Saturday, February 11, 2012

Journey Of A Small Business Owner #7

It was 20 months ago when Tango Zulu Imports became the newest business in Port Gamble, Washington.  We have accomplished more than we imagined.  Labor statistics show that 56% of new businesses fail in the first two years.  Tango Zulu Imports has not only survived, we have grown at a brisk pace.   In 20 months, we have more than doubled our sales, and added more than 50% of items to our store.  We have enhanced our commitment to fair trade and has been building our business into the best fair trade store in Kitsap County and Washington State, coupled with a strong e-commerce site.

Our African baskets became our most popular product in the store, beloved by knitters, quilters, gardeners, artisans and many others alike.  The divinely aromatic handmade soaps are also a customer favorite, often drawing visitors straight to them as they come into the door, following that delicious smell.  In addition to the long standing items such as handbags and jewelry, we expanded into kitchen utensils, oven mitts, pot holders and many other kitchen and dining items. Many other unique, fair trade and handmade gifts are making us one of the favorite stops for gift shopping in Kitsap.  We are gathering a healthy following on our Facebook page.  Our online store has served out hundreds of thousands of pages to tens of thousands of visitors and have become one of the most popular and competitive online shopping destinations for African baskets and other fair trade shopping sites.  For many of our products, we rank top 50, often in the top 10, out of millions of online competitors.

These accomplishments are pleasing to us.  The amount of work we put into the business, particularly Tracy who manages daily operations seven days a week throughout the year, is tremendous.  The most rewarding experience is when customers show genuine appreciation and pleasure at seeing the store, the selections available, and price levels.

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