Wednesday, April 5, 2017

So I'm running a running store...

I worked a lot of retail in college. I started off at American Eagle Outfitters, after which I went to Bath and Body Works, then Abercrombie and Fitch. When I finished school, I moved on to my first job in advertising, but worked a few hours at Express to fund the professional wardrobe. Truth: I hated that job at Express, so I quit retail and focused on my advertising career, which lasted for seven years before I decided to start a fitness career.

While I made the switch to fitness, I worked at a local boutique. But only for one Summer. Fast forward to today: I've been in the fitness industry for almost seven years now, and I'm not leaving it anytime soon.

Guess what, though?
I'm going back to my roots in the retail industry.

I'm running a running store.

running, run chat, run store, Saucony, Kinvara
No, I didn't quit my job at the gym. I am still the fitness director, also a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. That was, and still is, my primary part-time job. I just added another 15 hours a week to my life with this new position at the running store—managing partner, officially.

I have been tasked with revamping a dying running store that has buckets and buckets of potential. Don't worry, I'm not in it alone. My partner is my running buddy, also a personal trainer on my team at the gym. Neither one of us could do it without the other. We wouldn't have the time. But together, we can be the type of manager the store needs. And we are so excited about that.

Also, we're like Willy Wonka in his chocolate factory.
We are literally surrounded by shoes (and desperately trying not to buy them all).

running shoes, running store, run chat
We are meeting left and right with shoe reps. We've checked Saucony and Mizuno off the list, and are anxiously awaiting our scheduled meetings with Brooks, New Balance and TOPO.

Guys, it's so much fun.
A lot of work, indeed.
But, it's much fun.

This is a different type of retail job than I've ever had before. I'm not following corporate rules and punching a clock. I'm making something, a new environment for every local runner in my town. My partner and I are full of ideas. We have a vision, and we cannot wait to bring it to life.

But first, we have to learn this shoe industry thing. How to order, when to restock...all that good stuff. So some of those big ideas have to wait for a minute while we familiarize ourselves with the inventory, for example:

running store, run gear, run chat
We are fairly stocked with all the essentials, but we see room for more. I'm learning so much about running shoes. I'm even getting sneak peeks at shoes that aren't out yet. Really, though—I'm helping people find shoe love, and in doing so, I'm making connections in the community. And that's what we hope to do with the store.

We want to reconnect it to the community.

My partner and I are (hopefully) going to make this store a hub of running activity. This community we live in, it's full of runners. My town is an active town and hopefully this store will be a bigger part of that.

Again, it's hard work, but I'm loving it.
And I'm so grateful for this new opportunity.


Question: Do you have any retail experience? What stores have you worked at? If you frequent a local running store, what makes you go there versus websites on the Internet? 

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