I would like to introduce you to Tina Haller, creator and owner of My Favorite Things.
After opening her gift shop “My Favorite Things” in 2005 in Nevada City, CA. Tina focused on creating one of a kind items to sell in her shop as well as selling her hand glittered cards and hang tags wholesale to share with other boutiques in California. In 2007 she opened “Glitter Girl Studio- a place to create, inspire and sparkle” behind her shop and loves having a creative space filled to the ceiling with wonderful craft supplies. The studio also works as an Open Studio for customers to create their own treasures and celebrate birthdays and friends. Tina also spends her time in the studio as a licensed figurine artist for ESC Trading Company and cannot let a single day go by without creating in some way! She resides in Nevada City, California in her 1870’s Victorian home along with her husband Zach raising their 5-year-old daughter Addison.
How did you get the idea for My Favorite Things?
I've always been a crafty girl, so along my snowboarding path I also always dreamed of opening a shop to share my art and be a part of a community. I fell in love with Nevada City and knew it was going to be my home and a perfect place to open my shop.I also opened an art studio behind my shop called Glitter Girl Studio. It's open to the public so people can stop by to craft or take one of my classes.
Is this your first business?
This was my first gift store, and you could say my first business. I had never worked at a gift store or had any experience with retail, so I learned along the way. I came up with the name My Favorite Things -creative gifts and treasures with the idea that whatever I was passionate about in my creating or in my buying that it would always fit in my store, because it's all of "my" favorite things.
How do you come up with new ideas? What is your creative process?
I go to flea markets and antique shows to get ideas. I grew up going to garage sales with my mom and dad, so treasure hunting is part of me! I'm also inspired by old clip art photos from old postcards etc.
Do you focus or pay attention to trends?
I do walk the shows and keep in the loop on trends. I get ideas from window displays or products that I love and try to make a new version of it that are more my style.
What does an average workday look like for you?
I'm usually running to fed ex, with a stop by the craft store for more supplies or more clay. Then to the shop with my lasted sculpture that I baked in the oven that morning to paint and add finishing touches at the counter. My customers are always curious to see what I'm making when they come for a visit. It's usually off season because I'm working way ahead of schedule. I get crafters daily that come to use my studio so I help them get started and then I'm back at the counter crafting away. Glue gun is always hot!, Return phone calls, fill orders, sneak in a quick lunch then Addison my daughter arrives after school to be a shop girl with mommy. So the crafts at the counter turn to a collage project for a 5 year old and then we close up covered in glitter and head home for a family dinner!
What is the most important thing you've done to grow your business?
Choose unique items mixed with my handmade items. Anyone can shop at target, or the mall for a gift, so you have to give them a reason to stop by and see what you have to offer. keep it fresh and new all the time. I'm more and more inspired to carry hand made items, there is just not enough time in the day!
What are your plans, if any, for expansion?
I'm going to start offering online workshops for my customers that do not live near by that would like to take one of my classes.
What three pieces of advice would you give an entrepreneur starting out right now?
Test the market, do your research, and location location location!