The Cupboard: The Art of Small Business
For Vickie Hancock, her mother Frances, and her daughter Chelsea, running a small business is as much an art as it is a job. Together they run The Cupboard, located on Main Street in Fyffe. The Cupboard is a unique spot where you can find an eclectic variety of items, from antique furniture and vintage items, to essential oils, gifts to appeal to anyone, and the newest styles, all in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere that feels much more like a cozy home than a shop. The atmosphere at The Cupboard is no accident. Every decision regarding the store, including the design and layout of the store itself, which items to carry, and how to display them, are influenced greatly by Vickie’s background in art.
Vickie taught art at Geraldine for 15 years and has taught private lessons, first out of her home, and now out of her business, for 25 years. However, Vickie doesn’t just teach. In fact, anyone that has been through school in DeKalb County in recent years is probably familiar with her work:
“You can see my paintings and murals in every school in the county, that’s a big part of who I am. I’ve always been known as an artist and an art teacher.”
Vickie put her eye for good design and aesthetics to work when designing the store, and continues to use her talent to help her customers every day:
“I can go to a large store or mall, and it bores me, everything is all the same. I want this to be a store that’s eye catching when people drive down the road, that’s something beautiful to see, it’s interesting, and that there’s something everyone can find here. The store was just another extension of art expression. Art is not just drawing or painting, it’s designing anything. I also try to pull that into helping customers as they’re looking for decorative items and furniture. I’ll help them find the perfect item in the store to decorate their homes.”
The Cupboard originally started at another location in Fyffe in 2012. The family soon realized that they needed to expand and built their present location on Main Street in Fyffe, opening it in the summer of 2015. They recently expanded the store, building an addition which opened this summer. They currently sell items from over 40 vendors from an area ranging from Trenton, GA to Guntersville, and no two are just alike:
“We try not to get two vendors that are just alike, we’ve got one vendor that has a wedding booth, one that has wooden signs, one with candles. We want each booth to be special and unique.”
Vickie and her family work very hard to make the atmosphere at the store as welcoming and unique as possible. They keep a bench out front that gets a lot of use on Saturdays, when the men sit outside, drink coffee, and talk about the weather while the wives shop. They have put a lot of thought into every aspect of the store, even down to what customers smell when they walk through the doors of the shop. They keep an essential oils diffuser next to the counter so that customers are met with a welcoming aroma that helps them feel relaxed and at home.
Vickie says that because the business is so family oriented, most of their customers come in regularly, but she is also very welcoming of people that might be traveling through and happen on the store. In fact, behind the counter at The Cupboard hangs a large map of the United States with pins all over the country representing where her visitors have come from.
Even though they have only recently expanded the store, Vickie has a ton of things she wants to work on to help not only her business, but the local small business community as a whole. One of the things that Vickie believes can be done with relatively little effort but have a relatively huge impact is giving several of the buildings on Main Street a facelift:
“Most of the buildings in Fyffe are great structurally, some just need a coat of paint or new awnings. Little things like that won’t take much, but would go a long way in making our area more attractive.”
Vickie is also working with Fyffe’s town government to help improve parking on Main Street and also believes that bringing in a food truck would help greatly in drawing people to the area.
For Vickie, working together with other small businesses to help make the area a premier destination for shopping and great customer service is a huge part of what small businesses should be about.
“We know what items in what sizes each booth carries so we can help customers right to the correct booth in order to find exactly what they’re looking for, and if we don’t have that particular item, we know what other stores in town carry, so we’ll send them there. I love that about our little community of businesses. We don’t feel competitive with each other, and we can work together to help customers.”
That spirit of cooperation is also a big part of why Vickie joined Native:
“I joined Native because it’s about promoting small businesses, and that’s what I want to be a part of. As far as advertising I’ve tried several other ways of advertising, and none have been as beneficial as Native has. Native keeps me on there all the time, and keeps people coming in.”
You can use the Native Rewards app to support the local small business community! You get great deals and a chance to win money every time you shop with local businesses like The Cupboard!
Get it here: http://onelink.to/99h4ts