Kathleen Peace founded her flea market business, A Glowing Memory® in July of 2015. In just under a year, she has transformed her booth into a full-time profitable production. Peace offers Merchandiser some insight to her success:
Where can shoppers find A Glowing Memory®?
You can find us at Flamingo Island Flea Market in Bonita Springs, Florida and online at www.AGlowingMemory.com.
What is A Glowing Memory®?
A Glowing Memory® is a flea market boutique and online store showcasing a variety of memory lamps.
What is a memory lamp?
Instead of giving flowers to commemorate a special occasion, a memory lamp is a timeless treasure. It’s a lasting gift that loved ones and family members will cherish forever. All Memory Lamps include complimentary gift-wrapping, and a personalized card.
Where did the idea for A Glowing Memory® come from, and how you were able to grow your business from the ground up?
Sadly, in March of 2015 my mom lost her battle with cancer. When I traveled up North to be with family, loving friends sent a gift of light to my sister. They called it a memory lamp. It was a petite Tiffany style lamp with a beautiful card that read, “Let this lamp shine in memory of your mother and may its warm glow memorialize her spirit each time you light it.” This gift was so much more meaningful than just flowers. I knew that I wanted to share this beautiful concept and within a few weeks of returning home to Southwest Florida A Glowing Memory® was born on paper.
I realized that a memory lamp is something that applies not only to bereavement gifts, but also for any occasion. I based my theme around that concept, with the following tag line on all advertisements: “Whether your occasion be one of Bereavement, Life Celebration, Wedding, Birthday, Holiday, Special Moment or Milestone, Instead of Flowers… give the gift of light… A Glowing Memory®.”
I then created a trademarked logo, rack cards, and business cards. Since a greater part of my online audience is women ages 35 and up, beginning in August I promoted the website locally by gifting
smaller lamps and rack cards to local tanning salons, nail salons and day spas where they are nicely displayed.
In the planning stages for the Flamingo Island Flea Market storefront where the customer base is enormously diverse, being of interest to all ages was important. A Glowing Memory® displays have a clean upscale look. They are colorfully warm, inviting, and the lamps are reasonably priced. I am able to reach hundreds of people daily with this wow factor, as well as appeal to their curiosity about memory lamps.
It was the right decision for me to create both a website and flea market storefront in that order. Having the website in place was advantageous the moment I opened the flea market store. The online store has grown because of the loyal local customers, diversified summer traffic, and snowbird seasonal foot traffic. The response was immediate with online orders coming in the second week of being open. I now have repeat online customers from all over the US and Canada. Online customers include those who had previously visited the flea market store and some who were educated by those who did.
Would you say you use your website to drive traffic to your business at the flea market, use your market booth to drive traffic to the web site, or keep them separate?
I use brochures, business cards, coupons, holiday specials, and offer free shipping to promote the online store via the flea market.
I utilize the online store to promote specials and discounts at the flea market as well.
Another available Internet avenue is The Flamingo Island Flea Market website and our Facebook pages. Interacting with those sites is beneficial as the Flamingo Island Flea Market is very active in daily postings and promotions.
Do you manage your website yourself? If not, what service do you use?
I now manage the website myself but had someone design it and set it up initially.
Do you have any employees?
I am a one-woman show. I take pride in letting my customers know that I personally take all calls and process orders seven days a week. I am hands-on when it comes to responding to calls, emails and special requests. When necessary, I personally call online customers with questions before processing orders to make sure the order is complete and accurate.
How has your online presence helped grow A Glowing Memory®?
Quite honestly, word of mouth is a powerful tool, when it is of a positive nature. I think that the best advertisement is believing in your product and investing yourself 100% with a consistent approach and exceptional customer service.
However in my case, I find that A Glowing Memory® website is a necessity when it involves accommodating my clientele. Their product needs, especially bereavement gifting, sometimes come about without notice and I have to be available to them. The online store permits shopping and order processing seven days a week.
What do you envision for A Glowing Memory® several years from now?
A Glowing Memory® is a new gift giving concept here in Florida. I am working on branding A Glowing Memory® locally, and with thanks to The Flamingo Island Flea Market generating a consistent flow of over one half million visitors annually, I can anticipate building an extensive national online customer base.
It will take a few years, and a bit of elbow grease on my part, but I am confident that it will happen. I love what I do, and doing it at the Flamingo Island Flea Market is exciting, stress free, and my favorite word- profitable!