P.J. Heyman, owner
Boiling Springs, Pa.
Have you reduced your inventory levels? What needs to happen before you will feel comfortable increasing your inventory levels?
I don’t carry high inventory levels because of our very limited storage space. I’m more comfortable ordering inventory for just-in-time delivery, but am increasing orders specifically for the holiday season.
I’m not sure that increasing the inventory levels is as important as bringing in new work to keep our customers interested.
What indicators do you need to see before you’ve decided that the economy is indeed improving?
I actually think the economy, at least in this area, is improving. Customers are talking less about the economy and are not as reluctant to spend on a whim.
Are you advertising consistently?
Yes, in various magazines. Two are sent to readers who appreciate fine craft and art. We also advertise in a brochure because it’s part of a statewide program, as well as the local newspaper to keep our name in front of our local customers.
What are a few other ways you’re preparing for the rebound?
I am not doing anything different from what I’ve consistently done which is:
- Continually work on promoting the gallery by creating events such as our yearly series of about 20 “Artists in Action” demonstrations. This year we produced a tri-fold brochure for the series that will be sent out at regular intervals to customers of the demonstrating artists and distributed to the local visitors bureau and B&Bs.
- Send out e-newsletters once or twice a month to about 1,000 of our customers to inform them of new artists, new work and the “Artist in Action” demonstrations.
- Partner with local organizations that give us the opportunity to have a presence on their websites and advertise in their brochures.
- Network with local B&Bs by providing coupons to their guests.
What have you noticed in terms of consumer confidence?
I get the feeling from my customers that they are ready to spend, but will be more discriminating in what they buy. They are looking at spending more on quality gifts that have meaning.