Summer is flying by as usual, but we're enjoying seeing all the faces (familiar and new) at The Gables. Everyone asks how business is doing. An understandable concern in the present economy. I can truthfully say that business is pretty steady. Not breaking any records, mind, but pretty darn good considering the times.
So how does a small retail shop weather a tough economy? I'm trying to be really smart about how I buy for the store - not only how much and what, but trying to make the selection fresh and exciting for my customers.
Everyone seems to be really pleased at some of the changes we've made this year. The best thing we did was move things around so we could have all of the greeting cards, books, note cards, etc in the back room. Adding track lighting 'brightened' things up, as did doing some repainting. Mainly, the card selection is really highlighted. I introduced 3 new card lines, some wonderful boxed note cards, and a growing collection of cookbooks, nature books, kids books, and gift books. Look for more in the future.
As we march through summer and into the fall ( a long way off - don't panic), I'll be bringing in some new things that I'm in the process of selecting now. Shopping is so much fun!
But even more fun is catching up with all the people who are coming in during the summer. I've seen families grow up, kids get married and start their own families, and transitions of all kinds. I owe my customers so much for including me in their lives - it's like a big extended family.
So that's the lowdown on how business is doing. We're enjoying the summer here (hoping for rain) and seem to be keeping very busy. If I could only find the time to weed that back garden and spread my pile of mulch....