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131 – Retail Survival Tips with Terri King of My Secret Garden
Episode 1319th October 2017 • Gift Biz Unwrapped • Sue Monhait
00:00:00 00:53:09

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My Secret Garden is a retail store specializing in home décor, unique gifts, boutique apparel, garden accents and more. What started in 1990 in a booth at art shows has grown into a beautiful 12,000 square foot facility in Bay City, Michigan. Today retail is changing at a faster rate than ever before. But Terri loves what she does, even on those challenging days. She says continual learning and change keeps her young. One of her keys to success is the experience customers receive when they walk in the door. Exciting displays and special events make My Secret Garden a place people want to come back to again and again.

The My Secret Garden Story

Why Terri loves her career choice. [4:00] Life before My Secret Garden. [4:59] Terri’s first craft and the Antique Mart opportunity. [5:43] Her first storefront. [7:02] Event – Moms, Muffins and Mimosas. [12:18]

Candle Flickering Moments

The reality of a brick and mortar location sets in. [8:35] Dealing with a major shoplifting situation. [22:55]

Business Building Insights

The appeal of retail. [7:29] How to make your store a destination. [10:13] A word on in-store displays. [10:36] Promoting an event and the return. [14:24] Getting the most out of your event as possible. [15:44] Terri’s email list building plan. [17:24] Greeting a customer the right way. [26:37] The key to product pricing. [36:08] A story about one of Terri’s competitors. A definite don’t! [37:47] How to get the most out of going to markets. [44:17]

Recommended Resources

Retail Mastery – Helping retailers – big, small and everything in between with Bob and Susan Megen Constant Contact – Send great looking emails that drive results. Ripl – Create eye-catching animated videos and share on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram with one tap. Canva – Design professional graphics for social media posts, newsletters and more. Animoto – Turn your camera roll into high quality videos with just a few taps.

Contact Links

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If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe and leave a review in Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. That helps us spread the word to more makers just like you. Thanks! Sue

Transcripts

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This is gift biz on unwrapped episode 131.

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I followed my passion and started doing art shows is when

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I found myself.

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Hi, this is John Lee,

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Dumas of entrepreneur on fire,

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and you're listening to gifted biz unwrapped.

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And now it's time to light it up.

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Hi there it's Sue and thank you for joining me on

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the gift biz unwrapped podcast.

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If you're a gifter Baker,

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crafter or maker,

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and you own a brick and mortar shop sell a mine

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or are just getting started here is where you'll find insight

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and advice to develop and grow your business.

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And if you want even more gift biz motivation,

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I'd like to invite you to join our private Facebook group

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called gift biz breeze.

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Pursuing your dreams should be fun,

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exciting, and rewarding,

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not stressful and scary.

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When you join the breeze.

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It's like sitting in the park with friends who bring you

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all the support and the answers that you need.

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You'll have access to a group of amazing creators along with

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tools and resources that can catapult your business,

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grow to join the group,

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just the over to gift biz,

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breeze.com. I look forward to seeing you over there,

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but for now,

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let's get onto the show today.

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I have the pleasure of introducing you to Terry King of

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my secret garden.

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My secret garden is a retail store specializing in home decor,

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unique gifts,

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boutique apparel,

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garden accents.

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And what started in 1990 in a booth at art shows

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has now grown into a beautiful 12,000

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foot facility in Bay city,

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Michigan. Today,

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retail is changing faster than ever before,

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but tearing loves what she does.

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Even on those challenging days.

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She says continual learning and change keeps her young.

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One of our keys to success is the experience customers receive

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when they walk in the door,

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exciting displays and special events,

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make my secret garden a place people want to come back

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to again and again.

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Oh my gosh,

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Terry, welcome to the show.

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Thank you for having me.

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I'm really excited.

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Cause you gave me a little peek into what was happening

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in your shop this morning.

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And I can't wait for us to get into that part

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of the interview where you get to tell everybody what was

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going on.

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But first it's a tradition here for you to share a

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little bit more about yourself through a motivational candle.

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So if you were to create a special candle that just

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spoke teary King,

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what color would your candle be?

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And what would be a quote or a mantra or a

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sane that resonates with you that would be on your candle?

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I think my candle would be blue because that's very calming

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and sometimes you would need that you would need to be

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calm. And I think what would be at it would be

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persevere. I think that's the one thing you need and retail,

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especially these days is perseverance.

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I think so when people start thinking about a business,

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especially when there's a product,

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the first thing people still think of,

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I think is,

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Oh, should I have a shop store on main street or

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something like that?

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Yes, they think,

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Oh, it would be so much fun.

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And I call that the honeymoon phase,

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where they are excited,

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they find the building,

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they start the building and they get to go buy things

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and then comes the daily grind where you have to run

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this business day after day,

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and then the problems,

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problems with help and problems with product and problems.

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So yes,

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and that's where the perseverance and the passion is a must.

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If you want to succeed.

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Yeah. There's good and bad with,

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I think all different locations in business,

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but you have to know the full picture before you jump

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in. Yeah.

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So you know that you're going to like what you're getting

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into. So tell us about your vision when you were first

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starting. What were you looking at doing and how did my

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secret garden blossom?

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I think I was actually,

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I'm where I should be doing what I should be doing.

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I love what I do.

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And I think what I love most about it is if

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I had to work in the corporate world and go into

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an office every day,

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I would hate it and I would just be miserable.

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And I think I thrive in retail because in any one

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day I'm wearing five different hats.

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It's always the change of always doing something different.

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I don't mind doing bookwork,

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but what I want to do it all the time.

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No, even what I do love the displays and the marketing.

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I still need to change up to do something else.

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So it's wonderful that you can wear a lot of different

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hats and do a lot of different things.

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So you could never be bored.

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And if you do find something that you hate doing,

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and you're not very good at,

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at some point in your business,

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when you can afford it,

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that's what you hire done.

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And then you do what you're best at Makes total sense.

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So did you work anywhere before you started my secret garden

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or did you just jump right into brick and mortar right

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from the beginning?

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Oh no,

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no, no.

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I worked a lot of different.

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I was a floral designer.

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I actually worked as a paralegal for a public defender's office.

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I worked as running a campaign for a Senator.

