Everything has been about the details lately. Making sure every last piece is placed perfectly, every dirty smudge is wiped away (as far as is humanly possible), every product is made available. We've been working on renovations for almost two months now, and, at long last, Holliday Card Shoppe is looking like it's ours. Gone are the old clunky glass cube displays, most of the old merchandise is boxed up, or in a sale section, and new items are filling the refreshed shelves. it has been an exhausting process, but we're actually starting to feel like this place is really ours.
I think taking over a store that has been in action for more than two decades is a tricky business. On one side, you have customers that come faithfully. The post office option draws people in on a daily basis. There are those old timers who come back time and time again because they know what to expect. But knowing what to expect isn't always a good thing. We still have stacks of merchandise that have been sitting there since we took over in April of last year. And we don't have a clue how long it was there before that. This means that those tried and true customers have been seeing these products for years. If they didn't buy them then, why would they buy them now. Not to mention, if they bought them before, why would they need to buy them again?
I spent the past year just trying to figure out what I was doing. I've worked retail. I've been an employee. I've followed a list of pre-described routines. But owning a store, that's a concept I still have trouble wrapping my head around. When I know what to do, I can do it, but innovation, that's a whole different ball game. I like plans and routines, so it was easy to get trapped in keeping up with the old store standards and just maintaining. Thankfully, I'm married to an innovator. Now, the game has changed.
There is still plenty to be done, but, at long last, we're taking the stores out of the 80's. We're moving it beyond a run down mom and pop card shop, and we're making it into a place worth spending time in. I have no pictures to post, but let me tell you all, it's worth popping your head in for a look :)