In People

Q&A: Charlotte Tsuei of Caelum Greene

Featuring mannequins stretched out in graceful yoga poses, Caelum Greene is hard to miss on Hollywood Road.

Hong Kong’s first multi-brand athleisure and lifestyle fashion store soft-opened in June of 2016, and is in good company with Grassroots Pantry and GRANA as neighbours, attracting a clientele of health-conscious customers who love looking and feeling good.

“Essentially, it’s inspired by my community,” says Charlotte Tsuei, founder of Caelum Greene and former fashion retail executive. “A lot of my friends are concerned with bettering themselves — physically, emotionally, spiritually — and becoming the best version of yourself so you can do more for people and the community around you.”

With this philosophy in mind, Tsuei tells us more about Caelum Greene’s retail concept and where she hopes to take it in five years.

What is Caelum Greene all about?

Caelum Greene is ‘style meets wellness’. We cater to the quintessential city girl (who lives in the city and loves everything the city has to offer), but also cares about making a difference and taking care of herself.

Tell us about your retail mix?

We work with over 50 different brands. Our main categories include athleisure, fashion, home, swim, intimates and we have some beauty products as well. All the brands were carefully curated from all over the world: US, Europe, Australia, as well as some local brands.

Caelum Greene Rack
Bright and airy interiors.

How did you choose the store location?

I was very set on the store being on Hollywood Road, so I literally walked up and down the road for a couple months. I wanted that cozy neighbourhood feel so when this was available, it was a blessing for us.

What’s unique about it?

We have a zen garden in the back which has been used for events thus far. We want Caelum Greene to be more than a shop — it’s somewhere that people can just come in and hang out in the backyard and have a cup of tea.

SEE ALSO: China’s demand for health and wellness keeps growing

We’re also going to be starting a community book recycling program out there, and we’ve already done a meditation event — it’s just really about bringing the community together.

Does that translate to sales?

If it brings it sales and traffic (which it has) it’s a perk, but it’s not something that we aimed for when we started the store. It’s really more about the community aspect and if it’s what incentivises people to buy, it’s great, but it’s not why we did it.

Display Window Caelum Greene
Green walls and industrial shelving.

How do you keep customers coming back?

We have a loyalty program and that’s something we started a few weeks ago. Even though we’ve only been open for a few months, we already have customers who come in almost on a biweekly basis. The program includes additional discounting to sale and collection previews, invitations to all our events, personalised services and whatnot.

SEE ALSO: How to tap into China’s booming activewear market

Do you plan on launching online?

We are launching [online] regionally in January. It’s really more for customers who have shopped with us and already know their fit and size. [Our store] is much more experiential — the online store is really more for convenience.

What is your take on e-commerce vs. physical stores?

Where do you see Caelum Greene in five years?

In about five years, we’ll be online and hopefully with stores in more than one location. For the short term, it’s really about doing this store well. My goal isn’t about the number of stores. It’s more about the size of the stores, since this concept can embody so many more categories.

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