Sunday, May 24, 2009

Business and Pleasure

As I wrote in an earlier post, Westerly hosted the Virtu Arts Festival this weekend. The town has been abuzz for two days with a general upbeat mood. This afternoon I soaked it in during a walk downtown. So, what a disappointment to see some of my favorite shops (and my fav little coffeehouse) closed! True, many are mom and pop operations that generally do not open on Sundays (or Sunday afternoons). But on the start of the season? AND one of the town's biggest tourist attractions? Really? It made me think of how many small businesses--not only in my town, but everywhere--are hurting in this economy, yet missing opportunities. The we've-never-done-it-before-why-should-we-do-it-now attitude is a recipe for disaster. I see it when meeting with clients who are toying with the idea of public relations for the first time, yet are afraid to step out of their comfort zones. As Thomas Edison said: "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Business growth--especially small business and even more, upscale business--takes work and creative thinking. Those Westerly shops that remained shuttered practiced neither, and missed not only business today, but also the chance to make an impression on many who are in town for the next three months.

Meanwhile, on a MUCH more fun note, many of the stores that were open wisely took advantage of the foot-traffic and held sidewalk sales. You never know when someone will make an impulse purchase. As proof, I offer myself. Out for a walk, with no intention to buy anything, walked past Spangles, across from the train station. I can't say I've particularly noticed the shop before. Today, however, they had a selection of jewelry and handbags on a small table outside. As soon as I stopped to have a look, a friendly salesperson came out to greet me. I couldn't tear my eyes off of one handbag. Noticing I had my hands full with Mia (who was tugging on her leash in her unending quest to make new friends), the salesperson (I regret I didn't get her name; she was lovely) told me the price and handed me the bag. I had to have it, so she invited me (and Mia) into the store. 

So, here's my new bag (awful photo). 
I'm usually not a fan of pink, but balanced with the beige satin and the Asian fabric, I'm loving it. Add the bamboo handles and it is perfect for the summer season's feminine fashions. My only problem is the bow... it's a bit much. I'm thinking I'll remove it and fasten a fun brooch in that spot. Because, style and fashion--like business--requires creative thinking.

1 comment:

  1. I love this bag! The bow is a bit girly, but I think I think if you are going to do a pink and "summery" bag then go all out...bow and all. Very cute!