was out there, I realized there was a real opportunity here. But I could have been really stupid about it, so be open to opportunities. 

Overall my experience was really great and I loved the attention to detail, the very helpful and genuine customer service and the personalized shopping. I will definitely be a returning shopper!

Larissa creator of From the Runway to RVA
Linda with Brian McDaniel of Dirty Richmond
Kat Simons of Lite 98

And last, but not least, I am offering a giveaway for a one $25 gift card to The Limited so you can go and experience the new store (or a store near you) for yourself! Here are the rules on how to enter:

To Enter: 
Leave ONE comment and include all of your entries 

-Leave a comment about what you would buy if you won the gift card or how you would use it!
-Follow my blog!

Additional chances to win:

-Facebook about this giveaway
-Blog about this giveaway
-Tweet about this giveaway
-Like Leney Breeden Photography on Facebook
-Add my Etsy Shop to your favorites


Check out more photos of the event here.