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I did a lot of different things,

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trying to find out what I wanted to be when I

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grew up and none of them fit.

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And so I always,

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no matter what my major was in college,

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I always had an art minor,

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but then they told you,

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Oh, you could never make any money in art.

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You could never make any money.

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So I always kept it as a minor and tried to

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find something different as major and well they were wrong.

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So finally,

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when I followed my passion and started doing art shows is

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when I found myself.

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And so What were you showing at?

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Those are chose.

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I Was a decorative painter.

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I taught all over the country and hated on a lot

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of antique furniture.

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A lot of Trump lawyer at the time you got to

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think this was 1990.

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So then I had a good friend who owned.

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We are blessed to have in Bay city and the Michigan's

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biggest antique Mart.

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And so my friend owned it.

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And so I was looking for someplace to have my staff

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besides when I wasn't doing shows.

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And so I got a booth in her antique place and

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happened to be put into the area that you could also,

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she had a certain section where you could also carry retail

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if you wanted.

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And I picked up a card line and I picked up

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Boyd. Spare is at that time.

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And before you know it,

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I have the whole center section and it was a really

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good way for me to go at that time because I

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learned a lot of lessons,

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but I learned them very cheaply.

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Also my children were young,

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so it was like having a store,

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but you didn't have a Starks.

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You didn't have to be there.

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And so it was a really good way to grow and

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to learn,

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You never thought,

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okay, I'm going to start a retail shop.

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It just happened point by point.

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Like you made little decisions along the way.

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Yeah, It was baby steps,

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baby steps,

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baby steps.

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And then,

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you know,

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when my youngest was three going on four,

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I thought,

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well, he's now in preschool.

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So then that's when I made the jump and a place

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right across from the antique center,

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a building came up for rent.

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And so we made the jump and open that up.

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So that's when we opened our own storefront.

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And then we down 10 years later bought our own building

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and then expanded that building several times and to be what

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we are today,

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it all happened in baby steps and increments Decisions along the

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way, what was the appeal to retail back then?

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I think the creativity to be able to,

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like I say,

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be a lot of different things to think outside the box.

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I was always not a conformance,

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not wanting to follow the rules.

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I always liked to do my own thing and go my

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own way.

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And that let me do that.

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I've always been a problem solver if something's going wrong instead

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of, Oh,

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what was me?

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I've always okay.

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How could I fix this?

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What can I do?

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What if I do this?

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And what if I do that?

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And I'm still that way today,

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you're having a down month.

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Okay. What can we do?

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What can we come up with to bring our sales up?

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So I've always been that way thinking,

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okay, what can we do to fix this?

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That's helped a lot over the years.

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I bet it has.

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I think when we all think of brick and mortar,

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we all kind of feel like we know what it's about

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because we've all walked in a store.

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We've all bought things from the stores,

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but it's way different when you're actually doing it.

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Can you remember?

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It's not that long ago really,

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but can you remember something that you weren't anticipating that happened

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when you moved across the street?

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Not so much when you were in the Mart,

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but when you went across the street,

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is there anything that you were like,

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man, I didn't realize I was getting into this part of

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it. That it took more money than even though I had

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a good inventory already built up.

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And even though I had a really good customer base from

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the shows and my booth space already built up,

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it still took more money that I thought it would to

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do that transition Because you've got permit.

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Well, Not only that,

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but Oh,

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I could fill the space and then you're going,

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well, it didn't fill it as full as it should be

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and we're going to have to buy more product.

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And so that was everything else,

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I guess,

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because I did it in such small increments and learned that

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I can't think of anything that came as a big surprise

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because of the way I did it.

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Okay. And are you,

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You're still able to do your own art now or is

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it all stored?

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I haven't picked up a paint brush in a lot of

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years. Ah,

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you know,

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I don't miss that part of it.

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I'm okay with that.

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I still have so many outlets for my creativity,

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whether it be all the displays displays are always my passion

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and the marketing,

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but you can be so creative in your marketing these days,

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as long as I have some outlet for it.

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I'm good.

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And I do.

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I just channel it another direction.

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There you go.

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Well, You even talk about,

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you're mentioning it a little bit in the intro that I

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did that.

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One of the things that makes you stand out as a

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retail shop is your displays and let's face it right now.

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Got a good,

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have a good customer experience at this point to get people

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to come in versus Exactly.

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If you do not give them something that makes them not

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want to sit on their bed in their pajamas in order,

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you have to give them the experience.

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And part of that experience is a great staff and customer

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service and wonderful products,

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but it also is the displays and that's where we Excel

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at the events and the displays that make it an experience

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that if you have your girlfriends,

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let's go,

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that's stopping here.

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You have to make it.

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You definitely these days more than ever.

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You can't just open your doors and expect people to come

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because they're they won't Okay.

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So if you are changing over the displays the next season,

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what are a couple of pointers that you would give people

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Go big,

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bigger go home.

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We do right now,

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we are totally our Halloween open houses.

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This coming Friday at noon.

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And we have mausoleums and graveyards and bees in which is

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it's one of werewolves.

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I mean,

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w we pick a theme and it's classic Halloween this year

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and we will all dress in costume and make it fun,

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make it an event.

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So we really go over the top.

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It takes a lot of storage space for a lot of

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the props that we keep year after year and redo and

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reuse. But for us,

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it's what makes us us well,

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I bet it becomes a thing,

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right? Yeah,

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it does.

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Because people are like,

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Oh my gosh,

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my secret garden has their Halloween displays up Or something.

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We always say,

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it's like going through a haunted household and you get to

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shop as you go,

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which is even more fun.

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Take home a goblin here and a spirit there.

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And so,

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yeah, we've always done Halloween big.

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We're known for doing it.

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And then we will turn around and do Christmas just as

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big. Do you post Photos of all of this online?

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Oh Yeah.

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We always do a recap.

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Make a video movie.

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I will do that and send it out in an email.

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If you couldn't make it to our Halloween open house,

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here's a recap.

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Come and visit us.

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Oh, that's smart.

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Then people feel like They're missing out if they don't get

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there. Yeah.

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Or that they could still come and see.

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So I do the same thing for Christmas too.

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I do the same thing in the spring for our spring

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open house.

