What It's About
Two friends bring the best of Boston local to 20 million the world over!
Words of Wisdom
It’s no small thing to start a retail shop and operate it for three years while you’re also running a design agency. And this is why it's good to start with a pop-up shop. Also, leverage your contacts! You can’t do something like this on your own and without a lot of resources … $25k isn’t much for a project like this. Their greatest asset was the relationships they had.
Here are a couple facts about Beantown that you may not know:
1. You won’t find any “Happy Hour” signs in the local Boston pub. The typical post-work drink deals have been banned since 1984.
2. A favorite American sweet snack for decades, the Fig Newton, is actually named after the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts.
Notes from Chris
Susan Battista and Fritz Klaetke love Boston almost as much as they enjoy working with each other. They're both senior partners at the creative agency Fritz founded in college, Visual Dialogue. Over the years, the pair have started a number of side hustles outside their day jobs. It was on a trip to Fritz's native Detroit that they would find their next big idea. Wandering down the high street, they came across a unique little shop which showcased local artist's creations. They had trinkets and t-shirts and tasty treats which really represented the region's history and culture. They felt that their beloved Boston needed a similar type of shop. Every tourist-centric shop focused on cliche stuffed lobsters and your usual sports t-shirts. There was nothing which represented and championed the life, history, art, and culture of this beautiful and important city. When the pair returned home, they began to look at why a shop like this didn't exist, and it quickly became clear. The cost of rent in Boston's most trafficked locations was too high for local artists to sell their goods, which forced them to sell hours away in far-off suburbs, away from the eyes of most visitors. Susan and Fritz decided to create a shop which brought out the best of Boston to those visitors. They would set up a store somewhere with high visibility and enable artists to share their wares. They gave the concept a name—1630 Boston, after the year the city was founded—and set about putting their plan into motion. To test their idea, they decided they would create a pop-up shop. They'd run it for a weekend in a prime location and see if they gathered interest. If not, they could walk away knowing they tried. They looked to their client base at Visual Dialogue and approached a property management company they'd been working with. They were able to land a weekend-long spot—in a location which usually costs $20,000 a month—on Boston's Newbury Street. With the property in place, the official date of the pop-up was set to five weeks away, in November of 2015, which gave them a strict deadline to hit. They had no inventory, no POS system, no merchandising and no website. When the weekend finally rolled around, the pop-up was a resounding success. Local people and tourists alike were drawn to the shop to see what they were selling, both out of curiosity and a desire to buy. The pair had an antique bell on their desk which they rang every time they made a sale, and they found themselves ringing it a lot. That is … until someone asked if they could buy it. With the initial success, Susan and Fritz knew they had an idea they could move forward with. The startup costs for 1630 Boston were around $25,000. This was made up of money they saved, and what they reinvested back into the business. And their profits average at approximately $10,000 per month. Looking to the future, 1630 Boston is going to build more of an online store presence to increase their reach and make Boston's art, culture, and history available to people all over the world.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- 1630 Boston: Learn more about Boston’s nearly 400-year history through the products on Susan's website that showcase the history, intellect, pastimes, and local lore of New England’s cultural capital
- Frenchman Says Bonjour to $35,000/Month Foodie Hustle: After relocating to Quebec, this continental creative brings seasonal flavor to an artisanal food retailing biz
- Designer Makes $1M Giving It The Old College Try: Missing the south after migrating north to Boston, a designer creates a series of sports-themed pennants and t-shirts that put hometown pride on display. Since starting up, he’s had more than $1M in sales and earned a profit of $5,000 each month
- Hometown Bracelets Support Local Marine Life: A marketer for the financial industry regains touch with his upbringing and starts a jewelry business that benefits the marine wildlife of his home region
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To infinity and beyond,