Small Biz Saturday: A Small Retailer and the Art of Dumpster Diving

by Sheridan Mordue //

I cannot believe the Holidays are here! Retailers like me live for this season, as it takes our bank accounts from red to black and our work from stressful to satisfying.

If you know me and my biz, you also know that I am highly organized. I’ve got marketing plans ready in advance, budgets and reports double-reviewed, and meetings scheduled with personnel about readying the shop for high gear.  I have, too, an impassioned war cry about H&H’s small biz values that I share to motivate shoppers to spend their dollars with us.

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But this year, I’m simply not ready. In fact, I find myself weak at heart and my mind vacant. With this post, you might say that I’m exposing both myself and our little shops. But it’s go-time, and I feel like I’m hanging on by my very fingernails. So I’ve decided to just put this out there, to tell you about the REAL us right now.

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Running a small biz is relentless work. With tight budgets and small staff, we try to compete through constant reinvention, revamping and re-upping. Not being on your game is simply not an option. However, the hiccups hit this year and I’ve been forced into a “boots on the ground” mentality. More specifically, as of late we’ve had some last-minute staff turnover — which has put a major crunch in our flow. Some years are better than others; sometimes you feel unstoppable and sometimes, like this year, you’re just trying to hold on.  I think that everyone experiences this.

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Most times, the H&H shops run like a well-oiled machine. Other times, like lately, there seems to be a high occurrence of disarray and confusion.  So much so that I’ve found myself doing a little dumpster diving for packing slips, documents, and even merchandise! In fact, you may have seen me this week with my head deep into our dumpster, wielding a pair of tongs and reaching for a tiny 2-inch metal spoon that pairs with a salt cellar we just received.  (Now in stock!)

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Perhaps I’ve surprised you.  Perhaps it’s shocking that, this season, I’m not spending my days CREATING something amazing or DECISIONING incredible new products, or even SCHEMING a new marketing plan. Nope. Today, this is who I am: sweeping floors, training sales associates and literally jumping into the garbage.

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Regardless, here is this year's seasonal Small Business cry:

Despite the shops being a little messy or our staff being relatively new, and me with dust cloud around my head + feet in the dumpster, my deepest wish is that you’ll spend your dollars HERE! Because at Hip & Humble, you know the person other end of your dollar bill.  Most of the time, she’s a person who is making things happen; but for right now, right this second, she’s just holding on for the next few weeks — by her broken and chipped nails — and being okay with a few more dumpster dives before the season is out!

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Finally, from all of us at H&H, we hope to see you soon! And to those that shop with us ALL. THE. TIME, please know that your support of our shop, our neighborhood and our staff are always, always a gift.

xoxoxo,
Sheridan

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