Q&A With Elvira Kud - Modern Luxury Orange County - September 2018
Q: The million-dollar question – What exactly is, Anthill shopNplay?
A: Anthill is more than a boutique, it’s a lifestyle, a place where all family members can shop, play, and enjoy eachother. Many of you see our bright orange building on the daily down Newport Boulevard – but behind the doors lies 7,000 square feet of true wonder! We have everything from one-of-a-kind vintage couture, children’s and men’s fashion, jewelry, home décor, toys, books and fun gifts for any occasion. We are truly a one stop shop for a variety of needs! Our creative team will even wrap your gifts and inflate special occasion balloons to add that warm Anthill touch! We love our clients.
Q: What makes the Anthill storefront attractive compared to the convenience of online shopping?
A: We have a prime location in Eastside Costa Mesa that cannot be beat in terms of accessibility and convenience. Just look for the landmark orange building on Newport Blvd across from the Triangle- we cannot be missed! Inside our doors my team and I
provide an experience, from our warm employees and retail specialists to our signature gift wrapping and balloon stations for gifting and children’s enjoyment! Enhancing our client’s experience is what encourages us to create long term relationships of loyalty and support in the community -- to last a lifetime. We cannot compete with online shopping – it is not an experience. I started in the retail business creating Anthill to create an experience for all members of the family to enjoy, which is why we are called Anthill ShopNplay – to shop and play and stay.
Q: Your background is in marketing and interior design-- What inspired you to open a retail storefront?
A: After moving to The States from Switzerland, I took a leap of faith to activate my dream of creating a fashion centric concept store which has always been my ultimate passion. As a busy working Mom - shopping for my three boys is extremely challenging when trying to find unique items to fit every age bracket they are within, plus they grow so fast! I knew this was an ongoing challenge for many parents with growing children which sparked my idea for the store to please all ages, under one roof. My daily inspiration is my my children, and my loving husband- they encourage me and are the basis of my drive to work hard and follow my dreams to succeed for our future.
Q: What motivates you to continue your work in the competitive retail space?
A: Clients are a huge motivator. Seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing them say that Anthill is their favorite store is what motivates me to push forward. Many clients have told me that normally would have to fly all the way to New York to find one of the shoe brands we carry and even added that we had a better selection! Its praise like this that really motivates me and of course, encourages me to continue purchasing the beautiful brand of shoes for Anthill.
My team motivates me - many of my employees have been with me from the start when we built this idea from scratch. They are my Ant family and we continue to multiply and grow together.
Q: How do you find the unique international brands that you carry?
A: I believe quality and price must match. My goal is to find unique, one-of-a-kind, quality products for the best prices I can offer. Traveling and attending trade shows is very hard work but I love every second of it because I am able to personally select every item for all stores. My trick is constant research, staying updated and listening to your customers. Staying ahead of your competition and finding brands that no other stores around carry, can sometimes be challenging. I have found brands that my customers
love but after placing an order, I find that Nordstrom not only carries it but has it on sale. There’s no way we can compete with those chains, so for me, research is very important!
Q: You encourage others to “Find Their Inner Ant”, what does this mean to you?
A: Ants never quit, they are always carrying extra weight, climbing hills, and working hard to build their dream- their Anthill! Ants are survivors- they navigate any obstacle in their way to get where they want to be – they are always looking ahead and working to succeed. I have always maintained the philosophy within myself and my family to look deep down and “find your inner ant”. This sentiment is so important in the advancement of career and journey of life. I implement this into my company and all its employees for optimum performance and inspiration.
Q: What’s in store for Anthill Shop N Play for the future?
A: Most importantly our newest addition to the 2nd floor is KUD Vintage where we have rare finds and couture items that are untouched and unused in perfect condition. It’s an absolute jackpot for the woman who has everything but is searching for the perfect piece that’s out of make from designer labels. We also just opened a new location - Anthill MÀRKT, which is an outlet store where we sell our past collections for lower prices. Currently I’m also working on a new collaboration with three wonderful local moms called “Mom & Pop Shop”. They produce incredible healthy popsicles so our new project will be combining two businesses to create healthy party products including popsicles, ice cream, party décor etc- Stay Tuned!