Thursday, April 17, 2008

Retail Therapy: The Makery

1. Why did you decide to open a brick & mortar store as opposed to sticking to an online-only model?
There's just something about being able to touch and feel and see things in person. I think its easier to appreciate the craftsmanship and hard work that goes into handmade things when you can do just that.

2. Did you have any retail experience before opening the shop? Do you think it's a must-have?
I worked retail in while in college and shortly after graduating for a bit. I don't know that its necessary, but it's probably a smart move to get a little experience first...

>> continue reading the interview

3. What's the best lesson that you've learned so far in owning your own business that you can pass on to our readers?
I have definitely learned to be more patient (with others AND myself).

4. What's the biggest misconception that people have about owning a shop?
I figure most people think it is easier than it actually is and maybe less involved. Unless I am sleeping or eating, I am pretty much doing something for the shop even if I am not there.

*The Makery's top 5 sellers have been... Long Tailed Cat Nip Rattlers and Bottlecap Pins by EKRA, Mini Owl Pins by Dearest Inez, Acorn and Bird Post Earring Sets by This Tiny Life, and Bejeezus Magazine.

5. How has owning a business changed your life?
My sense of priorities have certainly changed. I would say my stress levels have increased, but I am much happier overall. I moved to a new town to open the shop and I really love it here.

6. The handmade community is such a close knit group, I notice that most people are either mentors to aspiring crafters/designers or have mentors who have been in the business for a while and are eager to share their experiences with budding crafters/artists. Do you have a mentor? And are you a mentor yourself?
I don't know that I have a mentor, but I certainly admire Faythe Levine at Paperboat Boutique in Milwaukee.


1. We know that you also have a clothing line - Dearest Inez. Is your line sold at other shops? What advice can you give to other designers looking to sell their wares to shop owners?

Dearest Inez can be found at The Makery, Dot Fox (Louisville), and Needles & Pens (San Francisco). I haven't had a lot of time to work on my own work for a few months, but I hope to get that going again soon. My advice to designers looking to consign is to make sure you have clear photos to submit and make sure you only send the items or types of items you have discussed with the shop owner.

2. Do most of the other designers you carry come to you or do you actively seek out new designers/crafters? If so, where?

It's actually a nice mix. I contact people randomly when something catches my eye and I have been contacted by folks wanting to be a part of the shop. I browse around online while I am at the shop a lot, so I have found a few designers/crafters that way.

3. What is your process in choosing merchandise and what can artists do to stand out in your mind?

I like to make sure the shop is fairly consistent with pricing and also aesthetic. I have a couple close friends I run things by if I am on the fence about something. To stand out, I think artists should just make sure their designs are original and well made and well photographed/described at time of submission.

The Makery
1617 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40205 map
ph. 502.410.2132
Tuesday - Saturday: 11 am - 7 pm
Sunday: 12 noon - 6 pm