I am a seasoned veteran in the world of shopping. It’s been my job as well as my hobby. So, I always find it refreshing when I can stop and shop with fellow independent retailers.
So, for those in South Texas, or considering a trip, here’s some highlights for you to remember:
East Bernard – Polak Petals has apparel and jewelry for the fashionista and tons of vintage finds for the refurbanista.
Then, head east to Rosenberg where antique shops abound. Prices are higher, but you never know what you’ll find.
Then head north, circle back toward Fulshear, Texas and find the best candy store I’ve ever found.
Keep heading back west and stop in Sealy, Texas for Bliss. Lots of fashions and for those in retail, great ideas for display abound.
Then, of course head HOME to us!
Filed under Antiques, Apparel, Bath & Body, Country Living, Furniture, Gift shop, Gifts, Go Texan, home decor, Independent Retailer, Jewelry, Retail
From Wood to Deer
Ever wonder how a tiny piece of jewelry can be so intricate? That was the neat thing about my recent trip to California to see how Brighton jewelry is created, I got to see how a tiny little reindeer charm was born.
It’s really quite simple; I’m sure Brighton won’t mind my sharing. They love competition. So, create a design, not a computer design, get out your pen and paper. Great. Now, get a block of wood and cut out your design in 3-D. Cool, huh? Okay, now take some super laser technology and miniaturize your design to perfection. Now, your design is ready to come to life. Simple isn’t it? Hmm. I don’t know about you but I’m not a good artist, I’ve already stabbed myself with a knife and florist block, and me and a laser do not sound like a good idea…period.
Hmm. Guess I’ll just tell all my customers HOW this little deer was made and call it a day.
Brighton Class of '11
How do you show a retailer you are behind them all the way? Advertise in big blockbuster magazines? That WILL attract brand recognition. Offer free freight? A nice added benefit, but probably won’t do it completely. Bring the retailer to your facility and SHOW them what makes your product the quality product it is. Now THAT is a novel approach. Trust me, it works. I was recently lucky enough to get to visit one of my newest product assortment’s home turf – Brighton Jewelry @ their Home! I love American-made products, and while Brighton is made all over the world, it is also made right here in the good old USA. The opportunity to talk to Beatriz who makes the handbags, and Amy who deals with the repair log-in calls, brought it all home to me – the little retailer in Columbus, Texas.
So, for three days I was shown the love – and the love that goes into their products. (Oh, I’d say my Coach bag has a lot of love in it too – mostly my hard earned cash I once loved – but there are lots of products that are painstakingly created.) No, what I mean by the Brighton love is how every employee there enjoys working for Brighton. Every employee takes pride in what they create. From Beatriz and her handbags, to Jerry Kohl, owner and creator of Brighton, it was the kind of place we would want to work if we didn’t work for ourselves. When you see the products and what goes in to creating each earring, bracelet, charm, handbag and more, it makes it that much more likely we’d go home and tell all of our customers about this wonderful company creating a wonderful product. Now THAT is how you sell a product! Thanks Brighton
Sound like an advertisement for Brighton? Probably, but The Silver Barn is all about selling a quality product that is unique and brings joy. Just take a look at The Silver Barn Facebook page and see some of the pics from my visit to the California factory. See if you don’t agree – there’s a lot of love in those products.
What makes a product hot? Pet rocks, Cabbage Patch Kids, Beanie Babies, Silly Bandz are a few that come to mind and make us all shake our head and think – geez, I could’ve come up with that. In most cases, especially Silly Bandz I just couldn’t get it. Oh, I get the collecting and trading back and forth, which is what I think is crucial for the trend. But, when I went to market this season I wanted to find something new, something clever, something the kids would like and the parents would like as well. I wanted something that hasn’t been out there for the last year, all over the news and headed to extinction. The last thing any retailer wants is to get stuck with a hot-now-cold product. I was excited when I found the MOGO Bracelet. I felt they were clever, unique and they weren’t everywhere. The bracelets are nicely done, the magnets that snap on to the metal on the bracelets are cute – and great for trading!
MOGO arrived and I see a trend emerging. It is amazing how it has done. I’m looking forward to seeing if they can stay ahead of this super fast curve they are hitting. What will they do to add to the fun? What will they do to keep customers wanting more? How long will they last? Ah, that will be the million dollar question. Will MOGO stay around long enough to join the ranks of Beanie Baby, or will it end on the bottom shelf like Furby? The sales we have had thus far shows potential, but the experts have not gone back to school where they will discuss MOGO’s future and decide if it will make it. Stay tuned, the experts will soon let us know if we made the right “hot trend” decision.
Rockin' K Jewelry
Anyone who follows Silver Barn knows we have lots of great fabulous items for the home, they also know we work hard to carry unique, one-of-a-kind items whenever possible, especially items from Texas. But what few know is that Silver Barn also carries fabulous items for YOU from a fabulous group of jewelry designers! We have been excited to carry Rockin’ K Jewelry since we opened. Now, two years later Kathy Armstrong, designer of Rockin’ K, has quite a following. All of her pieces feature 14k gold or sterling silver and an array of turquoise mixed with Swarovski stones and other semi-precious stones. She also has pieces incorporating Mykonos glass dipped in 14k or sterling and turquoise. Her earrings are stellar, her necklaces spectacular, her prices, fabulous for the quality. Yes, I should’ve given everyone a sneak before Mother’s Day, but isn’t every day Mother’s Day? Doesn’t everyone have a birthday? Anniversary? “Just because” day? So, the next time you need something special…for your home…or, better yet, for you, don’t be surprised that Silver Barn has great things in small packages too!