As seen in Waterfront Living
Katie Ann Oakley, senior sales associate/social media coordinator for Madison Marketplace shared its retail story with Gift Shop® Plus and Waterfront Living in this great Q&A.
Describe store and local community:
Katie Ann Oakley: Madison Marketplace is an all-inclusive gift boutique specializing in apparel (XS-3XL), jewelry, handbags, & gifts for all occasions! The go-to for gift baskets AND we can monogram almost anything! Madison Marketplace is located in Roxboro, North Carolina. Roxboro is a lake-loving community as we have 2 popular lakes in the community — Hyco Lake and Mayo Lake. We are located in a small town, but we get people from all over coming to visit Hyco Lake.
Tell us about your product mix.
KO: Apparel, Bath & Body, Gifts, Home Décor, Jewelry,Toys, All of the Above.
Specific to waterfront living:
KO: As far as lake merchandise we sell everything from t-shirts, sweatshirts, tumblers, pillows, tea towels, wood plaques, coasters, napkin sets, socks, etc!
Most requested item in stock right now:
KO: Our most requested lake products in our store right now are probably customized pillows, t-shirts, and sweatshirts with Hyco Lake on them.
What are some other best-sellers within the coastal or lake category?
KO: Our best-sellers at the moment have been the lake pillows because they are just the perfect gift for someone moving into a new lake house. They just add a little bit of personalization to any lake home.
Where do you source coastal/lake products?
KO: Flying Colors has done a lot of custom lake apparel for us, Carson has done some of our drinkware, Little Birdie does our popular pillows and tea towels, and then Lake Happy has made some of our most recent lake sweatshirts.
We’d like to hear about any obstacles you have overcome and/or any major successes you have had with your business in the past year or two.
KO: With COVID-19, it was hard to be closed for a short amount of time but we had an enormous amount of outpouring of love and support from our customers. We truly have an amazing customer base that loves us just as much as we love them. We never skipped a beat during COVID-19 and I think that our community really stepped up and started shopping local more than ever. We’ve also tapped more into our social media because during that time when everyone was at home- everyone was glued to social media. Facebook and Instagram have become so important to our business and have made us more successful in the past few years. We’ve learned how to get creative, take fun pictures/videos,and help our customers get excited about new products. All of this to say, we would not be where we are today without God blessing our walk through this journey of building up Madison Marketplace, the girls that work in it, and our loving customer base. We are truly blessed and thank God for it every day.
Do you have any retail tips you’d like to share?
KO: Utilizing your social media platforms is essential, I mean come on — IT’S FREE! If you act excited about your products, your customers will be excited for your products. Get creative, try new things, and even though you might not want to — get in front of the camera, your customers want to see YOU!