Saturday, November 28, 2015

My New Life As a Shopkeeper & Why You Should #shopsmall

Our Smile More organic tees are created in Sonoma, California with a design by my son Luke Lori.  The Smile Collection benefits Operation Smile.  Our community has been incredibly supportive and this has been one of our most popular items at our new store.

Over the past 12 months I have been working hard to develop my new store The Perfect Provenance. It has been challenging, exciting and slightly terrifying. When you embark upon a new business venture you never know if it will work or if people will respond positively.  About 10 days ago, we launched our concept with a pop up store in Greenwich, CT. Thus far, we have had a lot of great feedback and a steady amount of sales and support.  Despite all of the positive feedback, it is daunting to try and start a new retail business today.  I am lucky to be able to do this because I am launching this business later in life and because of years of working with many people in creative businesses.

Amour Vert is an eco friendly company based in San Francisco
 that I am excited about having part of our store.
However, if I was younger and wanted to open this business, I just don't think it would be possible.  The amount of resources you need, and the amount of resources available just don't match up.  It is incredibly hard for a small retailer to compete with large retailers, especially in the luxury business, for real estate, designers and merchandise.  Many companies today have become so focused on volume that they are killing creativity because creativity is no match for volume.  

Today is Small Business Saturday, created by American Express to support locally owned businesses, it is a time that non chain store retailers and restaurants are brought into the spotlight. One of the best things about owning a local small business is the interaction with your community, and feeling like you are contributing to the life around you. Certainly big companies employ many people, and give back vitally to many communities, but small business is as local as local gets. and they uniquely give a community energy, personality and culture.  Small business is vested in the overall life, and vitality of a town, and it's people.  When small businesses fail, and market conditions inhibit their ability for them to thrive, towns, especially American towns, become strip malls. Even affluent areas can become strip malls with mass luxury taking over many US main streets.

While 'sameness' may give some people comfort, 'sameness' is also boring, safe and uninspiring.  Small businesses support their communities, but they also provide creative support to other small businesses.  They inspire and support diversity.  Small business also  has a shorter supply chain, and you can know where, how and when your products were made  Large retailers are so far away from their supply chain, they often have no idea where or how their products come from.

Joy of Light is a Connecticut based small business that makes designer matches.  A perfect
complement to candles and for gifts

I am thrilled to bring the creativity of so many small brands or new designers to my community from around the US and indeed, the world.  #shopsmall today and everyday you can, you will be glad you did.  You can visit us in Greenwich at 205 Railroad Avenue until December 1 or online at www.theperfectprovenance.  Have a perfect day.
The Caliber Collection is a line of fine jewelry created from reclaimed guns from gun buy back programs in Detroit, San Francisco, Hartford & Newark.  The guns are melted down and created into beautiful bracelets.  The founder is from Greenwich and the sale of the pieces benefit amenisity programs in those cities.


  1. Firstly, thank you, you've given me some great gift ideas. I appreciate the creativity of small businesses. The hard work needed to get something new to market off the ground is intense. But in our modern, internet-connected world, finding unique ideas to suit our needs as consumers is much easier. It provides small businesses with a worldwide reach. Great post.

    Nicholas Taylor @ Vancouver Business Brokers

    1. Thank you Nicholas for your feedback! Have a great weekend. Lisa


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