In this episode of Small Business Success Interviews, “Small Business Stacey” goes on the road to interview Courtney Jackson from CJ Kollective to learn how this small retailer is literally crushing it so much with her mobile marketing that she is launching her first brick and mortar location. Learn the marketing mix secrets that are allowing Courtney to move from the road to a new fixed location and how she is doing it cost-effectively.
SB Stacey: Hey everybody, “Small Business Stacey.” I’m here in Bel Air, Maryland, today, interviewing Courtney of CJ Kollective. I am excited to interview her today because she not only has a mobile business but she actually has a business where she’s now expanded into brick and mortar. I love that she’s integrated both a mobile and a brick and mortar concept. She is so busy today, she doesn’t have a lot of time to sit with me and chat. I’m going to give you a quick tour of what’s going on here.
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CJ Kollective is actually a mobile clothing boutique. Usually when you see these kinds of trucks you think food truck, but Courtney came up with a really unique concept of taking beautiful clothing on the road to show and sell to people. It was so successful that she now has expanded into brick and mortar. Let’s go on inside and see her new store.
I really love what Courtney’s done here to draw attention to the space that she’s in. I didn’t realize when I first when in that it’s actually a lot of small business owners sharing this space, which is a great idea. Let’s go inside and I’ll show you more.
There’s a lot of small businesses here, but this is Courtney’s new space where her brick and mortar store is. Let’s take a look at what she’s got. As you can see it’s very busy in here, she’s got a lot of people looking at her beautiful clothing.
If we go out here there’s actually a spa upstairs. Come on in. There’s an artist who’s showcasing her work here. There’s meditation around the corner and in here they actually do events and yoga, things like this. This is a great use of a shared space where small business owners come together to share clients, customers, patients and get more new business. I’m going to see if I can take a minute and introduce you to the person who actually owns this space.
I’m here with Kelly, who actually is the owner of the Lunar Base space here that’s on the corner here in Bel Air, Maryland. I love the concept that you’ve put together of pulling all these small business owners together. Tell me a little bit about how that came to be.
Kelly: Absolutely. [inaudible [00:03:14] Harford County, it really originated from the Lunar Bay Music and Arts Festival. We brought together wellness, music, art, really good local food, and we took a little break from the festival, we came upon this awesome location here on the corner, which is in Hickory, Maryland, very local to northern Harford County but close enough to Bel Air, and really touched a lot of local communities. What we did is we brought entrepreneurial businesses together that really coordinated with what we did with the festival, still wellness, art, music and food, and we let them have a space here where they can maybe spend a little less on the rent portion and a little more on the profit portion.
SB Stacey: I’m here with Courtney Jackson of CJ Kollective. She started in this bright pink beautiful truck selling clothing.
SB Stacey: Now she’s expanded into brick and mortar location. I want her to give us the grand tour of how you turn a big box truck, like a UPS truck, into a clothing boutique. Courtney, can you give us the grand tour of how you do that?
Courtney: Absolutely, I’d love to.
SB Stacey: Okay. I’ll follow you.
SB Stacey: Wow. Let’s talk mobile. You literally are taking a whole clothing boutique to the people. How do you do that? Where do you go?
SB Stacey: Okay.
Courtney: Just a lot of local events. We’re doing a spring fair at North Harper Elementary next week. We’re really into the community events. Then private parties as well for women that want to get together, have something fun to do at home without having to go out. We’ve pulled up in a driveway and had a gang of people come on and just shop. Then they have little drinks and hors d’oeuvres. It’s a fun time. It’s a really great ladies’ night out.
SB Stacey: Wow. Usually when women go shopping they’re going to the store, the mall. You’re literally bringing it to them. What made you think of such a great idea?
Courtney: I was working full-time, I still work full-time, but fashion has been a real passion of mine. Initially I wanted to get started. I’m like, “How can I start this while I’m working full-time?” With the fashion truck it allowed me to do so because my events are evenings and weekends. Then that way I’m mobile, since I have moved around a lot. I have people in Virginia and Maryland so I get to go to different places and bring the fun to people.
SB Stacey: Literally. This is amazing. Now it must have been so successful because you’ve expanded.
SB Stacey: She just opened up a brick and mortar location.
SB Stacey: We’re going to do an interview inside about that but tell us how that came about.
Courtney: An opportunity really presented itself. I’m a member of the local chamber of commerce and someone I met put me in touch with the landlord here at Lunar Bay and said that there were a group of entrepreneurs under one roof. I spoke with her, she had the space available, and it was just an instant connection when we met. She was like, “I’d love for you to bring your fashion in here.” Yeah, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
SB Stacey: Wow. There really are beautiful things here. I don’t think I’m getting out of here without finding something for myself. Let’s see something that’s Small Business Stacy could wear. Do you help people pick something out that would look good on them?
Courtney: Yes, absolutely.
SB Stacey: I think I’m going to need some fashionista expertise from Courtney here.
Courtney: [inaudible [00:06:58]
SB Stacey: Yes, my gosh.
Courtney: You can tie it a lot of different ways but it’s hard to see on the hanger. Then rose is the new it color for spring.
SB Stacy: You literally have everything because you have the active wear, you have casual, you have dressy, you can accessorize. Women love accessorizing. Wow. Alright, thanks for sharing your mobile concept. We’re going to learn about her brick and mortar as well.
We’re inside now with Courtney. Courtney, I want the audience to get to know you a little bit better. You’re obviously a gorgeous fashion person.
Courtney: Thank you.
SB Stacey: I have some questions. I’m wondering, would you say ice cream or frozen yogurt?
