Local is the New Global

Stephane Kattie, Founder of La Boutique shares why he is building a platform for local retail shops

4min read

With the rise of online shopping, people have shifted their attention away from local retailers, causing some to close their doors. However, in the wake of the pandemic, we are shopping differently and thinking more about supporting neighborhood stores. Local businesses are vital to our communities and neighborhoods and we want to build the future of online shopping around them.

I have been fortunate to travel all my life, which has allowed me to appreciate the uniqueness and nuances that each city has to offer. I have lived in 6 countries and now reside in the Netherlands. My childhood was spent mainly in Africa, first in Côte d’Ivoire, then in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. I got to experience some vibrant markets with unique products and even more specials vendors. Later, I moved to Canada, then to the US, and now to the Netherlands. In San Diego, I remember chic boutiques a few meters from the seals on La Jolla Cove. Or colorful tiny little shops in Old Town filled with unique gifts and souvenirs. Don’t even get me started on New York. Going to Bushwick to shop at the hip vintage stores or biking around looking for a cool record store.

I am very fond of the various local shops and markets I got to see throughout the years. Watching these shops suffer from the pandemic restrictions compelled me to help. I had already dreamed of the idea of a decentralized network of stores under one roof, where customers can get an Amazon-like experience while sourcing from their local retailers. I believe this is a more efficient and sustainable way to operate and is more beneficial to our society. By shopping in our neighborhoods, we sustain the economy of our communities and help support local employment.

This is the vision I want to share through La Boutique. Shop from local stores in your city or beyond, allowing you to explore cities through unique, shops and most importantly the owners behind them.

“Regional online marketplaces and product platforms, which are best designed for product location in brick-and-mortar retail, have massive potential for our society. In particular, they enable smaller retailers to gain visibility for their products and to attract new groups of buyers. They also ensure a democratization of trade, turn stationary C-layers into digital A-locations, promote lively city and town centers and optimise transport routes in terms of sustainability.”
Rainer Will — Managing Director of the Austrian Trade Association

We are on a mission to create a new way of shopping, focusing on local businesses through an online marketplace showcasing the best of each city. Shop for goods you can trust from your local heroes and we will carefully pick up your items at the stores and deliver them to you. Cheese from the local deli, natural cosmetics from the neighborhood beauty shop, jeans from the chic vintage store across town. Or a last-minute gift for that party you forgot about tonight. Get these all in the same order, delivered to you the same day!

This is just the beginning for us. Imagine shopping for bags from a store on the Champs Elysees. Buy jeans from a trendy shop in Williamsburg, or a blazer from a vintage shop in De 9 Straatjes. Shop the world from your home. This is the future we envision at La Boutique.

We want to connect shops, the communities, and the people between these cities.

“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.” — John Schaar

Stores, we can’t do this without you. Reach out to us if you are interested in joining La Boutique. We are currently onboarding stores in Amsterdam and Brooklyn. We are also hiring in Brooklyn and Amsterdam; please check out our careers page for more information.

Follow us (Twitter, Instagram), and stay tuned for the launch of our first marketplace!

The future of retail is local. Let’s shape it together.

Stephane Kattie