Yay, we did it!! And what better time to start our creative story/blog than on 7/7, our one-year anniversary!
First, a very big THANKS to everyone who's made my first year in retail a success: loyal customers, new clients, amazing students, talented staff, dedicated family, friends and creative colleagues...and a special shout out to hubby, Dave, who's clocked many hours with me and the shop!
This amazing venture started with the simple need to move my growing business out of the house. I found this wonderful starter space right on Main St in charming downtown Glen Ellyn inside the Banyan Tree Mall. I set up shop, planned to expand my wholesale biz and have some retail walk-ins as a bonus.
But from the moment I opened the doors on July 7, 2015, one year ago today, retail has ruled my world! It's been extremely challenging, rewarding and I've learned a lot...still learning...a lot...every day (Did I mention how tired my brain is most days? But I also get energized from the thrill of the "new" everyday!). Things don't always go as planned, and I'm grateful for that.
I'm also grateful for the wide range of support, ideas, help and encouragement I've received on this crazy journey so far. it's been even better than expected! We've grown from the generous feedback, Input and motivation from so many interested customers, students and colleagues.
In response to customer requests and response, our product line grew 60% since we've opened the shop...I don't know how we did it, but we've added Microwave Bowls and Hot Pads, Backpacks and Lanyards, Mugs and Magnets to our already existing Pillows, Snappy Bags, Tea Towels and Gift Wrap. And I love that customers have requested even quirkier designs...it lets me play AND satisfy both the customer's needs and my creative side!
In addition to all that production, I've participated in LOTS of downtown, local, retail and wholesale events this last year (over 20!), met all sorts of wonderful people, commissioned many custom pieces, designed new classes and summer camps, hosted creative parties, given artist talks and demos, worked with wonderful staff and volunteers, and am currently collaborating with other retailers to create an event to raise awareness for my design store and other creative venues in town. Phew! But we're still going strong...
And still excited to build on this momentum as we move into our 2nd year in retail, 3rd year in business. There's some exciting things in the works, from potential TV spots and collaborations with larger retail organizations to expanding the design and production side of things and working with stockists again...can't wait to share more of this journey with you! Until then,
~ inspire joy ~