Get To Know Woodstocks' Newest Store Woody's MercantileNov 16, 2020 11:59AM ● By Kaitlyn Malone
We got in touch with Suzi who was kind enough to tell us a bit about her store, Woody’s Mercantile, and answer a few of our questions which we are happy to share with you below.Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Q: What inspired you to start Woody's Mercantile and what was the final decision like to take the plunge in starting your own business?A: I’ve been a sales rep in the outdoor industry for 25 years and have always wanted to own my own store. When I was a little girl I used to go to my grandmother’s house and take her stuff from around her house then set up a little shop and she’d have to buy it back. It has always been a dream of mine even though everyone would say, “why on earth would you want to own a retail store?”
My job has allowed me to be in beautiful shops and see different ways to sell goods. When we would attend sales meetings, we would always carve out time to explore new stores - California has some really great shops, especially coastal boutiques and surf shops.
I would return from those trips and want to help my retailers by teaching them new ways to display and merchandise. With the changing of the times, retailers can no longer just sell a bunch of expensive jackets on a rounder and expect them to disappear. You have to create an environment and an experience for them so customers want to buy from you and not on-line.
At our trade shows, I would go to great lengths to set up our booths and show retailers how to display and give them ideas of props and things to make their store more interesting and more shop-able. It was one of the highlights of my job and I knew that eventually, I would have my own store.
After traveling for 25 years, it was time to try something different. My kids are at the age that I could invest my time in a new business. My family has been very involved from the start - our girls have learned a lot about opening a business, how to work a POS system and working with customers. My husband, well, retail is not his comfort zone but he has been an integral part in the store behind the scenes - he hauls furniture, recycles cardboard cleans the bathrooms, assembles products, and sets up the technology. Our dogs are product testers. I couldn’t do any of this without my family, friends and store manager, Deb Butler. Yes, I’m tethered a bit after having a flexible schedule for so long but it is so nice to be home at night and not in some hotel room. It also feels so good to be a part of a community.
My favorite product(s) in the store right now is the holiday decorations and ornaments. We need happy and we want to decorate our homes more than ever so I am carrying a lot of decorations and fun ornaments such as Dr. Faucci, baked potato, doodles, and ranch dressing.
Q: How has it been to design the inside of your store to set off your products? And what is it like now?
The store was then filled with antique, industrial furniture to use as displays. I’m always moving things around so it feels different whenever customers come back to visit.
Q: What is unique about your business?
Our shop curates a lot of lifestyle products that you don’t normally see in big box stores. What is also unique is that it is difficult to find small, brick, and mortar retailers. I think we’ll survive because we are in a tourist town and shopping is a part of the experience when visiting Woodstock.
Q: What is your mission and goal for Woody's Mercantile?A: My mission is to have fun fulfilling this dream and to create a store that people will enjoy and want to visit often. The goal for Woody’s? I’d like to say there will be a few Woody’s stores someday but for now, I’m happy with what I’ve got.