I have a soft spot for independent retailers. Not only do I find the entrepreneurs behind them incredibly inspiring, I love hearing stories of what brought them to open their own retail store, what keeps them going, and their ultimate vision for the store and business. A big reason I chose my current job is to be able to partner and work with independent retailers.
One of my more recent customer introductions is to a store called Queen of Hearts in Providence, RI. Naturally, I was intrigued by the name and getting to know the buyer and proprietress behind it, Karen Beebe. In just a short time with Karen, I was struck by her business savvy plus taste minus ego. Not every retailer or buyer I know possesses a good eye combined with business know how. And in the fashion business at large, those who are remotely successful can become snobby. There are many buyers who don’t quite have their stores profitable or running smoothly or looking good but still find space to be condescending and rude. Karen is a breath of fresh air among some of her peers, choosing not just for herself but for her customers and understanding what those on the wholesale side need from her.
I met Karen right before she opened her next venture, Queen of Hearts’ sister store, Modern Love. Modern Love is her venture into a store solely for shoes and just celebrated its official open this October. In the midst of economic recession and many stores shrinking, it’s heartening to find Karen expanding in another avenue. (Karen is also a designer with her own clothing line, Lucille.) These days it’s more common to see business shrinking than thriving and even the most savvy businesspeople have had to cut back or even close their doors completely. Getting to witness Modern Love’s beginnings has reminded me that even through tough times we can expand, we can be creative, we can see our visions come to life, and we can have fun. It’s not only a lesson for owners, businesspeople, and artists, but for all of us who get down with the economic climate and adjustments being made. Keep on, stay true to you, have heart, and share some love. Success is still at hand for us all.
Image Layout: phaymiss
- Beyond the Runway: Karen Beebe and Lucille Clothing
- M.I.S.S. BCAM: OPI Pink of Hearts 2
- More Celebrity Products
- Ears To The Street: Tea Parties & Rabbit Holes.Taking Cues From Alice
- M.I.S.S. Techcessories – Marimekko’s iPhone 4/4S Cases