November 28, 2014
With all of the fabulous advertising large retailers do during the holiday shopping season, it’s easy to overlook small businesses, but we hope you don’t. Among other great reasons to shop at small businesses, here are some huge numbers: 1) according to a 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics study, small businesses are employing half of the workers in U.S. retail, 2) they created 63% of new jobs between 1993-2013, and 3) small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms.
Small Business Saturday was established to remind us of the importance of small businesses in our economy and in our communities, and, in honor of the day, we wanted to take a moment to recognize a few of the great small businesses we work with. If you’re on Twitter, use #shopsmall, #shoplocal, and #smallbizsat to tell us who your favorite small businesses are.
Hardware Sales Inc. – Ferndale, WA
The McClellan family started Hardware Sales, formerly Powder Sales, in 1962, specializing in sales of dynamite to loggers, miners, and road builders. In 1971, the owners expanded the business and moved across the street, changing the name to Hardware Sales. This family-owned and operated business became an integral part of its small Washington state community as the one-stop hardware store. Through the years, the business grew, gaining recognition by providing personalized customer service and fair prices. However, in 2007, the success of mainstream big box retailers forced the family to adapt to the changing retail landscape by opening a Hardware Sales Internet division. That’s when they brought in Steve Douge, who had experience in online sales, to run their Internet division. What started as an eBay only operation has now expanded to its own website. The company regularly gives back to the community through its work with the local Boys and Girls Clubs, as well as by donating tools and equipment to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and other non-profit building projects. Read their full success story
On Twitter: @hardwaresales
Daddies Board Shop – Portland, OR
Daddies Board Shop sold their first skate and snowboards out of their Portland shop in 1995 aiming to offer great prices, a large selection, and attentive customer service. We began working with Daddies in 2013 when they re-launched their site on Magento Enterprise Edition with help from Demac Media. The bulk of Daddies’ business is customized longboards and one of the best new features of their site is a unique customizer that provides over 800 options for customers to create their own boards. Since re-launch, business has exploded and Daddies is now one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies in the U.S.
On Twitter: @daddies
Reds Gear – St. Louis, MO
Red’s Gear began selling high-quality outdoor sporting goods on eBay Marketplaces in 2004. Ten years later, their online site carries over 15,000 items from over 500 top brands, at competitive prices. When they reached out to Classy Llama for a new online site, Red’s wanted to dramatically grow its business around its branded properties and needed a new feature-rich online store that would have the flexibility and extensibility to support its aggressive plans. Red’s saw a dramatic impact on their business just four months after re-launching with their new and easier-to-manage site in fall of 2013 (just ahead of peak hunting season) with a 519% increase in mobile conversion and a 400% increase in overall revenue.
On Twitter: @redsgear96
Little Passports – San Francisco, CA
Founded by two moms in 2009, Little Passports aims to inspire kids to learn about the world and become global citizens. Their main product is a monthly "world explorer” package that includes letters, souvenirs, activities, and online games that teach kids about other geographies, cultures and history. This subscription service needed a unique, highly-customizable platform, and Indaba Group developed that with Magento Enterprise Edition. Little Passports has seen impressive three-fold growth, and, building on this success, they plan to expand their product catalogue beyond subscriptions, and to expand internationally.
On Twitter: @littlepassports
SCOUT Bags – Georgetown, D.C.
SCOUT is a family-owned lifestyle brand that produces everyday bags, accessories, coolers, and storage bins with an eye for fashion and function. Though they began as a wholesale business, SCOUT saw a big opportunity in selling direct-to-consumer online. Working with Blue Acorn, SCOUT built a new site that that could manage both their B2B business and B2C business from one single instance, which saves them time, but also helps maintain their brand story. Within months, SCOUT saw tremendous growth, with conversion alone up nearly 80% and over 90% in revenue.
On Twitter: @SCOUTbyBungalow
STANCE Socks – San Clemente, CA
STANCE is dedicated to individuality and “bold expression,” all the way down to well-made socks. They launched Magento Community Edition in 2012 because of its customization capabilities for look and feel, SEO capabilities, the community support, and its agility, which helps them make decisions quickly to keep their brand relevant. From the very beginning, they wanted every single page of their online store to tell a piece of the story so that, no matter how you came to the site, you got the STANCE story. This dedication to their unique outlook has steadily grown both their online and retail business.
On Twitter: @stancesocks
The Grommet – Cambridge, MA
The Grommet is a product-launch platform specializing in products from craftspeople, innovators and inventors with great stories, and, since 2008, they’ve been helping small businesses promote and sell their unique products. In May, 2014, they were invited to attend the White House Makers Faire, where they launched The Grommet Wholesale to support small makers in getting their products into brick and mortar stores. Their ultimate goal is to see independent, small-scale Makers providing 10% of all U.S. retail products within the next five years. With a 450% increase in YOY sales online alone, they’re well on their way to achieving that.
On Twitter: @TheGrommet
More Fantastic Small Businesses:
Big Dot – Menomonie, WI (Party Supplies)
Book Pal – Irvine, CA (Bulk Book Seller)
Charm & Chain – New York, NY (Apparel & Accessories)
Eleni’s NYC – Long Island City, NY (Cookies)
Exagoga – New York, NY (Furniture)
Gorjana & Griffin – Laguna Beach, CA (Apparel & Accessories)
Grooming Lounge – Washington D.C. (Men’s Grooming)
Marucci Sports – Baton Rouge, LA (Sports Equipment)
Montana Silversmiths – Columbus, MT (Apparel & Accessories)
Savannah Bee – Savannah, GA (Organic Beauty Products)