Celebrating the little shops

There is a breed of entrepreneurs that is often dismissed by the media. Since I started blogging, I saw and continue to see lots of innovative ideas from small businesses. Their innovation may be in the way they package their offering or imagine a service. Most often, you noticed these gems by how they promote their business and gather loyal fans for their little brand.

I’m taking about business people who are resourceful and do more with less. Business owners who embrace new medias. Business owners who communicate their story every day on the web. Business owners who engage with their audience like most big companies only dream on. This is the type of business owners that I want to celebrate here. This is the type of business owners that I admire the most. The small business owner who is fuelled by her passion. A business owner who knows her customers, has a vision and carries it through successfully.

A small business owner like Fiona Richards (she owns Cartolina). I met Fiona in 2008 when she started blogging. She now has a local speciality shop. I admire how she comments every picture of her shop.

tone day in your life

Her comments are more than a sale pitch. Instead she tells the story of her shop. She chronicles what she does, what’s going on in her shop, give hints to what you can do with her products and most importantly, she tells people why you should shop there. Fiona does that in every photo she published. It’s way more powerful and memorable as a technique to attract the right buyers for your business.

usage ideas

This is the type of stories that inspire me every day. This is the type of success I can rely to. Because frankly, I don’t want to have 10,000 employees, not even 400.

photo credits: Fiona Richards

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  • Fiona Richards
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 20:14 0Likes

    Thank you Kim – you are too kind!
    Everyday we work really hard at Cartolina to be more than just another brand – more than just a retail store. Connecting with our customers and our followers is so important- and so rewarding! We do it for marketing purposes but we also do it because connecting with the real world through social media is fulfilling for the us, and for the customer/follower. Many of our followers, from far and away, have traveled to the Cartolina store to visit with us in person [and we make a big fuss of them!] Opening the store has been the most fun and rewarding thing we have done – we love it 🙂
    We’re looking forward to seeing you in the store one day!

  • Kim Vallee
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 11:51 0Likes

    Thank you, Fiona, for sharing with us what your customers and your business get from these social discussions. Many small business owners fail to see that content marketing impacts your business on many levels. You demonstrated strong reasons to invest the time to do it right. Cartolina is the proof that small business owners should not restrict themselves to seeking recognition in their local market. When you started Cartolina Cards, you managed to capture international attention with your paper business. Now, your brand recognition continues with your first retail shop. Not being located in a large metropolitan area is not an excuse to not seek customers and followers outside your local area. Bravo!
    Visiting your shop would be a treat. It’s tasteful, creative and original. Plus, I love to meet you and your team face to face. Nelson seems to be a wonderful place where to live or to visit. I thought I would have a chance this winter. It could have taken a day break from my ski vacation in Whistler. I was disappointed this morning when I realized that it would be a long drive to get to Nelson. I’ll have to visit one day! I’ll bring my boys (husband and son) since you carry many things for guys. Until then, I’ll follow your adventures online.

  • Fiona Richards
    Posted July 17, 2015 at 09:23 0Likes

    Being a retailer in a tourist town like Nelson is interesting. There are 2 customers – the local and the visitor. The local wants to see something new in the store each time they visit, whereas the tourist sees everything with fresh eyes. I’ve always tried to reach beyond the boundaries of our remote location to do business but now I have the opportunity to convince the long distance Cartolina fan to actually consider traveling to Nelson – I’ve become a bit of an ambassador for the region as well as our product. It’s fun – it’s like fishing – you throw out a lure and see what you catch.

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