The Columns

Building a Boutique Business Sisters Chloe Burch ’14 and Neely Burch ’13, who have been named to the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, raised $1.25 million in seed funding to build their collection of leather handbags and shoes.

— by on March 8th, 2017

Chloe Burch ’14 and Neely Burch ’13 working on their handbag and shoe business in their New York City apartment.

The Forbes website has named Neely and Chloe Burch, both graduates of Washington and Lee University, to its list of 30 under 30 in Retail and Ecommerce.

The sisters, who are the nieces of the fashion superstar Tory Burch, have raised $1.25 million in seed funding to build their collection of leather handbags and shoes —which they will sell directly to customers through Neely and Chloe, bypassing the traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

After graduation, both sisters entered the fashion industry. Neely visited college campuses across the country in a vintage Airstream trailer that she transformed into a pop-up boutique. Chloe earned her stripes working at J. Crew as a merchant.

The business caters to the young working woman, and shoppers can customize their purchase with gold-leaf monograms, tassels or luggage tags. Last fall, their products made a big splash in Vogue Magazine, which called their bags affordable and chic.

As they note on their website: “We believe that great design stirs our emotional connection to a product. The mark of luxury is not its price or a logo — it is the inherent beauty, quality and usefulness of something special and worth keeping. Luxury should never be out of reach.”