Updated: Mar 31, 2018
You may or may not heard but Margaret Junkhan has retired after 38 years in the kitchenware business! This announcement was featured on the Main Street Cultural District website as well as the Ames Tribune in early March.
WHO IS THIS NEW GAL?:
Hi, I'm Mindy and I'm very excited to be apart of the Ames community and carry on Marg's legacy with this store downtown. This decision has been in discussions since August 2017 but you might have started to see me around the start in November. Small Business Saturday was actually my first official day working in the store as an employee. Marg and Vicky provided a nice transition over a few months until the end of the store's fiscal year. Starting 2/27, I was all hands on deck as the new owner.
I have a unique background in that I have never owned a retail store but I started out in retail since I was 15 years old. I then went to college for advertising and web design. After 12 years of being in project management at a handful of Minneapolis advertising agencies, I decided to switch up everything I had known to try out this opportunity. Project management fits really well here and my skill set can be applied easily in this industry. I love to multi-task, organize displays, manage reps/vendors and manage budgets. Ha, so very fitting for what I have now been doing for the last month. I definitely have my feet wet and ready to roll.
Within the last month, I have worked with Rippke Design on creating a new look for our branding. They have been fantastic to work with. I love the new Open/Closed Sign in the store window to help our customers know if we are open. We also added store hours to avoid any confusion.
The small changes we have made in the store has had a big impact. We have cleared off a lot of our counter space by the cash register and switched around where things are placed in the store. I would have to say the largest change has been with the POS system and I have received positive feedback from customers. Everyone has loved the ease of use and how quick the machine is. We switched to Square for Retail and couldn't be happier. We had some setbacks with scanning items easily when checking out but it is getting better and better.
WHAT'S TO COME:
I'm not sure I have enough time to write what's to come! There will be a lot!
I'm still carrying the same products previously carried but also introducing new items and brands to the store.
If you read the article in the paper, there will be a remodel next year.
Continued efforts with food demos on saturday.
Our newsletter will change and I'm partnering with food bloggers to write our recipes. But the biggest takeaway will be continued great customer service, quality products and unique finds.
Also within the store, you likely have noticed the same staff. It was very important to me that everyone felt comfortable with the transition from Marg to Me as well as no one losing their jobs. In fact, we likely will hire in the coming months. A big thank you to Elaine, Autumn, Jane and Rachel for putting up with the transition and with me.
Another big thank you for my in-laws since I'm living in their basement and for all their help with the store. I really appreciate it!
(Now you really know that I'm a project manager if I write next steps.)
- Daily social posts
- Weekly recipes from food bloggers
- New branding on store materials and signage
- Twice a month newsletter