New Affordable Store In Ohio's Largest M
I grew up in the "system" and have never had a real family. Yet, I refuse to fall into the statics. What I have, I created myself through hard work and determination.
So, here is my current problem... a good problem to have I suppose, but I have grown my business in this past year, and OUTGROWN my studio, and now our retail location located inside Pleasant Treasures, 4020 Pleasant Ave, Hamilton, OH 45011!! (opened Black Friday, 2013)
OUR NEXT STEP: A STORE FRONT!!! (Bee U) The current 2 spaces of my business total about 1,200sq ft combined-- plus off season items stored elsewhere. So, I will need somewhere BIG enough to house all this in one place, and room to grow, to make it worth it.
I already have MORE demand, than supply including wholesale orders, and I need to hire help. But I can't afford it yet.
A BIGGER place will give me more room to work so I can increase production time.
Also, to help fellow small "cottage industry" families through consignment of their child-related goods.
If you are local (Cincinnati, OH area), you can also help by donating gently used clothing is ALL SIZES & any season, as well as any sort of sellable items for infants through teens.
Contact us via our Facebook page if you would like to help in this way.
I also had customers come in yesterday who told me my prices are still too low. (Twice in about the last week!) I generally price at 1/4-1/2 the original retail price.
I am also waiting for some samples & pricing for a better sign for my windows & should hear back by the end of the week. (Potentially upgrading from hand painted letters on poster board to a window cling! Lol)
Still lots of rudeness & adversary from certain owners of similar stores & noticing a trend- if they were wealthy starting out the decades prior when they opened, they seem to be much ruder/sarcastic/pesimistic toward me than those who were low-mid income when they started. The latter seem to be nicer & more willing to help with positive advice & not criticize when I ask questions. This isn't across the board of course, but just in general. (They also seem very angry that I have taken on a size so much larger already.) It's odd to me, as I feel like I'm my very own hybrid store, so not really direct competition to anyone...or maybe it makes me competition to EVERYONE. ;-)
I just wish I could learn to not let "mean people" ruin my day. I feel that skill is worth more than all the money in the world.
I need $8,000 by Sept 1st or will lose everything. I'm having a big fundraising sale this weekend but $8,000 is an awfully big road block...
I've learned the hard way that no matter how many hours you work, how much you give up, & how much you WANT something... It takes money to make money.
I'm all the way up to the glass ceiling again but it's not breaking...
AND NOW I am EXPANDING to 8,000sq ft in a much busier area with actual street traffic vs in the middle of a dead mall.
I have grown to the LARGEST consignment store of my kind & still run it by myself, with kids in tow. I have to move a packed 6500sq ft space by myself as well as come up with another $4,000 --all in a MONTH. I've been moving a little at a time since April 1st. My soft opening is July 1st... I'd say with working non stop, I've moved about 1/4... Gulp.
I have worked myself to the point of illness/injury to get where I am today.
My store, Bee U, in the Cincinnati Mall has grown to 6,300sq ft. I handle it all myself.
My biggest issue is advertising/getting my name out. As soon as I put banners up (is appropriate places with permission), someone STEALS them. $50 each X 4-- so that is crushing. The customers who leave positive feedback help ease that a little though.
Financially we are the same. The business is still too new to be income.
Our house is about the same-- although I did just start on replacing the laundry room & kitchen floors.
(I will post about that on our regular blog.)
Update: 5/23/13 Thomas was admitted in the hospital yesterday. Pls see our blog for updates: Bumblebeebottomsboutique. Wordpress.com Thank you.
I even double checked- we fall through EVERY loophole for agency funding. Crazy. ...and frustrating- I work so hard instead of sitting back and collecting a check, and yet am eligible for NOTHING because of it. I can't wait to bust through this glass ceiling and someday be able to help others in similar situations...