This article was originally published in Coral Gables Magazine on May 3, 2022
The new location of Trend on Ponce is a testimony to understanding your customer
It’s a great feat for a small retailer to be successful, let alone so successful that when you’re forced to close your doors in March 2020 you reopen in a new location with double the square footage and much more storefront visibility.
Trend originally opened in 2016 on Andalusia Avenue next to Chocolate Fashion. It catered to young girls through their early teens, but owner Ana Mari Fuertes was savvy enough to include styles for moms to shop for themselves while their daughters took center stage. This unique concept, where moms could pick up a cute blouse for going out that night while shopping with their tweens, proved lucrative enough for Trend to open their larger space on Ponce. Almost half of its clothing and accessories are now for women.
Beside understanding her customers, trend owner Ana Mari Fuertes, also understands what a good location can do for her business.
Fuertes looked at leaving the Gables after departing Andalusia, but the City Beautiful was too attractive to go anywhere else. The visibility on Ponce alone has helped her sales. “I have had clients call me as they are passing by in their car and want to buy the outfit in the window,” she says. Inside, the inventory is deep: A denim bar for mom and daughter, twinning Nike sneakers if that’s your thing, bathing suits, tops, dresses, skirts, shorts, pants, and accessories. The price points are reasonable, starting at $20 and going up to $300, with Karina Grimaldi, Sundays, and Tart collections paired with fan favorite jeans from Blank NYC, Pistola, and Pistola’s eco brand Daze.
Of course, carrying clothing for tweens that are starting to grow into women’s sizes can prove tricky. “We want to offer the young girls relevant, cool, but appropriate pieces for them in their ‘new’ women’s size,” says Fuertes. It’s not an easy market to cater to (as a stylist and mother I can attest) but Trend does an incredible job blending these two stages.
Like the earlier shop, the décor is still industrial. It’s where the “cool girls” shop, with graffitied walls, metal pipe racks, and chain link fencing used as separation walls. Trend feels like a real city boutique.
“I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, graduated high school, and then went on to Boston College to study business, and soon realized I didn’t really like business,” says Fuertes. So, she transferred to UM for an art and photography degree, but nonetheless then ventured into entrepreneurship. It makes sense that her foray into retail was in women’s apparel.
Her father owned women’s clothing factories in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and she remembers “spending time with the clothing designer, drawing up sketches and picking out fabrics, as well as strolling through the aisles of sewing machines in the lower floor of the factory. Not only did I love learning about the business, but I also got to spend time with my father.”
You won’t replicate that experience here, but mother and daughter can shop in-store, or online (www.trendmiami.com), from IG (@trendboutiquemiami), and now from Tik Tok (@trendboutiquemiami). As a business owner, it’s not lost on Fuertes that this is how her demographic likes to hunt for new trends.
2606 Ponce De Leon