In the retail business, there are a lot of moving parts from conception of an idea to actual delivery of a product. Within the industry, all of those elements can be lumped under a single concept-a retail innovation ecosystem. What's unusual, though, is to find all the parts in abundance in one area, as they are in central Ohio.

In the retail business, there are a lot of moving parts from conception of an idea to actual delivery of a product. Within the industry, all of those elements can be lumped under a single concept-a retail innovation ecosystem. What's unusual, though, is to find all the parts in abundance in one area, as they are in central Ohio.

The retail ecosystem actively churning along in the Columbus Region is fueled in large part by the area's talent, says Steve Zawada, COO and co-founder of ELOQUII, a fashion company that designs and sells plus-sized apparel online.

"I can't stress enough that what keeps the ecosystem going is the talent in the Region," Zawada says. "There is lots of good training in the Region and that keeps that talent here, too."

Zawada along with Julie Carnevale, the company's chief marketing officer and other co-founder, initially helped launch ELOQUII under The Limited's umbrella in 2011, but the giant retailer closed that division in 2013.

"When it closed, we saw an untapped demand," Carnevale says. About 65 percent of women in the US are size 14 or above, yet the plus-size apparel business represents only about 18 percent of the retail market.

Carnevale and Zawada saw the potential-a $28 billion market share. They purchased the brand's website and everything else, re-launching in February 2014. With renovated space in the Miranova building and a distribution center in Groveport, they now employ 30 people here and another 20 in Long Island City, N.Y.

With the motto "It's time for fashion to move forward," the company is focused on creating stylish apparel and operating under the concept of a "really fast lifecycle" with products, keeping stock limited and focusing on a fast reorder business, Zawada says.

All the elements of the Region's retail ecosystem have helped ELOQUII experience phenomenal growth in two years and are "key to why we are here," Zawada says.

"It's really important for us to fulfill product orders and be an online business, and we would not be as strong if we were not a car ride from our office and distribution center," he says. "And it makes sense to be in this region for logistics. It's cheaper to ship and be closer to customers."

Many elements of the Region's retail ecosystem-manufacturing and packaging, logistics, business services, IT, marketing and research, store design and real estate-are not necessarily visible. The average person may think just of the big hitters like L Brands or other well-known brands running operations here, Carnevale says.

"People don't know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of non-Columbus brands that have warehouses and other enterprises here," she says. "We are all beneficiaries from these economies of scale."

ELOQUII is an online-only business-for now. Carnevale and Zawada are working on a brick-and-mortar strategy and plan to test a concept store sometime next year.

"We hope to have a full rollout in 2018," Zawada says. "We plan to go to customers and ask them how they want to shop, and we want to include innovations in any brick-and-mortar retail store we develop."