Exposing the Unexpected Revolution and Recreation of a Shop Girl

Why I Started Shop Girl:

In February of 2013 I received the dreaded yet anticipated call from my boss; she was inviting me back to the company I had loved since my childhood, and had dedicated my entire being to for the preceding five years.  It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make, but for reasons explored in a previous blog, I politely declined.  If retrospect is anything, it’s honest, and in much quiet time with my darling newborn to reflect on the course my career had taken I eventually discovered the core of my, what seemed at the time, insurmountable problems within my job.

With time on my hands, and a need to reach out I decided I would write a series of training manuals that would assist other smaller to medium sized store chains in developing a universal training standard that could tailor to their unique shops.  This led me to want to write a training guide that could be purchased off the rack, thus making it available to anyone.  Something that a District Manager or Store Level Manager could pick up if they felt there was no real training structure to follow provided by their company, or a sales associate if they needed some serious sales boot camp.   In Winter of 2013, when the book for sales associates was near complete my husband was kind enough to reach out to a friend of his whose parents were both in publishing and who just happened to serve on the board of the NRF.  We asked him for the best advice on pushing out my manual.   He suggested of course a blog, to prove to publishers that I was worthy, and so the work on the books ended, and the self-promoting articles began.

The Revolution

It took me sometime to find my voice, and I was quick to discover that the following of lost management and hopeful sales associates was only a fantasy.  That indeed any retail related blogs would be bitter towards their customer and hateful towards their job paths.  They  would choose a public forum (Tumblr, WordPress, Instagram, and Twitter) as their therapy, not considering  the viral attitudes of customer hate, and sales associate bashing they were releasing.   This left my blog of retail positivity in a void.  Though my readership was obviously small, the readers I did have, commended me and awarded me for my one-of-a-kind retail perspective.  But over time the heartwarming and strange customer experience well was running dry just as my beautiful second daughter was born.  Suddenly the time to write ceased, and for nearly a year my blog was stranded, unloved, and alone.

It happened one any-day Wednesday when I found myself on a very rare afternoon without my three tots.  I decided instead of waiting the grueling 30 minutes in the only one of two local Starbucks drive thru’s, I would instead wander in.   I watched the baristas with envy, such purpose, basking in the pinnacle of every customer service employee’s dream, and then took a moment to glance up at a sign that hung above the back area:

Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

And I was inspired to return home and share this ray of enlightenment in my One-Liner-Wednesday contribution for Lindaghill.     Their mission, funny enough, worked, and I began to wonder what other purposes companies were utilizing to drive their success.  This started, what I attempt to keep a weekly contribution and as the collection grew I was suddenly receiving search engine traffic like never before.  This boost of one to two unsolicited views from mysterious strangers seeking the mission behind their khaki’s began to reawaken my drive to write.

The Recreation

Over the summer my husband and I were both laid off from the company we had worked for since my departure from my own career.  This was more for my husband’s health than our company’s needs, but was still not easy to swallow.  My husband and I chose to embrace the opportunity to grow closer as a family, travel with the tots, and rekindle a bond that had been lost in the chaos of his own extremely stressful but important career.  Anyone who has read my guest post on A Momma’s View may have a glimpse into the wanderlust shared by my husband and I.  While wandering the malls of Atlanta, Birmingham, and Nashville, I was transported back to my own family vacations, where malls used to ignite my passion and imagination.  Malls weren’t about the sales or the crowds but instead the experience.  I decided I wanted to relay that meaning to my followers, and so I launched the weekly mall reviews.

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Birthday Gift From the Hubs

I also spent the summer and on through most of September as an opportunity to revisit an actual book.  From the blog I learned my readers were more interested in my personal stories and less into training tactics.   I didn’t necessarily scrap my manuals but I did gently move them aside as I began to write the memoir of my retail career.  I’m at 50,000 words at this point and still have a few chapters to go.   I’m taking this seriously, setting a deadline of submitting it to an editor by February, and hoping to begin the publishing process just in time to release my book for Christmas next year.  ( A little gift to myself).

