How One Small Business Made Money in Its First Year
After struggling in November due to Hurricane Sandy, December was another good month. Preliminary sales rose between 10% and 20% over the prior December, Norman says.
"People like what they see and the reputation is changing. We really had a spectacular December," despite having an abundance of card inventory left over, she says.
"I prefer that, because it irked me when we didn't have enough" cards for last-minute customers, she adds.
This year they ordered a larger amount of card inventory, of which the leftovers they plan to keep for next year, while boxed cards will be on sale at significantly reduced prices.
Norman and Rothberg have been able to carve out a niche within the greeting-card industry. They have become known for their unique giftware and other non-card merchandise.
The pair is planning to keep that reputation. They have decided to attend The Atlanta Gift and Home Furnishings Market in January for the first time in hopes to meet new vendors and gain ideas on new merchandise.
Surfing the web for merchandise or finding unique merchandise locally is sometimes not enough. There's nothing more satisfying than when somebody comes back and wants to buy a second picture frame, either for their own enjoyment or as a gift, Norman says.
"That means what we're doing is working," she says.
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Attending a trade show is a big deal for the two between travel expenses as well as finding staff to fill in at the store while they are away, Norman says.