ELEMENTS

Retail Shop Sharing

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Retail shop sharing is not a new idea, but one that has been picking up steam again recently. Sharing a space can mean more than just a way to economize on rent. It helps small business owners pool their resources and support each other for shared success. .

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Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.
— James Cash Penney
 
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Mutualism is key. Choose a business that shares your retail space with care. Determine that the other business won't offer items that compete with the products you're selling to customers. Like a clothing store and a chocolate shop!

 
 

If sharing a retail space is something you’re considering then you definitely want to talk to others that have went through the process.

Our real world example, basic. and Honeycreeper Chocolate work side by side under the same roof. We went and talked to them on Morris avenue about their journey into shop sharing and the obstacles (if any) they had to overcome. We can’t thank Courtney and Lacey enough for taking time out of their day to chat and enlighten us.

 
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Beginning in October we started sharing our space with TRXi Vintage! We couldn’t be more excited to have Casey in the shop with us. You may recognize the name TRXi Vintage from pop-ups we’ve had with her in the past. Her eye for style and vintage is magnificent. She’s easy to work independently alongside as well as collaboratively together on projects. Casey is like minded and shares values and vision that are alined with our own. This played a big role in why it was such an easy fit. We look forward to growing together. Retail helps retail, we always say.

 
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Chapter 2 : Lindsay Brook Designs

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Meet your maker

Lindsay Brook Designs

We've said it once, we'll say it a million more times : we are happy to carry locally made goods in our store. The featured vendor today approached us just a few weeks in to us opening and has been an elements tried and true brand ever since. 

 

The part of the story of local makers that intrigues me the most is really the part of our personal story that seemed so impulsive - how, when, and why did you decide to quit your other jobs and choose to devote your time and attention to a single project that you believed in? Johnnie and I dreamed about and pined over this concept for a store for a long time, but when it came to finding the space - we just had to jump, thinking was secondary and we just had to sign the papers and get to work. Why? I'm pretty sure we were and still are a little insane. 

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The how and when: For Lindsay, she was working 2 part time jobs and then added on her seamstress work to make some extra money. Working pretty much all day, then coming home and working more can be exhausting. It took a few Pepper Place market set ups to say "I'm doing this, committing, going full force in to Lindsay Brook Designs". 

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Special pieces from fellow maker and Elements vendor, Small Woods Studio, hung above her sewing machine - pretty good advice from Ron Swanson sewn beautifully by Tammy. 

The hardest part for Lindsay : There is a misunderstanding about having a "craft". It's not just a hobby but it is her career and her business. Yes there is a LOT of sewing but there is also branding and labeling, building websites, pushing your goods at markets, and wandering in to retailers and networking. (All of these aforementioned 'to-dos' on top of the most important task - creating quality handmade goods) Did I mention she was also raising her 3 kids--pregnant 2 different times, in the height of the growth of LB designs? She is a full fledged girl boss. 

But the best part always outweighs the hardest part for her :  "I can be more flexible so I can be more generous". She can rearrange her schedule to be there for her family and friends. And not only has it made her time more open but it has allowed her to contribute monetarily to people and causes and organizations that she finds important. Of course we want our businesses to sustain us but Lindsay reminded me that we also need our businesses to fulfill us in a variety of ways. 

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Through all of our conversation - there was a consistent theme - being generous and mindful. Generous with time and space and companionship. Mindful of her waste, who she was impacting and how she could impact someone more. My time with Lindsay was such a breath of fresh air. To be connected on a personal level with a maker that we carry in store is something I never thought I'd get to have in the retail business. It's not only about selling - the best part to us is this connection. 

Thank you to Lindsay for opening up your home to me.