About once a month, we will turn to a store owner for their "Tuesday Tips" on how to successfully run a retail operation. This month, we focus on Maura Lawlor, owner of Kerry Cottage, an Irish merchandise store based in Maplewood, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.
At Kerry Cottage, you will find everything Irish from Waterford Crystal to St. Patrick's Day apparel. Maura Lawlor opened the store more than 20 years ago with her mother, having no idea it would turn into a fulfilling career. Starting with a big dream and a little bit of luck, Kerry Cottage has become a local favorite and has even been featured on local news.
We asked Maura to share her five tips for success in the retail industry:
- Be passionate: Maura says you should either love what you do or don't do it. If you aren't passionate about your store, you won't take the extra steps to make it a success.
- Focus on the details: If you only concentrate on the big picture, it can be overwhelming. Maura suggests focusing on the small details one at a time and they will come together to make a successful store.
- Don't buy what you like: Just because you like an item doesn't mean that it will sell well. Maura recommends paying attention to buying trends to determine what to purchase for your store.
- Work with vendors you trust: Maura turns to her vendors to suggest merchandise that is successful. She only works with vendors she can trust to make good recommendations. Then she follows their recommendations.
- Only carry high quality merchandise: Make sure your merchandise is high quality because not only does it reflect well on your store, it will keep your customers coming back for more.
With the luck of the Irish, Maura Lawlor turned her passion into a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Would you like to be featured in our next installment of the SSW Store Owner Spotlight? Email Patricia Sims for more information.