These blog postings are intended to give you ideas and support in your entrepreneurial journey. The road is not without its bumps, but together we can make the ride smoother!  I invite you to read my book, Specialty Shop Retailing: Everything You Need to Know to Run Your Own Store, for more information.  I am currently working on a 4th edition, to be published by Henschel Haus in 2017.  I’m looking for successful independent retailers to include as “real life” examples, and for great black and white photos of stores, ads or displays. So please drop me a line if you’d like to be included!

A special welcome to those of you coming to this blog through Gifts and Decorative Accessories magazine! It has been my privilege to write for Gifts and Dec for over 15 years, and I am pleased to be able to keep in touch with subscribers through my blog as well as my regular columns.

You can get this blog delivered to your inbox every Monday by sending your name and e-mail address to To unsubscribe, just send an email with unsubscribe as the heading.

A one-year old Brookline, MA startup designed to help small businesses send customers to each other raised $3 million in seed funding in 2016. And although Nift ( is still in beta mode and focused on 500 Boston-area brick and mortar, service and local online stores, the hope is that the model will expand nationally.

The concept is intriguin … (read more…)


Over 21 billion dollars was spent by Americans on Mother’s Day last year, according to the National Retail Federation, a hefty (and inexplicable) increase over the 15.7 billion spent in 2012.  How will you get your share of this growing market? 

While 33% of the spending was in department stores, 23% was in local sh … (read more…)


If you’ve ever looked at reviews of your store on a site like Yelp, you know how much a negative one can hurt.  So it’s no wonder retailers haven’t been pressing for a site where employees can publicly review their jobs — but it turns out that such a site already exists.  I was looking for ideas for the new edition of Specialty Shop Retailing when I found Glassdoor, and discovered the review … (read more…)