Posts Tagged ‘small business’

Small Business Saturday

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Small Business Saturday  

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Store Supply Warehouse is proud to be an Official 2016 Corporate Supporter for Small Business Saturday. Mostly, we are excited to share our knowledge and support with small businesses all across the country!

On November 26, 2016, small businesses will unite in a shopping day referred to as Small Business Saturday. We acknowledge that many of our customers consider themselves small businesses and we hope to provide the tools necessary to make 2016 the most successful Small Business Saturday yet. Whether you are a small business owner or a shopping fanatic, please #ShopSmall on November 26th!

We want to help our customers achieve their goals!

To learn more about how you can get involved this year, please check in with us here for additional information and tips.

Dressing Rooms

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Dressing Rooms


An adequate dressing room space has become one of the most essential parts of any specialty boutique. The dressing room can complement the overall space within the boutique or it can be a destination all its own. Traditionally, we are accustomed to the dressing rooms inside of department stores or discount stores consisting of simply four walls and a door. Now, dressing rooms have become part of the shopping experience. We have a few suggestions for you to keep in mind when you are ready to outfit your dressing room.

  1. Make sure to provide your customer an area with a reasonable amount of space. Even if your space is limited, you will want to keep in mind that your customer will want to be comfortable and able to move around without difficulty.
  1. Wall hooks are always an important part of a changing room experience. Make sure to provide a series of hooks, a hangrail, or even grid panels for your customer to hang their clothing on. The ease of the transition from disrobing and redressing is a major part of what makes a good dressing room work.
  1. A full length mirror should always be available within the dressing room or just outside of the space. It’s always a good idea for your customer to see what the outfit looks like from head to toe. We carry cheval (oval style) mirrors in ivory or cobblestone finishes that allow for adjustments in the angle of the mirror.
  1. If space allows for it, add a chair for your customer to sit on or an ottoman for them to place merchandise on. Again, this is just a little something extra to allow your customer to have a complete shopping experience.
  1. Additional accessories like a contrasting wall color or even a rug are interesting details that will leave an impression on your customer. The more comfortable they feel, the more likely they will become a repeat customer. Those little details provide an experience that shopping online cannot give them. Finally, make sure if your customer needs anything, there is someone there to help them.

Store Owner Spotlight Carousel Horse

Monday, 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.


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
Instagram: @carouselhorsetack 
Twitter: @carouselhorsetack 

Store Owner Spotlight See Jane Sparkle

Tuesday, 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







Store Owner Spotlight Neon Gypsy

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Store Owner Spotlight Neon Gypsy 

Opening a retail store can be both risky and challenging.  A lot of the time, there is great adversity and challenges at every turn. Owner Keely Gore did not give up when things got rough. When others may have given up she met every challenge and figured out how to make it work for her and not against her. Her story is one that is all about pushing through no matter what happens. What has emerged as a result is her unique take on art, fashion and retail. This is the story of our latest Owner Spotlight Neon Gypsy.

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The Business

Neon Gypsy is a trendy, fashion forward boutique specializing in plus-size clothing. The store has been in business for two years and is located in Silsbee, Texas. The store features a number of popular lines of jewelry, fashion accessories and chalk paint. Within the retail store you can find all of the coolest trinkets, treasures, antique furniture and décor. In addition, Neon Gypsy offers custom painted furniture pieces and signage. They have made a freehand artist available for any other custom needs their customer may have.

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

“At 19 years old I opened up a small one-room nail salon and offered small amounts of retail. I ended my last 4 1/2 years in the business working for a large company in Beaumont, Texas until 2005 when my home was devastated by Hurricane Rita. With only a new truck left, my brother got a job offer for me with   FEMA in Louisiana. I traded my stilettos for steel-toe boots. I went from a classy salon environment to hauling FEMA campers to people that lost their homes.  I learned to block, set, level and do electrical. A large change in my life made me a much stronger woman. I got married and started working in the oilfield business. Five years later after my divorce I loaded everything I could into a truck along with the last $100 I had to my name and moved back to Texas. I started college for Electrical Instrumentation, took care of my ill grandparents, got remarried and now here I am”.

How did you come up with the name of the store?

Some of best names for anything start with a thoughtful process. The name of Neon Gypsy is the celebration of the eclectic product line that it offers. If the name of the store seems personal it’s because it is.

“When I started in my junking venture, I started from my driveway as a kind of therapy after my grandparent’s passing within a month of each other. I started doing pieces of my own and “Junky Gypsy” styling my own place, I got approached to paint a piece for a friend and the freight train took off. During this time I had heard a song on the radio that mentioned something about a Neon Gypsy, I thought to myself, “If I ever got the chance to open a store that sure would be a cool name.” Who would’ve thought it would happen sooner than later.”

Store Design

The appeal of this retail space starts from the front entrance with a vintage Ford truck parked in the yard. The rest of the entrance features fabulous signage complete with trendy mixed media marquee lettering spelling out Neon Gypsy. This store understands how to get first time shoppers and regular customers alike to check out what’s inside.

The store is a mix of furniture, ladies clothing, accessories and chalk painting products. The set up showcases the Bohemian style of the shop and all that it has to offer. There is a mix of modern and antique nods that really speak to the overall look of the space. Inside you are transformed into this mix as the groupings of products transition throughout.

“The design strategy is lots of fun and ‘oh look at this’ types. We re-stage our store at least every two weeks. I guess I would say we’re constantly re-inventing ourselves once a month. We are busy gypsies.”

“I have always been a lover of the oddities, the rusty, chipped goodness of an old find on a junk hunt. Junk Gypsies and other semi-locals have been an inspiration to me. I am now inspired daily by each and every one of the great friends I have acquired over my journey.”

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

“We love to have events at our shop for most any reason. We invite some of our local friends in the business to set up tents, usually bring in rat rod cars (junk hot rods) and bring in a bar-be-que cooking team for our customers. We like to do flash sales unannounced because everyone loves a surprise sale.”

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

 “Know your market, all of it. Be consistent in everything you do. Empower other women in business. Help keep your own area thriving. Have a great support team around you; you’re going to need it. Don’t owe anyone anything. You will never get ahead in debt to everyone. Go for it. It is only dreams if you don’t!”

Would you like to be featured in our next installment of the SSW Store Owner Spotlight? Email for more information.

The Neon Gypsy
305 East Avenue J
Silsbee, TX 77656

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