We took the plunge on August 1st. Brick and mortar retail. We got the keys Tuesday. Opened Friday. It was insanity. Three days of craziness. Boom.
A complete retail store open. POP!
The Rosie Workshop born. On Main Street in the village of Westfield, NY 15 minutes from the Chautauqua Institution.
We undertook this project in order to brutally learn retail. Raw and real. A few questions we had were:
- What is the best way to setup fixtures and display product? How do you not kill people?
- Who are our customers?
- How do you get people to come into the store?
- How do you generate buzz about the place?
- What triggers people to pull out the credit card?
- When do people buy?
- How do you deal with the loitering retirees who scare off the paying customers?
The experience was amazing. And bruising. Our first couple of weeks were hilarious. Eye watering perhaps. The health department almost shut us down and we don’t sell food or drinks.
If you have ever dreamed of making and selling a product you must undertake the same craziness. Everything becomes real. Theories and suppositions, you had at Nordstrom are ejected like flaming oil in a dark ages battle scene. We found ourselves changing and trying new things hourly.
After the smoke died down, we found success and excavated truths about specialty retail. In this series of stories based on our famous window displays and best practices, we share our learnings. Our customers will probably find this charming. If you’re a product and retail entrepreneur, then this is a must read. There are some real gems here. And we’re cute and entertaining too.