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Bringing a Fresh Idea to a Small Town

I moved back to my small hometown in Ohio after living in Cleveland as an Art Director for 5 years. I got married, had a child, and fell into working for a small graphic design company (husband and wife) who already had a good thing going. Working with a lot of small town mom and pop shops in the area, I realized what was missing was a certain type of shop that aimed to younger people. In general, something that brought a different option to the area.

Flash forward to last September, and a space came available next door to our office. On a whim, a lady and I signed for rent -- mainly we just didn't want a title agency or something tedious to be filled in a nice historic downtown space. The other lady is an art gallery owner, and I just went with it.

In 6 weeks time, I got a loan, two other ladies involved, and have spearheaded this shop. Totem Supply Co. opened on November 8 to a very large crowd, and did very well through the holidays. My concern is making sure I do this right -- an art student I am, a business person I am not.

So, with saying this, after watching Seth's video, I can say my business model is the following:

Selling unique goods to people that touch on handmade and a story -- value quality over quantity -- focus on independent artists, local artists. Generate income via word of mouth and some social media (facebook/instagram), and approporiate ads -- setting up an ecommerce website for limited items, and setting up workshops and events.

Assets - a rented retail space in our historic downtown, potential website.

Customer base - People who understand the importance of value and shopping local. The downtown here as fallen off due to a lot of big box businesses coming in over a mile away -- while those are nice, people need to remember that shopping there directly affects the closing of small businesses downtown. Customers who also are up on current trends, humor and music. 

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