 

In the meantime, old followers have most likely noticed some changes on my blog menu and in my posting schedule.

Promised Weekly Posts: 

  • Mission Statements every Wednesday
  • Mall Reviews every Thursday
  • Food Court Cravings Photo Contest every Friday (I’m not giving up on this)
  • Something Old (A post from Shop Girl past) every Sunday

Depending on my Week Posts:

  • Retail Gossip every-ish Monday
  • Blog Talk every-ish Tuesday
  • Blog Share every-ish Saturday

What have you thought of the new lay out?  The new menu?  Anyone having any trouble navigating the departments?

And to my new followers that have piled in all at once, what was your first impression of my blog?  What did you want from it compared to what you have received?

Until Next Time Fanboys and Girls–>

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29 thoughts on “Exposing the Unexpected Revolution and Recreation of a Shop Girl

  1. sizzlesue15 says:

    Keep going with the book you are almost there and what an achievement. It is also great to see that you have taken on board what readers want. Sometimes we come up with great ideas but our readers have other reasons why they love our blogs. Have a wonderful 2017. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond.

    Like

    • shopgirlanonymous says:

      I’m kicking myself, but life kind of happened in October, as it tends to do, I lost a ton of momentum. And now my husband just announced we will be moving before March. So I may be reworking my goals to be more achievable.

      Like

  2. Gilly says:

    Hello – I have landed here from BSL on FB. At first I thought, this isn’t really relevant to me but after I read through the post, I realised I AM a shopgirl because I do have an Etsy shop and I do sell my own product on eBay. I also run courses and workshops in person in my local area which of course have to be sold to people.

    My problem is, I spent so many years as a staff writer and photographer in newspapers and magazines, getting a monthly pay cheque from my employers,that I still have not developed the right mentality to go beyond my trusted skill set into marketing myself which I find VERY hard with my scatty, creative brain. Reading this has made me realise I have to go outside my comfort zone into the unknown and LEARN!

    I have spent the last two years learning the nuts and bolts of creating a blog (because I had NO idea where to begin) and I have lapsed into using my two blogs as a hobby rather than serious tools to drive my real world businesses forward. I use mine as a reference point for people in my classes when they say, ‘do you have a website?’ and that is about it. Not good enough! I love reading all the ‘how to’ stuff on BSL but only from a distance, I never act on any of it because it overwhelms me and I stay in my blogging rut. Mmmm…time to sort myself out maybe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • shopgirlanonymous says:

      Promoting yourself is overwhelming. I’m a full time mom and there was a point last week where I looked at my kids and thought, “when was the last time we got out for a play date?”

      One of my dearest friends owns her own online imports store, she is trying to develop a brand. The conversations where we have this heart to heart of, it’s been two years now, time to take this seriously, often begins in her fear of losing her regular pay check and then her avid distaste for all things social networking related. It takes time to figure out your rhythm, but you won’t if you haven’t really tried, right?

      I’m excited to see what happens as time goes on, and as you push forward in your exciting endeavors!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Chloe says:

    I think your blog is organized and definitely user friendly 🙂 This reminds me a little of my story, I too gave up work to spend more time with my newborn and have ended up on a blogging path.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Echo says:

    First thought was obv how friggin cute lol. Love your layout when I see it (mostly here in the app tho)
    I started a fb group called shop girls over a yr ago so I followed out of curiosity mostly and glad I did. You’re a smart lady (:
    I too have a huge love of small business and the ppl who own them…but from a diff angle. So your point of view is very insightful…stuff I never thought to think lol. I love that you had a vision and ran with it, and all the lemonade you made from the lemons that fell on you. Well done. (: E.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JESS @PT CONTENDER says:

    My first impression was great! I read about the CEO of wet seal & her new vision for the company. Surprisingly I have enjoyed reading the mission statements! I have read about personal mission statements before which I love, so it’s cool to read professional ones. Also, one year for your book!! Very exciting news :))

    Liked by 1 person

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