While the U.S. and world finances are unstable, one independent shop owner in Caldwell knows how to grow a business. For Lisa Smith, owner of , even in tough times business is booming. So booming, in fact, she’s expanding.
Less than a year after moving to a bigger retail space in the heart of the borough's business district, Smith & Company is growing again. The Bloomfield Avenue gift shop owner has taken over an additional space on Smull Avenue, two doors down from her original location.
“My business hasn’t quieted down,” said Smith. “One of the reasons I feel I’m doing so well is because I have something for everyone.”
True. The store is a feast for the eyes, brimming with everything from jewelry to housewares, backpacks to baby clothes.
“I’m constantly on a quest to find new stuff,” she said, noting many stores carry much of the same merchandise.
The other reason for the store’s success, Smith contends, is the merchandise is appropriately priced.
“Everyone says people don’t buy local, but that’s really not true,” Smith said, adding, “if you do it right,” customers will come.
And they have. In the middle of the afternoon on Tuesday, the opening day for the new location, Smith & Company saw a constant flow of customers in both stores.
Perhaps the discounts didn’t hurt. Tuesday marked the start of the store’s two-week sale with everything in the Smull shop discounted 40 to 50%. The space was filled with an array of items, such as straw and canvas totes, garden decorations, kids' and women’s jewelry, candles, scarves, and Switch Flops for kids as well as adults. Smith will continue to add more merchandise throughout the sale.
“There will be new treasures every day.”
As for her plan with the new space, Smith said, “I have a lot of different ideas.” Eventually, she hopes to connect the two locations, but her first priority is to enlarge the Bloomfield Avenue store. After that, she said she’ll have a clearer vision for how to utilize the smaller space, a vision she hopes to have in place by Christmas.
"I want to really think it out," Smith said, stressing she did not want to rush the project. After all she had waited for years to realize her aspiration while she raised her children. "I stayed home with my kids for 15 years dreaming about having my own store.”
Now she not only has a store, but also one that's flourishing.