Store Owner Spotlight Kid’s Caboose

April 19th, 2016

Store Owner Spotlight Kid’s Caboose

Our latest Store Owner Spotlight has a razor sharp focus on children’s retail and apparel. They keep their customers coming back year after year by continuing to offer great service, fun activities and eye-catching window displays. Get on board and take a ride with us to explore the wonderful world of Kid’s Caboose.

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The Business

Kid’s Caboose is a resale clothing store that focuses on children’s apparel. They offer clothing from infants to juniors. They also carry an assortment of maternity wear for mothers to be. Their line of products also includes new and used children’s toys. The store is located in downtown Moberly Missouri, a city in the North-Central part of the state. In July they will have be celebrating their 10th year of business success. Owner Susan Hall is the proud owner of the Kid’s Caboose and is excited about her store and its beginnings.

What factors led you to decide to open a retail store/website?

“At the time I opened the store, I had worked in the banking field for over 30 years. I was burned out with a capital B!  I needed some color in my life and banking is very black and white. That’s why I opened a children’s store. By adding the color, I was able to work nine more years in banking until I could reach my retirement age.  Banking has a lot of aspects of selling to it, so I knew how to deal with customers. My degree was in Business Management. I am very organized and always had huge personal annual yard sales. People who came to my sales would comment how I had everything organized like a department store! Opening a retail store was not a big stretch for me.”

The Store

Kid’s Caboose has a fun train motif that starts on the outside of the building and continues inside the retail space. Moberly has a rich history with the railroad system and this plays nicely into that history. They have a large selection of clothing that is merchandised on clothing rail systems, round racks and other types of free standing clothing racks. The toys and retail sections are organized and well stocked. The wall colors feature rich primary tones of red, yellow and blue. Obviously, these are great colors that are attractive to children and adults alike. They have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind train caboose where children are encouraged to play as their parents shop.

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What was your design strategy when you put your store together?

“Going with the railroad theme allowed lots of creative decorating.  The first thing we wanted for the children’s store was a play area.  So, we built a caboose and put some toys and books inside.”

What inspired the direction of the look of your store?

“For our hanging items, we went with outrigger racks along the walls with floor racks in the center.  This allows us to add or subtract racks and move them around as inventory fluctuates and seasons change.  Our location came with the check-out counter in the center and some built-in tiered shelving along the walls, which we have utilized for shoes and toy display.  The store also already had a lot of peg-board on the walls, which we utilize.  We also purchased the majority of our clear plastic re-usable hangers from Store Supply.”

What type of packaging do you use for your customer purchases and why?

“From day one we’ve used red T-shirt plastic bags. They are a good size and the red color goes along with the red caboose theme.  I love driving down our street on the way to the store and seeing those red bags on the arms of pedestrians who have just made a purchase at my business.”

What are some features/special events that you do at your store to set yourself apart from other retailers?

“We are a part of our downtown association and participate with them on all their events. I do some fun things on my own, too. We have drawings for prize baskets or gift certificates. That’s a great way to get contact information from people. Then I can snail mail or email information to them. We’ve had a few art contests for kids. Last year at Easter we had a Peeps diorama contest.  We had a pumpkin decorating contest at Halloween (not carving just decorating). This year when I decorated our window for Easter, I put lots and lots of bunnies in among the mannequins. There were stuffed bunnies, paper, felt, ceramic, large and small. People counted the bunnies and submitted their guess. Getting the correct count was much harder than I thought it would be. The guesses were all over the board, but we had a winner!  Decorating my store windows is my favorite thing to do.”

What advice if any would you give others seeking to open a retail business that you have benefited from?

Susan’s advice is some of the best advice about business and what it takes to succeed.

“Do your research. Visit stores similar to the type you want your store to be.  Make notes after you get back to the car of things you liked and didn’t like.  Anytime you are traveling, take time to visit your peers. Make a business plan. Join a business organization, either Chamber of Commerce, Main Street, or even an organized strip mall group. I also belong to The National Association of Resale and Thrift Stores.”

“Start small and grow. When we first opened, we were only open 14 hours per week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. As people started to discover us, we just kept increasing the hours that my husband and I could work and still maintain our “regular jobs”.  Finally we hired someone part-time and expanded the hours even more. Check the store hours of the businesses around you.  If they open at 9 a.m., you should too.  If they are open later one or two nights a week, you should too.  But, remember that it is easier to extend your hours than to shorten them.  Never close before closing time!  That one person who pulls up in front of your store at ten minutes until closing could be your biggest sale of the day. If you went home early, bummer!”

“Don’t think that you’ll get to just work the hours that your store is open.  There is lots of behind-the-scenes stuff that must be dealt with.  When I go in on a Sunday to catch up, I look up and down my street and see the cars of my fellow store owners parked in front of their businesses, too.  The store owners who are not coming in extra hours are the ones who are not successful.  Lots of businesses come and go and it’s pretty easy to predict.”

