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.

I think we’d all agree that some people are more influential than others, especially online. And it turns out that there is now a whole science of “influencer marketing” that focuses on these individuals rather than a larger target market, because socially-inspired shoppers trust the opinion of people considered to be trend setters.

Influencers are particularly important in the fashion world, where the co … (read more…)


Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what your shipping costs are going to be, no matter how big or small your order? I’ve only seen two of our vendors offering a flat rate on wholesale orders, but I hope it’s a trend that is going to spread. 

Compendium, a forward-thinking supplier of stationary, cards and gifts, recently introduced $5 flat-rate shipping on all … (read more…)


I hope you never need the advice in today’s blog, but the fact is that many shops (like the Northern Music & Video store in Potsdam, NY shown in the illustration above) do eventually close.  Sonia Mott, who was a fellow retail advisor to the Gift and Home Trade Association, has gone out of business not once, but twice. … (read more…)