A Bit-O-Abundance at the Outdoor Retailer Show 2013

I recently attended the Outdoor Retailer Show (OR) in Salt Lake City in support of Susan McLaughlin and Align Integration and Movement. Susan had been asked by Gaiam to teach a few exercise classes that would demonstrate a number of inventive means by which to use their products. Thusly we showed up at the Yoga Zone, which had been laid-out in a classroom format for this purpose.

What tumbled into my mind when I came into that space were these words: Abundance is not about providing everyone on this planet with a life of luxury – rather it’s about providing all with a life of possibility. – Diamandis and Kotler from their book Abundance

Possibility” was what I witnessed during Susan’s classes for Gaiam and what I discovered while talking to other vendors who produced yoga classes, fashion shows and demonstrations in the Yoga Zone.  You see, Yoga is a new arrival at OR and a cluster of related retailers had been invited to “show off”, not just tell about their offerings. The creators of the OR 2013 literally opened up valuable space to allow these “new kids on the block” a chance at snagging big chunks of business at the show.

The OR organizers had gone so far as to invite the good folks of Yoga Journal to act as the host of the classroom. Hayley Brockmier and team from the journal were there to make sure everyone had a chance to present their products and feel invited.

Consequently I witnessed vendors handing over free clothing to passer-bys so they could join a class. I even tossed in a few dollars to help pay for a pair of yoga pants from Cozy Orange so a young attendee could participate in Susan’s class.

To me, the entire Yoga section was filled with abundant thinking. First the OR deserves a hat tip for inviting future vendors to join in the possibility of making of new accounts and spreading awareness around the part they play in the Yoga world. Second a high-five to Hayley and the Yoga Journal who helped inspire all the vendors in supporting and assisting each other in making a good showing at their first OR event.

So what about you? Where can you open up a possibility for someone in your network? Go make it happen and leave your comments below. I’m interested in learning about it.

 

Authors Note:
If you’d like to hear more about this event from the lips of Hayley Brockmier of Yoga Journal she offered me a chance to interview her here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NwzeBCvOS0&feature=share&list=UUz5cmwGtsK5VuCkNaytpQjA[/youtube]

If you are curious about how Susan integrated several Gaiam props into her dynamic exercise class take a peek here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ7BQEGbPaQ[/youtube]

 

Client-Centric

When I was a child I thought that Santa Claus had one of the best jobs in the world. He had one single focus: to make children happy.

Now that I’m older, I notice when other people are focused on making people happy. In fact, I am most interested in watching how entrepreneurs delight, surprise and intrigue their clients.  One fine example is Jesse Dobbs at the Iris Piercing Studios. With the installation of two i-Pads, the Iris client experience has increased more than ten-times.

Join me on a field trip to the Salt Lake City Iris Studio to see what I’m talking about.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/J7-D7cbOvGw[/youtube]

 

 

Start Anywhere! Get Traction!

This is sound advice if you are like Ten Four, the inventors of the Creative Capsule. Knee deep in the slog of finding financial backing for their business plan they scheduled a coaching session. We chatted about the concept of chunking out a single bite of their concept, putting an experiment together and start learning while they earn from this small bit of traction.

One year later Ten Four has discovered a viable part of their business. The Capsule is up, running and winning awards. Still looking for the full-blown vision to unwind and still looking for a favorable profit margin, the company is in a healthy mode of experimenting its way to something uniquely amazing.

Check it out on their website and their Facebook page!

Also note their recent award at the Design Arts Utah: http://thecreativecapsule.com/blog/were-on-a-roll/

And here is my iPhone movie made inside the capsule itself.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6rLVkC6Dmc[/youtube]

 

Catch it at Kayo

Less than three days remain before you miss out on Dan Christofferson’s current show at the Kayo Gallery.

Dan is one part intellectual, two parts truth-teller with a genuine-hearted illustrator connecting all the other pieces together in this distinct and distinguished latter-day gentleman.

Last time he had a show here in Salt Lake City I purchased the t-shirt. This time around I bought the book.

Owning pieces of Dan’s creativity is a fulfilling experience. It is, in my opinion a positive nod toward the new future of Western Art.

Hats off to you Dan! You are an inspiration. Your passion and curiosity never cease to delight and mentor me.

 

Another Studio is Born

Congratulations are due to entrepreneur Jesse Dobbs and his team mates Dustin Robbins and Nick Lott. Once employed as the top piercers for another studio, they forged out on their own to create Iris Piercing Studio here in Salt Lake City. Today, with Jesse at the helm, Iris is a strong brand that has been wise enough to invest extra energy and time on building the business. Some small business owners never get past the day-to-day of working in the studio, the shop or the office. This foresight has produced a strong structure with just the right amount of operational systems behind it to allow the company to expand.

Saturday, May 14th slated the opening of the second Iris Piercing in the Capitol Hill area of Denver,  Colorado.  The opening comes on the heels of stellar performance at the annual jewelry sale. But, Jesse will say more about that in his interview that follows.

Two weeks before the Denver Studio opened, I quizzed Jesse concerning his success and here’s what he had to say:

“You’ve probably heard the saying; ‘if you build it, they will come?’ Well that has held true for us. I believed in our brand. I believed in our team. I believed that if I we offered the highest quality of jewelry, delivered exceptional service and if we held ourselves to high standards of sanitation then people would notice us. So we built Iris Piercing on these ideas and people have come.

First, I hired a branding coach and he created plans for us to reconstruct the look and feel of our shop. Then I invested in the construction of that plan. Our studio is now an amazing space. It looks highly professional and it showcases our exceptional jewelry. The ambiance fits us and gave people something to talk about that fully sets us apart from other piercing studios. The new studio is equally as stunning.

I also believe that marketing through the use of word of mouth is the best way to go. You can pay a lot for fancy ads but getting people to talk favorably about you is less expensive and more effective. Over a year ago Dustin started talking about creating “street teams” which were meant to be small clusters of people hitting local campus or hotspots to hand out our referral cards. What actually happened was that because of the other things we were doing, these teams grew organically without us going out and formally structuring them.

What happened was that Nick created a referral card and we all agreed to a system for redeeming the referral credit. When our best customers send us new customers the referring folks get store credit in their account. This means that when our clients come in they might have anywhere from $10 to $50 dollars or more to spend without even opening their own wallet.

When you spend time creating multiple reasons for people to shop and talk about you, and you patiently stick with it for a full year things accumulate in your favor. I believe these are the reasons that we hit our goal this year during our annual jewelry sale – we hit 100% of our goal in three days. Last year we hit 60% of our goal over a week’s time.

Another part of our success has come from making sure that we pay attention to S.E.O. (search engine optimization). Our online presence is part of a marketing strategy. We had to invest in making it easy for search engines to point shoppers our way.”

Cheers to Jesse, Dustin and Nick. You must be thrilled to have the new studio open.

I encourage anyone who is following this story to hang onto your plugs and barbells because I sense that things are just getting started for these guys.

 

P.S. As Jesse reviewed this blog he wanted me to add this last part. So Jesse, as you requested:

And… thank you sooo much Lyn. This is exciting! It was really fun to read!! It’s missing one part though. The amazing  company and coach that helped piece this all together. I know it is hard to write and brag about your self, but come on! This wouldn’t have happened at the pace it did without you! Love you always!!

– Jesse Dobbs

http://www.irispiercing.com/