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Got it.

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Well, we're going to talk about emails in a minute because

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I think that would be a good topic.

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But before we do,

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I know you're big on events.

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So you're just talking about one now,

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but let's talk about that morning event you just had In

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Michigan, the law was passed that because for the tourist industry,

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that children do not go back to school until right after

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labor day.

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So our kids went back,

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school started today.

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And so what we did was we had moms muffins and

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mimosas. So we opened at 8:30 AM.

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So it was after you drop your kids off to school

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and we serve muffins and mimosas,

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it was a boutique event.

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So we sell lips since there was a little discount on

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lip sense,

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we got a free gift with purchase and we had a

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discount on the boutique passion.

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So it was mom's muffins and mimosas this morning.

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And then Friday is our Halloween open house.

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And then our next event will be,

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we're doing a Michigan marketplace where we're highlighting and having a

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lot of trunk shows from Michigan made products.

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And we're having a couple of food trucks come in on

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those days.

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And then we go to our big twice a year,

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we do big fashion events,

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or we do a Facebook live fashion show,

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a full runway fashion show brunch,

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and we have a whole fashion frenzy weekend.

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And that's really big.

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It just doesn't stop.

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It goes on and on and on.

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I'm a gosh,

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every single one of those events,

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I would want to grab my group of girlfriends and come

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over. Yes,

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most definitely.

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And That's how you get people to keep coming into the

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store, right?

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That's how you make your event successful.

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Those people who call an open house and put out some

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plates of cookies,

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I'm not coming back.

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You have to really make it.

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And they know that when we do something,

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we do it right.

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We do it big.

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And whether it be our witches night out where we have

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about 200 women show up dressed as witches.

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So there's all kinds of,

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we're constantly have fun things,

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at least at the very least one big event a month.

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And then many months during the holidays net it's two and

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three. So First off,

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could you move the whole store to Chicago,

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right by me,

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first thing,

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Property would probably go for a lot more Than how can

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you afford these?

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Are you seeing the exchange in dollars that clearly must surpass

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the event,

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right? Oh yeah.

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Most definitely.

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This wouldn't be worth it because you know,

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you have payroll,

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you have the giveaways,

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you have the,

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all the hours that it takes to do this.

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So it makes it a lot easier.

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These days is social media.

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Before you'd have to have a postcard designed to take it

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to the printers and have it printed,

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do the mailing snail mail that would cost a fortune to

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have it sent out.

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And it would be very expensive to do any event.

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So we did more of them.

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Now we can even come up with smaller events.

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Like our moms were most is I don't consider that a

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big event.

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That was just something little that we threw together.

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And so you could even come up.

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If you think of something even a week before you want

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to have it,

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you can do it with social media.

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It makes it so much easier.

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These days,

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the big ones,

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they still plan it.

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They still take a lot of planning to be successful.

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When I go to market,

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I'm always shopping for clothes,

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outs and promos and things that I can use as giveaways,

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as special things for this event,

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looking for jewelry companies.

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And if they have their Halloween bracelets for a dollar a

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piece, well,

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that's a great giveaway for our,

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which is night out.

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So I'm always keeping an eye out for things like that

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and have a place where we store them and label them.

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It takes some organization to have events,

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but we do really well.

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And you're doing Something different than everyone else's doing too.

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Yes. Which is the big thing.

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Just like you were saying,

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creating the experience in the store,

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getting the buzz about your store,

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right? It's keeping you in the front of their mind.

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It gives you a reason to send out those emails and

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a reason to send out those Facebook posts,

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whether you know,

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all the buildup before,

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and then don't forget,

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you want to send a recap out of if they didn't

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show up,

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here's what you missed.

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Especially the fashion stuff.

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I do a whole video of the recap of all the

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fashions that were shown at the show.

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Then we play it in our boutique on the screen there

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so they could see what a lot of the outfits look

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like pulled together and out of model.

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Do you have The employees involved in the creating of the

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ideas and the concept and bringing these all to life?

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No, that's all me.

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These events are all you.

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Well, let me just say,

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I have a lot of employees who helped me,

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but I am sort of the organization person and the one

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who gives jobs to people that I need this done,

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or you're in charge of this or that Employees come into

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you and say,

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Hey, Terry,

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I have an idea for an event.

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Yo, anytime I'm always swelling.

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So you're always looking for something new and creative.

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My brain goes 90 miles an hour for things like that.

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Most of the time you have more than you can do,

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I guess,

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is what you're saying.

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I have more ideas that I could ever implement.

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Oh my gosh.

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Referring to something that I feel is really important.

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And that is emails,

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which mean you have customers who are providing those to you

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so you can communicate back and forth with that.

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Yes. When did you start,

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give us a little feel for that?

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When did you start and how are you accumulating the emails

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Kind of thing?

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Well, we started as soon as emails were in existence.

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Oh, so You were one of those smart people who did

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it right in the beginning.

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Yes. That doesn't mean that people change their emails,

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things like this or whatever,

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but we have about a 15,000

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email list.

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And so how we do it is every time that you

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come into our shop,

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every sale is started and your phone number is,

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and then if it shows that they are not in our

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birthday club,

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which is a whole other thing we do,

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they are offered if they would like to join our birthday

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club. And part of that is getting their email.

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And every page of our website has signed our newsletter here,

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everything reverts back on our Facebook page,

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sign up for our newsletter here.

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So, you know,

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you get some that way,

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but most of them we get is for the people who

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come and visit our shop and you collect their contact information,

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you have to give them something good to get their contact

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information. So when you join our birthday club,

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you will get,

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it's the only piece of snail mail we still send out

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is a birthday postcard the month of your birthday.

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And you get 30% off an item of your choice and

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a free gift.

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So that has almost a 38% redemption rate,

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which is just amazing.

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Wow. And so that works really,

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really good for us.

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And then we capture their information and we have,

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we have a whole nother promotion with a frequent shopper card,

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which leads to a fifth Saturday club.

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And so I keep a whole separate email list of just

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fifth, Saturday people.

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Also, those are a special like VIP people that I want

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to send out something special for them or do whatever.

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So You're segmenting your list based on how they were attracted

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to you or the interests that they have,

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et cetera.

