5 months ago
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The 3 R's of Retail Success can help you Navigate a Tough Economy
The Hole Bead Shop in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is a retail survivor. She is also one of the kindest and most generous people in the industry. I first met her about five years ago when she became a customer. She quickly became a favorite of mine and now I am lucky to call her a friend. I had a chance to speak with Kelli today about the state of the industry and she offered the following advice:
Google Shopping Search, and find out exactly where to find what she needs if she cannot find it from you. Stay RELEVANT and keep that dollar in your store!
Of course, Kelli has been dealing with the same stagnant economy as the rest of us and reports that she and her husband now travel to six bead shows per year to supplement their income. The store provides a salary and is the main source of income for the couple, who are considering adding classes and bead parties back to the shop menu. Nothing is static....there is a constant need to reevaluate and refine, and Kelli does it with great success.
Cultivate Relationships! People do business with people they like, period. We all know the importance of focusing on customer relationships, but many of us drop the ball when it comes to industry relationships. Not Kelli! She makes it her mission to send out generous product samples to key players in the industry every year. Magazine editors and large vendors are always on the look out for interesting components to use for customer projects and "how to" articles, so Kelli wisely makes it easy for them to consider using Lucite! Smart gal, that Kelli.
Although her work has been published more than 30 times, she possesses none of the artistic ego so prevalent with many other accomplished artists. She is a constant source of amazement to me with her willingness to share techniques, resources, etc. She has encouraged me to submit my own work, sending contact names and advice regarding the process. When I was tearfully navigating oncology treatments with my four legged pal, Rosie, I returned home on many occasions to find a well timed note of encouragement from Kelli, who had recently "been there, done that" and knew just what to say.
The Hole Bead online store! The coupon code is CRAFTY and can be used for either wholesale or retail orders, but wholesale account holders must have a brick and mortar storefront. If you do not have a wholesale account yet, please contact Kelli to get approved prior to placing your order.
There is a saying in marketing that "Giver's Gain" and it is certainly true of Kelli! Her happy heart, generous spirit, and work ethic guarantee that she will continue to delight her customers for many years!
IN OTHER NEWS:
I am no stranger to Reinvention and have a little going on myself. I am delighted to report that I am the newest member of Swarovski's Create-Your-Style Ambassador program. It is a thrill to be working with so many talented individuals and was just the affirmation I needed as I make the transition from Mom to Empty Nester. I am doing a great deal more teaching these days and will soon be launching a new Retail site which will feature my own line of hand dyed ribbon, merino wool top and silk yardage, as well as a selection of Swarovski sew on embellishments and crystal yarn. There is so much more to report, but things are still under wraps as we work out the final details. Look for an update soon. Such fun!
...OOPS! I ALMOST FORGOT!
Facebook group for Crafty Retailers to share their joys, triumphs and tribulations, project ideas and promotional events in a spirit of comraderie and friendship. After all, if the industry succeeds, we will all succeed! Although the members names are visible, all posts are private. If you are a crafty retailer --on line or brick and mortar--and want to participate, send me a Facebook message and a friend request, as only Facebook "friends" can be added to Facebook groups!