#ThrowbackThursday with Arrowhead Vintage & Handmade Goods

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Who doesn’t love going to a good vintage store and reliving the nostalgia of times past? I think it’s fascinating to see styles that were popular during my grandmother’s childhood and how they’re staring to make their way back into the spotlight. Plus, who knows the cool thinks you could find! I’m always on the hunt for some old Masonic artifacts. Well, if you need a new vintage store to check out, I know just the place!

You can listen to the episode and read the transcription below. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, YouTube, or anywhere else you get your podcasts by searching “Creativity Killed the Cat”.

— Opening Story —   

Once upon a time, Melissa and David Sherrill had an aspiration to do something that would inspire local makers and allow the Canton area to fall in love with handmade creations. They wanted a way to bring their community together that would encourage art and creativity. After pondering on the concept and thinking it over for what seemed like years, the couple decided they would open a vintage and handmade store.  

— Intro — 

Hey there all you beautiful people! Welcome to the Creativity Killed the Cat podcast. My name's Andrew Chwalik and I’m going to be helping you develop creative marketing that won’t break the bank.

As always, our episode is brought to you by Twillful. My creative marketing agency that helps businesses develop and implement creative marketing campaigns as well as energize their social presence.

You know you want a fun fact.

Fun Fact: It’s a bit weird, but I love the sound of running water. A fountain in a pool. Waves on a beach. Hose in a pond. Fan of it all! Someday, I’m going to put a fountain in my office. Just wait! 

Alright, on with the show!

Remember, I take one small business or brand and develop some creative marketing concepts that could be implemented as soon as you finish listening to this podcast.

Who doesn’t love reliving the past? Well, I’m sure there are some people out there that are actively trying to avoid it. But as a history minor, I absolutely love exploring the past. Wouldn’t it be simply amazing to go back in time and experience the roaring 20s or the founding of the United States? Not only are we going to be able to do a little time traveling as we talk about our featured business in this episode, they also have a creative element of their own that will be fun to explore. But before I start nerding out and talking about the war of 1812, let me inform you on the importance of branding.  

— Marketing Chat —

How do you define brand? I’m not talking about a specific brand or getting all philosophical. I literally mean, what is the definition of the word brand? Think about that for a second. Kind of difficult, isn’t it? Sure, you can think of examples of brands. Coca-Cola. Apple. Nike. Your own company has a brand. That still won’t get you to the actual definition.  

It’s difficult to define brand because there are so many aspects that go into a brand. It can have different meanings to different people at different times. Coca-Cola’s brand is quite different from Apple’s, right? Well, let me give you my definition of brand.  

A brand is the perceptions and feelings people have toward a product, service, or organization.  

There it is. You can agree or disagree with me in the exact wording, but overall, isn’t that truly what a brand is? It’s not a physical item. Nor is it something that you or your company owns. A brand only becomes a brand when there are customers to interact with it. Think about the Trump brand. I don’t care if you’re a fan of Donald or not, but I can guarantee you had a certain reaction when you heard me mention the name. Your experiences, knowledge, perceptions, and world view determine how you react to every brand.  

As a business or employee, you are only able to influence how people view your brand. There’s no possible way to instantly remove a brand from existence. Think about Enron, the energy company that facilitated a missive accounting scandal. Even though they went bankrupt in 2001 and the company no longer exists, their brand still prevails, weird right? 

That is why it is so important to brand yourself correctly from the start. Yes, you can slowly change people’s perceptions and feelings toward your brand, as Wells Fargo is attempting to do after their fraud issues. But that takes time and a missive amount of money. I’m telling you all of this so you take branding seriously by developing a branding strategy. Start by snagging a simple template online and working through it. You can also hire an agency, like Twillful, to set you up for success. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just make sure you have a plan for your brand. Because whether you like it or not, you’re always going to have one to manage.  

Arrowhead Vintage & Handmade Goods —

Arrowhead Vintage and Handmade Goods is a store that offers exactly what their name describes, vintage and handmade goods. Their little shop is located in the Arts District of Canton, OH. Specializing in quality handmade goods, they offer expert level crochet work, handmade beard oil, clever t-shirts, novelty buttons, vintage patches and enamel pins, fridge magnets and vinyl die cut. Not to mention, they’re Canton’s only remaining independent record store and are one of two vintage clothing stores in town.  

Alrighty, you now know about Arrowhead Vintage and Handmade Goods so let’s get creative. 

You started and curate the Downtown Canton Flea, a makers based event. That’s pretty legendary. Love seeing you inspiring other markers out there. Why not step it up a notch and use it to share your awesome brand? One really cool aspect about your shop is that you’re the only remaining independent record store in Canton! That a pretty big deal in my book, especially with the revitalization of vinyl in the music consumer market. Use that to your advantage.

