Small Business Saturday: Spotlight on Newport, Rhode Island
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As a small, women-owned business and big supporters of our local communities, we love when Small Business Saturday comes around. Towns and cities are shaped by the hard-working visionaries who identify a void or opportunity in their neighborhood and do something about it. Today, we turn our attention to Maddie’s beautiful seaside hometown of Newport, Rhode Island and some of the great businesses that call it home.
What started as a blog dedicated to reviving lost treasures and “picks” has evolved into the cutest store front on Spring Street. In 2012, blogger Jordan and her mom Lisa set out to bring their talents and passion from the web into their community. Through this process, the dynamic duo have brought one-of-a-kind pieces with a coastal flair into the homes of countless Rhode Islanders, but what sets them apart is their willingness to share their secrets! A section of the store is a DIY-ers paradise where shoppers can purchase chalk paint and wax to create their own masterpiece at home. In keeping with her blog, Jordan is happy to walk first-time “pickers” through the painting process and advise about color selection; there are even various sample pieces on hand to demonstrate the glory that is chalk paint refinishing. A visit to Picklee always leaves us inspired and confident about the unique trinkets we take home with us or the Saturday DIY project ahead!
Maddie: Jordan, What would say sets you apart from larger businesses?
Jordan: Our focus at Picklee is to offer a unique collection of antique & fine vintage home furnishings, which we hand “pick” throughout New England. Our detailed & selective sourcing process enables us to offer some of the most interesting, character packed pieces at affordable prices. In addition to our own collection, we offer custom finishing where we connect with clients to bring new life to their old pieces. We are able to work closely with our clients to find their vision & create their dream piece.
Maddie: As a small business, what keeps you motivated in times of doubt?
Jordan: Our customers have always been our motivation. At Picklee, we believe every home should tell a story, so nothing makes us happier then watching a customer find or create the perfect piece for their home.
Whether you’re seeking a handy new kitchen gadget or investing in a lifelong kitchen staple, this handsome shop on Broadway will inspire you to get cooking! Representing respected brands like Le Creuset, Swiss Diamond, Breville and Viking while also offering thoughtful and unique items from aprons to picnic baskets, the selection here offers something for everyone. Personalized service and a passion for life in the kitchen from Patti and her partner Walter make it a true joy to shop here, whether you’re restocking your own cabinets or picking out an exceptional gift for someone lucky.
Maddie: What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
Patti: Our customer loyalty is the most rewarding aspect. The ability to research, test, and ultimately purchase the products we then recommend to our customers creates a trust factor.
Maddie: What advice would you give to someone starting their own company?
Pati: The best advice to anyone considering opening a business is to find the right location, determine the need for your specialty shop and research existing businesses are in the various areas and how long they have been at that location.
Maddie: How do customers benefit from supporting local businesses?
Patti: Customers depend on the continuity of the product line, quality, and knowing we can obtain most items they are looking for. Customers benefit by having a local business that will go one step beyond and special order products if they are not currently in our inventory. Providing specialty services, (knife sharpening) and meeting the time constraints of the customer. The customer ultimately benefits knowing they can come directly back if there are any issues and we and the vendors will stand behind the product.
Maddie: What are a few of your favorite local small businesses here in Newport?
Maddie: What has been your proudest moment?
Patti: Hearing customers say “This is our favorite shop” and “we will be back”. Thank you! It goes a long way.
Maddie: How do you celebrate victories and milestones?
Patti: Our annual “spring break” is our celebration for the year. One week of tropical R & R gets us recharged to come home and get ready for summer in Newport.
Lila Delman Real Estate
With six offices and around 100 associates throughout Rhode Island all dedicated to the finest real estate the smallest state has to offer, Lila Delman has grown quite a bit over the years. What began in 1964 as an answer to the glaring void in local real estate rental services has grown to include sales, but the primary mission of LDRE is long from forgotten. Today, the company continues to provide unique rental opportunities to everyone from year-round Rhode Islanders to those looking to summer by the seaside. Today, Lila’s daughter Melanie runs the growing empire along with her brother-in-law John.
On the topic of how Lila Delman Real Estate came to be and what sets them apart, Melanie had this to say:
“I believe my mother, Lila Delman, was a renaissance woman. She was ahead of her time, opening a non-smoking real estate office in 1964. Her office was decorated with antiques and unusual artifacts, reflecting her love for anything unique; it was not your typical sales environment. Lila had a wonderful talent as a matchmaker of people and properties, making her a natural in the business. To me, she was a pioneer.” -Melanie Delman, President
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