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Yeah. The only interest I has is if,

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and they might be in both lists,

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but if they're fifth,

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Saturday members,

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they will receive more offers and different offers.

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Now we are starting a text club and that's going to

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be brand new for us and we'll see how that goes.

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But now's the time to start up when you get busy

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for our fourth quarter.

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And what is the club?

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A text club texting club where you text out specials.

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Oh, Got you.

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Okay. Yeah.

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Which now they have the box and everything.

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So that could be really big for you.

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Well, everybody's got their phone and everybody looks when they get

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a text again,

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it's permission-based and we will only do two times a month.

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Maybe that's one thing I don't believe in swamping somebody or

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making them hate you,

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that they get so much from you and you have to

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give them value.

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So we will be giving special offers just for people who

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join our techs club.

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And we're just starting that that's a huge learning experience for

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me now At times.

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So it's the right thing to be doing for sure.

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Exactly. Do you have an email provider that you're using that

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you're really liking that you would recommend here?

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I have always used constant contact.

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I do have some friends who have done snap retail,

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and I've gone to one of their seminars and looked at

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them, but I'm really happy with constant contact.

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I know at my rate with as many things have you

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have, I do have a little bit of power and can

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negotiate better pricing when I told them,

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Oh, so-and-so is going to give me this.

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But they do have some wiggle room there with their pricing.

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Be aware of that.

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I've always been really happy.

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It's easy to do.

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Yeah. I just,

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since we were on the topic,

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I wanted to just get a shout out and I know,

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I mean,

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constant contact.

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I believe that even have at least they used to have

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a free version for up to a certain number of emails

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and then you start paying.

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Yeah. But even when you're paying,

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it's super reasonable,

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but as you're building your list Yeah.

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When you get up to I'm at,

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it can be a little pricey.

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Take us to a time when it was one of those

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challenging days.

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I'm sure there were many of them.

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So I will only make you drawn one,

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but I want the biggest scariest.

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Oh, there's been somebody over these.

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But I was going to say,

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you mean like last week and I'm sorry if people find

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a bit,

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ICOM the weeks from hell where you're thinking,

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why am I doing this?

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Why am I in this business?

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We had major,

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major shoplifting a week ago,

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Saturday. Oh my gosh.

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And I had a big employee issue.

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The following day.

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I was like,

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Oh my God,

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there was just a whole lot.

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Sometimes that goes down at,

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at one time.

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So there's been times when the store next door almost caught

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our store on fire by shoving their dumpster against our building.

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And it being a huge fire.

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It's always a surprise and retail.

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Here's what I have to say about when it all comes

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together at once.

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You might as well deal with those bad times all at

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once. So that then you have lots of good times without

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any craziness.

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Yes, exactly.

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Just when you think you've seen it all,

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you'll see something else Because life would be boring then if

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it was just too easy,

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right, Exactly.

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You just eat back and do what you can and handle

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what you can.

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All right.

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I want to go back to this shoplifting because I remember

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when I was in retail,

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we had issues as well.

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And there would be bands of people who would go around

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from all to mall.

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So the shop owners would all learn.

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Something might be happening because the word was out,

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but they're pretty clever.

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And I've heard different things.

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In fact,

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I've heard,

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I'm just kind of setting this up for you.

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But I heard a major retailer,

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even in our area,

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you walk right in the door and there's a big table

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with tons of jeans piled up.

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And there would be people who would come in and just

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like grab a whole pile and run out.

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And their philosophy is for their employees.

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Let them go because of the safety issue.

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But that's here in the Chicago suburbs,

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Right? And that's in a mall setting.

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It might be a little bit different when they're in a

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store. But I tell my employees,

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what they have to do right away is if they're positive

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and they've seen it first,

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call nine one one,

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then call me.

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We have really good security cameras.

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They're high resolution.

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They are amazing.

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And I can access them from anywhere in the world.

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So you tell me you're suspicious of a woman at an

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orange top in this area.

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I can get on the cameras and look and follow her

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and see if there's any legitimacy to that or not.

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It's my employees being aware that she's doing what she's doing.

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And sometimes they're really good and can almost do it right

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in front of you.

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They're so good.

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What Do you use as a percentage for shrinkage?

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I don't.

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We could probably,

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it always goes up fourth quarter.

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I mean,

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I always say,

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Oh, let's go shoplift,

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Bram, Christmas gift.

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But it always seems to be worst fourth quarter with the

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way my building is set up with a lot of nooks

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and crannies and displays.

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And mine could be a lot worse than what it is.

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I think the biggest deterrent and you'll ask anybody and you

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read any article,

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you go to any security seminars is customer service.

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Is customers.

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Is your employees being aware,

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making people,

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looking them in the eye,

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knowing that you've seen them knowing that you agreed at every

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person. And that's why I was so distressed about Saturday because

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it really was a staff fail big time.

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And I never seen tracking this woman through the store.

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Just not only did she come and hit us when she

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came back and hit us again.

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Oh my God.

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Is that why you call it such a big fail?

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Because it was twice.

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Yes. And because never once did I see any adverse action

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with her and my employees?

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So That's a big learning then to take back to them.

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Yes, exactly what I think they're doing or what could you

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do? Well,

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what did you do?

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How did you interact?

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How did you deal with that with your staff?

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Like I say,

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we had wonderful surveillance.

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I spent one whole day just going through all the tapes

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and getting up and lighting.

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She came in here,

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she went here,

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she did this,

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she did there.

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She went out,

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dumped the bag,

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came back in,

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did this,

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this, got it all in order.

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And we had a staff meeting and it was for that

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reason, I had brought a person in who was a shoplifting

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expert, what to look for,

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how to approach what's constituted.

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We did that whole thing and I showed them the video.

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I showed them she got $800 worth of apparel and she

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did it very easily with no one paying any attention to

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her and ripped off the tags through the tags.

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And I think my staff seeing what she did,

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I think opened a lot of their eyes.

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And it was a woman you wouldn't have really Inessa trouble.

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You wouldn't have looked twice at you wouldn't have thought,

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Oh, no way.

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I love the fact that you shared with them the video.

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So they could really see it.

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That's a better demonstration than you verbally explaining what happened.

