Posts Tagged ‘small store


… and small stores

On my daily walk, I pass this little, tiny boutique:

Look, everything is there:  clothing racks, dressing room, counter.

When I walked by there yesterday, ONE of these two racks was outside as a sales rack.  She is a designer, mostly selling her own items and doing alterations (obviously NOT at the shop, but that will be another post…) She has two mannequins in the front window that she changes daily. With THAT little inventory, I’m surprised she can pull it off.

The place reminds me of my friend Anne’s boutique in Multnomah Village. Her place would fit right in to this town here. Style and all.


Two years! …. today!

Time flies when you are having fun – huh… a small business, huh… wonder whether you make it through the year…

I did!!! It has been two full years TODAY that I opened SOFIA and she is still standing! I would like to compare these last two years to having gone through a sales/merchandising/book keeping/customer service apprenticeship. I thought I was done with schooling!

During these last two years I have met people I would have never otherwise spoken to. I have learned about the neighborhood my shop is in, have met and sat with the neighborhood organization. I have joined a number of networking groups and attended quite a few dinners and events through them. I traveled to Los Angeles and New York in order to meet my designers and order new wares. I found a lot of comfort in selling socks. But most of all, I was able to grow and expand my business. It is a beautiful thing to be surrounded by scrumptious fabrics and divine designs. Yes, there were (and still are) those days when I wonder what I have gotten myself into. When I devise an emergency exit strategy because no one has entered my shop for too long a while. And then there are these glorious moments when a customer revels in her mirrored image and thanks me for making her look beautiful. Or the guy who is frantically buying for someone and has found just the right item IN MY STORE!

I think I only cried once (and have forgotten why) but I laugh a lot. Some conversations take a serious political turn, others get into education (I am a teacher after all) and some don’t make sense at all. Especially during the warmer days, my shops seems to invite people to linger and just chat. There is sweet Betty who walks everywhere and always shouts her greetings to me. And the elderly gentle lady who speaks so eloquently and must have had a very full life. I am so grateful for the array of customers that I get in the store. My oldest one must be around 85(!) years old – and she’s got taste and is very specific! I love my returning customers and the stories they tell where they took my clothes.

So – a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped me make it through two years!!!!

Flickr Photos


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