Rachel Stanton is president of Diversity Builder, “Make the Connection” at www.diversitybuilder.com. Rachel can be reached at [email protected]. Drop her a note with any of your business news for the NAPP business page.
- Joe clothing store opens on Church Street
- Interrante of Nashville CARES honored
- New Home Inspection Company Announced
- University of the South – Sewanee takes stand for equality
- Small Business Promotion – Networking with Holiday Gifts
- Business Gift Ideas and Specials
Joe, a new men’s clothing store, opened December 5, adding yet another new business in Nashville’s growing “gay district.”
Joey Brown and Todd Roman, owners of Play Dance Club, opened the high fashion store that is located in space once occupied by the Global Market, at 1513 Church Street.
Much of the clothing has been personally purchased by Brown and Roman from New York and Las Vegas.
“We have been to New York and Las Vegas to purchase all of the clothing,” he said. “We will specialize in mid to upper end jeans, shirts, t-shirts, underwear and swim wear.”
The store is also the first retail outlet to carry Trevor gift wrap – a new all-occasion gift wrap that has been designed by popular gay artist Trevor. The set of gift wrap includes drawings of fireflys; forks; people and trucks.
The interior of the store is beautiful – with a modern and warm feel, accented by the slate flooring.
Joe is the first store in the gay district to specialize in men’s fashion.
Dr. Joseph Interrante was named CEO of the Year by the Center for Non Profit Management (CNM) at the annual Salute to Excellence awards ceremony held November 9. The award, sponsored by the Association of Non-Profit Executives and Bank of America, highlights the importance of executive leadership. Interrante has managed a client increase of more than 300 percent, tripled the size of the agency’s staff and increased the budget for HIV/AIDS services by more than 400 percent. Through his leadership, Nashville CARES has become one of Tennessee’s most respected and effective non-profits with many of its programs serving as national models for HIV care and prevention education.
In the same ceremony, Nashville CARES and Comprehensive Care Center and Ten Thousand Villages of Nashville Inc. were finalists for the Frist Foundation Award of Achievement for Team Building.
Bill Jenkins announced the opening of Skyline Home Inspection, www.SkylineHomeInspection.com. The residential property inspection company serves Franklin, Brentwood, Spring Hill and surrounding areas. For information about Skyline Home Inspection, or to schedule a home inspection, call (615) 599-1552.
The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., has formed an alumni group called the Rainbow Ribbon Society. The society welcomes new members who share their mission of promoting tolerance and acceptance in America. Call (931) 598-5012 for more information.
During the gift-giving season, savvy small businesses have begun to capitalize on unique branding, networking and sales opportunities.
New trends in gift cards – Sending gift cards to the most valuable ‘A-list’ customers is a trend popularized by Starbucks in recent years. Many small businesses are taking the holiday appreciation gift card notion to the next level of marketing by purchasing from existing customers.
For example, an insurance agent purchases gift cards from a key client, Rafferty’s Restaurant. In turn, the agent mails the gift cards to his/her other clients with a business holiday greeting card. The relationship benefits of the gift are multiplied by the networking factor; the clients receiving the cards will be pleased and the client who sold the cards will be thrilled.
Gift card purchases are venturing out from the passé clothing and mall cards. Gasoline, convenience store and salon cards are gaining momentum.
Company branding through gifting – Another ‘hot’ small business trend is to buy holiday thank you and appreciation gifts with company logos.
Corporate branded gift baskets – Small businesses often find they have branded promotional items such as coasters, calendars and recipe books leftover from mail-outs or conventions; why not utilize such items to create a low cost gift basket. One national gift basket company, A Basket Case, www.abasketcase.com, offers to fill a basket with company logo items and goodies.
How it works: Customers ship branded items for the business gift basket to the shop. A Basket Case assembles and ships an attractive basket at an affordable price. The business logo leaves a lasting impression, which enhances the company’s brand identity.
Single logo promotional gifts – Other gift ideas include single promotional items, with company logo. In November, The United Promotions Group, Inc., a Tennessee based promotional products online store, reported their top holiday sellers for 2005 are branded briefcases, high-end sweatshirts and jackets and stainless steel and crystal drink ware.
Creative Holiday Sales Idea – One creative way to boost holiday sales is to offer in-store or online customers a “Holiday Wish List.” Customers who shop for others often purchase gifts or store items they’d like to receive. Once a customer completes the Holiday Wish List, the business owner mails or emails the list to friends and family. The business benefits twofold; the store increases its sales and gains new clients (friends and family of original customer). One small business owner in California reported he sent out a list of 1,200 letters with a 25% conversion rate, or 300 additional sales.
Save on Holiday Gifts and Support the GLBT Businesses Community
A Basket Case, www.abasketcase.com (National – online) 10% off any gift basket order, with coupon code DIVERSITY
CoffeeCakes.com, www.coffeecakes.com (National – online) 10% off with coupon code DIVERSITY
Hillsboro Village and Woodbine Shell, ( Nashville) Holiday gift cards available (615) 298-2079
Gracie’s (Salon- Nashville) Holiday gift cards available (615) 460-0040
Crate and Barrel® and Pottery Barn® Discounts
Newport Furnishings, http://www.newportfurnishings.com, a furniture franchise capitalizing on the demand for designer brands, opened its first store in Nashville this summer. Newport Furnishings offers custom popular brand style furniture at bargain discounts. Using the same styles as Crate & Barrel®, Pottery Barn®, Z Gallerie®, Restoration Hardware®, Room & Board®, Storehouse® and Williams Sonoma Home®.
Newport Furnishings has accumulated a wide selection of furniture and catalogs to meet the demands of the selective consumer. They use a customer-focused approach to sales, with no high-pressure salespeople you may find in some of the chain stores. The store is located in Cummings Station, Downtown Nashville, and shopping is available by appointment. Call owner David Steeno at 615-242-0600 for more information or to schedule an appointment.