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Exactly. I could have talked and told him this and this,

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but when they seen,

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I think they're like me,

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all their models were open going,

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Oh my gosh.

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So it's different to me talk about it then when they

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can see what she did.

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Sure. And you're educating them,

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not just for the time that they're working with you,

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but if they go on to other jobs,

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they're going to have this knowledge and experience now.

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So it helps them just understand it so much better.

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Yeah, exactly.

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So when a customer comes in and I'm just going to

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use myself as an example for a second,

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if I go into a woman's boutique,

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I want to look at the clothes.

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Think about what's in my wardrobe.

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Maybe I want to look at a top and think about

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it, like dream about what pants would go with it,

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that kind of thing.

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And I feel personally that there is a point you want

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to be greeted,

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but then you want to be left alone a little bit,

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but you also don't want someone steering over.

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Like they think you're going to shoplift either.

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Yeah. It's a fine line.

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You are greeted not with hi.

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How are you?

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But can you do something that breaks the ice?

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And if we're having a special,

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they come in and say,

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wow, our Halloween open house starts this Friday was the greeting

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they're using now.

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So you could see we're almost ready for it.

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So enjoy everything you see and we'll check back later and

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see how you're doing.

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Now. If they want something now or they'd come in with

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a reason bill they'll ask right then,

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Oh, I'm here to this.

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And could you show me if not,

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then they'll go off.

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And then you touch base with them again.

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And you'll just say,

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how's it going?

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Is it okay?

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And so you judge and a good employee will judge by

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the feedback they get from the person,

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whether that person wants to engage and you will get some

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customers who wants lots of attention.

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And then you'll get customers who like I am,

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when I shop,

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it's like,

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okay, leave me alone.

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Let me shop.

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Right. I want you there.

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If I have a question,

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but I want you to leave me alone too.

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Exactly. So we try and train our staff to gauge by

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the customer's body language,

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what the customer says.

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But we do that also.

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We always say the place with the greeting and then the

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step back and then check on them again.

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And a lot of times when you check on them again,

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they feel more comfortable.

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And if they really are,

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do have a question or looking for something,

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then they're willing to open up more than if you hit

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them, as soon as they walk in the door.

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Right. And when you walk in the door,

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like if I've never been in your shop before,

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I might need to look around before I even have,

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Yeah. You have that decompression zone,

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they call it.

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And so we don't even greet them until they're through that.

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Interesting. It sounds like you've got a method down.

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Oh yeah.

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And a lot of it too is intuition.

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Just the vibe you're getting,

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not even what they say.

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Yeah. And you know,

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we have three different,

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cause it's a big star.

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We have three different cash wraps.

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And the one by the back door,

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which is we have the back parking lot,

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which is where most of our customers use.

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And I always tell who's ever working there.

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And we're very picky about who works the back cash app

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because they have the most important job in the store because

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they are 90% of our customers first contact.

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So it's really important that you have the right person at

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that position.

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Makes sense.

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We all know it's no surprise that retail has definitely changed

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with the internet and all that.

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Any advice for someone who's starting a store.

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So isn't even in retail yet,

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but has made the decision already that that's the way they

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want to go.

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Any suggestions or advice?

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Well, if they're listening to you,

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they're doing the right thing because hit every seminar,

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you can read every book that you can find,

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read everything,

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education, education,

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and don't stop.

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Even after you've opened.

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I still,

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every time you go to Atlanta or magic,

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if you always have some kind of seminar and if they're

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good, go to them,

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I pay and go to retail seminars and I highly recommend,

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and it's worth the investment.

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And that time money might be tight,

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but it's well worth.

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It is.

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I found the one thing that helped me and I will

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say Bob Nagin and his retail mastery system was super for

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somebody just getting into retail.

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How do you write an employee's manual?

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How do you do all those little things that you don't

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even know how to begin to do that?

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A couple of things I got from them early in my

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business was an opening at a closing sheet.

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And this was a checklist that my employees,

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this is what you do when you open.

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And this is what has to be done when you close

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the store and you don't just check it,

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you have to initial it.

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So if something's not done,

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if I come in and the floor is not vacuum,

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Oh, I can see that.

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Justin said that he did that.

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So it's holding them accountable,

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all these little things that you develop in your business,

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it took a long time to make it run.

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So I don't have to be there.

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Things are in place so that this is what happens when

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this, and this is what happens with this.

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And this is what happens to this so that you have

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The systems in place also for if you are going to

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turn staff,

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because I'm sure in retail,

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I don't know how old your staff is,

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but if you have younger high school or summer,

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We had three who just left for college.

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So yes,

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staff turnover.

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And I have a staff that runs about 29.

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And so you are going to have ones that have been

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with me for a long time,

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but others that have been with me through high school and

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then two years of college,

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but now they're going away to college.

Speaker:

And that's how we just lost three of them.

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It's always some turnover.

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So yes,

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you need the training manual.

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You need the,

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we not only have a training manual,

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we have a sales manual and it's taken me a long

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time to develop these.

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So it's nice to have them in place though.

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It's nice.

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We have them in place.

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And if you ever selling your business,

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there's value to those manuals too,

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I would think so that somebody doesn't have to reinvent the

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wheel. Exactly.

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Exactly. They can pick up and just continue following the systems

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with or without the existing staff.

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Not that you're looking at that any time in the field,

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What works in my store might not work in somebody else's

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store, but also you get ideas that,

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Oh, that forum for that,

Speaker:

how do you handle damage claims?

Speaker:

How do you do this?

Speaker:

How do you do that?

Speaker:

And it's nice to reach out.

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And as much as you can to other retailers in the

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business, even if they're not exactly the same business,

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retail is retail.

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And whether you're selling yarn or whether you're selling knickknacks or

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wet, or even salons,

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you all are dealing with customers.

Speaker:

So it's Connect as much as you can.

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It made such a big difference in my business to connect

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with other retails.

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You feel like you're not alone against the world because you

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can't connect too much with the people down the street.

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Cause that's your competition.

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But I can connect with the people who's across the state

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or in another state because they're not my competition.

Speaker:

So we can share everything and ideas and marketing.

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And what do we do here in products and bestsellers and

Speaker:

we're sellers connect,

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connect, connect.

