Jaffi's Creative Solution to Pandemic Isolation & Customer Connection

It goes without saying - 2020 was absolutely nuts. And nearly a year later, we’re still feeling the effects of 365 days marked with tragedy, hardships and so much more.

But that’s not to say that everything to come out of the pandemic was bad - in fact, when faced with adversity, we saw some of the most creative solutions come to light. One of these solutions? Jaffi’s Boutique’s ‘Retail Therapy Happy Hour’, a weekly live video where owner Emilie Christenson, her daughters and special guests try on clothing, drink wine and chit chat about all facets of life.

“It was just a really cool, happy accident,” Emilie says. “After being open for 20 years, we’d developed all of these amazing relationships with our customers that we were really missing during the months we were closed for COVID. It was all about trying to connect.”

Focused on spotlighting outfits and models of all different shapes and sizes and just having fun, the weekly live sessions have become a huge hit with their customers.

We chatted with Emilie to get a little more insight on the origins of Retail Therapy Happy Hour. Check it out below!

Q: Who originally came up with the idea for Retail Therapy Happy Hour?

A: My daughter's, Carlie & Devon, came up with the idea. They've always said "Mom - you are a "retail therapist" - always there for people, helping them with all kinds of life situations - not just clothes." They suggested we start a podcast where people could call in for advice about life, love, fashion, etc. That seemed weird to me - especially since I'm not a celebrity and don't have any expertise in psychology (besides the fact that my Mom was a psychologist), but I was open to it at some point in the future. Then, when Covid hit and the shop was shut down, we decided to host "retail therapy happy hour" where customers could call in and/or comment on a LIVE video to say "hi" (because we missed them) or ask us questions about anything. But in the first LIVE video, no one called and there were no life-changing questions asked or answered... but tons of people commented on the video and asked all kinds of questions about items in the shop. "What's that cute sweater Devon is wearing?", "can I see the bag on the shelf in the back? How much is it?", "I love your necklace! Do you have more? Is that Chan Luu?"

So we adjusted the LIVE video format and made our weekly happy hours mini fashion shows to let everyone know what new goodies came in. Over a year later, we're still doing it and people really seem to look forward to our silliness each week! Sometimes we have special guests join (like makeup artists, hair stylists, doctors, nutritionists, other business owners, etc.) and sometimes we are just our goofy, silly selves. It's always casual and super fun (for us anyway)!

Q: Happy Hour always has interesting and engaging guests - can you give a quick recap of the guests you've had in the past and some of the interesting topics you might've discussed that extend past fashion?

A: It's always fun to have special guests join us for Happy Hour. Jacksonville Mom regularly gives our viewers updates on kid-friendly community activities. A New Way Heathcare joined us to talk about general health and wellness along with nutrition tips and tricks on the go. We've had Debbie Nichol of Taco Lu show us how to make the BEST Paloma ever (a delicious tequila cocktail)! The makeup artist, Carrie Wilson, joined and demonstrated how to apply her new line of cosmetics. And Ten Salon showed us some fresh TPC & Spring hair looks too!

Q: What's your favorite wine to drink during Happy Hour?