Open a retail store? No problem!, 0 Comments
March 11, 2013
Did I ever think it would be this difficult to get the store off the ground?
Did I ever think it would take ten months to find the right location?
Did I ever think about giving up?
Never. There were days where I couldn't help thinking of this quote from Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women': "Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…”
For months on end it seemed that the clouds wouldn't lift long enough to allow me to get the store open. The vision was always there but I kept getting bombarded by one barrier after another. Potential landlords were asking for guarantees that would have bankrupted my business before it even got off the ground! When I pushed back, they politely offered that I look elsewhere. How can you help other be best dressed when a location seemed so far away?
While driving one day I passed a small location that seemed to fit the bill. Location in the area I was looking for? Check. A space that meet my needs and allowed for growth? Check. Affordable for a newly minted business? Check! Now if only I could speed up the bureaucracy to finalize permits then we would be up and running and focusing on what matters most; providing plus-size fashion to women.
Christmas came and went, renovations started and then reality sets in...what if the city permits don't come through? What if the store isn't successful? What if no one shows up on opening day? Yikes. Far too many "what ifs" to comprehend so early on. As hard as I tried, it seemed as though that I couldn't be rid of that shadow...
It wasn't just my amazing family who all sacrificed their own blood, sweat and tears to help in the final weeks before opening. It wasn't just my children and husband giving up their family time that got me over the last hurdle. It wasn't just the regular e-mails and messages on Facebook from supporters who keep asking when the store would open.
It was determination and belief that this endeavour was what people needed. It was all the memories of purchasing clothing at your run of the mill retail outlets where I left the store feeling like I purchased clothing that was neither sexy nor stylish. This was the final motivation that helped me get over the last hurdle and turn on the neon open sign at the front of the store.
And then a funny thing happened...people started to come into the store and were telling similar experiences to mine and how much this store is needed. It has been just over a month since the doors have opened at J. Mackenzie Fashions and I have been reminded repeatedly how much the store has to offer to people in Winnipeg and across the world who have ordered via our online boutique.
Now that the store is open, it seems as though the I've been receiving my fair share of sunshine! It hasn't been the actual opening of the store that has removed that shadow of doubt; but the reinforcement that this is meeting the needs of our customers and seeing their faces when they find a great outfit.
Welcome, 0 Comments
Welcome to the J. Mackenzie Fashions blog. Regular updates on this blog will occur on a regular basis and include the following topics in the coming weeks and months!
- New and hot items both in-store or available on our online site.
- Look for upcoming videos on Youtube highlighting the development, renovation and stocking of our retail outlet in Winnipeg.
- Introduction and commentary from our sales associates.
- Updates on the latest news in the plus-size women's fashion industry.
- Details from J. Mackenzie Fashions' attendance at future trade shows.
- Contests, sales and promotions.
- The J. Mackenzie Fashions model search!
- Links and articles from our favourite plus-size fashion bloggers.
- And of course, answers to your questions.