Have you heard of The Nearby? I hadn't either until my friend Kelly, who owns Bishop Boutique, suggested I take I look at it. This fun iPhone App connects stores with potential and existing customers and allows a beautiful web presentation of in store items as well as the ability for customers to Like and Comment on the items.
The Nearby is based in Charlotte, NC and has its largest concentration of stores in that market. But they have quickly expanded into other markets, with New Orleans being their second largest market and other cities in the Southeast also quickly adding to their beautiful collection of boutiques.
I love the App because it is so easy to use - I load my photos, include a description (if I desire) and the app does the rest. The user has the ability to search for stores in their area (or in areas they may be visiting) and get an idea of the style and type of items offered by each store.
I currently follow all of the stores in Alexandria and one in my "other" hometown of Charlottesville. The developers of the App want to give small, locally owned boutiques the same ability to show off their selections that users are used to seeing on websites such as ShopBop.
They also send a daily email that includes all of the new images loaded by the shops you follow so you don't have to look at the App every day if you don't want to (although it is so pretty and well done, I look at it frequently!) I try to update Zoe's selections about every other day with 3 or 4 items available in the store.
I'd love for you to try it out, follow Zoe and the other Old Town boutiques, and let me know what you think! It is available on the iTunes App Store under The Nearby and can be downloaded for iPhone and iPad.