The realities for retail will suck the life out of a business if there isn't any passion behind it. Luckily, LA-area shop Belle's Nest has plenty of that with two energetic sisters running it. #ahasmembers Gloria and Elena's store features a selection of artisan and local made items, which they know a fair amount about too as makers themselves. Read on for their retail adventure!
Q: Tell us about yourselves.
A: We are two sisters (Gloria and Elena) with a passion for business and creativity. We think the word “inspiration” is what we hear most in our shop and it’s pretty spot on.
Q: What’s your shop all about?
A: Our brick and mortar shop Belle’s Nest is infused with work made by local and regional makers along with artistic odds and ends. Character and originality is a key component to our success. In addition we produce and sell a Belle’s Nest product line as well as our own personal work.
Q: How did it get started?
A: After watching our parents live out their dreams by taking risks, it only seemed natural for us to aspire to follow in their footsteps. Our father came from Mexico and lived the American dream; he learned his trade, saving money, buying property, and eventually opening his own very successful business. His drive has played prominent role in our decision-making throughout the years.
Q: Why do you do it?
A: We have been makers most of our adult lives; we are so passionate about what we do, it continues to be our driving force. The gratification comes from relationships formed, community and our community of makers.
Q: What’s the best part of it?
A: Our shop is constantly evolving. There are tremendous amounts of possibilities and limitless numbers of talented people in this world. We love the nonstop change and potential those people bring to our business.
Q: What do you look for when buying for the shop?
A: We strive to represent individual style. When we explore potential suppliers we look for uniqueness, simplicity or complexity, and the quality of craftsmanship.
Q: How can makers/sellers be better prepared when they approach a shop like yours?
A: Being both shopkeepers and makers makes this an easy question to answer.
An email with a link and photos is a nice introduction. Do your homework and find out if the shop is a good fit before reaching out. We stock makers that have been with us since we opened who have a consistent customer base so building a good relationship is important when it comes to growing our business and the makers business. We always appreciate an email with new product updates.
Q: What's been your biggest business lesson and surprise?
A: The biggest lesson is to not give up on what you love doing. There have been so many ups and downs over the years. Learning from our last mistake and trying out new ideas is what keeps us fresh and motivated.
Now more than ever we seem to be more focused and clear in terms of who we are and what our vision is for the future. Setting goals has been extremely important in our growth.
The surprise is that if you have faith in yourself and believe that you can make it happen, it will!
Q: Where can people find your shop?
A: Our products are available in our shop, online and in a few select shops throughout the U.S.