I'm always thinking of ways to draw more people to Zoe. And show them things that they would like when they do come into the store. On Friday, I had been thinking about pushing one of my rolling racks outside the door so that people could see an example of the kind of clothes we carry. I don't want to do this during the week because I believe it would detract from my landlord's entrance.
I found out on Friday afternoon that they are going to be closing at 2:30 on Fridays during the summer! So I readied my rolling rack to put outside after they closed! I had some challenges with it that first afternoon as it got to be a little windy and it was hard to keep it upright! But I sold one of the items I had displayed on the rack so that gave me a good feeling that this was the way to go.
On Saturday morning, I walked down to Starbucks to ask if I could borrow two of their sandbags (they had a bunch piled up outside their door following the recent flooding). They said "Of course". Now, it was up to me to transport the sandbags back to the store. Try doing that dressed up and in high heels - plus these things probably weigh 50 lbs each. I am sure I was quite a sight. But I managed to do it (and paid for it with aching deltoids and obliques). Maybe it is a new fitness program I should start - the Sandbag Workout. Or maybe we should have a Boutique Olympics and include the sandbag carry as one of the events?
All kidding aside, the sandbags did the trick. No problems with the rack despite lots of wind on Saturday and Sunday. And a number of people came in the store who told me they were drawn by the display. I've toned it down slightly today - I've hung a top from the door handle and a dress from the hook where I normally hang my "Open" sign. I'll do the rack on weekends when it won't be a distraction for my landlord.
Last week, a customer came into the store prior to picking up ice cream for her children (I've mentioned we have 3 ice cream stores in close proximity to Zoe). She really liked the store and told me she would share information on it using an Old Town Moms Listserv on Yahoo. Sure enough, I got messages from two Old Town friends on Sunday evening, sharing the nice blurb she had written. There is nothing better than someone else speaking highly of you!
My customers continue to be fun and enjoyable. I've had them share parts of their food purchases with me - I got to try salted licorice from The Sugar Cube on Saturday. They make restaurant recommendations for other parts of Northern Virginia. A couple who had owned a boutique in Myrtle Beach talked to me in length about the boutique business - what worked for them and what didn't. Sometimes my past customers stop in to introduce their children to me or just say "Hi!" It truly is everything I had hoped for as far as making connections with people.
The heat has been pretty intense here the past few days. Customers have commented that the store feels comfortable, which is exactly what I'm striving for. No one wants to try on clothes when they feel hot and sticky.
For those following the FedEx saga, they did finally pick up the package late last week. When I checked the tracking information this morning, I found it should be back to the Display company on June 1st. Hopefully, we can put this little drama to rest.