Fashionista Turned Consultant

For some women, shopping is a chore. Time is a precious commodity. The hours spent pawing through the racks would be better spent elsewhere.

For these women, there’s an alternative to schlepping from store to store.

Three Columbia women are working with Casuals Etcetera and the Carlisle Collection. These sister clothing lines are sold through a direct-marketing model — consultants receive the collection for a week or so at a time and invite their clients over to try on the clothes.

Last week, Shelley Ravipudi transformed the lower level of her south Columbia home into a temporary boutique to showcase Etcetera’s spring collection. The 300-piece collection is displayed on grid-like racks, with pieces grouped together in suggested pairings. InStyle and Lucky magazines are stacked on the bar, where an espresso machine sits at the ready.

Ravipudi said she had been shopping with an Etcetera consultant for a few years and enjoyed the line and the shopping experience itself.

“I had always been impressed with the line — with the quality” of the clothing and “with the relationship I built with my consultants,” she said.

When her consultant announced she was retiring from the line, Ravipudi decided to pick up where she left off, taking over the former consultant’s clientele and working to build it.

Logo from Etcetera

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