You’re an Aspiring Shopkeeper!

Brimming with incredible ideas and ready to take inspired action, you’re at the very start of your shopkeeper journey.


As you dream about opening your retail storefront, you’re taking the time to educate yourself on all things retail. 

You’re a sponge soaking up all the knowledge you can! 

Your Pinterest boards are full of potential products, merchandising ideas, and storefront displays that you can’t wait to recreate or put your twist on.

If you’re handcrafting items, you’re probably selling them to friends and family for fun, but not for profit.

You’re pretty sure your hobby or side hustle could turn into a business with a brick-and-mortar space. You’re just not sure where to start! 

You can imagine your store in detail, but you’re a little nervous about all the steps between dreaming and doing. There’s a lot to do to get a brick-and-mortar space up, running, and profiting.

Most importantly, you’ve got your eyes peeled for the perfect, in-budget retail space to open up—because you can’t wait to go from dream to reality.


So how can you go from just dreaming about opening your brick-and-mortar business to opening the door, greeting your first customers, and making sales?


open books and a laptop

Lay the foundation for your future brick-and-mortar business.

It’s time to take all of your big ideas and condense them into a plan. Narrowing in on precisely what you want to sell, who you want to sell to, and how you want your store to look and feel is how you build your unique plan. 

Some questions to ask yourself as you make your plan: 

  • What business model do I want to follow? Am I going to be the sole maker? Am I going to buy wholesale items? What about vendor space or a consignment-style business model? 
  • What type of retail items will I sell?  Where will I source them? How can I learn more about attending markets or about ordering from the many online wholesale platforms that surfaced over the past few years?
  • What kinds of customers do I want to sell to? What problems will my store solve for them?

Research how to start a retail business in your area.

Every city, state, and country has its own unique rules and regulations. In most places, you’ll need to form a business entity—the most popular in the United States are called “sole proprietor” and “limited liability company.” You’ll also need to apply for a resale license. 

Start by Googling “how to open a brick-and-mortar store in [your location].” To ensure that you’re receiving accurate information, be sure to look for an official government website. These often end in .gov.

If you haven’t already found your gem of a location, here are some things to consider:

  • Budget
  • Location
  • Market research
  • Foot traffic in that area
  • Commercial realtor

Let’s get real: opening a brick-and-mortar is a life-changing endeavor.
I’m here to empower you every step of the way.


Hi there! I’m Kathy Cruz.

Before my sister and I opened our retail store, the Salvaged Boutique, Google search after Google search quickly proved that there just weren’t enough resources out there for brick-and-mortar shopkeepers. 

I kept finding myself in groups for digital entrepreneurs and reading stuffy articles meant for corporations, so I  spent hours upon hours learning through trial and error.

I founded Savvy Shopkeeper with the idea that all Independent Retail Business Owners should have access to resources specifically created for their business. I’m proud to guide and support retailers with an insight-filled podcast, two incredible membership levels, one-on-one coaching, and a powerful community of shopkeepers rooting for each other. 

No matter where you are in your shopkeeper journey, my mission is to help you work less, profit more, and GROW your retail business.


Curated Resources for Aspiring Shopkeepers


There are over 100 episodes of the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast to dig into. I’ve hand-picked these ones for shopkeepers at the beginning of their journey.

Want to know exactly what you need to open your independent retail store? This comprehensive, 5-page checklist covers tangible items (like cleaning supplies, signage, and point of sale system) and the intangibles (such as registering for an EIN and finding a bookkeeper). 

Choosing what products to stock, creating eye-catching displays, and marketing your store effectively will all depend on who your ideal customer is. This workbook will help you start your market research and prep for opening your store with your future customers in mind.

women having fun shopping

The Shopkeepers Lab



The Shopkeepers Lab is your ticket to becoming a capable, confident shopkeeper. It’s the BEST place for all shopkeepers to learn the skills they need and find the community they crave.

With 200+ lessons and an active, encouraging community of fellow shopkeepers, The Shopkeepers Lab is how you can skip the hours of Googling and jumpstart your shopkeeping journey.




P.S. This is just the beginning.