Episode 21: Kathy Cruz of The Salvaged Boutique
This week's episode is with Kathy Cruz, co-owner and co-mastermind at The Salvaged Boutique in Lakewood, Ohio. Kathy and her sister Karen started their company at home and bootstrapped their business every step of the way. The sisters grew up in Ohio with their mom who stressed the importance of a clean and nicely furnished home even when there was little money for decor. Kathy does a better job telling their origin story, but essentially this single mother taught her girls all they know about up-cycling and refurbishing "another man's trash" into beautiful home furnishing. And it clearly served Karen and Kathy well as their up-cycled furniture and home decor business just keeps growing and growing.
Kathy and I chat about the process of opening her brick and mortar, about playing up to individual strengths in your business partnership and about creating multiple revenue streams for your business. Kathy is clearly a savvy businessperson (just listen to the story of how she found her space!) and I'm so glad to have been able to chat with her for Keeping Shop. Be sure to follow The Salvaged Boutique and to join the Savvy Shopkeeper Facebook group.
We talk about:
- How starting a blog and growing a Facebook and Instagram following provided them enough of a platform to launch their business.
- How their business has become a family affair even beyond the sister's business partnership.
- How Kathy found the perfect space by getting creative on Craigslist.
- Why they always knew their business would be bootstrapped...no loans, no debts!
- How the sisters use their space in ways that serve them and their multiple revenue streams.
- Tips for setting boundaries (while still being nice) when people want to sell you product.
- How she and Karen work together and how they balance each other out in both their business and personal lives.
- Developing systems and processes and why you need to have those in place to create legitimacy and increase customer comfort and trust.
- Why Kathy started ANOTHER side project; Savvy Shopkeeper which is a resource to help other brick and mortar business owners.
- Why you need to find your tribe and how that collaboration leads to passion for your business and community.
On a side note, The show is going to be bi-weekly from now on or at least for the foreseeable future. I'm working a lot more at the store as we're short staffed and there's just a whole bunch of stuuuuuffff going on right. I do want to say however that this show is still a huge priority for me and I want to grow it and nurture it with all the free time I actually do find. Want to help? Connect me with the brick and mortar businesses you want to to hear more about! Thank you all for listening.