Over the next few months we will be highlighting creative places, spaces and people in an effort to take your business to the next level. I'm so honored to have been able to interview our very own Jenn of Local Take about her adorable shop in The Castro. Local Take has been a huge HUGE advocate for everything SFEtsy and it seemed fitting to make this shop our first stop in this series: Creative Places to Inspire Your Next Steps.
Have you been thinking of doing consignment of your items in a local shop? The focus of this interview was about how Jenn and her business partner, Kyra, find local items for their shop & how one might submit their work for consideration.
-Water/ jet cut aluminum Sutro Tower from Studio For Metropolitan Craft
-Deconstructed jackets by Ghetto Goldilocks
-Seatbelt wallets by .retool.
I love that you support so many small companies like Todos Organics of Berkley. Tell me how you discover these small companies!However and where ever we can! Originally, Etsy, Open Studios and street fairs were our most successful ways to find new local designers. These days we keep quite busy with designers finding us and reaching out. We still try to go to all the street fairs and Open Studios to support our current designers!
If a small business wanted to be considered to sell in your shop, what's the process and what steps would they take?
We take all product submissions via email. Send us an email, introduce yourself, explain what you do, include retail price points and pictures. If we think its a good fit, we'll invite you in to meet us and take a look at your product. Please, please, please do not bring unsolicited product into the store for us to look at or try to show us pictures on your phone. We want to set aside time specifically for you so we can focus on what you do. We always recommend that designers stop by the store to make sure its a good fit for them before submitting work. And when you do, by all means say hello!
You have a keen eye for great finds, but you also have a great business mind. If you could give a small business some sound advice, what is the most important lesson you learned when you shifted from a maker to a shop owner?
Nothing will ever be 'perfect'. You just gotta go for it! The best way to learn is from your mistakes. Things change, and so does your perspective. You can only get to the final draft after you've completed the first draft.
When doing research on a small company for your space, how important is an online presence to you? How important is an Etsy shop, Facebook or website?
It's important for us to see examples of the product before we invite a designer for a face to face. There are lots of products that aren't quite right for our space in our neighborhood, so we don't want to waste anyone's time. However, having an online presence isn't as important as being able to show us pictures via email.
You are also a maker - how do you best balance your creative soul with your business?
Balance? Ha! Seriously though, every day we have to make the decision to feed our creative souls or crunch numbers. Luckily for us, we try to bring creativity into every part of our business so everyday is a good balance of both.
SFEtsy, as you know, is centered around the importance of community. How do you participate in your local community & how has that positively influenced your own small business and/or your work as a maker?
In addition to running a business in the Castro, we also try to keep our personal lives as much in the 'hood as possible. We regularly visit other stores just to say hi, we introduce ourselves to new businesses, we get lunch almost every day, we meet friends for dinner/drinks after hours, etc. We also participate in the many different Castro events and fundraisers, and are members of the local merchant's group. Meeting new people in the neighborhood and reaching out to other businesses reminds them that we exist in the neighborhood. Then they come shop with us and recommend us to their other customers.
Thanks again to Jenn and Kyra for hanging out with me for an afternoon
and answering so many questions!
Local Take is located in The Castro at 3979B 17th st, SF 94114
for up to date events and hours, visit their Facebook Page.