Taking Care of the Three M’s
A long time ago, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing business consultant who had once been a very successful retailer in Chicago. Considering his experience, I asked him if he could share with me the secret of his success. I figured that if he could sum it up for me and help me avoid mistakes, it could be a real gain for my own business! He told me something that I never forgot: He said that in the retail business you always have to take care of the three “M”s.
Management: Be careful and savvy about how you spend your money and manage your operations. My brother, Alfonso, is the man behind this at Goler.
Marketing: Be smart about getting the right product and more importantly, let people know you have that product! (Paula and I do the buying, trying to remember to buy what YOU want, not what WE want! . Being a buyer takes a lot of talent. It’s as difficult as going to Vegas and gambling. Every season you have to put all your chips on one number. You can get in deep trouble if you make the wrong decisions. And of course I do the displays, this is my creative outlet… and it’s what I hope draws people into the store).
MAGIC!: The Magic is the intangible part: the passion, the enthusiasm, the dedication, the creativity, the drive, the commitment. (All of this I believe we manage to do as a family along with our dedicated sales staff).
Part of this “Magic,” like I said, is being creative. So sometimes we change up the buying by going to Mexico to see what we can find. Usually I will go with my brother, Alfonso, since we make the trip a two-fold one: 1) to see our mother, brother, sisters and all the family, 2) To put our “chips on a number.” A few months ago Alfonso and I took our did just that and purchased beautiful western boots by Jaca and Cavorca, both lines that you won’t find elsewhere!
Jumping around a bit here…
So, there are two things that you should know about me. 1) I love going to junk yards. I love the beat up metal, aged, rusting, textures and colors that are surprisingly beautiful and I frankly see as art! I have been known to pull over for a piece of rejected metal or wood and put it on my wall in my home or the store 2) I love going to shoe factories. I find them fascinating. This probably comes from the fact that my grandfather owned a shoe factory in Guadalajara where I spent time as a little girl. I love the massive machinery, the smell of the leather and glue, the ever consistent movement of people and machines working to produce an item.
While we were in Leon buying these western boots, we visited a couple of these big shoe factories. They each gave us a tour and seriously, it was as though I were a kid in a candy store! I just love the transformation of a flat piece of leather and how it goes through all the different steps to end up as a wearable shoe! For each step there is a person who specializes in that particular step! As much as shoes are made mechanically there are a lot of people involved. So it’s really also that human aspect of a shoe factory that excites me.
So now those western boots have arrived and I have to ask you to come see them and tell me what you think. They’re a blend of rustic, chic, earthy, and bold; All elements that we can relate to in Santa Fe. In Santa Fe we can wear western boots with jeans, dresses, or even to a black tie event!
(Alfonso and I also brought some hipster men’s shoes and then we have our very own signature sandal. Lots to see! )
Tell me how you like to wear your western boots… Or better yet, tell me what YOUR secret to success is!
See more of Guadalupe's Musing at Goler Fine Imported Shoes website.