To spice up one of your maker events, bring a DJ along. I’m not talking about just a normal DJ, I’m talking about one that specifically uses records. There are a variety of these record slayers out there. Heck, you could even do it yourself. That would make the experience so much better if you could DJ it yourself. This isn’t just an activity to generate more hype for your Downtown Canton Flea, which it will, it’s also a marketing activity for your store.

Have a sign by the DJ letting the community know where the records he’s using came from (your store). Have t-shirts be given out (that come from your store). Let people have a crack at the DJ thing by inviting them up to spin a few records, take their picture, and post it on your Facebook Page. This is a fun way to engage the audience you’ve already built, grow it, have a little fun, and let people know about your record collection. Tie it all together with a social campaign and this could be big!

 Next creative marketing strategy. You have some sweet handmade products that you sell. There are three characteristics that I think of right away with handmade items, quality, unique, and project. Handmade items are usually of higher quality because they’re not just a number on an assembly line. They get the TLC every product deserves. In my experience, handmade products are much more unique because each one has its own qualities.

When I say project, I mean that there’s the potential for other people to learn how to make that product for themselves. We’re going to focus on that point for a moment. If someone wants to make something, how do they go about it? Well, they need to learn how first! That’s where you come in.

I’m not going to ask you to teach people how to make every item you have in your store, that would defeat the purpose. The goal of this marketing campaign is to show people how awesome handmade products are and inspire them to take part in the maker community. One possibility is hosting events to teach people how to make a certain item, like a scarf or natural picture frame. You could totally do this once a month. It would get more people visiting your store and learning about the neat products you sell. Only problem is that an event is a one time deal. I’m going to give you two more options that will generate some content you can reuse.

First is producing a tutorial video for every event you host. When your hosting these events to teach people how to make something, shoot and produce a little video that you can continually share online. People are always looking up how-to videos so this would be a great idea. Option two is, instead of hosting an event, host a digital training session on Facebook Live! You won’t need to do as much set up and will have the video you can use once it’s all said and done. Plus, you’ll be able to have a larger audience if you do it live. Teaching people things is a fantastic way to engage them with your brand. You could essentially start doing this tomorrow!

Okay, last one. Here we go. This one’s going to be fun. You’re a vintage store so we’re going to play with that theme a bit. The word vintage means older or something from the past. People love vintage items. Often times, vintage stores even make the atmosphere inside the store feel older, that’s some quality branding if you ask me.

However, what is the one thing missing when vintage stores go all out like that? What is the one thing they forget? The employees! Now, I’m not advocating you hire elderly people specifically for this purpose. But if your grandma wants to work at your store, more power to her! I’m talking about decking out your current employees. Here’s the plan. Don’t do this everyday, it won’t be as effective. Well, if you’re in love with the idea, then go for it. But I’d like to see all your employees dress up with the clothing of a different decade once a month.

Oh yes, this would be so cool! Have set themes so everything is coordinated but it can be a fun activity for customers and employees. Maybe you can even bring your record DJ back to really make it a party. Doing this would get a ton of people visiting your shop. But hold up, how will you inform people about this awesome thing you do once a month?

Social media of course! I’d recommend doing this on a Thursday so you can call it Throwback Thursday and use that as your campaign focus. Plus, it just makes sense. You’re throwing it back to a random decade. This is also an awesome way to get some fun content to share on social. The final aspect could be encouraging customers to come in dressed in attire from the set decade you select and give them 5% off their order or enter them in a contest. Now that would be good content. 

Arrowhead Vintage & Handmade Goods —

Boom. Arrowhead Vintage and Handmade Goods now has some creative marketing ideas that won’t break the bank and will get people checking out their rad store. I’d probably be going way too hard for their throwback Thursday events, you better watch out. If you want to check all their vintage and handmade goodies out for yourself, head to 534 Cleveland Ave. NE and visit their website at arrowheadcanton.com.  

— Closing —  

Well, that’s all folks. Thanks for joining me on this episode of Creativity Killed the Cat! I hope you had as much fun as I did and were able to take away some creative marketing ideas that YOU can start using right now. If you did enjoy the show, I’d love you forever if you left a review on iTunes. It helps more people hear about my little podcast so thank you!

Now, if you’re still stuck and need a little extra creative juice, head over to creativitykillscats.com to find some more content that will continue to get your creative gears turning. Plus, you can subscribe to my email list to get a weekly email with creative marketing wisdom that will keep your brand feeling fresh. 

I’ll see you all on the next episode of Creativity Killed the Cat. In the meantime, try working with the sound of running water going on in the background. It’s phenomenal, just saying.