Ann Foley Collins is the owner of Glee Gifts Boutique On Wheels in Mansfield, MA. She has gained so much experience in the retail industry by having owned a brick & mortar store for 10 years. She created her store from a concept in her head to something that grew really big. After having no choice but to close her doors last year, she took a long look at her business options and realized that she loved her brand and didn’t want to give it up. That tenacity led her to transition over into her boutique on wheels.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL FIND OUT ABOUT:
- When the store 1st opened, all she carried were entertaining items like stems, platters, etc.
- Eventually, Ann moved her store to a larger location in Mansfield.
[bctt tweet=”I knew my gift shop retail business was a good concept because I continued to get busier and busier. @gleegal” via=”no”]
- Ann stayed consistent with her brand, which also allowed her business grow.
- Unfortunately, a year ago (Oct 2014), she learned that a National Gift Store was moving in two doors down from her biz and the landlord was not going to renew her lease. Because of this, she eventually had to close the store and then transitioned into the mobile boutique.
[bctt tweet=”I wanted to keep my brand…I love my brand…I love my customers…I love what I do and I don’t want to give it up. @gleegal” via=”no”]
- She says that it’s really hard having a brick & mortar store.
- In addition to competition with the internet, the big box stores and larger chains eat up the small independent shops and because of that they are struggling.
[bctt tweet=”I feel like having a store is stagnant…You’re waiting on people to come to your store and they are just not shopping…having an online store + a mobile boutique is the best way to go.” via=”no”]
- Ann believes that having your mobile technology up-to-date is also important for having a store.
- When Ann opened the truck, she revamped her entire inventory / products.
- Ann found her 2006 Ford Utility Master box truck out-of-state and had it delivered to her.
- She saved a lot of money because her boyfriend did most of the build-out.
- Ann paid $5,000 for the truck wrap.
- In regards to finding places to park, Ann prefers not to just randomly post up shop somewhere. Instead, she prefers to be invited to locations.
- Between networking and researching areas, she has been able to find places to park with good foot traffic and also get private parties booked.
- As a retailer, she recommends offering sales to customers in order to unload old merchandise.
- Ann’s advise is to make sure to have a good business plan.
Wrap Solutions (vehicle wrap specialists in Woburn, MA)
Gifts & Dec (magazine for retail trades)
Gift Beat (magazine / forum for retailers across the country)
ASK FFT (Leave us a voice-recorded question and we will answer it on the next episode)
FIND GLEE GIFTS
Website: Glee Gifts Boutique On Wheels
Facebook: Glee Gifts Boutique On Wheels
Pinterest: Glee Gifts
Google+: Glee Gifts
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