Speaker:

You won't feel alone.

Speaker:

And some days when you're having those days from hell,

Speaker:

it's so nice to reach out to somebody and say,

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Oh my God,

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Carol, I just had this horrible day or she's having this.

Speaker:

And then you have that support system in place.

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It makes a big difference.

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No, you do that because that's how I ran into you.

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When you were at the Summit,

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I have several member of several different buying groups.

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And then we have a mastermind group,

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which is just awesome.

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And that's my support.

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You're not alone against the world when,

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when you've got friends and we can share it all because

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none of them are my competitors.

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Be very picky about who you pick to be in that

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group. You want positive people.

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If you want proactive retailers get out and do people,

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ones who don't just ring their hands and go,

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Oh, well as me,

Speaker:

if you've got negative,

Speaker:

Nellies you don't want to be in that or want them

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in your group.

Speaker:

You want really positive,

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powerful. We're all learners,

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lifetime learners.

Speaker:

We're all readers listeners.

Speaker:

So when you get a group of retailers like that together,

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it's really energizing.

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And we go away from our meetings and you're just,

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if you were getting burned out and let's face it,

Speaker:

we all do have burnout.

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It really revitalizes you.

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Big time.

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I am thrilled that you bring it up because someone who

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is experienced as you are,

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and as successful as you've been with your shop could just

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say, you know what?

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I know what I'm doing.

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I don't have to invest any more money or I don't

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need to rub shoulders with people.

Speaker:

Like I got it.

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I'm cool.

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But I think that is a recipe for failure.

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Oh my gosh.

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It is big time.

Speaker:

Especially with retail changing as fast as it is.

Speaker:

And it's not,

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you can pay and go to these summits,

Speaker:

but if you don't come back and implement it also,

Speaker:

you're wasting your money and why even bother going.

Speaker:

So not only do you have to go and you have

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to go with an open mind and be willing to listen

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and learn,

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but then you have to come back and implement it.

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Totally agree with you there.

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In fact,

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I write a blog article on this point and it gives

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you kind of a structure.

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Like if you're spending money,

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think even before you go,

Speaker:

even before you pack your suitcase,

Speaker:

why are you even going?

Speaker:

What are you trying to get out of it?

Speaker:

Cause when you go to these things,

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you get so overwhelmed too.

Speaker:

You do,

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and you're making notes like crazy.

Speaker:

And then you'll go back and your notes don't make sense.

Speaker:

Or you have 10,000

Speaker:

things to implement.

Speaker:

And nothing happened.

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Go back and highlight,

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pick the top five.

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What were the top five takeaways?

Speaker:

And I call them takeaways from that book,

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from that seminar,

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from that discussion,

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go back and implement them.

Speaker:

Even if you implement one,

Speaker:

if it's the right one,

Speaker:

it's going to save you money or make you money or

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make your life easier.

Speaker:

So if you're not willing to implement them,

Speaker:

that don't even bother going or reading the book or listening

Speaker:

to the seminar While we're on this topic of going to

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market and refreshing your inventory.

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If you will,

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we all know that retail can be such a high overhead

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endeavor. Is there any advice that you can share with us

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on how you select product that you're going to put in

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your store and then also how you price that price?

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There were a whole,

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whole lot of years when I talked about perseverance,

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this is where I was keeping a float,

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but I wasn't making any money.

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I mean,

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I was paying myself $50 a week because I needed gas

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money. I was paying my bills,

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but it was coming in one hand and out the other.

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And I wasn't getting ahead.

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Thank goodness.

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Like I say that I had a spouse who was supportive

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and had a good paying job and had the health insurance

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and had the retirement because I couldn't have supported a family

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or myself on my business.

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And I think there are a lot of shops and retail

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people that are right there right now where I was.

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And I learned a couple of things.

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I actually have money at the end of the year.

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There's there's,

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there's something for me.

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I draw a good wage and I did two things.

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I shop smarter.

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I raised my margins.

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I had to,

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I came to the realization that they were not shopping me

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for price.

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They're shopping Walmart for price.

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They're shopping me because we give them the customer service.

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We give them the experience.

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We give them the free gift wrapping.

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We serve gourmet food samples every day,

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all the things that we do,

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the whole experience.

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That's why they're shopping for me.

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So we do a 2.5

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markup and I shop and I shop very hard.

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I buy jewelry that I can get a five times markup

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on. These are the things that are going to make you

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successful. These are the things that are going to finally put

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some money in your bank account when I'm on the buying

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trip. And if I'm seeing something and I really like it,

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but there's no way that I could get my margins than

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I had,

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or really,

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really like it.

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Or if it's Yeti that we carry or Alex and Ani

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that we carry,

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I make so much money.

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It draws in so many people who buy other things that

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I bring them in.

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Even though I don't get my normal margins,

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because it is a name line that is protected.

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Number one,

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and it's a draw.

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So things that finally made me successful,

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maybe mine was smarter shopping,

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having higher margins.

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And so we say,

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well, the store down the street might sell it for a

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dollar cheaper,

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but don't pay any attention.

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You do what you do and you get,

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and you sell it for what you need to sell it

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for, for you to survive and for you to make money

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and for you to make a living and do your job

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well, have wonderful experience,

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wonderful customer service,

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wonderful packages.

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I can tell you a whole,

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another little story about that is I did have a shop

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down the street who always shocked me,

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and then she'd go back and make sure that she was

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marked a dollar cheaper on everything that we both carried together.

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And it never bothered me because I know I do a

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lot more value than she does and why it's because of

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our atmosphere,

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our customer service,

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our, you know,

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the whole vibe of the store.

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And there were two gentlemen in the one day and they

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happen to be staying we're across from the big DoubleTree convention

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center. And they were staying there and we had a really

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good time with them Saturday.

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And they were in on Sunday.

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And the one guy said,

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you know,

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I thought about whether I should tell you this or not,

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but you know,

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I think I will.

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He said,

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we went to your competitor down the street.

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And she said,

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boy, she really bad mouth.

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You. And just said how her prices were better than yours

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and things like that.

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And he said,

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but this is where we came back to because we had

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so much fun and you gave us such a good time

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and they didn't want to go in and hear her complain

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about another business.

