Well that was an adventure!!!!
Does anyone else get lots of random telemarketing calls? Well I do and often don't answer my phone from random numbers that are based in QLD or SA because of it. Turns out though that someone from QLD really wanted to talk to us!! Luckily she called a couple of times and left messages. Sam was keen to chat and find out if Jetona and I could travel to Central QLD to see her and revamp her store.
We offered a video call or online mentoring or phone calls but no, Sam said we had to visit to get the real experience .
Are we glad we did!!! Sam booked our flights and sent us the itinerary. It would take us two planes and a hire car but we eventually made it to Clermont. A lovely little town an hour from Emerald and a long way from inner city Melbourne.
We did not quite know what to expect from a town of just over 3000 residents and were not sure how the store would look or how it even survived with so few customers to service. Sam had set us up with a motel (owned by her bestie) and we were greeted with fresh soap and flowers from the store on arrival. Great start!
The first impressions we had were that the store was huge and how nice it was to work with so much space. Especially compared to the city stores we are used to. The outdoor signage was new and informative but from the outside the store looked closed. It was dark. The first thing to do was lighten it up and put something on the pavement announcing we were open for business.
The next day we clocked up over 18,000 steps (thanks fitbit) inside the store moving, remerchandising, zhooshing and transforming.
Tables were moved, couches carried (thanks the local mitre 10 boys for the heavy lifting), stock reorganised and the visual transformation began. Lots of space made for new and exciting products to be purchased.
We made a plan and set about putting it into action on day 2. A huge list of new suppliers was created and the buying began. A new name was conceived 'Vivians Emporium' from Vivians Florist, Gifts and Homewares.
Gaps were filled and the product mix in store was beginning to come together.
Before we left a quick trip to Sam's family property was in order. A ride on the wheat harvester and to meet the rest of the family. It was amazing to see the real QLD. I seriously did not know how chickpeas were grown 🤦🏼♀️.
We left Sam with a strategy and are now working together on with monthly mentoring to help set the store up and create ongoing revenue streams for the business as well as work on the best store margins, product mix and general assistance.
This is only the beginning. I hope you enjoy hearing the story unfold over the next year!!!