Episode 23: Melissa Gallagher of Coco + Mischa
Today I'm speaking with Melissa Gallagher owner of Coco + Mischa in Decatur, Georgia. This gorgeous shop sits in one of Decatur's more up and coming areas and is filled with mostly handcrafted items from makers and designers that Melissa has purposefully sourced and picked up. The concept started as a holiday pop-up space and rather quickly grew into something more permanent. Melissa and I chat all about her start up process and the disappointments and victories along the way. We nerd out on why you should write a business plan and how this tedious process can gauge just how much you want your business. Melissa also gets really honest about her first year in business and why being realistic about financials can be such a harsh reality.
Like me, Melissa is a big proponent of joining forces as brick and mortar business owners. She started a secret Facebook group for shop owners that offers a private space for people to ask questions they might not feel like asking in a more public forum. Tech stuff, financial stuff, competition stuff and lots more. If you'd like to be considered for the group just email Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll be seeing me in there too!
Even in her first year year of business Melissa is someone that just gets the retail game. She's driven and passionate like we all are, but she has a realistic business sense too which is something that if I really admire in a brick and mortar boss. Hear all this for yourself...Enjoy the show!
We talk about:
- How writing her business plan led to her to every one of her "next steps" in terms of stating her business.
- Why the experience we provide our clients is our only defense against the internet.
- Getting creative with the space you choose for your brick and mortar.
- Being realistic (even when it sucks) about financials as a new business owner.
- How unexpected construction on her street has cost her big money, but has also increased her desire to stick it out.
- Looking at your business plan as a reminder of your guiding principals when you're making decisions for your business along the way.
- Why building flexibility and days away from your business makes all the difference in being a successful owner.
- Why days off allow for more creativity around your business instead of trying to piece it together at work amidst the day-to-day distractions.
- Addressing the ebbs and flows of our motivation as business owners...WE make the choice to make it work.
- Why we need communities and resources that are actually directed at brick and mortar business.
- Accepting your path even when people recommend you do it another way.
- Why you shouldn't trust any one piece of advice.
- Being open to sharing the information you have with your fellow business owners and not being afraid to reach out when you're struggling.
- Why it's not enough to just browse our locals...we need actually buy something!
Thanks so much for listening and supporting me with this project. I hope you're finding value in Keeping Shop. Remember to spend your money at the local shops and businesses you love. As I mentioned at the end of the episode, your financial support not only puts food on our tables but it also creates the kind of communities I think we all want to be a part of. As Melissa says, no one wants an Amazon fulfillment center in their once boutique laden downtown. If you liked this episode, share Keeping Shop with a friend and/or rate and review it on Apple Podcasts (aka iTunes). Thank you!