Today’s featured business is Gifted, based out of Boston, MA. I happened to find them on Twitter, so you can add this to your list of reasons to use Twitter.
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So, let’s get right to my interview with co-owner Marie Corcoran…
Company name: Gifted
Company location: 53 Dartmouth Street Boston, MA 02116
Gifted is owned and operated by two local artists; Marie Corcoran a potter and jeweler, and Luke Adams a glassblower and jeweler. We carry handmade crafts by local and U.S. artists as well as items that support different causes locally and world wide.
Years in business: 6 months
Number of Employees: 2
What was the inspiration for starting this business? Did you start it to solve a problem? Was it something you had always wanted to do? What made you finally pull the trigger to bring the company from a dream to a reality?
Luke is an established business owner of Luke Adam’s Glass and has done wholesale and retail throughout the years and Marie has owned Endless Art by Marie for three years dealing with solely wholesale. I personally wanted a local store where we could sell our product and also carry the works of talented artists we’ve met along the way, this also allowed me to cut back on the traveling and shows required for wholesale.
Luke and I always had an interest in starting a retail store and were lucky enough to reach that dream early on. We had briefly started to search for a store location and toss the idea around when a friend of ours needed to give up her store front because she was starting a family.
How did you come up with the company name?
After brainstorming for weeks on a store name, Luke came up with “Gifted” last minute and I think it’s perfect. It represents the talent that the store has to carry and the idea that we are a gift store.
What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced so far? How have you overcome this obstacle, or is it something that you still struggle with?
Figuring out hours and advertising. Being the sole employee, it can be trying to work the hours that you feel the business should be open. If it were up to me we would be open 24-7!
Advertising is our biggest conflict. So far we have only done one ad in a small local paper for two weeks before Christmas. I’ve personally gone around and handed out coupons to local businesses and homes. I also try to do as much networking online as possible since I feel like that’s where the majority goes now for information.
Why should people buy your product(s) over the competition?
Everything we carry has a person working behind it. They have come up with an idea, executed it and labored at getting it out there to share it with the world. Most of our artists are moms and dads, or young artists looking for their place in the art world. For Luke and I, we both find joy in making our work and want to pass that on to you so that the colors and shapes that inspire us can do the same in your own environment.
What, if any, forms of social media does your business currently use? Does your business have any plans to use social media in the future?
We currently use solely online media. We have our own website www.MadeByMarie.com, a Facebook page, a Yelp page , a Twitter page. We are also on Google search, Citysearch, Povo.com, Surfitlocal.com, local Yahoo.com, and many more.
First, of I think it’s great that Marie and Luke finally pulled the trigger on starting this local business. They already have experience in running a business, which I’m sure has helped to curb the learning process as they fine tune this operation.
Gifted has chosen to go the Internet route with their marketing plan. They can give themselves a pat on the back for this. It seems they have all of the essentials covered for getting the Gifted brand out there.
Another strength is that they are currently owner-operators of this business. I don’t have any insight as to the financial state of the business, but the fact that they do not have a payroll is a huge benefit.
From what I can see, the biggest competitive advantage that Gifted holds is that fact that they are in a very niche business. This means they have the opportunity to capitalize on less competitive long tail keywords. Madebymarie.com might never become a high traffic site, which is irrelevant given that the site has the potential to convert a lot of it’s traffic to sales.
Areas of Improvement
The extent of my suggestions pertain to the design of the site and SEO work. Check back tomorrow for my free site analysis of MadeByMarie.com.
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