I've given you some background details about Sugar Bit before [read this post from last year as well as my best advice and lessons learned], but today I am here to show you more into my world of children's retail and fashion... and the joys and woes about owning and operating a business of your own.
I have been running this little shoppe of mine for over a year and a half now and I still get butterflies in my stomach... anxiousness over all the inventory I purchase at market and hoping my customers will love the products as much as I do, butterflies when I host a local shopping event in the fear that no one will come, but most of all, I feel proud... proud of my accomplishment that I can say "I did it" and that I really am an entrepreneur. I took a big leap of faith and have followed my passion and love of retail into a business that has grown and brought joy and happiness to so many babies, kids, mothers, grandmothers, and everyone else in between.
We have been able to celebrate birthdays with our customers, you've dressed your kids in Sugar Bit for your family holiday photos, we've gotten the chance to see so many wonderful babies being brought home in our outfits, and I can't put into words the gratefulness I feel when you shop with us... it truly makes my heart happy.
On days when inventory arrives on our doorstep, it's like Christmas morning all over again. In the retail world, most shops purchase their inventory 6-8 months before they ever receive it to sell to their customers and sometimes I forget the little details that make each garment we sell so very special. Then the "work" starts... inputting inventory into QuickBooks and then onto our website, writing product descriptions so you know exactly what you're purchasing, taking pictures [when the brands don't have any for us to use] so you can see the details of each product, and finally sharing on social media so you can get more information about a certain top/accessory/pj set/etc. I know it may not seem like a long process, but it does take a tremendous amount of time and it's not something I "throw" together... our shoppe is something I hope will be around for years to come and our brand and reputation is my biggest priority and it ALWAYS will be.
Once you've placed an order, more fun goes into the mix. A handwritten note goes out with each and every single order that comes to our shoppe and it's a gesture that I am passionate about... it may not stand out to some shoppers, but I hope it brings a smile to others so you know we take pride and care into all orders that ship from us. We also wrap every order with tissue and a sticker so you have a little extra happy to open when the mailman drops off your goodies! Details like this are ones that will stay with us and hopefully differentiate us from our competitors.
Then it's on to the other daily, routine tasks and responsibilities... thankfully I have help from our nanny Alex when the girls are napping or when they venture off to Mother's Day Out and that's when we can knock out a ton of our to-do list... posting on our social media pages on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Then comes updating our Sugar Bit Blog, drafting email marketing campaigns, creating graphical picture collages, updating the website, collaborating with our brand reps, and the multitude of tasks that seem to take up the majority of my day-to-day work schedule. Not to mention when customers call to inquire about orders/items/etc and my brand sales reps call to discuss our wholesale orders, lines they represent, and so on and so forth.
I know running a fashion boutique can seem like a "dream job" and yes, its the career I've always wanted, but it's also difficult to manage when I'm the accountant, graphic artist, shipping manager, photographer, publicist, social media marketing strategist, and everything that falls in between. At the end of the day, I'm doing the best I can with the talents God gave me and I am enjoying this adventure more than I ever imagined, all while still trying to be the best mother, wife, and friend I can be.
Most of all, I am humbled by the love and support Sugar Bit has received thus far and we have so much fun in store for the upcoming months. I am ecstatic to announce that we will be participating in Christmas Village, which is one of the southeast's most popular holiday markets and I am already planning away so that we can reach even more local clientele and spoil some additional little ones this fall and winter. We will be launching our 2nd Sugar Bit Brand Rep Campaign in the coming weeks and I am actively working on making it better with even MORE reps! In addition, I am narrowing down options of local non-profits to partner with so that we can help others in a meaningful way. It's all about thinking ahead and I promise to keep putting 110% of my heart and passion into this little shoppe of mine.
Hope you enjoyed this sneak peak into Sugar Bit and my office where all the magic happens!