Starting From Scratch - What I Learned About Opening A Store
By Carrie Chennault
For my blog post, I wanted to do a shameless plug for a new(ish) business Mansell Media is closely connected to, and the business I helped start from scratch. Our fearless leader/CEO of Mansell Media, Clay, emailed the team back in September of 2020 letting us that he had plans to open a kids consignment store in Clinton. He needed ideas for a store name and some design ideas for the logo. Game on.
The plan for this store was to give back to the foster care community, create a few jobs, and to provide a place to buy and sell gently used kids clothes & shoes. Ideas and thoughts came together and Lyla Grace Children’s Consignment was born. 100% of any profit made by Lyla Grace is donated back to a foster Care organization. I was honored to be able to create the logo and branding concept for this new business. I had complete creative freedom with this, and as a seasoned graphic designer, that’s a lot of fun!
My connection with the store went further than just a logo. My photography studio shares the building with the future Lyla Grace Children’s Consignment location. The space that the store would be going in was in desperate need of a remodel, and somehow I was given the title “Construction Manager” by Clay. He said “make it cute” and I decided I’d try my best to do just that! From picking out paint colors and flooring, to hiring contractors for the painting, flooring and carpentry, I gained some useful knowledge about remodeling, quotes, price comparing, materials needed for such projects, etc. (Need help on your remodel project? I’m sure I’ll have some tips and tricks you can use!)
My title shifted from “Construction Manager” to “Store Manager” and I gladly took on the challenge. Starting a business from scratch was exciting - something I didn’t know that my brain craved. I started researching different software programs, what consignment model we’d use, the kind of printers we needed, supplies we’d need for day to day operations, etc. It was overwhelming, but I learned a lot! We definitely had some issues along the way (labor and supply shortages thanks to the pandemic) that pushed our opening date back, but I think that things worked out the way they were supposed to and the timing was perfect. I was able to hire some employees to help get the store going, and we hit the ground running!
Social media and a full page ad in The Clinton Courier were essentially what got the word out about the new store. We started taking consignment items in February. Each item brought in was entered into the system, tagged and hung up or placed in bins (we definitely oohed and ahhhed over the cute little clothes and shoes in between). We did this day after day until the racks were full and we had a store full of really cute inventory! The day came to open our doors to the public and the response from the community was so great! Business has been pretty steady so far. The summer months were a little slow for us, as most retail experienced this year, but back to school shopping traffic is picking up and families are able to save a lot of money by purchasing used kids clothing! We’re happy to be able to provide gently used kids clothing while giving back to the foster care community. We have big plans for Lyla Grace and are so excited to see it grow!
If you want to learn more about Lyla Grace Children’s Consignment, take a look at our website at lylagracecc.com or visit us on Facebook or Instagram (@Lyla_Grace_CC). We are open Tuesday - Saturday, from 11am - 6pm. Our address is 311 Clinton Boulevard in Clinton (across from Wilson Tire). Come see us!
- Carrie Chennault
Manager of Lyla Grace Children’s Consignment
Art Director at Mansell Media
Owner/Photographer of Indigo Studios, LLC