Monday, September 10, 2012

Sisterhood

Okay ladies, it is time to gather 'round the campfire. I received an email from shop owner Valerie Dumas tonight. She along with partner Jenni are Curious Retailers who own The Vintage-Flea in Newnan, Georgia. The email went something like this:

Hi Deb... This is Valerie from The Vintage-Flea in Georgia (I sat next to you at our Curious Sofa Dinner). I had an idea that I wanted to share with you for your shop owner blog. Jenni and I both paint and while going through the latest issue of "Artful Blogging" (which by the way is a magazine dedicated to artists and their blogs) I got to thinking why isn't there something like this for business owners? I am constantly scouring local boutiques, Flickr photos of Anthropologie, favorite blogs (like yours), and magazine articles. I am looking for new products but especially display ideas, store set-ups, promotional concepts, etc. That alone is a full time job, wouldn't you agree?

So my thought was to offer a "meeting place" (ex: your shop owner blog) for store owners to be able to post their blog links. It would have to be store blogs only because we are not interested in their cute kids- only their cute stores! The dinner you hosted in Atlanta was truly inspirational because not only did we learn more about you but everyone had some wisdom to share. What do you think? Everyone could post their links in the "comments" form so you don't have to keep up with it. Just be prepared that with your following, you might have hundreds of comments. (Just let us be the first... Ha Ha) Have a wonderful day, Valerie

Great idea, right?
So here it is: Send me the link to your shop via the comment button on this post and I will look them over and post them to the right of this Shop Owners blog main page. The Vintage-Flea will always be listed first because this was Valerie's idea.

Here is the fine print that will undoubtedly upset someone:
1. You must have a bonefide, brick and mortar store. Not just a blog, or Etsy page or an antique booth- a 100% open every Saturday, name to a lease, never have enough money kind of store.

2. You have a website. If you also have a blog, viewers can find it via your website (where you hopefully have a link). If you do not have a website but a blog only, I will study your blog and make sure it is 90% business related before the link is shown. (No pictures of your kids in the bathtub please). If it is not, you might want to edit.

3. You're good. (Sorry, this is my blog and I can post you if I want to).To keep things professional and looking like the kind of store we all want to be or visit, I would prefer websites and/or business blogs to look the part: Ideas about display, events, advertising, products, market, business, etc. Be good at it, be different. You do not need to look like my store (please don't) but any style you have done well- and yes! I will allow color.

4. Your website is generic enough to look current or is updated often.

5. You do not have to sell online or have lots of bells and whistles on your web page but it should say something about your store, your hours and most importantly- have ideas (text or images) that educate or inspire.

I have my own list of favorites that may never read this invitation but I will post them anyway and some of you may send me your favs as well. I will look everything over and choose the best of the lot with a good mix. If this works out we will all learn we are not alone out there.
Thanks.

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