Gift Shop Hub is back again with Berni Parker Designs for our second article featuring their recent Shop of the month competition winners. At the end of each month Berni Parker Designs will select a winner who will feature on their social media which has over 12,000 followers. The winners will also be interviewed here on Gift Shop Hub to give you a peak behind the scenes of these wonderful shops.
Next up we have May’s 2nd prize winner: Dragonfly Cards & Gifts is a family run, specialist card shop, situated in the picturesque market town of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.
Where are based and what makes your area special?
Knaresborough enjoys many visitors but it is our locals who are our main supporters; there is a real community spirit within the town.
We chose Knaresborough as it is our home town and we identified a real need for a specialist card shop within the town centre, as at the time there was only a Clintons there, which has since closed.
How did you start out?
My Mum, Rita, had a card shop for many years in the neighbouring town of Wetherby. I used to help at weekend’s and holidays when I was at university so knew the trade from then. I followed a career in marketing after my degree, but being in an office all day wasn’t for me and I was desperate to get back to my real love, cards. That was 11 years ago and I still love it to this day.
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
Our range of cards, each individually picked to suit our customers (no brokerage or plan buying for me!), teamed with exceptional customer service. My marketing background also helps to get us noticed!
What do you love about Berni Parker Designs’ cards?
Berni is an exceptionally talented artist, and her designs are guaranteed to raise a smile. We love that they are a family run business like ourselves, and they are such a pleasure to deal with.
She covers some of the more unusual hobbies, both male and female, meaning customers can always find something relevant.
What products do you sell in your shop?
Predominantly cards, plus impulse gifts and a wide range of party ware.
What links do you have to the local community?
We have quite a varied customer base panning all ages. They like to feel they are getting value for money, and enjoy laughing at our wide humour range – often the cheekier the better!!
We often support community events with raffle prizes, promotion etc and often run competitions and giveaways in store ourselves. We are about to launch a “Thank you Teacher” competition for the local school children to enter.
What tips do you have for fellow small business owners?
Above all else – smile! Your shop has to be welcoming and somewhere people want to spend time, they don’t want to be greeted by miserable faces!
Music helps create an atmosphere (with the correct licences of course), and if you genuinely love your products that enthusiasm is bound to rub off onto your customers.
How do the social, economic, environmental, technological, legal and political environments impact your business?
Obviously these all impact our business, we can’t exist in a bubble! All we can do is work the hardest on things that we can impact ourselves. To not get hung up on the things that we can’t change.