Who? Lea and Leo, a sister and a brother, representing traders and entrepreneurs whom name is no other than Olivier and François AUSONI S.A‘s fourth generation.
The context? A reference high end ready-to-wear brand, born in 1906 in vaudoises alps that never stopped evolving with time…
The proof? An unfailing reputation – who didn’t accompany one of his parents, grand-parents or even great-greand-parents to Ausoni – in Lausanne or in Villars – to try on (and so to buy) an iconic piece of the last collection offered?
The project? To celebrate the 110 years of existence of the company, “Ausoni”s new generation came with the idea of launching an e-shop that has nothing in common with the concept we know; as opposite of the simple digital window where we usually find the same products than in the shops, the ones offered on leaandleo.com complete and diversify the shop’s offer.
The goal? Propose targeted offers to the customers for predefined period of time, exclusively available online, at exceptionnal prices.
What? The products sold online go from ready-to-wear to high end and trendy accessories, respecting familial tradition and value. About that, a majority of the articles offered are made in Italy, from suppliers with whom the company has built trusty relationships and who produce only the best quality products. You can trust us, we tested and approved more than once…
Meet Lea and Leo:
What was the click to launch your e-shop?
The project of launching an e-shop has been matures for quite a long time… we really wanted to be sure about the concept before moving forward without real objectives. We consulted entrepreneurs who are active in the e-shop industry and after almost one year of gestation, this platform was born, more innovative and dynamic than big online shopping sites according to us, and, more importantly, manageable with our current structure.
How did Ausoni Family’s other générations react?
Very very well. Our father was even very impatient for us to open the online shop and didn’t stop asking everyday until the D-day. As we represent the future of this family business, we feel deeply listened to and supported in our initiatives and development ideas.
About family, working together, an everyday challenge? 😉
A childhood memory in Ausoni’s boutique?
The everyday reality is far easier and nicer to deal with than what we would have thought and learned in our family business courses. It’s essential everyone has his well defined role, with equal tasks and responsabilities. To the opposite, working together is a real pleasure, as well as sharing our doubts, our successes and facing challenges together. We are really proud to say our team is a big family, with several employees celebrating more than 30 years working with us! We share a lot of things together, as in many human size family businesses.
For anecdotes :
Lea : « when I was a kid I could spend hours in the shoes stock, while my father was finishing his administrative tasks on evenings or Sundays… I would secretely try on all the stilettos and other platform shoes, trendy back then. As a result, I only wear flats today. »
Leo : « My mother, who managed the “kids” section, hier us as “mini models” with our cousin and other Friends when we were 6-7, for the big cocktails/fashion shows in Lausanne’s shop. I was so nervous to present looks in front of hundreds of people! but how proud we were to be the center of attention! After my short model carreer, I oriented myself to the shop’s maintenance and discovered a true passion for windows cleaning at age 9. This one ended quite quickly just before teenagehood, and never really came back ».
What are your expectations relating to your e-shop?
After having successfully established our business, our brand and reputation in the French part of Switzerland in 110 years of existence as ‘brick and mortar’ commerce, we wanted to evolve everywhere else in Switzerland and beyond Borders, long term. This sale tool also allows us to be more reactive to demand of current market and reach new customers who maybe wouldn’t have come to our shops.
What defines timing during which you will propose your online offers?
Our calculation considers demand for a certain product, our stock and margin, but also the following offers.
A sample of these offers?
Limited edition in Switzerland New Balance sneakers, a fan of Kenzo and Rykiel for kids article with gréât prices, an Adidas by Porsche Design’s total look, among others. We also develop our own articles, such as our famous Urban Wooler from Baabuk who created a line just for us (exclusive colors and finishes), our scarves and pure cashmere accessories made in the same fabrics as Hermès or Louis Vuitton, or Lea & Leo wallets by Fold in France (unveiled very soon !).
Were there any constraints in the launch of your e-shop, and if yes, what were they?
The biggest contraint is price competition. You can find everything at every price online. But very often the final amount you will pay will not be lower than in the shop (which is not the case in our shop!). Foreign sites often seem very attractive but once you add shipping and custom fees, the products will cost you more than in a shop in Switzerland. buying abroad also makes the product exotic and so interesting for a lot of consumers.
Advice for a future entrepreneur wishing to go into online sale?
Find a different concept, look for advice by other people who went through the process before, and a whole lot of patience and flexibility.
Shirt, short and dress Sonia Rykiel
Bags Stuart Weitzman
Shoes Pierre Hardy
All thèse articles are now available on Lea & Leo and shipped within 24h to your home!