Courtney: Ice cream.
SB Stacey: Ice cream, okay. Would you say sunrise or sunset?
SB Stacey: Okay. What everybody wants to know, money or fame?
SB Stacey: Okay. If you get the money first fame then … You can get the fame.
Courtney: Right, sure.
SB Stacey: Alright. Courtney, you’ve gone mobile, you now have brick and mortar location for this gorgeous clothing that you have. Did you wake up one day and say, “I want to have a clothing boutique?” How did this come about?
Courtney: It’s something I wanted to do for years it’s just I work full-time. I’m like, “How can I start a fashion business while working full-time?” I did the mobile boutique because a lot of my events are evenings and weekends.
SB Stacey: Okay, great. How do you source all of this gorgeous clothing that you have?
Courtney: I have designers and vendors all across the US.
SB Stacey: Okay. What you offer is very unique, I haven’t seen it in other places.
Courtney: I handpick everything. I go to trade shows and different exclusive designer events and I handpick everything I carry.
SB Stacey: Great. I want to spend some time talking about marketing. Even though you’re mobile you still have to do some marketing to get people to come to you.
SB Stacey: Tell me a little bit. What works really well on the mobile side of the business?
Courtney: Definitely social media.
SB Stacey: Okay.
Courtney: Telling people follow me here, follow me there, follow the truck. On my website, word of mouth. I’m in the chamber of commerce, that helps. Then a lot of the other local newspapers, the Patch helps, Harper’s Sun. I was in Baltimore In Style magazine. Whatever outlet I can use I just go for it.
SB Stacey: All of this is integrated, which lets people know where your truck is going to be.
SB Stacey: Okay. Now you’ve expanded into brick and mortar.
SB Stacey: What kind of marketing are you doing to drive people to your physical location?
Courtney: A lot of the same but in addition there’s been flyers and I hired a PR person to do a press release for me. They contacted different media. A lot of the same but it’s been amplified.
SB Stacey: Okay. Is there one type of marketing that you would say has worked best for you?
Courtney: Social media.
SB Stacey: Social media.
SB Stacey: Tell me more about that. What do you do on social? Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest? What kind of social media?
Courtney: All of the above.
SB Stacey: Okay.
Courtney: I post new looks, outfit of the day [crosstalk [00:10:22] that helps. I’m posting every day, sometimes several times a day.
SB Stacey: Great.
Courtney: I get a lot of interaction there.
SB Stacey: Now many of you know that I have a coffee and smoothie business and as part of that I have two food trucks, which was why I was so intrigued with your concept of going mobile. I personally can attest to the benefits that that brings of taking your business to the people. Let’s talk more about that, the mobile side of the business. You mentioned that you were doing some events or private parties. Talk about the mobile side a little bit.
Courtney: Okay. All of the above. I book festivals, I have a spring fair coming up at an elementary school.
SB Stacey: Okay.
Courtney: Then a lot of ladies’ events, private parties. I’ll pull up in the driveway, literally, and women will come out and shop. There’s seating on the truck, they have a seat, there’s a fitting room on there, a lot of times they’ll bring little snacks and something to drink. It’s a fun ladies’ night out but it’s in a truck.
SB Stacey: It’s great because you’re bringing people in the community together and then they don’t really have an excuse. I don’t want to go out, I’m not going to go. You’re literally bringing it to them.
SB Stacey: Creating a fun event that they’re probably then going to share on social and give you more visibility and more business.
SB Stacey: Do you sell anything online?
Courtney: Yes. I have a full e-commerce website, everything-
SB Stacey: She’s mobile, brick and mortar and online.
SB Stacey: This woman is a diva, alright. Tell us more about that.
Courtney: It’s cjkollective.com. Accessories, handbags … There are some things I keep specific to the boutique for people that want to come in but I would say at least 80 to 85% of my items are online.
SB Stacey: I’m curious from the marketing perspective, any integrated marketing? How you’re using mobile to drive traffic to your store or how you’re using your store to then get people to come back and/or shop online, are you doing anything?
Courtney: All of the above. With the truck I actually had it redone so now it says, “Fashion truck plus brick and mortar,” with the address here. When they see the truck they’ll know it’s not just a truck, she has a brick and mortar as well. Then when people are here they see the truck because it’s parked here. It’s complementary of each other.
SB Stacey: I can personally attest that a truck is probably the best marketing that you can do because people see you. That’s a beautiful big pink truck, you are getting attention on the road no doubt.
Courtney: Yes. A lot of heads turn, when we pass people honk the horn.
SB Stacey: Good for you.
Courtney: Thank you.
SB Stacey: How can people get in touch with you, Courtney?
Courtney: A lot of ways. Via email, courtney@cjkollectivecom, phone, social media, follow CJ Kollective. I check this all the time. I’m very accessible.
SB Stacey: Great. I would encourage you … You don’t even have to be in the Bel Air area, you can check her out online. If you’re in the area she’ll even come to you via mobile and/or stop in her new brick and mortar location.
This is “Small Business Stacey”, your Small Biz Marketing Specialist, here to help your business grow to seven figures and more by helping you become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz. Thanks everybody.
Courtney: Thank you.
Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small - and not so small - businesses one marketing plan at a time. She helps business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE profit. Stacey's in-demand "Small Biz Marketing Success Coaching and Mastermind Program" is transforming the businesses - and lives - of those who want wealth, freedom, and market domination. Her highly acclaimed book "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" lays out the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of Cups To Gallons, the place where independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners go to learn how get into lucrative catering so they stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.
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