I was charmed by this vintage postcard, which shows Lobster King Harry Hackney with his Lobster Waitresses in their prize-winning costumes for the Atlantic City Beauty Pageant Parade in about 1950.  You can imagine the buzz in the kitchen as word got out to Harry’s staff that they were going to compete dressed as lobsters. … Read More

I’ve always been relieved that critics don’t review retail shops. Imagine putting your life savings and entrepreneurial dreams into a restaurant, only to have someone tear it apart because one visit didn’t meet their expectations.   Well, it turns out that today customers do indeed write reviews of stores, online, using their own blogs or… Read More

I’m sure Match.com doesn’t ask any questions about how compatible you and your prospective mate would be when it comes to running a business together, and yet the concept of a couple operating a store is so engrained in our American culture that the term “Mom and Pop store” actually appears in the dictionary.  So… Read More

Communities around the U.S., including ours here in Dane County, Wisconsin,  are taking advantage of the 4th of July Independence Day holiday to shoot off some PR fireworks calling attention to their independent businesses.  This effort is part of the Buy Local movement, which draws on the interests of economists, farmers, politicians, environmentalists and retailers.… Read More

Summer time may mean picnics, swimming and camping to some folks, but to shopkeepers it means it’s summer trade show season. I’m going to share with you a 10 minute tip that will make you seem like a pro when you go to your favorite trade shows. But first I want to make sure you’re… Read More