Friday, September 28, 2012

Top 5 Tips for Shopping in Santee Alley

First-timers have no fear, the Santee Alley is here... to give you the inside scoop on how to shop the alley like a pro! Our veteran shoppers know there a few tips and tricks to follow to make the most out of your shopping experience. The Santee Alley is unlike any other outdoor shopping experience on the West Coast. If you've never been to the alley before, it's important to note it is actually an alley! The main entrance is on Olympic Boulevard between Santee Street and Maple Avenue, and we suggest you start your shopping here and make your way down. So put on your walking shoes and follow our lead for the ultimate Santee Alley shopping experience!

1. Check out the LA Fashion District website. The LA Fashion District website offers "Shopping Hints" for the entire district that cover all the basics, like wear comfortable shoes, bring cash, and don't be afraid to bargain. They also have a helpful listing of the most commonly used industry terms. For example, "overrun" refers to extra merchandise that's been left after retailers have filled their orders, and they are often sold at discounted prices. If you've never visited Santee Alley, we highly recommend you download a map.

2. Park in a lot. One of the most important reasons to bring cash is to pay for parking. There are meters throughout the district, but we suggest parking in all day lot. The most affordable lots are usually cash-only. There are multiple lots located around the alley. Look for the parking lot employees waving flags. They stand outside the parking entrance to wave cars in. Please note, all parking lots are privately owned. Locate parking lots near the alley here.

3. Everything is final sale. Most stores in the alley will not accept returns or exchanges. This means all items are final sale, as is. Make sure to inspect your items before you purchase them to ensure you have the correct size, they are not damaged, etc.  

4. Try it on!  Once upon a time, dressing rooms were basically non-existent. Now days, many stores in the alley offer fitting rooms for their customers. If fitting rooms are available, always try it on to avoid running into problems with tip number three. Insider tip: Special occasion/prom dresses are not all cut the same. You may be a different size in different dresses. ALWAYS try the dress you are going to purchase on, before you pay. Even if it's the same dress in the same size you tried on at a different store, try it on again!

5. Take advantage of wholesale pricing. "Wholesale" refers to the business of selling large quantities of goods, typically to be sold in retail stores. Wholesale buyers must have business licenses, and they are offered better pricing because they are buying in bulk. However, you don't need a business license to get a good deal. Many businesses in the alley will offer wholesale pricing to their regular shoppers so long as they meet the item minimum (the minimum varies by store). They will also allow you to mix-and-match sizes and styles. Insider tip: Take some friends shopping with you and combine your purchases to meet the item minimums. Many of the stores will allow it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Where to Buy Handbags Direct From the Manufacturer

BIC Plus is a handbag manufacturer, importer, distributor, wholesaler, and as of recently retail vendor. After years of distributing to handbag stores in the Fashion District, BIC Plus finally opened to the public four months ago, offering retail customers the same pricing as large-quantity buyers. Prices for handbags start as low as $8 and go as high as $25 for better quality purses and materials. Wholesale prices are even more affordable. The average price for a higher quality purse is $18. Wholesale pricing is also offered to shoppers who purchase 12 or more pieces. Friends can combine their purchases and mix and match to reach the minimum.

Why is BIC Plus able to offer such low pricing? Not only do they import and distribute large quantities, they also manufacture many of their own styles. When you purchase from BIC, you are purchasing directly from the source, cutting out the middle-man costs. At any given time, you will find approximately 20 styles that are exclusive to BIC. You won't find them anywhere else in the district.

You can view their inventory or order online at Visit their Facebook page at to stay up to date on the newest styles and specials.

Visit BIC Plus at 1030 Maple Ave. Los Angeles, CA.
Open M-F 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sweeties Plus: Fashionable Plus-Size Clothing for Women

Sweeties Plus is the kind of store we love the alley for. Not only do they carry super cute (and affordable!) clothes, they are paving the way for a better retail environment that revolves around you, the customer. Sweeties, which has other stores in the Fashion District under a different name, noticed they were increasingly getting more and more requests for plus-size styles from their customers. It became obvious to the Sweeties team that there was a void in the retail market for truly fashionable and affordable plus-size clothing retailers. They decided their customers deserved to have a place where to they didn't need to ask for "special sizes" or conform to limited options, a place where their plus-size customers could shop the same cute styles that were being offered in the rest of the district, and thus Sweeties Plus opened shop.

The plus-size retail and wholesale vendor offers customers a more personal approach to shopping in the alley, complete with dressing rooms, personal assistance, and styling advice. Their goal is to create a boutique-like atmosphere without the boutique prices, so shoppers can enjoy the shopping experience AND the good deals.

How do they keep their prices competitive with so many added perks? They offer wholesale prices to retail customers by maintaining flexible policies. Normally, wholesale buyers receive better pricing because they are buying in bulk and after a certain number of items the vendor is able to make a profit even after lowering the price. Sweeties employs the same idea, but has tailored it to its retail audience. You can mix any style and size, so long as the purchase consists of 12 items, you will be able receive the discounted price. The best part is they allow groups to combine their purchases. For example, if a group of friends wants to buy all their items together to reach the 12-item minimum and receive the discount, they can! If you are a wholesale buyer looking to buy multiple items in the same size and/or styles, expect even bigger discounts.

Rest assured, there are plenty of options to satisfy everyone's personal style. Just check out some of our favorite looks below...

Sweeties Plus brings in new styles 2-3 times a week. They recently began stocking fall items like jackets and outerwear. Expect more in the weeks to come!

The fitting room area. We love that there are enough fitting rooms to avoid waiting in line!

Sweeties Plus
325 E. 12th St. (Inside the alley)
Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Suit Up at Go Suit

We often get asked where you can find a good deal on suits in the alley. Many alley vendors will offer package deals and discounts to customers purchasing more than one suit, or to those looking to complete their entire outfit. Go Suit recently opened a new location at 1150 S. Santee St., Unit F. They specialize in men's fine clothing and carry everything from suits, suit separates, boy's suits, ties, shirts, shoes and accessories. The family owned business has been operating in the Fashion District for 15 years, with various locations throughout the district. They manufacture all of their own suits and offer various styles, including slim fit. For those who have harder time finding the right fit, on-site tailoring is also available.

Go suit offers package deals ranging from $99.99 to $179.99 that include a suit, shirt, tie, belt, shoes, and socks. They offer free shoes with any suit purchase and Buy 1, Get 1 Free offers on select suits. For other deals and specials check out their Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Go Suit also carries men's coats year round.

For wholesale or retail inquiries please contact the store directly. Visit Go Suit online at or stop by one of their Fashion District locations:

Neda Men's Wear #1
1208 S. Santee St.

Neda men's Wear #2
302 E. 12th St.

Rock Star
1127 Maple Ave.

Rock Star
1106 S. Santee St.

Go Suit
1150 S. Santee St., Unit F