월요일, 6월 17, 2024
HomeInterviewMeet Stephanie from ‘Kpop Exchange’, Where Your Kpop Experience Gets to the...

[INTERVIEW]Meet Stephanie from ‘Kpop Exchange’, Where Your Kpop Experience Gets to the Next Level!

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     Have you ever seen a pop up retail store along South Havana Street in Aurora next to M-Mart? Kpop Exchange is the Kpop store in the Denver Colorado and Aurora Colorado area. Founded by Stephanie Joondeph, Kpop Exchange started with an online store https://www.kpop.exchange which has expanded so much with online accessible and affordable Kpop merchandises including latest Kpop albums and accessories. Even from new fans to the serious fans of Kpop, anyone can truly enjoy Kpop albums and merchandises through Kpop Exchange and take their Kpop experience to the next level!

     What is very unique and special about Kpop Exchange merchandises is that they offer high quality yet budget-friendly products and ships all over the world. They have recently opened a pop up retail store on 2010 S. Havana St, Aurora, CO 80014 and the store is open every day from 12-8PM. To dive into the world of Kpop and see what Kpop Exchange can offer for their fans, Colorado Times met Stephanie and visited Kpop Exchange’s pop up retail store in Aurora for an interview.

From latest Kpop albums to clothes and accessories, Kpop Exchange offers variety of Kpop merchandise online. (Photo Kpop Exchange website capture)

Q #1. When was Kpop Exchange founded and since when did you start running https://www.kpop.exchange?

[Stephanie] I spent several years working in the music industry and after a trip to South Korea in 2019, I was blown away by the popularity of Kpop. In the US it was unknown and I saw this as a niche opportunity to bring Kpop to the US in a small but growing way, and as a great business opportunity to get in at the ground level on a growing and popular music genre. Starting by creating the business, I designed a website and online store utilizing direct sales to consumers. More recently I opened a pop up retail store along South Havana Street in Aurora and encourage everyone to check it out.

Q #2. How did you first fall for Kpop and why, and who are your favorite artists?

[Stephanie] Starting my business during COVID was both a challenge and opportunity. The challenge was that there were no concerts and other events due to COVID restrictions. The opportunity there was time to focus and work remotely on designing and building the business from scratch. I’m planning on traveling to South Korea this spring to secure to grow my supply chain.

Q #3. I can totally see that Kpop Exchange offers affordable Kpop products including clothes and accessories, especially with great quality. How was this possible and where do you mainly import or produce your merchandise?

[Stephanie] I’m able to negotiate good prices from my suppliers such that I can offer competitive prices for customers yet still remain profitable as a business. Additionally I run monthly giveaways for the online store and have frequent promotions for our email list. For the pop-up store, we run weekly raffles and have promotions to generate interest and engage customers.

Q #4. From Aespa to TXT, Kpop Exchange deals merchandise of a wide range of Kpop groups. Who are the most famous groups these days among your customers and what are the most popular products (album, keychains, T-shirts, lightstick etc) on your website?

[Stephanie] I do extensive market research including online research, attending Kpop concert and other events to learn about the groups, the artists/members and what merchandise is most attractive to fans.

Q #5. You guys have recently opened a pop-up store on Havana street in Aurora and your store is very popular even through words of mouth! Have there been many visitors ever since you opened your store? What can visitors expect when they actually visit your store and what kind of merchandise do you guys have in your pop-up store?

[Stephanie] Kpop Exchange is open every day from 12-8 pm. We’re located next to M-Mart on S. Havana Street where customers can enjoy an immersive Korean experience while shopping for Kpop merchandise. We hope to expand the store either in Aurora or in Denver. The merchandise offered is a selection from our online store which includes albums, light sticks, magazines, accessories, tour merchandise, posters, k-beauty and more.

Q #6. Until when are you planning to keep your pop-up store open in Aurora? Are there any other future locations you have in mind after this first store?

[Stephanie] We would love to stay on S. Havana or in Aurora but that’s not possible I would consider other areas in metro Denver ideally near public transportation. As we expand and secure the supply chain, I would consider opening retail stores in other states such as New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.

Q #7. What are your future goals for the Kpop Exchange?

[Stephanie] My longer term goal is to partner with a business or financial entity that can help me expand nationally and internationally (think Shark Tank). Additionally I would like to design and produce my own products, build out experiences that may include hospitality and other experiential events, and down the line want to start my own agency, recruiting and developing artists, eventually forming and managing Kpop groups.

Q #8. If there is any other remark that you would like to leave for our readers, please do!

[Stephanie] For a local Kpop experience, please visit Kpop Exchange on S. Havana. There is something for everyone. For new fans, there is an opportunity to learn about Kpop, the various groups and artists and for serious fans, a chance to enjoy a Kpop experience and add to their collections of Kpop merchandise.

[By Yaewon Rachel Cho]

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Rachel Y cho
Rachel Y cho
• BA Journalism&Mass Communication, Korea University • BA International Studies, Korea University • MA International Security, University of Denver

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