Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Only 4 days left ...

It's been a brutal couple of months. Retail-wise.
I'll be closing our doors on Saturday, October 18th.
Things will be on sale this week.
We'll be having a "wake" for this little dream of mine on Saturday evening from 6:00 to 9:00.

Feel free to drop by ...

Friday, September 5, 2008

We'll be closed briefly this afternoon ...

Just popping in to say that Greater Goods will be closed between 1:00 and 5:00 today. We apologize for any incovenience.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Visionary Investment Partner Program Details ...

Okay, so I had the idea. And after much wrestling with it, we finalized exactly what the benefits to VIPS would be ... I was more than a bit intimidated, however, by the prospect of systematizing it and describing it accurately enough that someone could actually participate. Now, after several days of research, writing, and revision, I have produced an official VIP Membership Program Agreement, and a brochure. Yay me! [And thanks to a certain national retailer whose website includes the full text of their paid membership "loyalty" program agreement.]

As difficult as it is when I do force myself to write about Greater Goods, I am usually pleased with the result. And, I end up re-inspired. I've found that writing about the business [whether for the blog, website, an ad, press release or brochure] forwards an important and on-going process of clarifying my mission and goals. And from everything I read about innovative and [eventually] successful businesses, they consistently review and evaluate how they definte themselves, their purpose, and their vision. I find this process useful to remind myself why I am doing this [I'm certainly not taking a salary], and to make sure that the reality of Greater Goods does not diverge from the vision.

From the [recently written] VIP Program brochure:
What is Greater Goods' mission, anyway?
Greater Goods is a “green” general store and “fair trade” art & craft gallery. We strive to be a globally-minded retail business that is deeply rooted in our local community. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality merchandise that is ethically sourced and good for people and the planet. We hope that by doing so we contribute to a vibrant local community and a sustainable world for us all.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ch-ch-ch-changes ...

We've been busy beavers over the last week getting the store re-organized and consolidated. As part of our 3 part strategy to save the store and stay in business, we have invited local antique dealer Kathy Myers to move in and share our space. So, in a win-win move that will keep two local women-owned businesses open and serving our community, Kathy's Keepsakes -- specializing in antique and vintage treasures -- will begin sharing space with Greater Goods in mid-August. To accommodate the change, we have been busy moving furniture and merchandise around in the shop -- and have slashed prices on goods we are discontinuing.

When we took a hard look at the state of the business, I knew it would take 3 things to keep us viable through these lean times: a) re-energized sales, b) cutting our overhead and c) raising some capital. July sales soared in response to letting our customers and friends know about our cash crunch. [Thank you, thank you, thank you!] Michal leaving us to pursue a job that could actually afford to pay her wages, made a dent in the store expenses. Having Kathy's Keepsakes sublet 1/2 the store space has made it feasible for us to keep Greater Goods open! [Yay!]

Now, we just need to mobilize our core customers to join our Visionary Investment Partner Program and we will raise the capital we need to re-stock the store with all kinds of wonderful and useful things that are good for people and good for the planet ...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

"VIP" Program Officially Open!

It's an idea we've been flirting with all year, tweaking and re-thinking. Now, the need to raise some immediate working capital finally convinced us to move foreward with our "VIP" program. We played with a lot of possible names for the program [Greater Goods' Groupies? Very Important Patrons?] and we settled on "Visionary Investment Partners." No, we are not selling stock in Greater Goods, and we 're not a member-owned coop. But, for a $100 "investment" in the continued growth of Greater Goods, VIPs will receive:
  • 5% off EVERY regularly priced purchase for 12 months. [That's like paying no sales tax for a full year!]
  • ability to pre-order regularly stocked merchandise at discount prices. [Never run out of your favorite soap, kitchen cleaner, or coffee! And get it at a discount!]
  • invitations to preview-purchase sales to custom order what we normally don't keep in stock. [Perfect for those special gifts, or locating hard-to-find essentials.]
  • invitations to a special VIP appreciation event this fall.

Our goal is to inspire at least 5o folks to join the VIP program by August 30th. We hope you'll consider it!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

my heart is full ...

and there are tears in my eyes. We have the greatest customers in the world -- and we live in a wonderful community. In the few days since I sent an e-mail out to our newsletter list, letting folks know that we couldn't pay the rent and the future of the shop was uncertain, sales have skyrocketed. In addition to spending hard-earned dollars with us, people have shared ideas, hugs, wisdom, prayers, suggestions and even donations. I simply cannot express how humbled and moved and inspired I am. It is deeply gratifying to know that people appreciate our vision and feel we are making a contribution to the community that they value.

I am currently exploring many options to keep the business afloat and operational during these lean times. I am open to all kinds of ideas. And I will keep everyone posted as things unfold ...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

where to begin?

If I sit here staring at the computer screen long enough, I'm bound to come up with something witty and/or insightful and/or optimistic, right? That was the theory anyway, though it's not yet working...

I was trying to write the monthly store newsletter, but I couldn't seem to find my mojo. To be honest, things look a little bleak around here friends. The economy is kicking our rears -- quite thoroughly. Michal has had to leave the store to find a job with a company that can actually afford to pay her salary, so it's just Karen and I holding down the fort. We have such a wonderful cadre of loyal customers. They still come in to say hello -- and even bring their friends and visiting relations -- but paying $4/gallon of gasoline seems to be taking a huge chomp out of everyone's budgets. No one seems to be buying anything but the necessities. I am still hoping against hope that we'll be able to stick it out ... but I really don't know. If anyone has any brilliant ideas [or any capital they'd like to invest in a much-loved, values-driven retail shop with great vision and big plans], please drop me a line. Or just come by and say hello. We'll give you an organic, all natural lollipop on the house...