I promise to start posting again to catch you up with all that has been happening.
In short, the Vivid Hue Home boutique gift shop opened it's doors in a soft launch to the public on April 30th, 2015. It's located in the historical area of Farmington Connecticut (775 Farmington Ave- Rt 4).
Initially, I had planned to open the doors with a huge Grand Opening Party. But as the date and time got closer, I grew more and more nervous about this endeavor! I had been fairly buttoned up with ordering inventory for the shop and storing it in my basement. But I had put off some of the more significant business-related tasks (such as what would I use for my point of sale system).
I last left ya'll with the renovations inside the shop. I promise to revisit more of that journey in a future post. Here's a reminder of the transformation:
I decided to take some pressure off of myself by planning a "soft opening" where I would just open the doors to the public at the end of April with only word-of-mouth advertising. I handed out postcards to friends and Connecticut locals, but other than that, there was no big fan fare. This would allow me (and my team of two) to work out the kinks in the process. We could practice the checkout process, work on better staging the products, and get an idea for what customers were interested in.
I'd be lying if I told you this was a stress-free soft launch. I woke up on the morning of April 30th with my stomach in my throat. What if people absolutely hated the shop? What if Connecticut wasn't ready for my splash of colorful gifts?
The soft-opening weekend was exhilarating, overwhelming, tiring, rewarding, exhausting, thrilling and every other similar synonym. People did come to visit. And they visited in droves. Personal friends showed up. People that have followed Vivid Hue Home through social media came to check it out. Some saw the porch display and stopped to check out what we were up to.
|Opening Day Flowers for Soft Launch|
Much of the initial inventory flew off the shelves during the first weekend and I would go home at the end of the night to place additional orders for back-up inventory. I stayed up til 1-2am most nights trying to catch up on the paperwork and ordering. (Now to be fair, customers seemed to like the products I was offering, but also, I started out with smaller inventory quantities because I wasn't sure what would sell or not).
Vivid Hue Home was featured in a few local spotlights, here and here.
|Vivid Hue Home Window Boxes Starting to Bloom|
We have been opened for about 2.5 weeks now and already I have learned some tricks. For starters, I have doubled/tripled the size of my orders from vendors so that I don't have to place new orders as frequently. It's cumbersome to issue PO's, enter skus into inventory, receive inventory, pay invoices. So it makes since to do it once for larger quantities versus 2-3 times for smaller order amounts.
Also, I find myself continually tweaking the look of the shop. When we opened, the shelves appeared like this:
I was never thrilled with how each shelf displayed so much inventory. The shelves were cluttered and too much for the eyes to digest. Recently, I modified the items so there are mostly clusters of pillows and throws. It's a bit more visually pleasing and I imagine that I will continue to tweak.
The gurgles now have their own dedicated spot within the shop.
Custom pillows in these fabulous textiles have been the talk of the town.
And, of course, the vintage palm beach chairs are a popular resting spot among visitors.
Thanks for continuing to follow along! If you're a new follower, thank you! And you can always check out what's happening in real time on Instagram here.