What was the best moment for Sugar Bit in 2016?
We celebrated two year of growth and success in April and the entire year was a whirlwind of fun... from pop-up shops to a larger booth at Christmas Village to introducing new collections throughout the year, goals were not only met, but surpassed and it was a successful and fulfilling 2016 all around.
What brand were you most excited to debut in 2016?
Hands down, we are over the moon excited and honored to now be a retailer of Persnickety. They deal mostly with brick and mortar stores, but I had the opportunity to meet with the owner in Dallas at market thanks to one of my favorite showroom reps and it was a game-changing meet and greet. After a few conversations and discussions, Craig was excited to offer their line of USA-made garments and accessories to our customers and it's been a great new line for us, in part because of their amazing base of loyal fan base who actively seek out their new collections each season.
What age range saw the biggest growth last year?
In 2016, we were over the moon happy to officially launch our Tween Collection! We had numerous customers tell us they were trying to find cute, age appropriate, and budget friendly tween options and we were up for the challenge. The tween demographic, mostly ages 8 through 14, has been a HUGE positive in our shoppe and we are expanding those offerings this next season with new brands [including exclusive swimwear] as well!
What was your most challenging aspect to deal with in 2016?
As a mom to girls, it can sometimes be hard for me as a buyer to know what boy moms want when it comes to apparel/accessories and various options, sizing, etc. I always try to bring at least one of my friends with me to market, and most have boys, which has been tremendously helpful for this girl mama... we have some great new options coming for boys that are budget-conscious, special and unique, and apparel that they'll actually want to been seen in.
What's coming to Sugar Bit for spring and summer 2017?
There are SO many things I am just dying to tell you, but I can't spill all the beans at once, so here are a few little secrets...
+ New brands... for babies, boys, girls, and tween. We just announced Baby Bling Bows are set to arrive soon. In addition, we recently launched collections from Mint, Because of Zoe, and Stella Cove.
+ More pop-up shops and traveling trunk shows! We already have a date for a Knoxville (TN) event so details on that will be coming your way ASAP... looking to have an event in your city?? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can make it happen!
+ So much swimwear... we go a bit overboard when it comes to bathing suits and we promise you this season is going to be the biggest AND best you've ever seen!!
+Our new weekly newsletter, The Sugar Bit Social, debuted last week and it's a new way for us to share the latest and greatest with all our friends and fans... plus, it'll be a way we introduce new items, special promotions, and upcoming events! Be sure you're all signed up to receive our weekly newsletter by visiting our website and signing up at the bottom of the homepage.
What is the most important lesson you have learned as a small business owner?
I feel like I am constantly learning from those around me, but I'd say the most important thing that I've realized is that that I can't do everything. I try to tackle way too much and usually end up biting off more than I can chew, and then I get stressed out... which doesn't make for a good scenario. Let's just say in 2017 I hope to have a better work/life balance, while still growing this baby business I love so much.
For those wanting to open their own retail business, what is a valuable piece of advice you can offer to them?
If I had a nickel for every email I get asking for help when it comes to starting your own business, I'd be rich! As a huge advocate for shopping small/local, I am happy to help others pursue their dreams and find what they love doing. With that being said, my best advice is to do TONS of research... as in I still do research and we've been open for almost three years. I am constantly seeking out new brands, try to stay in the know of what's coming down the pipeline in terms of trends, am always checking out my competition to see what they're up to, read industry-specific books to continue to evolve Sugar Bit, and routinely conduct customer surveys so we can be best prepare for the future of our children's shop.