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She heard herself.

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My point being is,

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don't worry about what your competition is selling it for,

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or that they're selling it for 50 cents,

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Liza do your thing and do it well.

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And then if you possibly can get those protected,

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exclusive lines that are popular and bring in money,

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you know,

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be it Yeti,

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Alex and Ani,

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you know,

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whatever lines are out there that are popular,

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if you can recognize them and get them right away before

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somebody else Snarks them up in your town and those lines,

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like we private label wherever we can,

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which, you know,

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if you're buying our depths from us,

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you don't know what dip company they come,

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because they're all private labeled for us.

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Yeah. That's a strong point.

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So if they Love this white cheddar jalapeno depth,

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and then they looking at the thing,

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the only place that it's going to show them,

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that they could get it,

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is that my secret garden.

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So yeah,

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exactly. So Margaret buying where you could get your margins,

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you're going to make it,

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you're going to make good money.

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But boy,

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let me tell you,

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I struggled for a lot of years before I learned those

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lessons. And then,

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you know the thing,

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Oh my God.

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If I raised my prices by do that marriage.

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And if I do that,

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you know,

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am I still going to sell it?

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Yes. If you have all everything else in place,

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the customer service,

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you know,

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the, everything else,

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the experience in place.

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Yes. They're not at your store for price.

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You have just saved our listeners a ton of years.

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No working,

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No in gum.

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So I just,

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I have to say just a couple of things here on

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pricing. You know,

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if you reduce your price,

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all she would do is then go and reduce her price

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down. So when you start fighting on price,

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it's just a never ending cycle to nowhere.

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So don't fight on price,

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fight on experience and customers.

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The other thing,

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just in terms of her commentary about you.

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I heard this just recently that,

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and I don't know where it came from,

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but it makes a lot of sense,

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actually. I'm not,

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I'm not exactly sure.

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So I'm not going to say it.

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But what I heard was that when that person was saying

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something negative about you consciously just the way we are in

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the way we process information is in that person who received

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the information,

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that comment is not associated with you.

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It ends up being associated with them.

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And that's what happened with these two gentlemen.

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The whole thing was,

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is I did not bad mouth her back.

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I didn't say anything.

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I just said,

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well, you know,

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I'm glad you chose to come back and shop with us.

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They're not there to hear any gripes.

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And that's one thing also does make sure your employees keep

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anything like that off your floor.

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People are there to relax,

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to have a good time to forget their troubles,

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not hear yours or gossip or whatever.

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And so that's really important too,

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From a retail standpoint,

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is there anything that you're using in store?

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So like an app,

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how do you run your registers,

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marketing, anything like that,

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that you would recommend to our Point of sale systems by

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it took me a long time before I finally,

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because you hear which one somebody likes this one,

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somebody likes that one.

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They hate this one.

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They hate that one.

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So there's no,

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they're all good.

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They're all bad.

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They've all got good things.

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And they've all got bad things to me.

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Somebody gave me this advice when I was looking and they

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were so totally right.

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Go with the one where you're going to get local support

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or somebody can come in and teach you or solve your

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problems locally.

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So that was so important.

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But I would say,

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okay, for me in the marketing,

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end of it,

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two, three,

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three things I will share.

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If your listeners take away these three things,

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it's going to be wonderful for them.

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I'm so excited.

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Okay. An app for your phone.

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I phones.

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I don't know if it's out for droids yet or not.

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It's an iPhone app called ripple.

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Ripl it allows you to take pictures and then make them

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into a video.

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And if you know anything,

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video is giving higher analytics than pictures.

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So you take those pictures.

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It is so easy.

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You drop them in,

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you pick the format you want and you can create really

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cute professional looking,

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little videos for Facebook,

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for Instagram.

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It's wonderful.

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Perfect. And you could even load them onto YouTube and then

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use them in your newsletters.

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You're a multipurpose girl.

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Yes. You know,

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if you're going to create it,

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get the most mileage you can out of it.

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I agree.

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The next thing is Canva.

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And if you're not using Canva,

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Oh my gosh,

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you need to use Canva.

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You can create professional looking marketing easily with CAMBA.

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And that can VA.

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And then my third thing is I used to,

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when I did the fashions and create the fashion videos or

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the tour of our shot videos,

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I would use my eye movie on my Mac.

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And it would take a long time.

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And there's called animator a N I M a T O,

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which I learned going to a seminar it's so easy and

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so quick and wonderful.

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And you can create really great videos using animator.

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Perfect. So that's ripple Canva in anime.

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Those are three I couldn't live without.

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Thank you.

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And give his listeners.

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I will have links to all of these on the show

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notes page.

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So if we've peaked your interest,

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you'll be able to go check them out there.

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Okay. Any final advice you would give Terry for someone who's

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just starting out in brick and mortar,

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or maybe there's even some kind of filter questions?

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I think the one thing that we said that I can't

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stress enough is a lot of times you may go to

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market. You don't want to go by yourself.

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So you take someone or you take on other ones.

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There's I go do Atlanta gift shows and do most of

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my markets by myself.

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And you know what?

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You're more open to sit down and ask somebody to share

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their table at lunch or to sit on the shuttle bus

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together. And you're more likely to connect with other retailers if

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you're by yourself and you always ask,

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well, what did you find?

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What have you found that you're excited about?

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What's the best thing in your start?

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And you just start talking and I have met some of

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my best,

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best retail friends on the shuttle in Atlanta.

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And we still are all in our mastermind group together now.

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So Connect every chance you have every opportunity you can and

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then make a conversation we're all in this together.

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And you'll make really good friends or you'll find even a

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good piece of advice or a new product to go look

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at or something.

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And, And if you go with somebody,

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divide and conquer,

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agree that for one or two days,

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you guys,

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you're not going to have lunches together.

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You're going to go see who are you?

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Yeah, I'm just saying that you can't still do the two

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things. If there's two of you,

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it's just,

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I think you're more apt to do it.

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If you're by yourself than if there is to sit down

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and you have each other and you're talking together and where

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you're going to go next and what are you going to

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do next?

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Where if you're by yourself,

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you're not doing that.

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And it's just another level.

