What the future looks like for Nonchalantmom - hint: it's sunny and bright!
I think some people think that being a shop owner is one of those jobs that doesn't really count, maybe it's a job that is just a bunch of fun or maybe there isn't a lot of talent involved.... you know what I mean. I've always been a bit "shy" when I'm at a party and everyone is talking about what they do for a living and I do my best to keep my name out of the conversation. But really these days I feel like it takes so darn much talent that I'm proud of myself that I am still in the game, when so many have fallen by the wayside, I'm still here. It is not easy to navigate the retail landscape, and these days, well... it's just not what it used to be - there was a formula, buy wholesale bring it into your shop and get as many people in to see said wholesale item and sell it, wait 90 days and put whatever is left on sale, it was followed and we were all fine. But not anymore!
I should take some credit here as I was one of the first to internet-tise the local shop, but the absolute upside down of retail these days is so very hard to understand, much less try to make a living at it! For a couple of years now, I have been in - "what the heck is going on" and "what are we going to do?" mode and I must say that we tried it all - but I do know this... it's not about the S A L E, that's the beginning of the end, it might be hard for you the consumer to hear that because the consumer has been reaping the benefits of all the retailers not knowing what else to do so just go on sale and then maybe you will be able to pay your rent. I watch, I listen and I hear what's going on - with my closest friends also shop owners we are all having the conversation about what and where do we go next.
I am still not sure where it is we will go, but I do know this - it's changing. And these are the things that I am thinking about:
- I know where I want to spend my money, I know WHO I want to give my hard-earned money to and I know what their face looks like - I want to know the person who made it, designed it, had the idea, sewed it, polished it, found it, pieced it together - yes, that person who MADE it.
- I want to go to my local grocery store and find things on the shelves that are well-designed, have less ingredients (and I can READ them), and I now will be good for me - I don't have to question that very basic thing that makes it a FOOD. And the only place I can do this is the Farmers market, my local co-op or Whole Foods (lucky you if you have other options in your area).
- If a company is making something somewhere else, they are being socially responsible about it. They are spending time in that place and helping the people realize that what they are making are appreciated by consumers and sharing that benefit. But, I am always checking to make sure there is sincerity in this outreach and it's good to do your research here and know the people you are dealing with on food, clothing and home items.
And most of all there is no place for greed in this bright new world, that's the world that I want to help create with my business and it's what I want to foster and grow. It's the people I want to be with, these are the people that I want to walk into my shop and I want to spend time with them. Because otherwise this project is just not so much fun or meaningful.
So back to my shop, because things ARE changing. You are not going to see my shop full of Fall 2017 collections, my vision is that you are probably going to get a few new things for yourself in the next season and I hope to have those things for you. I am going to focus on more seasonless clothing, wear-now clothing, less is more and special pieces are yes... special! I will have just a few, I am in it to sell through it and move on. Since I am not going deep into clothing I will have other special items that I think you will like and peek your interest. Slowly introducing incense to make your room more enveloping and luxurious. Oils and scents that will help you move through your day in a calm and awakened state. Jewelry that will make you feel like you are your own person, a unique individual even if you are wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. Things for your whole family so that they can be proud of what they wear. I hope to teach you to mend your things that are broken, make your current clothing more YOU and maybe even make some of your own jewelry. And if that all works out we will add lots of exciting things that will bring a smile to your face and make your body heal itself.
I do feel that second had has a place in this landscape, I have always been a huge fan of second hand - - one persons trash is another persons treasure! It's so terrific to give life to what might otherwise be thrown away and since I have a lifetime of experience at this I am pretty choosy and I think I am pretty fair about how to price things. I hope you find treasures for yourself in the flea market section of my shop.
I am going to continue to deepen and make more jewelry, pottery and some other projects that I can't wait to get my hands into, I want half of my shop to be things that I have made myself (that's a long term goal!) and surround that with vintage, talented makers and designers, and things I find along life's journey. Because we are all in this together and I can't wait for the next chapter to unfold. Now that I have created my own website I am so much more flexible to move and change on a whim. I am sure that some of you have ideas for me and I am always happy to hear from you, it's been so special to meet so many of you in my shop, many people that I have known by name for 14 years and now getting to know with your once a year visit to beautiful Rhode Island.
now THAT'S the future!