May 25, 2014

Store Makeover

As a bra-making supply store owner in the fabric district,  we have lots of traffic. We have lots of walk-ins, too...but the conversation often goes something like this:

Them (looking around): Oh, you sell bras?
Us: No, we don't...
Them (puzzled): Oh, I get it, you make custom bras!
Us: No, we don't...

So clearly, customers who didn't know us, were getting the wrong impression about what we do. How does that happen? Do they not read the sign above the door that reads ...Bra-makers Supply? To be fair, the sign is above the window.

Vivien's daughter, Elizabeth (who is very clever) summed up the problem when she said that looking in from the window, you don't get the impression that we are a sewing shop at all. We had all kinds of bras hanging on all kinds of mannequins. One peeking in would assume that we sell bras, or at the very least, make custom bras. That was an ah-ha moment! 

If you want to see your store as others see it, take a photo of it from the door. The photos were proof that Elizabeth was right - we needed to project more of a "sewing-store" image, not a "bra-shop" image.

So with a wave of my magic wand (my credit card), 2 new sheets of slotwall were delivered. We had to wait until Saturday morning to start the makeover. Why Saturday?

Saturday was the first Saturday we were closed for the summer months (Victoria Day to Labour Day). Which means the store was closed - you cannot re-arrange the store when customers are present. That. Would. Be. Chaos.

We hung the slotwall on the big empty wall as you first enter the store. It is a 9' (almost 3 m) wall and only had mannequins hanging on it. But now...it holds the whole Pin-up Girls pattern line...with room for more patterns when I get them done!
The cabinets under the slotwall hold ALL the extra patterns...something we have never had room for previously. The old slotwall held only 27 patterns - the new one will hold 40, so lots of room to grow!

So this is our view from the front door. The new pattern wall is to the left of this . In fact, you can see a bit of the slanted wall in both photos. On the rolling displays, we now have room for the new kit colours.
You can also see the door to the classroom at the back. And the blue rolling staircase so we can all reach the top bins (even me). Oh, my! I see now in the photos how ugly it is in blue. We must paint that staircase! 

But I do love the bins with all their pink labels! 

On the wall opposite to the patterns, we are hanging all the sewing notions. It's a work in progress. I's a lot more room, but will be a good home for notions...once we work out how they fit best together, that is.
I think more slotwall to the right of this notions cupboard would be better than a shelving unit. Agh! I just noticed the cupboard needs a good painting! These photos are showing up all the stuff we didn't see before.

While Rebecca, Vivien and I had everything in a total mess, patterns in heaps and notions in piles, kits strewn about - customers saw the lights on and wanted in to buy bra-making supplies! 

Well, of course! Why not? (At least they didn't come in and ask if we sold bras!)

Monday we can start fresh with a clean and more organized space. I can go to the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference knowing that the store is better than it was last week.

I almost forgot...I now I have a few mannequins to get rid of!

7 comments:

  1. Good job! Great lesson to everyone in retail. Myself included!

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    1. Thanks, Sheila. I am sure your place looks great! At least you can decorate your walls with something interesting!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, there is still more to do, but it is coming along nicely! At least now we have drawers to fit the patterns. Plues a wall for the notions. It's all good!

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  3. What kind of mannequins are you getting rid of? Are they for sale?

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