Let's chat for a second about the all-mighty mom buyer.
Hey, that's you!!
Stop for a second and answer this for me:
If you answered yes... that group was probably FILLED with fellow mamas that liked, loved, obsessed and probably affiliate-link-pushed said product. It fueled the need, the drive, the want to get the latest and greatest. The most recently released. The "Limited". The "Exclusive". The HSA even ;-)
Diaper bags, cloth diapers, babywearing gear, pacifies, bows... there's a following for EVERYTHING.
You know what I'm talking about. If you don't this blog post probably wont interest you. Or maybe it will?
The retail world has always been FILLED with the latest and greatest, the new & improved and it always will be. The parenting/mom industry is obviously no exception.
Which role do you play in that sensational hype?
Absolutely none? Casual Observer? Or All-In?
This isn't mean to shame or judge. Just merely bring focus AND of course explain the role I (the puppet master running the strings of NGUB) play. Ownership of our choices is what it's all about after all. This is about who we are.
We were *almost* able to turn a blind eye to the drama surrounding the hype-driven products with our brick and mortar location. There we focused on local want, local need, and our face-to-face customer almost 100% of the time.
Well, when we decided to close our B&M location in July 2016 and go online only (details about THAT in previous blog posts....) we were thrust into no longer be able to ignore it. It was suddenly a choice of what speeding train to run and jump on to, and then the next and the next.
As of today... I have yet to grab one.
It's not because there's not PLENTY in the industry right now to choose from. Or even that I don't have customers messaging, emailing, DMing me asking me to get in this "awesome new XXX". I see it. I hear it. I've watched it. I get it.
Beeeeeliieeeveee me. I get it.
Business is about making money. Paying bills. Churn, churn, churn.
In all honesty, we're kind of sucking at that lately. Well, I guess here's that *Ownerships* part. I, ME, THIS MAMA, is the one kind of sucking at that lately.
Why? Well, I know why. My conscious.
Now my husband will say I WAY over-think things. My college professors would have a very strict profit chat with me. And no-doubt my trusted business advisers (*cough* Dad & Uncle *cough*) would have their own opinion on my personal hang-ups, too.
But at the end of the day... the struggle in my mind remains.
Don't get me wrong - long time NGUB loyalists will point out and back me up - I have always brought in new and fun things - and forever promise to continue to do so. But, everytime I pull the trigger on a new thing, excited to introduce a new face or family to a product that could help or bring joy to their family life, I always cringe at the thought of the inevitable. The fad-chasing customer who ONLY wanted the latest and greatest. Who would even come in and buy that one out because they were waiting on it's release.
Maybe you've been there. The day you're lining up outside a scheduled Trunk Show, or boutique waiting for the business doors to open so you can get your hands on that amazing new product.
The retail world eats this up. Small businesses thrive on this stuff as it's bread and butter - everything else is extra, sprinkles on the top if you will.
Now you're probably thinking - come on, that's business. What's the problem? Well there's a few problems with the rewind and repeat of this scenario, with product after product.
But what about when that fad is over? On to the next thing. Those products are no longer gaining the hype and chatter, so they sit on the shelves or stores and warehouses while the manufacturer moves on to the next big thing. After all, that's what pays bills. Right?
The hype, the over-saturation, the knock-offs, the repeats, the high, the addiction, the chase, the new editions, the latest models, the exclusive collections, the limited release... it all adds up.
Where am I going with this?
I'm a retailer, yes. I have bills to pay, mouths to feed, etc. just like any other.
But, I'm also a person. I'm a mom.
I'm a mom with a conscious about the example I'm setting for my children - after all, they're ALWAYS watching. Not only do I want to show them that entrepreneurship is a route you can follow to achieve you own goals. I also want to make sure they're proud of the person they are at the end of the day.
Money can't buy everything - not a clear conscious.
Am I saying Never Grow Up Boutique will fall short with every release, stocking or new innovation in the fields of parenting? Absolutely not. We have participated in the past on some of the events and products, and we will continue to as long as NGUB lives. What we will NOT to is hop on the train of filling the marketplace with products that don't fit who we are or what we're about.
Remember that planet we all share? It doesn't need EVER color under the rainbow of every release and neither does your house.
We wont be that shop that helps a family fall down a financial rabbit-hole in search of that next release or print.
We wont be that shop that feeds an unhealthy obsession with a product so much that will forever remain *NIP* on your shelf as a shining beacon of your staying up til 12:01, ability to refresh & repeat, or beat the curse of cart jumps.
I know, I know... not my problem, that's their choice to purchase or not purchase.
But, this is my stance.
Never Grow Up Boutique loves our products, the manufacturers we choose to partner with and the trust our customers have in our brand.
So what now?
We'll continue to chug along, on our own train. At our own speed. Finding and bringing in the products we can stand behind. From our family, to yours.
Find products you love, but more importantly, find products and companies you can stand behind. We're happy to help along the way, too! Your hard earned dollars deserve to only go to those products and companies that check all the boxes of your conscious. The other stuff is just clutter. Clutter in your home, clutter in your mind and eventually clutter that will be in our landfills.
I'll continue to bring our customers the products that check my boxes, which includes allowing me to not only feed my family and grow an HONEST company my kids can be proud of, but also make my conscious happy. My moral compass doesn't allow me to make money at the expense of doing the right thing, and I don't want my children to be that way either. (Maybe that's a business owner fault? Maybe that point is like a big road block when we're struggling. I don't know.)
All I know is at the end of the day, happiness wins.
Happiness doesn't come from things.
Photo Credit: Sarah Cropper Photography