Tag Archives: Small Business

Small Business Love: The Overall Co.

31 Aug

Every now and then you stumble upon that rarity of a place, a sort of hipster haven in the midst of monotonous  commercial businesses and wanna be hang spots. Growing up in small town Alabama my whole life you get use to hearing bad raps about how there is nothing to do. However, every now in then you find a place that seeks to change that status quo. A place that sparks life into a small town.

Living in Auburn, AL for the past six years, I’ve seen coffee shops come and go. To be honest, I’m a Starbucks gal. I become timid about spending four bucks of my hard earned cash on a coffee drink that I can’t vouch for, so I tend to stay away from the local hubs. But then came The Overall Co.

Having opened only a few weeks ago, this local Coffee Shop in downtown Opelika has been creating quite a buzz. Yes, O-pa-LIIK-AHH, (Southerns, mind your draw on that last syllable). This quaint shop is the epitomy of a sustainable small business sparking vitatlity into what many people would consider a one-horse town. Seriously, you pass a Piggly Wiggly and a Jacks to get to it.

Sustainability is a key quality to their ingredients. Among their fine coffee and treats, you’ll experience fresh local whole organic milk. They also specialize in homemade natural pops. Some of the favors include Chocolate Hazelnut, Salted Caramel, and Peach Agave. Aside from the treats the whole shop possesses the perfect ambience. From the eclectic seating to high vaulted ceiling the place is full of culture. There’s even an art gallery upstairs and local musicians who play live from time to time.

And if you like that seat you’re sitting in while you’re enjoying your fresh organic milk, well it’s probably for sell. Almost everything in the store is for sell and probably from a local artisan. OK, let me just say that does my heart happy. They have art, stationery, jewelry, and even a few of my cozies for sell in the shop. So excited to have an opportunity to put a few of my goodies into a marketplace.

I’m thrilled that there is finally a place like this nearby. It’s one of those shops you read about an think, geesh why isn’t my town that cool. Well, Opelika, here’s your start. I hope the culture builds. If you’re ever in town be sure to grap a pop and drop in The Overall Co. That door, with it’s glorious rustic hues and awesome logo should do the trick.

Like the cozy? You can pick you up one right here.

Small Business Love: Interview with Quill and Fox

25 Jul

Around the beginning of this year I ran across the most darling Paper Goods store, Quill and Fox. I immediately fell in love with the whimsy illustrations and vintage inspired color schemes. I think it’s safe to say I’m a big advocate for the art of the handwritten letter. Not only am I inspired by the items themselves, but as a youngster trying to learn all I can about running and succeeding at my own store, I was inspired to find that Quill and Fox is a small business entity as well.

Yas Imamura is the master mind behind Quill and Fox. She and her husband run their business out of their home in Oregon. I’ve decided if I’m going to learn how to grow my own business there’s no better way then to glean all the information I can out of people who have succeeded. I sent a request for her to answer a few questions and she quickly and kindly replied. Here are her responses:

  1. When did you decide to do this full-time or is Quill and Fox an extra venture? After trying out a few internships right off finishing school, I felt the need to design and make things. I got so inspired from doing my own wedding invitations especially, which lead me to building my own shop. My husband and I both work from home, so it was quite easy to do Quill & Fox on the side for awhile. It wasn’t until last Christmas that I’ve made it my full-time job!
  2. How did you get involved with Anthropologie? (Such a huge dream of mine!) Just sheer luck, I feel really silly about it! One of their stationery and gift retailers found me through Etsy. It was literally my first ever wholesale inquiry too—I was flabbergasted and on such a high! I remember a lot jumpin’ around the room too.
  3. As a small business how to do handle the demand of providing items in bulk to stores? Assess your capacity and make it clear to retailers what your turnaround is. I’ve had to learn this the hard way, as I started off really wanting to seem like I can easily front large bulks. I managed to, but we had to put in unnaturally long hours just to do so. Once you have  a good gauge of what sells the most, you’ll be more comfortable pre-producing stock—which I’m slowly doing.
  4. What is the most successful thing you have found to broaden your brand and company? The internet, blogging and social networking (like pinterest) have been an amazing help for me. I’m not the savviest with it, but I’ve received a lot of traction and customer base from it!
  5.   I recently purchased your very cute terrarium postcards. Where do you buy your packaging for cards? Aww, thank you! 🙂 I source out the interent for wholesale packaging shops.

She also does lovely wedding suites. Be sure to check out her site and shop. Thanks again for taking time to answer my questions.