So the shop was open… now how do I get people to actually come in?
I listened to my Nana’s advice and put an announcement in the town local paper. It felt super old school, but it made me feel like our business was official and not me just playing pretend shop keeper like when we were kids.
"Not advertising is like kissing a beautiful girl in the dark. You are the only one who knows about it."
- Phyllis Murray aka Nana
- Announced on Facebook and Instagram that we were open and ready for business.
- Researched in-town interior designers and sent them emails introducing myself and our shop. (no one answered).
- Walked up and down Walnut Street to meet the other shop owners, introduce myself and invite them to swing by. Some people were super cool. Others were jaded and basically said I was wasting my time…
- Plan our 1st event to drive traffic to the shop other than my siblings’ visits…
In the meantime… I waited. I waited for curious people to peak their heads in to see what the hell we were doing. To tell me that they were going to buy this building. Which I heard over 100 times… It seemed like half the town “was going to turn it into a restaurant.” Because the town just didn’t have enough restaurants… Or try to get the lowdown of who DID in fact buy the building and what they were planning on doing with it.
I waited for people to come in and ask where the previous owners were. They had an Antique shop selling Asian furniture. Some people thought I was that lady, who apparently was in her 80s… (mental note to make a dermatologist botox appointment).
Then came the people who wanted me to sell their old beat up black leather sofa… or tried to give me their giant 80s entertainment center because they couldn’t get rid of it. Or the junkers who wanted to sell me the random stuff they found on the side of the curb or kept during estate clean outs.
“You getting more stuff?” with a weird side eye…(aka you are nuts to do this.)
“Yes we are working on making more furniture, getting our favorite stationery in and showcasing local artists,” I would say as cheerily as I could.
I was so excited and nervous and green. I had no idea what I was doing and it truly was a “learn on the job” situation. But Chris and I were so proud and hopeful. And for every 5 client interactions that were awkward or rude, there was 1 awesome conversation that made me feel a glimmer of hope. Hope in what we were doing and faith in humanity….
Just being in the space led to walk ins, word of mouth and after our first gallery night the artists started to come…and come. More on that next.