A Store is Being Born

A Store is Being Born

OUR STORE IS PREPARING TO BE BORN We are excited…target time line mid-May. Now we are in the pregnancy  stage.  OHMYGOD there are plates spinning (our heads) in many directions. Every day is full of new learnings to the point our head hurts.

So much to do and so little time.  So many decisions to make. So many people to meet.  So many foods to taste. Yumm

It takes a village of networks/ relationships. We are calling all our contacts, friends, family and new acquaintances to help us. Here is where we are so far:

FIRST STEP Our landlord, Marcello, had a shared vision of supporting a small start up new business.  He did not settle with the guys who would pay him big bucks. He is being fair with us and we are thrilled.

SECOND STEP Choose the colors…the fun stuff.  Olive Connection is the name.

Tanja, graphics designer, is helping us with branding and logo.  Leland, our contractor, came to my rescue to determine costs.  Sandra Fairbank, the architect, has been fabulous, has a great eye,  and  many contacts to help direct decisions.  Eileen Lonergan, web designer and communication specialist is formatting the website and will be our teacher.  Lisa, from YAWP  will assist with marketing and  content.  April, (C&B) helped me with the vision when I went to NYC last week.  Janet (C&B) is the merchandiser and spent a couple of afternoons with me vetting out the look.  Marcello (different than landlord) is on board to paint graphics.  Longleaf Lumber will supply the reclaimed wood.  Studio FKIA will build fixtures.

Olive Oil shop | Brookline MA


I cannot imagine doing this by myself.  Thankfully this is a family business. Husband Morry, is in charge of the guys at Town Hall and making friends to move our business application along.  We are on the Selectman Agenda for April.  Next step meet with Danielle, the Health Inspector.  Morry is interviewing accountants as we know we have to be joined at the hip with this person. All contacts were recommended by Jake our attorney.

Morry and I met with Aaron and Michael from Crestwood Advisors, our boutique investment firm.  Love those guys… they manage our money and had to be on board, as half the $ will be self funded.  Michael was so jazzed about our venture that on his vacation to Croatia he bought us olive oil.  We met  with Rockland Trust  to take out a business loan.  Mark and team were very helpful. We presented the business plan which we had to tweak adding my credentials of inventory management, gross margin, and open to buy!

Christa, (C&B) and I did the 5 year P&L to submit to the bank.  The quoted rate=prime+2%.  Then last weekend  we visited friends in Maine, who had their own store, and suggested we take out a home equity line of credit.  So we went to Debra, our buddy at Brookline Credit Union and she quoted prime…sweet…!

I shared my ideas with friends Martha, Sally, Pam, Sue, and others to get the most creative ideas from their brain trust.  I will continue to include others.

Morry went to the Housewares Show in Chgo last week mentored by friend Bonnie. We attended the New England Food Show in Boston last week too.

Son CJ and Morry and I have been calling vendors, ordering samples, and our house is filled with bottles of olive oil and vinegars, honey, and gifts. Now we have to taste it all and decide. How fun!  These artisans are proud of their products and all foodies. Don’t we all love to eat!!!

I am learning about cash registers…ShopKeep…paired with Swipley for instantly tracking sales and customer data.  The technology is changing fast, so want to be the most up to date.  That is fun for me too…CJ in charge of data entry and with ShopKeep we may not need Quick Books.

I bought a couple of things from my favorite store in Ct, Terrain last week for the store. Its a merchandising masterpiece. (An Anthropology brand)  I shop my basement for  items I already own and review pictures that inspired me from shopping in Europe.

STAY TUNED…So why am I doing this you might ask?  The creative process is the stimulation and working together with my family,  friends who  inspire, and vendors who are proud artisans is fun.  AND FUN GETS IT DONE!