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Creative Shop Talk with Wendy Batten

Jun 7, 2021

It is such a privilege to be chatting with my friend retailer and Inner Circle member Ann Schneider of The Front Porch, a home decor, silk floral & boutique store! We found each other via social media because our business names were so similar. We soon met in person at a conference and immediately hit it off!

Ann has such an amazing way of running a business, so we are digging deep into her strategies and business journey over the past 25 years. She has done everything from selling her infamous paint lines, taught classes, and has recently gone mostly virtual via Facebook Live sales due to the pandemic. She describes her failures and the various twists and turns her retail journey has taken.

We discuss the importance of margins and Ann's groundbreaking idea of stepping back from her business and closing for periods of time to help create balance in her life. We also discuss how she knew it would work because of the strength of her email list! Yes, you heard that right!

Another risk that Ann took along her business journey was not signing a long-term lease with her landlord. This put her at risk of having to move out of her location, which in fact happened. But she describes the silver lining of it all. It has allowed her to start anew, rebrand, and pivot after almost 30 years in business.

It's time to realize that our board of directors is sitting at the kitchen table with us. We have to make it all work for them and for the lifestyle we are striving for. And none of these radical decisions would have worked for Ann without the foundation of an incredible email list, a social media following, and the RELATIONSHIPS Ann has built with her customers.