When I was younger, shopping was a huge deal. Getting into the car and going to huge malls and strip shopping centers were the thing. The variety was overwhelming....and it was not in my own town. My own community had a 5 and dime store, a pharmacy with a soda fountain, a bank. I always loved the idea of owning my own store. Mostly, i am a visual person, and the colors and textures, the pretty things, luxurious things....or things I really didn't need, but wanted....this is what drove me to want to own that, or sell that.
When the thought happened that I really wanted to do business in my town, I thought of all the things that were important to sell. I'll share those ideas with you:
1. It has to be organized. Everything needs to be clean & tidy, displayed in a pleasing way
2. It has to be pretty...and artistic. Not just the displays, but the items for sale.
3. Items need to be unique. I need to offer things that folks cannot buy on a regular basis. Items need to be special
4. I want my store to be a meeting place. A place where you can bring in a coffee, chat at the counter, talk politics and hear the town news.
5. My store needs to be comfortable. A place to wonder and browse and not a place where the customer feels as though they need to buy something every time they enter. It should be a sabatical place. A sensory place with nice music, good smells, kind words.
6. I want to offer my customers a much needed and wanted service. I need to help them find things, wrap things, ship things so they feel good. This might be the best part.
After ten years in business, I think I nailed it. I walk in each morning filled with this reassuring idea that i made the correct decision to start a business in my own town. It has been the biggest education ever and it makes me feel proud that I did it. I also had a huge support system of folks who love that I love this place. They have helped me make it possible.