Tonya Weakley began selling rubber art stamps and providing classes nearly 20 years ago. In 1998 she purchased the old, historic building at 115 W Market St in Somonauk, IL and Peddlers Den was born. Over the years the business has grown to be a mixture of approx. 50% stamping, 50% scrapping.
"I have found it very interesting -- when stamping sales decline, scrapping increases, and right now scrapping is on a sharp decline, but stamping is growing again. The two segments share a large amount of cross-over items, and make the perfect marriage!" says Tonya.
Peddlers Den and the grocery store are the only retail stores in the small town of 1900 people. "Nobody "finds" us, or just wanders in. We are a destination store," Tonya says. "The economy got so bad about 3 years ago, we were forced to find ways of reducing costs, and this resulted in changing our hours. We are in an old, historic building with 11 foot ceilings, and utility costs are very high. Formerly we were open 6 days a week, and now only 3 (Thur-Sat), allowing us a noteable savings in utilities and staffing costs. I was afraid that it would be the kiss of death!" she said.
However, most of her customers "make a trip" to Peddlers Den, and many of them have to come on the Saturdays anyway. Customer feedback has been very positive. In an online survey, only one customer said that it was going to prohibit her from her regular shopping at Peddlers Den. A followup survey several months later resulted in 100% positive feedback.
Another cost-cutting choice by Tonya was to migrate to eblasts as Peddlers Den's source of primary communication, and primary advertising link to its customer base. She had previously mailed out a 12 page newsletter to over 1000 people every quarter. The expense in publishing and mailing finally made it prohibitive, so she transitioned to electronic, and it was the right decision. According to Tonya, "it allows us to send small bits of information to our customers frequently, instead of a large amount only once every 3 months". Again, customer feedback has been very positive, and customer response to coupons, promotions, etc. has been strong.
Peddlers Den is a full service shop, offering classes, workshops, clubs, special ordering options, etc. However, they also service many customers long distance. Orders are frequently taken by email and phone, with accepted payment for these being PayPal or credit card. Another advantage of dealing with Peddlers Den is that you can order a large number of items, from a wide variety of companies, and pay only one small shipping fee. Visit them online at www.peddlersden.com, or "like" Peddlers Den on Facebook! Tell them that you heard about them from Email Contact!