The first in our series of client profiles is focused on a lovely little shop in Glasgow’s West End, Rowdy Roddy Vintage. The owner/manager/all round woman in charge is Jolyne Colburn who very kindly answered a few questions for us.
We’re really impressed with what Jolyne has managed in such a short time (just look at her press coverage) and are excited to be on board with her and helping her grow her business as much as we can.
Tell us a bit about Rowdy Roddy Vintage (RRV)…
Rowdy Roddy Vintage is a unique children’s and baby boutique that specialises in independent designers, retro homeware and funky clothing for kiddos.
And what about you?
I am a graphic designer from San Francisco, California and I moved to Glasgow to be with my Scottish husband in 2011. I have always been a lover of vintage clothing. Once we were expecting our first child, I noticed that there was a lack of cool funky kids clothes here that was not on the high street (made in china etc). I started selling vintage, that I would bring from the States, at vintage fairs here. Sooner than I expected RRV grew arms and legs to a bricks and mortar shop and a very busy online business!
How do you market/make people aware of your business?
We still go back to our roots and do markets, but our best way of reaching out is through social media. Whether its Instagram, Facebook or collaborating with a blogger.
Rather than the usual ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years’; where were you 5 years ago and could you foresee where you’d be today?
Only if I could go back 5 years!! I never thought that we would of come this far, but we definitely learned the hard way with growing a business. I am not educated in business or accounting. I am an art major with a love for vintage and design, which is why a good accountant that understood my business was so important. I wish I found TaxKings from the get go. I spent money in the wrong places (marketing, merchandise etc) at the start.
How has technology impacted on your business; both commercial and behind the scenes?
With out technology there would be no Rowdy Roddy. 80% of our business is online and so we are always on the computer, whether its filling orders or reaching out to new bloggers. We also use a iPad checkout system in our store, it is linked up to our inventory system. This enables us to keep track easily. The software that we use for accounting with TaxKings (Receipt Bank) is AMAZING and a total time saver. Mind blowing for someone who enters in each receipt manually.
Finally, any tips for someone setting up a new business?
A good website is so important. You can have the smallest shop or even sell out of your home, but your store front can be as glamorous or simple as your would like your image to be. It should just be done well. Also, social media can be a free tool to market yourself, use it often, yet wisely. Reach out to others via social, open conversations. Don’t advertise in free mags! Offer deals for your customers, make them feel special and unique and they will spread the word and keep coming back.
You can find Rowdy Roddy Vintage at 21 Dowanhill Street, Glasgow, G11 5QR or online at https://www.rowdyroddyvintage.com/