Small Business Advice: Stay Interesting

You’ve got an idea, you found the perfect retail space, but how in the world do you run a business? P.F. Stockists from all over the country are letting us in on how to get started, what they wish they knew before opening doors, and how they continue to grow in our Small Business Advice series. This one is all about staying interesting and providing a shop experience customers won't forget.

Once you have the right staff and materials for your shop, figure out what’s going to set your business apart from others. What’s going to draw in the right customer? How will they remember your shop after they leave?

Young Blood Boutique’s Rebecca believes shopping is best when it activates a couple senses at a time. “We try to consider everything from temperature and lighting to scents and sounds since any little detail can have an impact on how it feels to inhabit the space,” she describes. Creating a welcoming environment is key, and MaryAnne LoVerme from Silverlake’s LA County Store greets every person who walks in the door with a drink or a snack! MaryAnne says, “Essentially, I see having a shop as being in the hospitality industry.” Plus, she usually stocks the drinks or snacks on shop shelves so if customers like what they try, they can pick some up for themselves. Moorea Seal explains, “So often we see stores that look super cool, but the air in the room feels stand-offish and ‘too cool’ for the average shop.” That’s not the vibe of her shop, though, as the goal is to balance an inviting attitude with modern, progressive and unique products.

Establishing a loyalty program can be a great way to keep your best customers excited and coming back, like Pink Olive’s Good Gifter Program, which owner Grace calls their version of a coffee shop punch card. Anomie promotes exclusive discounts to social media fans, Sub Rosa Mercantile in Denver stocks brands not found anywhere else in Colorado, and Chicago's Foursided creates items that are one-of-a-kind. Todd Mack and Gino Pinto, Foursided's founders say, "We get our customers to come back by changing often. We keep customers interested by intermingling vintage items and ideas with new trends and gifts." Perhaps your version of a loyalty program is remembering customers names, sending birthday coupons or, like Young Blood Boutique, curating shelves with items that took some deep digging to find.

A shop isn’t just for buying and selling products, it’s to bring different groups of people together and provide a community for gifting, inspiration and more. Sub Rosa Mercantile enjoys donating to charities and giving back to the community in that way, knowing that their customers will appreciate it. Parc Boutique plans lots of in-store and online events and special sales  for their customers, and Poketo hosts workshops and art shows that promote their vendors. Anomie is hitting the whole community thing out of the park, telling, “When one of our favorite regulars had ankle surgery and was stuck in her apartment nearby the shop, we hand delivered her online order with a get well card and a flower!” How much sweeter does it get? Your success comes from not only the items you carry, but how you carry yourself and the part you play in bringing people closer to one another.

Don't stop learning -- check out our Small Business Advice page for more tips from our P.F. Stockists.

Young Blood Boutique
is an Atlanta craft and design shop run by artist Rebecca Hanna. With a focus on supporting independent makers and creating a sense of community with their brands, Young Blood carries a selection of well-crafted jewelry, ceramics, accessories and more.

LA County Store is a Silverlake shop dedicated to supporting vendors that design and produce their goods right out of LA. The thoughtfully curated shop stocks artwork, ceramics, homewares, and more, and is the perfect place to pick up a Los Angeles souvenir.

Moorea Seal is a Seattle fashion and home boutique, and was one of the earliest P.F. adopters. Known for a beautiful selection of clothing, jewelry and home decor, the shop is constantly giving back to charities and organizations who need it most.

Pink Olive is an inspiring New York boutique specializing in thoughtful gifts that are anything but ordinary. Founder Grace Kang used her experience buying for Bloomingdale’s, and Barney’s New York to open the shop dedicated to making the gifting process fun.

Anomie is another San Francisco based boutique, featuring a selection clothing, accessories, home good and beauty items. Their website says it best: “Basically, we sell nice things.” To read more about Chelsea and Anomie, check out our IN STOCK feature.

Poketo is a Los Angeles based shop known for its bold aesthetic and “Art for Your Everyday” philosophy. A stockist since 2013, we created custom scent Tangerine & Vetiver exclusive for the brand.

Sub Rosa Mercantile is Denver’s modern take on a classic general store, offering personal accessories, utilitarian home decor and much more. Handcrafted, eclectic, and a hint of vintage are carefully curated to support creative small business owners.

For a full list of P.F. Stockists, check out our Stockist Map to find a shop in your neighborhood.

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