Constructing a enterprise from the bottom up is rarely simple; creating longevity and staying in enterprise might be much more difficult. One instance is native Truro retail retailer, Elegant Steps, which has been operating for 30 years with hopes to go on for not less than 20 extra.
“I’ve at all times been occupied with garments, and rising up my mother was actually into sneakers,” stated proprietor and operator, Karen Baillie. “I used to be by no means an workplace lady, I studied trend in class and initially, I wished to open a lingerie retailer. On the time there have been no shoe shops in Truro and my sister prompt I’m going that method as an alternative, so I simply went for it.
“There was no different freestanding shoe retailer after we opened,” she continued. “I used to be a beginner and by no means bought lots of footwear earlier than. I attended the Shoe Present in Toronto and acquired steering from different retailers who have been extraordinarily useful. It has been and nonetheless is a studying curve, however you be taught by doing.”
Although it was a sluggish climb to get to the place she is now, Baillie took the problem head-on with the assistance of her superb employees. As soon as she branched into the style business in addition to sneakers, it opened an entire new marketplace for enterprise.
“The clothes introduced an entire new path for us,” she stated. “It allowed us to have trend exhibits and fundraise for native charities.”
Making a neighborhood is the important thing component to why Baillie began this enterprise. She wished to create greater than a retailer, she wished to create an expertise for her consumers: the expertise she created was human connection.
“I’ve purchasers who shopped from us then and who nonetheless store from us now – generations of their households,” stated Baillie. “For me, it has at all times been in regards to the buyer; I really like listening to their tales and chatting with them.”
With loyal clients at her aspect, they are saying the primary motive they store there’s due to the expertise created by employees for the shoppers.
“The service offered is simply so skilled,” stated shopper Jean Athanasiou, who was launched to the shop by her cousin. “They’re useful with out being too hands-on and the top quality of the merchandise she carries. It is a mixture of all these issues that’s the explanation I proceed procuring there all these years.”
Angela Chaisson made her first buy with Elegant Steps in 1993, whereas on a visit from Halifax. She says it’s because of the recommendation of employees that she has continued to buy there.
“I don’t have the persistence for looking for garments, going by way of racks, or making an attempt them on,” stated Chaisson. “Via their encouragement, I’d strive it on and I’d adore it. They assist us make decisions for many who could also be fashion-challenged.”
One other loyal buyer, Jane Allen says her favorite a part of watching Baillie’s enterprise develop is how she has given again to their neighborhood.
“Other than having the very best quality in footwear,” stated Allen. “Karen is simply so type and good. Every time she hosted a trend present, any cash she earned she would give to charity as an alternative of placing again into her retailer. In my eyes, Karen has executed every part the precise method, she does it in a method that makes all people completely satisfied.”
Via the help of her employees, clients and the neighborhood, Elegant Steps is now greater than only a shoe retailer. Specializing in excessive trend in addition to skincare, her retailer has change into far more than she imagined.
“It is humorous, I don’t consider myself as proudly owning a enterprise for 30 years,” stated Baillie. “It’s a little overwhelming after I consider how a lot we have now grown, the folks we have now met, and the fabulous purchasers which have walked by way of our doorways.”
With 30 years of enterprise underneath her belt, Baillie doesn’t plan to decelerate any time quickly. Her recommendation for different enterprise homeowners is to at all times give again to the neighborhood.
“I’m very grateful for the neighborhood and their help,” she stated. “With out them, I wouldn’t be right here and, I’m going to proceed on this journey for them, for a few years to come back.”
For extra on Baillie’s journey and the most recent arrivals at her retailer, go to https://www.elegantsteps.com/.