We sent out a quick poll via Instagram last weekend asking if you were all grasping what exactly The Collective will be and realized that unless you’ve visited with us in person, there’s a good chance you’re a bit confused. Let’s take a minute to try and clear that up.
I’ve been a small business owner in our spread out city for 10 years now and not a month goes by where I don’t meet someone who hasn’t heard about us. We’ve taken home the Best of Amarillo award the previous two years in a row, and these encounters STILL happen. I’ve purchased billboards, paid to advertise in numerous magazines, and spent hours learning about SEO. Those efforts work for a specific type of customer, but it’s frustrating how much money and valuable time we spend on them while not knowing exactly how they translate into actual sales.
Two years ago, I came across 5 acres on I-40 near Bushland and thought it would be a great place to move my existing business to. As I started writing out the business plan in order to secure a loan, I began to rethink things. People LOVE that our current antique shop is housed in one of Amarillo’s most iconic historical buildings. It’s also located next door numerous other antique stores, so I wasn’t so sure uprooting it would be a good idea. That’s when the idea came to me! If I could use the new location to promote and SELL a selection of items from our existing shop, we wouldn’t need to spend so much time and money on promotions. Promotions that aren’t actually putting dollars in the bank on a monthly basis.
Still lost? That’s okay, I’m not done. The Collective will operate similar to The NAT, the existing shop I own & operate. The NAT is one large retail facility that holds items from various vendors who pay a monthly rental fee; however, it diverges from that business when it comes to who those vendors are. Our purpose at The Collective is to bring awareness to the masses about the wide variety of small businesses located within our region. This is an amazing opportunity for a business to gain I-40 visibility AND to sell their merchandise from a second location without all of the overhead (utilities, insurance, payroll, etc).
How does that work – Our vendors pay rent on a specific square footage rate. We will have three rental options. The first tier is a lesser rent/sqft + commission while the second is a higher rent/sqft + no commission. The third option is for what we’re calling our community vendors. Community space is a flat rate + commission for a combined space and is reserved for local makers that operate online only. The Collective team will work closely with every vendor to collaborate on a creative pop-up like installation that will reflect the best of their brand while maintaining a cohesive look throughout the entire facility. That means we will assist in all creative and retail displays- that’s what we’re known after all. We will then discuss what items each vendor wants to sell within their space that again, reflects the best of their brand. After that, we handle it all! The Collective staff will be responsible for maintaining inventory in each space as well as day to day transactions. They will be knowledgable about every vendor’s product, and will be able to share sales, events, etc. that are happening outside of our facility at other locations. Think pop-up / trade show / the coolest shopping experience EVER!
Each quarter, The Collective will host events on the property that bring in additional weekend makers that don’t quite fit the requirements for the daily store. I see these events becoming a place where people from far and wide come to sip, shop, mingle, and what’s better, learn about the incredible small businesses that reside in the area.
As soon as the building has power and working restrooms, we’ll host an invitation luncheon where you can tour the facility and sign a lease if you’re ready. Available space is limited so please, if you think you’d be a good fit, complete the questionnaire under the submissions tab here on our website. If we don’t hear from you, we won’t know to invite you.
I know, it’s a lot of information to process, but I have a feeling we’re about to launch something that’s going to change Amarillo’s reputation for the better!