The Ebb & Flow of Retail By The Port - Old Port Card Works

Interested in funny gifts, novelties and what it takes to run a retail shop? Continue reading our interview with Anna Largay, owner of Old Port Card Works, located in Portland, Maine, USA.

What's your business and who are your customers?

We sell greeting cards, fun novelties, funny shirts, local souvenirs, plenty of adult humor. Our customers are locals, as well as a strong tourism business year-round.
Currently, we are at the tail-end of our cruise ship tourism season we've been featuring Maine-made everything chocolate covered blueberries, gummi lobsters, Maine-made cards, Maine shirts, puzzles, mugs...souvenirs. We also have a section that features dish towels and candles more kitchen-y stuff. And we also carry quite a bit adult humor hand soaps, bathroom sprays, and room candles.

Tell us about yourself

My husband and I own our shop together - we opened it 12 years ago. We also own a candy shop (Old Port Candy) and we are celebrating its 20th year! I love that each day is different
I love the fast pace of a busy day with much as I love a slow day to put out product and work on the floor. I love the ebb & flow of retail - no two days are the same.

What's the hardest thing that comes with being a business owner?

Staffing. I'll be very curious to see how this all shakes out over the next ten years. In 20 years I've never experienced anything like this. It is very difficult to recruit new staff and the added pressure to raise wages (in turn raising prices) has created a difficult hurdle.

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

1) Have a clear vision
knowing what you don't want is as important as knowing what you do want.
2) Embrace your mistakes, sometimes it's those are the best lessons
3) Have fun! Retail isn't rocket science, enjoy the ups & downs, have fun with your customers and enjoy the ride :)

Where can people find you and your business?





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