If you are interested in being featured in our Store Owner Spotlight, please email us at psims@storesupply.com

Kids Caboose
413 West Reed
Moberly, MO 65270
www.kidscaboosemoberly.com
www.facebook.com/kidscaboose/

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Update Your Spring Looks With Our Jewelry Displays

April 1st, 2016

Update Your Spring Looks With Our Jewelry Displays

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Now that winter has ended, spring has come into view. Spring is the perfect time to introduce new jewelry looks. In doing so, it is also a great time to update your jewelry displays. We have a great selection of styles, shapes and colors to choose from.

We have added brand new 18” necklace displays by request from our customers. These displays allow for the layering of necklaces that will really give your jewelry a professional look. The displays feature an adjustable back and weighted base. We offer four finishes that complement our existing collections in Linen, Black Leatherette, White Leatherette and Black Velvet.

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We have our current collection of jewelry boxes in unique patterns exclusive to Store Supply Warehouse. Our cotton filled designer jewelry boxes feature 8 patterns available in 3 different sizes. These coordinate beautifully with our Boutique Collection of bags and packaging. Try mixing and matching our silver metal displays by changing out the accent gems. We have four colors to choose from that range in price from $.65 to $1.00 per set. These work well by adding a touch of bling and sophistication to your displays.

Store Owner Spotlight Carousel Horse

March 14th, 2016

Store Owner Spotlight Carousel Horse

Our latest retail store is all about celebrating the lives of horse lovers, riders and owners. Horses are an essential part of everyday life for many people who enjoy them. When you arrive to Carousel Horse the outside looks like a typical barn but once inside you are transported into the world of horse enthusiasts. We are going to take a journey into that life as we visit Carousel Horse our latest Store Owner Spotlight.

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The Business

Carousel Horse is an equestrian boutique located in the center of Western Pennsylvania Horse Country just outside of historic Saxonburg. At Carousel Horse you will find all sorts of products from tack (domesticated horse equipment) to clothing, accessories and home décor that celebrate equestrian style. The business started online and has continued for the last 8 years. Within the last 3 months Carousel Horse opened as a brick and mortar retail store. The store began with a love of horses and has become the go-to destination for horse lovers all over.

Do you have a background in retail? If not, what is your employment background? Please explain

 “I have a bachelor’s degree in business and worked in purchasing for most of my career. I’ve also ridden for 20 years and wanted something that could combine my knowledge of small business and my passion for horses. I have a great team of enthusiastic employees, some of which have worked in retail merchandising, but all are also riders and horse owners. “

What factors led you to decide to open a retail store/website?

“When my first son was born, I wanted to have a small business I could work at and also raise my kids.”

The Store

The front of the store looks like a barn that features traditional themes you would find on a barn at a typical farm. Once inside you are transformed into a retail space that is well merchandised and stylish. The store offers a put together mix of antique and contemporary. There are beautiful barn doors that tie into the space to create a rustic environment. There is plenty of space to move through where product and accessories are placed on 4 way clothing racks and rustic round wood spindles. There is a great use of space along the walls as product is well displayed in framed slatwall on faceouts and peghooks.

What inspired the direction of the look of your store?

“Both myself and my merchandiser both love antiques and that rustic barn wood look. We also love to salvage and re-purpose.”

What are some features/special events that you do at your store to set yourself apart from other retailers?

“We like to do fun promotions that customers can participate in like our Elf on the Shelf during Christmas. Not only does it bring people in for discounts, but they are also engaged and have a lot of fun looking through the store for our hidden elves.”

What advice if any would you give others seeking to open a retail business that you have benefited from?

“When hiring, look for people that share your passion. Anyone can be trained, but it’s the attitude and enthusiasm of your employees that will make your business a success.”

 

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The Carousel Horse
205 Neupert Rd
Cabot, PA 16023
www.carouselhorsetack.com
Facebook: facebook.com/CarouselHorseTack/
Instagram: @carouselhorsetack 
Twitter: @carouselhorsetack 

Signage and Table Displays Ideas

March 10th, 2016

Signage and Table Displays Ideas

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Signage is a key element in any retail space. Your signage allows your store to tell a story. Signs can contain very few words or an entire explanation of what’s going on and where to find merchandise throughout the store. Your main objective should be making sure your customers know about your special sale or promotion.

There is nothing more frustrating to customers than walking through a store that has a sale then getting to the register only to find that the item(s) you purchased were not part of “the” sale. We have put together some display ideas and tips featuring our products to give you some inspiration. We hope to give you some fresh ideas for your next sale.

