Diane Bull: The stylish trendsetter
A hometown businesswoman is flourishing in Revelstoke
Diane Bull is a trendy woman. She owns Style Trend Clothiers with her husband, Steve, has taken the store worldwide with a chic website and has created an interactive social media experience for customers. She’s happy to run a business in her hometown of Revelstoke, and residents are happy to have her there too.
Bull was nominated by the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce with these comments: “Always thinking outside the box on new ways of engaging with clients and bringing retail into today’s world (amazing online store, new loyalty program, cool events).”
Bull answered a few questions for Kootenay Business.
How did you come to choose this line of work?
Honestly, it kind of chose me. My husband and I had been looking for a while to get into something locally as we were both keen to be self-employed, and when the store came up for sale, we knew it would be a great fit. The business has been in our community since 1976. When we purchased it in 2009, it gave us some time to settle in and get a feel for the shop. We were able to figure out what our customers loved about the store as it was, and what they were needing that we didn’t already offer. The first few years were full of learning and growth, slowly updating our offerings in terms of brands and getting to know our customers.
What is it about your work that has you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
While my background is in the back end of business, I was a full time bookkeeper for seven years prior to purchasing the business. The side I really enjoy most is the creative aspect of what we do. In 2013, we brought our little shop online at styletrendclothiers.com. We shoot all our own imagery for the online shopping section of the website in a small studio located above the shop, and you can often find us around town looking for new locations to shoot our next look book. Alongside the website, I also concentrate heavily on our social media, and I find it rewarding to be able to interact with our customers on these platforms. We are able to immediately see what they love and even what they don’t respond to. They can speak up and let us know what they are hoping to see, pieces that they missed out on that they’re hoping we bring back in and they can reach out to us to ask questions.
Where do you like to spend your downtime in the Kootenays?
Growing up here in Revelstoke, I can say that I truly love the community that we live in, and as we all know, entrepreneurship doesn’t always give you the opportunity to jet off carefree, so luckily I rarely have the urge to leave Revelstoke in order to relax. We can take an afternoon off and head to the lake in the summer, or grab a table at my favorite café and watch the snow fall in the winter. Revelstoke has an extremely relaxed, friendly vibe that just makes you feel at home when you’re here. That said, with two growing kids, ages 13 and 10, my husband and I rarely end up with downtime. You can most often find me watching our son’s hockey or our daughter’s gymnastics when I’m not working.
What has motivated you throughout your business journey?
I absolutely love seeing the ideas in my head come to life—whether it’s a large project like getting our online store up and running, seeing our summer fashion show come to life, or something smaller like launching our new customer rewards program. The time spent researching, planning and consulting with others—all to put something together and then to see our customers respond to it—it’s always a great feeling.
What makes the Kootenays attractive to an entrepreneur?
The ability to balance work and family life. The laid-back attitude of our community lends itself to this so well. It’s not unusual to find both my kids helping out at the store, killing time in the back room while we get our work done or in late with us prepping for an upcoming event. Doing business in a small town like Revelstoke certainly has its advantages and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What trends have you observed in your community that might impact the local economy in the next five years?
We are seeing a lot of fresh new business owners, and businesses coming up for sale here in Revelstoke. I think the turnover of ownership of some businesses, while we will be sad to see the previous owner go, will bring enthusiasm and new ideas to our downtown. Our tourism draw is growing each season. More and more people are visiting us in Revelstoke, which is great for all the small businesses that are here.
Did we miss anyone? Meanwhile, if you think we missed someone who should have been nominated, we’d be happy to consider them for inclusion on next year’s list. Click here to nominate your pick for the 2018 40 under 40 list.
2016 40 Under 40 List See who made the 40 Under 40 list in 2016.