In Their Shop series highlights inspiring and successful members of the Retailer Inner Circle in their beautiful shops!
Here we find out how they work, some behind the scenes, and they’ll share some of their secrets and best tips with us.
Tell us about your business – How did you become a shop owner and what type of products/services do you offer?
Girl UPcycled Studio is focused on all things Art, UPcycling and DIY. I like to focus on items made by local and small businesses and try to find items wholesale that offer fair trade whenever possible. I honestly did not set out to have a local retail business but rather was in a situation where I simply needed to find a place other than my house to sell my art and UPcycled furniture pieces. The studio has evolved throughout its 6 years into a really eclectic artsy vibe local shopping/art studio space. The Studio is located in Zanesville, Ohio (US) and happily, my customers are just as eclectic as the studio space itself with shoppers that are DIYers, artists, moms, dads, grandmothers, etc. They just pop into the shop, including shoppers from the local restaurants on each side of the studio.
I currently offer products geared towards the DIYer including paint, brushes, DIY kits, stamps, transfers & casting molds. The front of the store upon entrance includes painted furniture with a mix of vintage items. As well as locally sourced soaps and candles, kimonos, bags, Ceramic ware, and bohemian style jewelry and aromatherapy products.
Share a bit of your business journey! What did you do before you opened a shop and why did you open your business?I’ve always seemed to have had pretty creative jobs. As a young girl I was hired at a hair salon where I created a clientele servicing sculptured nails for about 10 years. I then went to work for the Longaberger Handmade Basket Company where I started out weaving baskets for a few years working my way into the Creative Design Department. The Creative Design Department was a really fun, fascinating job where we were in charge of any and all things visual at the company. This included exterior decorating, event decorating, retail display, and branding display for photo Opts. I worked my way up to supervisor at that company until I left in 2002 to take care of a premature baby.
I started out of my home when my daughter was small so I could still be home with her. I was fascinated to learn about the internet and really started diving into studying how to run a business using this technology. I started first selling on Etsy and Facebook. People were contacting me to create custom orders. I then had an acquaintance that wanted to start a retail & painted furniture store in our town and she wanted to sell my furniture there and give me a work space to create in. This was literally the only time I’ve worked in a retail store. I was only there about 1 1/2 years as I quickly learned that after they started to learn how to create their own paint finishes… I was no longer needed.
So, I left and started my own studio to create in. That was back in 2015. I just celebrated my 6 year anniversary!
Any struggles or lessons learned along the way? How do you overcome them?
OMG, where to start!
Well if you do go into a business situation with a “‘friend”, do NOT stop working on your own brand to build another brand. This was a BIG lesson that sucked 2 years of my life and emotion. Of course, I overcame it by opening up my own place accompanied by strong God whispers nudging me along.
Always stay true to your vibe and your brand. I’ve had people that I’ve consigned that would want to push their ideas to target every person out there. For example, sports fans. That is not my brand or my vibe.
Learn how to say no to what you know you are not.
Brag a little about your business, what are you most proud of?
I am so proud to be able to inspire others that have always “wanted” to be an artist but never knew where or how to start. Or the ones that maybe are craftyor are able to follow along on a painting but they could never figure out how to learn their very own style or “unique voice” when painting. This makes me so joyful to watch a person evolve when I can see their work and know “who” created it before I even see their name.
Can you tell us what your thoughts are on being a member of the Retailer’s Inner Circle?
I had some online experience in selling but I was looking for somewhat of a “hybrid” person, so to speak, someone that understood how online technology worked with local retail. I had very little to no local brick-n-mortar experience so, in the Retailers’ Inner Circle, Wendy has so much knowledge that she shares tirelessly with all of us and this has helped me so much.
She is very disciplined and organized in the way she runs her business and the way she teaches. That is what I know I need. She is able to relate the use of technology and the importance of using it with our local business and reaching beyond so that we are not affected by a little something like say…. a pandemic?
The Retailer’s Inner Circle is the place for creative brick and mortars to hone their skills.
What are you most excited about coming up for you and your business?
Growing online and bringing people to my area and town by offering art retreats. As well as traveling to other towns offering retreats to help other businesses.
I am excited about my continued growth as a destination location and business at my local studio.
Some Favorite Podcasts to Listen To:
Wendy would love to thank Kelly for her involvement in this blog post! To learn more about Kelly and her beautiful studio, please visit the following:
To join Kelly and other profitable and awesome shop owners, join the Retailer’s Inner Circle here.
Foot Traffic Made Simple
My most popular mini-training!
In this 90-minute training and walk away with a simple way to complete a full month of marketing planned out and a repeatable, easy marketing framework to follow.
Then sit back and watch your customers walk in your door smiling!