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  1. Nesting Display Tables- We offer several styles of display tables that nest into each other. This type of display is a simple way to show product without taking up a lot of space on the sales floor. Folding blouses or pants on the tables along with signage at different levels leaves no question in the customer’s mind which products are for sale.
  1. Sale Signs- Signs are available in a variety of styles and colors that coordinate well with whatever color scheme you are working with. We carry basic styles in classic colors like red and white. We also have more contemporary styles that feature black and white stripes, softer colors and patterns available in our Boutique Collection.
  1. Sign Holders- Sign holders are an essential part of displaying your signage in a professional way. Our sign holders are available in a variety of different styles and colors. We offer signage for tabletops, floor and clothing racks.

Store Owner Spotlight See Jane Sparkle

March 1st, 2016

Store Owner Spotlight See Jane Sparkle

Retail boutiques are seeing an amazing rebirth all over the country. Personalized service, special events and opportunities to interact with customers are becoming an essential part of doing business. These types of special touches provide lasting impressions that will keep customers coming back..That’s exactly how our latest Store Owner Spotlight See Jane Sparkle really shines.

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The Business

See Jane Sparkle is a boutique located in southeast Evanston, just north of Chicago, Illinois. See Jane Sparkle is in its 4th year and has come a long way since starting as a trunk show back in 2001.The store is the brain-child of local designer Sara Jane Abbott. The store is a launching pad for what Sara Jane envisioned as a brick-and-mortar community for both established and developing artists and designers. See Jane Sparkle provides not only jewelry and women’s accessories, but luxury designer resale items, vintage finds and a wide variety of personal and home accessories.  Sara Jane’s vision is for See Jane Sparkle to be the destination for both artists and customers to “find their own sparkle”.

Do you have a background in retail? If not, what is your employment background?

“I went to Syracuse University for Fashion Design, then designed for 17 years in the corporate world for a variety of major retail companies. I started working retail at a local antique fine jewelry store. It was my first job when I was a teenager.  I always knew I was going to own a boutique someday, I just didn’t know if it was going to include clothing, jewelry or gift. Now I’m all three.”

What factors led you to decide to open a retail store/website?

“I have been designing over 30 years and I wanted to design and be the boss. When I was working design in the corporate world, it was like designing with blinders on. I started doing trunk shows to showcase my own ideas. Towards the end I was doing over 30 shows while working full time as a mom of two children. I am a people person, so the next step for sure was for me to open my own store.”

How did you come up with the name of your business?

One of the first things that grabs your attention is the name of the business itself. With a name like See Jane Sparkle, you have to figure that there is a great story behind the name.

“The name comes from my childhood. There were these Golden Book series Dick and Jane.  The “Jane” in the name also is a play on words since Jane is usually a plain Jane but I have her SPARKLE.”

Store Design

The style and flow of a retail space is one of the keys to its success. Customers have to be able to move around the store without feeling overwhelmed. Sara Jane has done a great job achieving this with rich wall colors coupled with the copper tones of Store Supply’s boutique fixture collection. One of the most exciting features is a beautiful chandelier in the center of the space. It offers the classic look of an exclusive boutique. The result is a space that appears warm and inviting.

What was your design strategy when you put your store together?

“I love vintage furniture and everything shiny like crystal, mirrors and metallic gold or copper accents.  I have a mix of copper toned fixtures from the cobblestone collection, a white pedestal center table, vintage walnut and espresso desks, chairs, tables and touches of red. I found two vintage red arm chairs that have become my “guy” chairs. I also have grey border distressed area rugs, vintage chandeliers and lamps and some glass cabinets. I love designing my interior space!  Maybe that’s my next career.”

What inspired the direction of the look of your store?

“I have always loved the old-school glamour of the 1940’s. I use the brown boxes and paper bags with the baroque printing, Paris script or the Newsprint bags. I have stickers printed and then add a gem to each sticker on the bag.”

What are some features/special events that you do at your store to set yourself apart from other retailers?

The store also offers a unique space for private events such as Girl’s Night Out and birthday parties. Special occasions, weddings and custom designing are other offerings to round out the assortment.

“My Beads & Bubbly parties are private design parties where adults and kids as young as seven can design jewelry while sipping bubbly. We serve Prosecco for adults and homemade soda for the children. I also do monthly events as appreciation parties for my “Starlets”. See Jane Sparkle shoppers are called Starlets.”

What advice if any would you give others seeking to open a retail business that you have benefited from?

“Take it slow. Learn from your mistakes and just have fun!”

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See Jane Sparkle
1312 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

Website www.seejanesparkle.com

Facebook Facebook.com/seejanesparkle

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/see_jane_sparkle/

Twitter https://twitter.com/sjsevanston

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/seejanesparkle/

Yelp http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/see-jane-sparkle-evanston-4