Show Us Your Shop: Initials Gifts & Monogramming By Debbie Eisele

Owner shares how they are coping with COVID-19

With so many retailers facing similar challenges right now, we encourage you to Show Us Your Shop so we may share your story and help other independent retailers.

Debbie Slack from Initials Gifts & Monogramming, a Houston-based retailer, submitted this boutique shop in a recent Show Us Your Shop Submission. This brick-and-mortar store has been in business for 16 years and will soon offer online shopping options to its customers. Initials Gifts & Monogramming specializes in gift items, such as for baby, wedding, collegiate, home décor, and more. “We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and being able to assist our customers in finding the perfect gift. We also do custom monograms and company logos,” she said. Slack also shared how the business is adjusting to the current retail climate.

Initials Gifts & Monogramming

How have you transitioned your selling strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have transitioned to a personalized social media selling strategy where customers can DM us directly for their gift-giving needs. We are also taking this time to fully integrate the e-commerce portion of our website to feature key SKUs and monogram designs for online shopping.

What special services, such as curbside pickup or delivery, have you implemented?

We have implemented curbside pickup, front porch delivery and continue to emphasize our free gift wrap. We are now also offering front porch delivery with a 20% bounce back coupon for any completed monogram and special orders that need to be picked up prior to re-opening.

Initials Gifts & Monogramming

How are you reaching out to customers during this crisis?

We continue to post on our social media sites with stories, videos and news feed pictures, comments and other engagements.

What are your social media handles?

Facebook and Instagram: @shopinitials

Is your business offering any new programs to assist others in the community at this time?

Sadly no. We are very small with only four employees. Each employee is doing their part in their respective neighborhoods.

Have you increased your online retail presence to adjust to social distancing?

Previous to COVID-19 our website was a landing page only with branding images and key categories of merchandise. We are now revamping that website and activating the e-commerce platform with a live launch scheduled for mid-April.

Initials Gifts & Monogramming

What helpful tips would you like to share with other retailers during these unprecedented times?

Use this “downtime” to revamp and troubleshoot any weaknesses or problem areas in your store, so that when you re-open you will be stronger, leaner and well positioned for the “new retail” climate.

 

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the former managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop, Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.




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