Talking Shop….Marcia Blevins of The Junk Trunk
December 6, 2013
Marcia Blevins, owner and operator of The Junk Trunk, 209 Central Avenue, Kremmling
• How long have you been in business? I am into my 15th year
• How did you get started in this business? My parents started collecting when I was a girl. Then they opened an antique store when I was a teenager. So I suppose I was born to be in the business.
• Business mission statement: To love what I do, have fun doing it and learn something new each day about antiques.
• Success in the mission: I am as successful as I want to be. I am still here, into year 15 and still learning something about antiques every day.
• Challenges to the mission: The same as we all face. The economy has made it hard for all who live in Grand County.
• How do you cope with Grand County's seasonal surges?: Make hay while the sun shines, squirrel away when times are good — all of those old sayings are oh-so true.
• What do you think is the biggest business barrier in Grand County? We have somewhere around 14,000 residents in the whole of Grand County. We are also large in area, 1,870 sq. miles. That's a sparse population. Also the cost of doing business here is high: rents, utilities and for me travel, I have to travel a lot to find merchandise, which is a large expense.
• How does your business give back to the community? I am a very small business, but I do my best to buy local and use local services. I give to our thrift store, which benefits the Grand County Historical Association and many other charities.
• Give examples of how you are environmentally responsible. My business is the ultimate form of recycling! I eat organically and humanely raised meat. I recycle as much as possible. I only drive when I am shopping for the store (I live upstairs).
• How do you support other local businesses? I always send customers to other business, local restaurants and other shops. I use local services as often as I can.
• How do you feel about direct competition? The more shops the better for any retail business, especially the antique business.
• How do you market yourself? Word of mouth is the best. The longer you are in business the better. I use Craigslist and it works for me. What I am doing with Sky-Hi for this piece is awesome. And we just repainted our sign — big and beautiful.
• What's the main thing you have you learned in your years in business? Work hard. Remember you are here because it is not a big city, and your income will reflect that. Be happy with what you have.
• Who is your biggest business influence/mentor? My parents.
• What do you think is the most significant economic driver in Grand County? The beauty of our area, skiing, biking and fishing, all the outdoor sports bring tourism and second homeowners to our county.
• What's the best compliment you received from a customer? What a great shop I have; I hear that every day!
• What do you consider to be your biggest mistake in business? I have made several, anyone in business has, but not opening my store a few years sooner is the biggest one.
• How much of a role does technology play in your business? The internet is invaluable as a research tool. There was no such thing when I started business in Grand County in 1999. I was able to get dial-up internet access in 2002.
• What's the general key to making a customer happy? It is always great when you have what they are looking for. I help them with decorating ideas and give them a bargain.
• Is there any certain trend you've noticed in consumer habits lately? We are all still watching what we spend; we are not out of the recession.
• What are some tricks such as signs or window displays that you've not iced work in attracting customers to your front door? Keeping the store front looking great. I just repainted the sign.
• If you could give advice to a novice entrepreneur, what would it be? To start a business that is about what you love, not about how much you can make. Guess that makes me not much of a business person.