Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hot child in the city

OK, so to many people, the town of Red Bank (with a population of around 12,000 people) would not qualify as a "city". But to us, being able to walk to restaurants, the bank, the PO etc, and seeing more than 5 people on any given day elevates it to city status. Hey, what do you expect after living in NH for 5 years...

Anyway, the weather here has been HOT! We had a huge thunderstorm last night - big lightning and thunder for over an hour. Needless to say, the weather hasn't really helped business this week.

A few local store owners have popped their heads in to say hello, and they say that business has been off for them as well, so at least we're not alone. I keep saying that if we actually advertise (in the works) and *gasp* actually get a sign (also in process), then maybe people will realize we are here!

A couple of exciting new items arrived this week...we received the Kozy Carriers (mei tais) as well as the Ergo Baby Carriers, which people have been asking about. We also received our shipment of toys from Kathe Kruse, and that included some adorable organic baby toys - gorgeous - and a giant organic nursing pillow. The nursing pillow looks like a lamb, quite cute...

Kathe Kruse organic toys and nursing pillow

Granny Moo & Simon in a ZoloWear ring sling
(in front of the Kozys & Baby Hawks)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Best day ever!

Meet Erin, our new #1 customer. Erin lives locally and was headed to the toy store next door to our shop, when she noticed we were open. She stopped in and was so happy with what she saw! And we were happy with her! It was basically a big goofy love-fest...

Erin bought some organic clothes for her little one, a wooden toy set, a Mei Tai for herself, a ring sling for a lucky friend and a couple other odds and ends.

All in all, today was our most successful day thus far. A big thank you to Erin!

(sorry Simon, that toy is not for you...)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Made it through another week!

So, week two is over, and things are going well. We've had a couple of customers each day, some buying a quick gift for a new baby, and some staying for an hour trying on various carriers and seeing how they fit. I really enjoy working with the mamas and dads who come in to see the baby carriers. It was really my dream to offer a place where people could try the carriers on, and so far, that idea seems to be working.

It seems that most of our customers have found us online. Some have found us through posts on the or forums (thanks JenMidwife!), and a few have found us through the Hotslings website (yay!).

So, our photo for today is cuddly cute...not one of our typical customers, but perhaps there's a new market we could consider?

This is Apollo! He is 3 months old and around 3 lbs (he'll max out at 6 lbs). He went home today in a ZoloWear Solarveil ring sling, but his mom said she might be back to get the sling in the photo when the weather cools down...

That's it for priorities this week is to get the web store started and to get some signage!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

the Mei Tais are here!

So, the Baby Hawk Mei Tais have arrived! We are still waiting on the Kozy Carriers, but I'm happy that my wall is no longer snowy white...

Friday, June 8, 2007

The end of week one

We've made it to the end of the week! The store is up and running, boy does this small space get messy quickly!

Our high point of the week was when we had three customers *at the same time* in the store! One customer had their 7 week old baby and was trying on slings...that baby left happy - fell fast asleep in a new ring sling. That was not our youngest customer though, that was our 2 week old baby who came in on the first day.

Anyway, it was a hectic week, though we didn't have that many customers. We haven't done any advertising other than word of mouth and handing out business cards at this point, so we're not too worried. Our main goal was to get open for last weekend, and as soon as we get the web store up and running, and we receive all our merchandise, then we will really crank up the marketing.

That's all for now, time for bed (well, time for Simon to go to bed...).

Monday, June 4, 2007

The store is open for business!

Welcome to the Little Willow blog! Stop by here to check out what is happening with our new shop.

We recently decided to open a store in Red Bank, NJ selling organic and natural baby clothes, soft baby carriers, cloth diapers, and natural toys, gifts and accessories.

We looked for months for space to rent in Red Bank, and finally found a space right next to the big toy store in town.

Here is our story!

The beginning...

The end of April - The previous tenants are moving out

May 11th - Signed the lease today - the landlords did a great job painting and cleaning, we were thrilled! (a previous space we almost rented was a disaster, so we were very happy this space was in move-in condition)

May 19th - Back from our trip to Ikea to buy fixtures! Note the sleeping baby in the upper right corner...who knew babies prefer to fall asleep with drilling and hammering in the background...

This is what the shop looked like at 8:15am Friday morning, the day we are planning to open!

And success! We got the store in pretty decent shape by the end of the weekend :)

The happy and exhausted new store owners

Chief Marketing Executive (hat by Baby Soy! :)

The outside of the store (permanent signage coming soon!)

So we were up and running this past weekend as planned. We're glad we were able to get the store open for the big Jazz and Blues fest that brings over 200,000 people to Red Bank (that's why we rushed to get the store open so quickly). Now we have to keep doing more stuff even though it feels like we should be all done and should have some time to relax! Ah, the life of the entrepreneur :)