From Wholesale to Brick & Mortar with Girls Can Tell creator Sara Villari
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The Nitty Gritty:
- Why wholesaler Sara Villari decided to buck the trend and open a brick and mortar shop
- How to determine what will really sell (Hint: It’s not about a pretty shop)
- Why trust in the right people is crucial for a business to grow
As we learned in this week’s Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast, sometimes your business can be the exception to the rule. In 2006, Sara Villari began selling screen-printed products that featured her doodles through her online shop Girls Can Tell gift co. Her wholesale business grew thanks to the support of small businesses and boutiques that purchased her products. In 2013, Sara decided to buck the online retail trend and opened up her own brick and mortar shop in South Philly, Occasionette, to feature her entire line of products as well as products from hundreds of vendors. At first, it didn’t seem like a big leap, but it has since surpassed her first business in revenue and scope.
Patterns for Success
What became my retail shop Occasionette has eclipsed my first business by leaps and bounds.
– Sara Villari
Inspired by the patterns she recognized from shops who reordered from Girls Can Tell gift co. often and were really good clients, plus finding a fantastic location on East Passyunk Avenue with lots of foot traffic, Sara decided it was time to open a brick and mortar location. She saw that successful shop owners would pick really strong SKUs and they would order very deeply into those SKUs because they had confidence in what would sell. She recognized that the secret to success for Occasionette was understanding what would sell—a combination of knowing what’s a really good product at its core, what fills a need in the marketplace, what people are looking for and what’s on trend right now. If your goal is to make a lot of money, don’t create products that are a vanity project.
Evolution of a Team
Sara has surrounded herself with fantastic people who really have the best interest of her companies at heart—a partner and employees who complement Sara’s strengths and are passionate about things that she isn’t necessarily good at or cares about. Her team also has the autonomy to handle their parts of the business. Building this trustworthy team is the linchpin that allows Sara to juggle two businesses and to expand Occasionette to a second location.
In the full episode, learn more about Sara’s current team and the plans for her businesses, how she manages to nurture her creative side while balancing the demands of being an owner of two businesses, and how she divides her time between the two.
Every week, I get the nitty-gritty details about how small business owners develop products, build their teams and manage their time. Don’t miss a single episode of the podcast named by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the top 24 Exceptional Women-Hosted Podcasts for Entrepreneurs in 2017 and subscribe to Profit. Power. Pursuit. on iTunes.