PENDLETON — When Alissa Davis, 31, told her husband it was her dream when she retired from teaching to open a small shop where she could sell, among other things, her own crafts, he was supportive of the idea.
But he did have one question: Why wait?
Chris Davis, 32, said there was no time like the present to pursue the dream, and the two made it happen.
That was more than a year ago, they said, and today the fledgling business, Pottery Hound, One Plaza Drive, Suite 10A, Pendleton, is growing.
They’ve had a solid first year, not only with local customers but also with sales generated through social media, a website and Amazon.
The business started online in January 2017, and the couple, who live in Indianapolis, opened the physical pottery, unique gifts and home decor boutique in Pendleton in May.
The success has been humbling and exciting, the couple said.
Their favorite part has been the interaction with clients, who often share social media posts, showcasing a product they bought at the store in their home.
Alissa makes by hand some of the items they sell and she is beginning to introduce the products increasingly online.
She has a long list of ideas of things to make, she said, and has set up the store to showcase how products might look in a home.
“We’ve been surprised and have definitely exceeded our own expectations,” said Alissa, who for a long time has made wreaths, signs and other home décor items.
The couple, who have relatives in the Pendleton area and hope to relocate nearby when their 2-year-old son is ready for school, opened the shop with the idea of being a part of the community and supporting a small town.
While local people do shop in the boutique, a large portion of support comes from online customers via social media and their website, they said.
They use Amazon to reach out to a more regional and national market.
That is also helping them build and grow into their physical building, Alissa said.
Owners good at creating a community around social media by supplying content that makes people want to come back day after day and interact can see a business succeed compared to ones who do not, Chris said.
It’s been an eye-opening experience growing a business through social media, because initially the couple didn’t think it was going to play such a large part.
Chris had worked in retail and automotive sales for years and learned many lessons about marketing with social media before he and his wife opened their own shop.
The couple are the store’s only two employees, for now.
An Amazon representative has also done some work for them, providing marketing and online sales assistance.
The couple said they also feel fortunate for that help and lucky to have been noticed for the quality they offer customers.
“There’s a little bit of luck in everything good that has happened to us,” Chris said. “We’ve just been actively trying to do the right things, and people are noticing.”
To see more of the products the business has to offer, visit them online at potteryhoundstore.com or on their Facebook and Instagram pages.