Shop Keeping, Episode 1
Suppliers Are Your Colleagues
“Nice things, made by nice people”
That’s my reply to “What do you sell, Anne?”
When the government informed me that I was no longer entitled to the state pension at age 60, I realised I needed work. I looked for a little shop.
My Unique Selling Point? Absolutely no retail experience. Not even a “Saturday Job”. So how would that go?
I enjoy cooking; my hobby was writing a blog about free range eggs; cookware accumulates in my kitchen cupboards. So that settled it. I would have a kitchen shop.
Easy decision. Next, the practicalities.
I found a shop, I hired tradespeople, I started looking for nice things to sell. (I’ll pick up the story of “nice things” in a future episode. This one is “nice people”)
Before I bought even one item of stock, I made a decision. Not only did I have to like the product, I had to like the person supplying it. From the Jam Maker to the Enamelware Importer, I was looking for a colleague. Faceless companies could offer me fabulous items at fabulous prices. I’ll say “No thanks”. My suppliers are people, our transactions and deals are conversations.
A local woman who makes cakes and snacks (Yes Lesley, you!) jokingly said I should stop selling and start giving business advice. Well that’s not happening; but it started me thinking about my shop. Primarily, why is One Basket, Kelso so idiosyncratically “me”? Part of the answer is, my suppliers are my colleagues. It means a lot to me that I can tell customers about the products: who made them, where they come from, how I discovered them… In simple terms, they’re made by Nice People.
Thank you for reading my story. Please follow me if you enjoyed it. More to follow.
Facebook: One Basket Kelso