Store Spotlight - Essential Elements

“Store Spotlight” is a mini project we work on here in Roni Rabl where we showcase our stores and their owners, with the goal in mind to learn and share about how to make a fashion store successful.

This week we’re featuring 3 stores, the entrepreneurial Melanie, from Essential Elements, is sharing her experience.

Q. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

A. Any flavor with crunchy stuff in it, like Pralines and Cream!

Q. What’s your birth date?

A. December 22nd

Q. What made you become a store owner?

A. An entrepreneurial spirit was handed down to me from my parents early beginnings of owning a janitorial service, a men’s and women’s clothing store, and a restaurant. After my college portfolio was ruined in a basement flood exhibiting my entire collegiate work as a graphics major, I pulled myself out of a mild depression and responded to my dad finding me a storefront in a great part of Chicago to open a retail business, which initially was an accessory boutique. Bad years, lean years, struggling years eventually led to a thriving business that landed into a larger beautiful space a half-block away from the original location.

Q. What is the most important tip you can give someone who is about to open a store?

A. In today’s time, the most important advice I would say to any aspiring store owner is to not think that having a personal sense of style is all it takes to run a successful store. You MUST be social media savvy, you have to budget ( I didn’t for many years), you must be a people person, know your target customer and know how you will get her into your store. GREAT customer service is the only way to compete with online as well as brick and mortar businesses. Lastly, be prepared to sacrifice but not loose yourself in the process. Oh, and network with people in similar businesses.

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