ShopTalk Dotter

Shop Talk | Dotter

Those of us who’ve been involved in the retail biz for a while can sometimes forget what it’s like for those just launching into it. After talking with Annika Huston of Dotter in Los Angeles, I was struck by what we can learn from them and also by how much they value the stories and lessons of more seasoned shop owners. There’s something special in the bond that shop owners have not just with their immediate community of neighbors, customers, and staff, but also with other shop owners. Some have even likened it to a sense of family. Sometimes though, […]

Event Ideas to Keep Customers Coming

Event Ideas to Keep Customers Coming

Being your own boss is the dream. And living the dream should be fun, right? One important way to build in fun is through events and as a retail store owner, you already have the venue! But when you’ve been in biz for many years, sometimes the idea mill slows down. Lucky for you, the boss ladies from my Shop Talk interviews have shared their successful events. Now I’m sharing them with you. Events offer multiple and sometimes underestimated perks. The first is customer appreciation. There’s no better way to show customers how much you appreciate them than by spoiling […]

Robbie Hoyme from Gaia

Shop Talk | Gaia

Way on the other side of the country in Winston Salem, North Carolina, is a shop called Gaia. Although running strong for 21 years, Gaia is actually the 6th store by serial shop owner/entrepreneur Robbie Hoyme – a woman so connected to her shop that people assume her name is Gaia. You might expect that she’s chock full of stories and lessons to share… and you’d be right! Between all her stores and moving from state to state with her family, what strikes me most about Robbie is not only that she is simultaneously a visionary, flexible, creative, and determined, […]

Photo Shoot

The Top 3 Photos That Your Business Needs NOW

Great photos are one of the top resources you should have ready to go at a moment’s notice. As a local business owner, there will be numerous opportunities that will call for gorgeous photos. Instead of scrambling to get it done last minute or submitting photos that are low quality (too dark, out of focus), take the time now to set up a photoshoot. When that special sales event, fashion show, fundraiser, or interview comes asking for photos to feature you and/or your store, you will have perfect photos at the ready! Top 3 Must-Have Photo List: Headshots of the Owner, […]

Google My Business Map

Claim Your Business on Google

Have you ever noticed that when you google a business, you often see what looks like random pictures on the right hand side? And below that is some information like a website, phone number, etc.? Did you know you could control what comes up there when someone searches for your business? Well, you can! You do it by claiming your business on Google using their free tool “Google My Business.” Once you claim your business you can add all kinds of information like hours, website, and your own gorgeous photos and videos. Customer reviews and uploaded photos will also be […]

Shop Talk with Sibling Revelry

Shop Talk | Sibling Revelry

21 years ago, Cathy Holdorf (pictured above, right) and her sister, Dorothy Williams (pictured above, left), embarked on a retail journey with no previous experience and opened Sibling Revelry in Corvalis, Oregon. They knew nothing about the industry. Zero. Well, nothing about the business side of fashion, anyway. What they had, however, turned out to be a lot more valuable. Their readiness to acknowledge what they didn’t know and the eagerness to ask for help. It’s a critical lesson for a new business, but one that’s also very useful for established ones. Cathy was always interested in retail. She learned […]

Facebook Events

Getting people through the door is pretty much the holy grail of any local boutique.  It’s why they exist! So why not use every tool at your disposal—especially when it’s free. If you’re building or have built a loyal Facebook following, then let’s talk about Facebook Events. So why create a Facebook event? People love a party! And they like to invite their friends to go with them. A Facebook event is easy to share in Facebook or in Messenger and features a convenient button to indicate if someone is “going” or “interested” in going. I love these two buttons […]

Shop Talk - Sound Styles

Shop Talk | Sound Styles

If Jenny Murphy has learned anything in the 33 years she’s owned Sound Styles, it’s that building relationships—be it with customers, her team, or anyone else—is a long game and that the stamina and the will to keep doing it comes from respecting and treating people like family. In Jenny’s case, it all started with family – literally. Retail has been Jenny’s passion and only profession since high school. After cutting her teeth at Nordstrom for several years, Jenny co-founded Sound Styles with her mother (they even ran the business with Jenny’s brother and father for some time!). With her […]

NPS Facebook page

5 Habits to Increase Facebook Engagement

Wondering where to put your energy and effort when it comes to Facebook? As the owner of an independent boutique your time is precious, so I’ve done some of the legwork to give you 5 habits you should cultivate to optimize engagement on your business Facebook page. Your posts should be a mix of 70% video, 20% image with text, and 10% link posts. That’s according to Mari Smith, a highly sought-after keynote speaker on social media and the Top Facebook Marketing Expert! To highlight that large percentage above, make sure to do more video. BuzzSumo shares that “videos get […]

Shop Talk Mustard Seed

Shop Talk | The Mustard Seed

Barbara Wiggins, owner of the Mustard Seed (opened 1982) in Napa, California (1227 First St.), has been in business for 46 years. Having had four stores in as many cities during this time, it’s stating the obvious to say that she loves retail – her love for retail has its roots in her childhood when she preferred to play with a cash register over dolls. It was a treat to speak with Barbara about the retail industry because she carries the same fun-loving spirit from her childhood to her work today. And with the breadth of her experience and willingness […]