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Going Viral with Vintage

Out shopping with my mum 11 months ago, I happened upon a small vintage boutique in my local area where I oohed and aahed over the beautiful outfits for sale. I walked out with a fabulous black lace dress and the resonating voice of the shop owner telling me she was selling. 

I wasn't new to retail as I had started a small market stall 3 years before selling hair accessories.

    

Based on this vast experience, I thought I knew it all! 

After quite a lot of negotiations, a great deal of stress, and a lot of hope and excitement, I finally procured La Bella Donna, my first major venture.

The learning curve in the procurement stage and first few months was steep and very harsh. I learnt how important it is to LISTEN TO YOUR ADVISORS. My accountant had warned me that the books were not ideal and that the sellers could not prove the shop's income. With stars in my eyes, I only half listened and learnt a very valuable lesson regarding emotional decisions in a business situation. I'm grateful for the lesson.

Now, 9 months on, I absolutely love my shop, love what it represents and love my role in it. I have stamped this little place with my personality and made major improvements. I now have a fully functioning website that I did entirely on my own. I have de-cluttered, re-organised and created a sophisticated and appealing environment. The window displays are my signature (or at least I want them to be!) and my goal is to stop traffic.

          

I have built up my facebook following from 1100 when I took over to 1600 9 months later. I have begun a VIP club to reward my regulars (of which I learnt early on make up the majority of my big spending customers), and I started both a blog and a newsletter (which I admit I'm a bit behind in at the moment!)

However, even with all the changes and improvements, the money situation is dire and it affects everything. I understand I need to build a community and a strong following of regulars, but I'm struggling!

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