We live in a world where so much is commercialized and packaged for convenience, that it’s difficult to escape the “big box” mentality. With giant stores carrying everything for convenience on every corner, sometimes smaller, specialty boutiques are overshadowed. It’s amazing how the numbers are growing for these retailers, and now there doesn’t seem to be so much of a drive between them! More people are seeing as time goes on, however, that this isn’t always the best way to go.
Movements over the past several years have brought the little guy back to the forefront, one in particular is the American Express Shop Small movement which takes place this November 29th. Supporting local pumps more money into the local economy, including support of locally-based charities, schools and events in the community. Statistics have shown that for every $1 spent locally, up to 45¢ is re-invested back in to the community.
One of the perks of shopping at a locally-owned boutique is a higher standard of service and a more personalized shopping experience. Locally-owned businesses are dependent on their reputation and their quality of service for their existence. This is something that the larger retailers don’t have to focus on, and customers often aren’t expecting it from them since their main goal is to have access to a large selection of items quickly.
At GreenPea Baby & Child in Cary, North Carolina, we set ourselves apart from the big guys in several ways, and it’s evident from the moment you walk through the front doors. You are greeted warmly by a staff member, or by several staff members, and we seek to learn your story. We want to know your name, the names of your children and how we can help you. What’s different about our approach is that we truly mean, “How can we help you?” In business, of course, our final goal is to make a sale, but that sale means nothing if you aren’t educated about the product, if you are unhappy, or if you haven’t had all of your questions answered. If you’ve bought the wrong product because you didn’t know about the right product and how that was the right one for your needs, we haven’t truly done our job.
Unlike stores that seek to carry every product available on the market so you have the widest selection, we carry products we have researched carefully and have confidence our customers will be happy with because the product is innovative, unique and, most importantly, safe. We are careful to research what goes INTO the products we carry, and choose manufacturers who are committed to the same type of excellence we are as a store, manufacturers who stand behind their products and are as picky as we are. We’ve found that customers appreciate the extra effort we put into the research and selection of our products, they have the ability to simply walk into our store and know we’ve done the hard work for them.
In service to our customers, we have an event every month called a “Registry Soiree” where we take the time to walk parents who are registering through the store and explain our products and the “must have” registry items. We don’t simply hand them a checklist; we take them through and explain our products, their options and make sure no questions are left unanswered. This is a service that we can offer as a small boutique, one that is firmly rooted in customer service and education. To add to our customer service, we offer many events and classes throughout the year, including sleep education events, CPR classes, weekly toddler story times and weekly mom social events.
By being a small, family owned retailer with a handful of staff that feel like a family, we are able to get to know our customers personally, be involved with them, share in their joys and triumphs and cry with them when they are sad. We love our jobs, love the support we can lend to our community and enjoy being a part of that community. We hope that others will see the value in supporting a small, locally-owned boutique and will continue to see us as a resource for years to come.
Written by: LeAnn Hirt, Marketing & Social Media, GreenPea Baby & Child