The Country Porch- Geneva, NY

by admins on January 15, 2009

Name of Shop:   The Country Porch 

 

Owner/Proprietor:  Ricci Shuttleworth

 

Town/State: Geneva, NY 14456

 

Phone: 315.789.8562

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Q&W:

How did you get started in retail/having your own shop?

 

Ricci:

Owning my own shop was a dream of mine which my husband and I made happen!  (We have been open) 3 1/2 years.

 

Q&W:

What type of experience are your customers looking for when they come to your shop?

 

Ricci:

My customers are looking for that unique hand crafted treasures.  It is very important to establish a friendly relationship with my customers to keep them coming back knowing that I am here to fulfill needs/wishes they might have.  Also, I have made many close  friendships  with my customers whom are now good friends who share the same “love” and passion.

 

Q&W:

What advantages do you believe a small country shop has over large shops?


Ricci:

The advantages a small country shop has, I feel over a larger shop is the personal relationships with each person that walks through the door.  When that customer comes thru the door, I greet them with a smile and name, chit chat a while, and offer suggestions.  I just try to be personable.  I would say 90% of out treasures are handcrafted

 

Q&W:

Do you have a guiding philosophy? 


Ricci:

Be true to yourself, family and friends, and the great saying, live well, laugh often and love much!!!!

 

Q&W:

Do you have any advice for shop owners & artisans on weathering a poor economy? 

 

Ricci:

If you can, weather the storm, there is always a ray of sunshine at the other end.  Offer incentive coupons for percentages off.

 

Q&W:

Do you advertise? 


Ricci:

Yes I do local newspapers, radio and mailers.  The most effective & inexpensive ways are Word of mouth and mailers.

 

Q&W:

We have heard time & time again, that during this tender economy, handcrafted goods are still selling strong.  

 

Ricci:

Very much so.  They (customers) like knowing that great time and quality are put into each piece and knowing that they are not going to see their individual piece at a larger chain store…..

 

Q&W:

What makes it unique?


Ricci:

Our shop is in a rural setting, but on a main road.  We have a blend of primitives, antiques and country decor.  (Our decorating style is) Country/primitive.  (Staging) inspires customers with great ideas and enhances sales.

 

Q&W:

Is it important to love what you do/buy?

 

Ricci:

Oh yes, customers can see that and feel it when they come into the shop.

 

Q&W:

What makes an artist stand out in your mind? 


Ricci:

The uniqueness, the finish, the stitchery and the time and effort that each artist puts into each piece.  It just amazes me.

 

 

Q&W:

What American handcraft sells well in your shop?


Ricci:

There are many but I think I would have to say, wooden pieces, textiles, and lighting.

 

Q&W:

Do you have any advice for making creative displays in a shop?    


Ricci:

Blend your old and new pieces together.  I like to think for a while in  creating the perfect setting.  I try to picture what each setting might have looked like a long time ago.  I love staging my windows to draw the customer in.  I just have so much fun!

 

Q&W:

How do you find talented American artists/vendors? 


Ricci:

Word of mouth, magazines, internet and shows.

 

Q&W:

Can you recommend any good shows, literature, magazines and books for creative inspiration? 


Ricci:

I personally love going to the Valley Forge Shows, reading and looking at books from Judy Condon, Early American life and Early Homes magazines.  There are many references I use, but those are a few of my favorites that inspire me.

 

Q&W:

What do you think American artisans/venders can do to make themselves more marketable/sellable?

 

Ricci:

If possible, try to stop into some of the shops that carry their products so that the customers can see the faces that actually are working on their piece of furniture or lighting for example and sign the pieces of art work.

 

 

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