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Another experience that you'll get from the event,

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that'll make it worth the expense.

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And it's all about connections and the,

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it can really make your business successful.

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It can really make your life easier.

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You don't feel so alone and isolated and retail is if

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you Connect agree With you a hundred percent,

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and also with the point that you can connect with people

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who aren't even in your industry,

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or you can connect with people who are,

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but are in the same state,

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but just far enough away from you.

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Sometimes it's nice when they're not in their industry,

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because they approach things totally different than somebody who's in your

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industry. You think,

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Oh, well,

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they do that for that.

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But I think I can take it and make it work

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for me.

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I tell people that This show too,

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if I'm talking to you and someone's more of an online

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shop, doesn't matter,

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you've already just given us such good information that can apply

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not just to brick and mortar shops too.

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Yeah. A couple of things is take chances,

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failing. You're just learning a lesson.

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And you think outside the box,

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I mean,

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I know a retail friend who had a store in town

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and a store sort of on the outskirts of town.

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And so how for a woman's night out,

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did he get the people,

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the women that were downtown to go to his store that

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was on the edge of town.

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And you know,

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he rented a party bus and ran it back and forth

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between the stores all night and was a huge,

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huge success.

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There you go.

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It makes an event yet again,

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different. It's thinking outside the box and it's taking a chance

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cause that's,

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Oh, do I take the chance to tie up the money

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to do that?

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And so it's taking a chance and it's being willing to

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take those chances,

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but it's also doing the marketing to promote it when you

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do do it so that you have a bigger chance of

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success, Big point.

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Yeah. You've got to tell people you're Doing it.

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Yes, exactly.

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You can't Have a dinner party and forget to invite the

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guy. Yes,

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exactly. Well,

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Terry, as wind down here,

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I'd like to present you with a virtual gift.

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It's a magical box containing unlimited possibilities for you personally,

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or your shop or whatever you want it to be.

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So this is your dream or your goal of almost unreachable

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Heights that you would wish to obtain.

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Please accept this gift and open it in our presence.

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What is inside your box?

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I have a good friend of mine.

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We've been friends,

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my longest friend ever nine from Michigan.

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And we're,

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I'm the mouth of the sag and a Bay about center

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up two hours,

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North of Detroit,

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two hours South of the bridge.

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So mid Michigan.

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And I took a trip with her up North this summer

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and rape by sleeping bear,

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sand dunes,

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which was voted the most beautiful place in America.

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There was this fabulous location and it was at one time

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it had been like a lumberyard hardware store.

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So it had the huge building and a needle bar next

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to it.

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And then the lumber sheds behind it and it was just

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fake it.

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And I thought,

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Oh my God,

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what I could do with this?

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That's a dangerous thought,

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Terry, If I had a million dollars or more so unlimited

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possibilities, that would be like secret garden North.

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It would be an amazing location.

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Sounds exciting.

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So you never know,

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you never know you might outgrow this 12,000

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square foot facility,

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But then,

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you know,

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I always,

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because people always all the time,

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why don't you open another location?

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We do so many events that take my,

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everything at this store.

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That to do that at another location might water down this

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one. I don't know.

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But that would be one location that I would definitely take

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the chance for.

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Well, you got to keep your eye on that location because

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now you've kind of put this idea out in the universe

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for all of us to hear.

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So you never know I've been visualizing.

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Okay. So where is the best place for our listeners to

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go look and see what your shop is all about?

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All those creative things you're doing with ripple and Canva and

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Animoto and all of that.

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What's the best place to go?

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Well, we're on Instagram,

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but we're also on Facebook.

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I think we're most active on Facebook.

Speaker:

If they want to go to Facebook,

Speaker:

there's a link to sign up for our newsletters.

Speaker:

And if you want ideas,

Speaker:

every single event has a one.

Speaker:

If not several newsletters sent out about it and everything is

Speaker:

always in an email newsletter.

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So if you go to our Facebook page,

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they can sign up or our website and sign up for

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our newsletter.

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That would be where you'd find it.

Speaker:

And it's good to do that,

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to follow several different stores that are like yours in different

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parts of the country,

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because you get ideas of what they're doing,

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of how they're doing it,

Speaker:

of what they're using,

Speaker:

of what they're selling.

Speaker:

So be a stalker.

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Yeah. And it doesn't mean you copy their ideas.

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It means that you take it and use it as inspiration

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to create something of your own.

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Exactly. Super well,

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thank you so much.

Speaker:

And give listeners,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

there's a show notes page.

Speaker:

So all the links,

Speaker:

all the information,

Speaker:

some of the bullet points of what we've talked about here,

Speaker:

we'll all be sitting over there.

Speaker:

So no need to worry that you've missed it.

Speaker:

However, if you are thinking about brick and mortar,

Speaker:

I encourage you to listen to this again because Terry is

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an expert she's been doing this for years.

Speaker:

She's doing it the way you should.

Speaker:

Clearly you can all hear that.

Speaker:

So go back and rewind and listen to this again and

Speaker:

take additional notes if you need to,

Speaker:

because I think this has been a wealth of information.

Speaker:

Terry, going back to the motivational candle about perseverance.

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I think that you definitely have it.

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That's for sure.

Speaker:

Thank you so much for sharing all of this.

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You've really given us a nice behind the scenes.

Speaker:

Look about what retail today is all about.

Speaker:

So thank you again.

Speaker:

And my wish for you is that your motivational candle always

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burns bright.

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Thank you very much.

Speaker:

I wish everybody's just starting your business.

Speaker:

Go for it Then.

Speaker:

Good luck and keep learning.

Speaker:

Today's show is sponsored by the ribbon print company,

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for more information,

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you know that you should be out networking,

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but you just can't get yourself to do it because it's

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scary. Are you afraid that you might walk into the room

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and not know anybody or that you're going to freeze?

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When you get up to do that infamous elevator speech,

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where you talk about yourself and your business,

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while I'm here to tell you that it doesn't mean to

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be scary.

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If you know what to do to help you with this,

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I would like to offer you a coffee chat for the

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price of buying me a cup of coffee.

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We can sit down through an online video and I'll tell

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You'll walk away with a solid understanding about how networking can

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And you're going to have new found confidence because I'm going

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