Focus On Your Community Not The Competition - Miller Lane Mercantile

Miller Lane Mercantile x BADWAX Candles

Interest in home decor that makes your home feel more like a home? Continue reading our interview with Calli Swofford, owner of Miller Lane Mercantile in Denver, Colorado, USA.

What's your business and who are your customers

Miller Lane Mercantile is an independent shop focusing on beautiful, practical goods for the home and self. Our customers are lovely folks here in Denver, city visitors, and our online community. Many of our customers are young families or individuals looking to make their house feel more like a home.
We carry a wide range of home decor, kitchenware, apothecary items, accessories, and children's goods. We source products from all across the country and beyond — many of our makers we find through social media platforms, in addition to markets and trade shows.

Miller Lane Mercantile x BADWAX Candles

Tell us about yourself.

My admiration for small businesses began when I was 14 and started working at a surf shop in my hometown on Long Island. I absolutely loved the shop environment and the community that's built around it. Fast forward through college, I worked in digital and event marketing for a handful of years before taking the leap to open a shop of my own. When it comes to staying motivated each day, I think the idea of curating pieces that end up being treasures in someone's home really drives me. I love meeting customers and hearing where a new painting is going to be hung, or how they're styling their mantle using pieces from the shop. Having a small impact on making their home somewhere they love to be is super rewarding.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Keeping faith in your business even during slow days or rough patches. It can feel like an emotional rollercoaster at times, but then you'll receive a heartfelt compliment from a customer or a mega online order and think, "Okay, I'm in the right place. I'm doing something right."

What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Focus on your community and what their needs are, not what your competitors are doing (advice I still tell myself!). The more you listen to feedback, watch sales trends, and test new ideas, the more you'll able to provide real value.
  2. Outsource your pain points. If there's an aspect of your business that causes you stress and anxiety, and will likely fall to the bottom of your to-do list, enlist an expert to help you. Also, ask other business owners for recommendations and compare costs before hiring someone on!
  3. Be human — people love seeing the person behind the business they're supporting. Being real and honest goes a lot further than being polished.

Where can people find you and your business?






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