- Posted December 15, 2010 by
Pine Plains, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your tips for Small Business Success
Hammertown -- Love Where You Live
I was a school teacher who moved to a very rural area in the Hudson Valley with my family just over 25 years ago.
To make ends meet, we ran a B&B in our home and I also decided to start a shop selling antiques and country home décor items in the horse barn on our property. It was multi-tasking on all fronts.
Now after 25 years I've grown to three stores plus a popular website and blog. My advice to other small retail businesses is:
First, create an inviting, authentic and inspiring environment so people will want to return again and again.
For Hammertown this means having welcoming stores but also hosting activities so people can gather for a cooking demonstration, a talk with a skilled butcher or chef or to meet an author or interior design specialist.
Second, build a website with store information but as I learned with Hammertown.com, commit to making the site connected to who you are and what you love. And just as we strive to keep our store experience fresh, we work to keep the website fresh too.
We update Hammertown.com with information on recipes, local activities, new products and sales -- and news from other local businesses too. And people know that I only talk about things I genuinely love.
My business is driven by my heart and soul. I have to love what I do, and it is that love of home, family and friends that I bring to my shops and our web content. I think people sense that and appreciate that.
HYPERLINK "http://www.hammertown.com" www.hammertown.com