Hinsdale teen turns love of fashion into business venture
Last updated 6/24/2020 at 3:01pm | View PDF
New Hinsdale Central High School graduate Vivian Eck wants to turn her love of fashion into a career, and she's not waiting until after college to get started.
"I realized I didn't have to wait," said Eck, who was spurred to action when she read her senior letter - a letter she had written to herself as a high school freshman. Realizing that she still held the same dream of starting her own fashion company, she decided to waste no more time.
In November 2019, Eck presented her father and potential financier with a proposal to launch what would become Everything Vivian Lynn, and with her parents' emotional and financial support, she got busy launching her online store.
Step one, Eck said, was to hire a web designer who could make her clothes look their best and make it easy for customers to buy them.
"I really wanted it to be easy for the users," she said.
Next she searched for a merchandiser who carried the trendy clothing she wanted to sell at a price point that her customers would welcome.
"I ordered a bunch of clothes from a wholesaler in LA," said Eck, who also worked on a logo, packaging and shipping methods in the early months of 2020.
By May 2020, EverythingVivianLynn.com was ready to welcome its first customers and quickly rose to No. 11 on Shopify's list of highest sales for newly launched websites in the week of May 9.
With friends as her models, Eck markets the clothes that she likes to wear - clothes for lounging, dressing up and hanging out. Her Instagram account is her chief method of advertising.
Eck's new business venture is providing her with a lot of new experiences, she said, while also allowing her to continue one of her favorite activities.
"I love online shopping," said Eck, who searches almost daily for new items to add to her inventory. Before buying, she always asks herself the same question: "Would
I wear it myself?"
Eck had planned to launch her business with a big party, but like most things in 2020, it was canceled.
But the timing of her business' opening might have been a blessing in disguise, said Eck. Customers suddenly had no choice but to shop online.
Perhaps because her customers are spending more time than ever at home, sweat pants have quickly become her best-selling item, Eck said. Visitors to her site also will find plenty of dresses, Eck's favorite thing to wear.
"It's everything I love," Eck said of her online store.
With college starting later this summer, Eck anticipates having to step back a bit on her business in order to focus on school. But with an extended break planned for November to February, she said she'll have plenty of time to dedicate to Everything Vivian Lynn and to continue providing trendy and affordable options for her fellow shoppers.
- story by Sandy Illian Bosch, photo by Jim Slonoff