With Q1 of 2024 behind us, it feels like a good time to share some impromptu Savvy Shopkeeper updates. There have been a lot of changes within my business and personal life, and I’m excited to share them with you!

Read on to learn about how I’m feeling after leaving my retail store behind, finishing my coaching certification, an in-person event you’ll want to save the dates for, a potential paper version of the Savvy Shopkeeper planner, and more. 

I had planned to share about the Corporate Transparency Act in this episode. There’s some pending litigation about the CTA, though, so I’m holding off on sharing about it until the requirements for small businesses are clear. If you haven’t heard about this yet, don’t panic—I’ll share an episode about this soon.

There is so much that happens at Savvy Shopkeeper behind the scenes that I want to share with our community. And while my normal episodes focus on valuable education for indie retail store owners, it can be just as valuable to take a peek behind the scenes of a business. That’s my goal with sharing these Savvy Shopkeeper updates.

Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Coach Kathy Cruz

How Life Has Changed After Stepping Back From The Salvaged Boutique

I used to co-own a retail store with my sister, Karen. Now, Karen co-owns the store with my nephew!

I do miss The Salvaged Boutique on occasion, especially when I’m in Master Shopkeepers. I see our members planning events, remerchandising, or sharing about new product lines and feel a lot of FOMO. 

However, the store is doing well! My sister and nephew are happy running it together. Plus, stepping back has allowed me to reconnect with Karen as my sister instead of as a business owner. We recently spent a day together shopping, and it was one of my favorite days of the year so far. 

Leaving The Salvaged Boutique opened up my schedule for taking on 1:1 coaching clients, and that has felt so right! I feel confident in my decision and am thrilled to see the store continue to thrive. 

I Earned My Life Coach School Certification

Speaking of coaching, I recently earned my coaching certification from the Life Coach School!

This certification was NOT easy. Mastering this skill set using the tools taught at the Life Coach School takes practice. I had to submit videos of me practicing my coaching skills. They were graded as pass or fail…and I kept failing. 

I had to do a lot of self-coaching around these failed submissions. I was determined to pass and kept trying until I got it right.

I mention this experience because we ALL beat ourselves up about things that are hard for us—and this certification was hard for me. Things from my past came to the surface, including thoughts like, “Kathy, you’re not smart enough for this. Who do you think you are?!” 

I had to work on my mindset and remind myself of my why. In the end, my why was the driving force that got me to the finish line with this certification. I know first-hand how helpful mindset coaching is for small business owners.

Life Coach School Certification – not easy, on deadline, right before vacation but I got it done – true example of doing something hard but I was motivated, self coached a ton and I was determined to “win”

Working On My Health and Doing Several Hard Things at Once

At the tail-end of my coaching certification, I started taking 1:1 golfing lessons and added strength training to my exercise routine. I joked with friends that while I was doing one hard thing, I might as well add in a few more hard things! 

I’d participated in golf outings before but I was so self-conscious about my game. Choosing to take lessons means that I can get better at it and do it more often. I appreciate how golf can be a solo sport or something you do with others. Plus, it’s outdoors, and I’ve always loved walking outside. 

I also added strength training to my exercise routine. While my long daily walks outside are amazing for my mental health, I wanted to do something that made me feel strong, too. While my body and muscles are hurting from the extra effort, I’m enjoying doing all of these hard things and watching myself grow. 

Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Coach Kathy Cruz

Writing for a Retail-Focused Magazine

I’m proud and excited to share that I’m a new columnist for Souvenirs, Gifts, & Novelties Magazine! I’ll be writing columns for their bimonthly publication. 

There were definitely some mental roadblocks that came up with this opportunity. My initial thought was, “You’re not a writer!” I had to combat that, and it’s easier now. I’m building my entrepreneurial muscle of believing in myself and recognizing what I’m capable of. I have helped so many store owners, and this opportunity has the potential to help so many more.

If you’re a retail store owner, you can get a free subscription to SGN on their website

I’m Speaking at the Evolve Conference in Denver

Like I announced in episode 202 with Crystal Vilkaitis, I’m speaking at the Evolve Conference hosted by Crystal Media in just a few days. 

I can’t wait to connect with store owners from the Savvy Shopkeeper community at the conference. If you’re attending Evolve, I’ll see you in Denver soon!

Exciting Changes for the Savvy Shopkeeper Planner

If you didn’t take the recent survey about the planner, you might not know that we’re considering a paper version. We’re also going to switch to a calendar year. 

I had several conversations with Sam, my marketing assistant and the planner designer, about the possibility of a paper version of the planner. The planner is an incredible tool that our community loves. However, it feels like I’m keeping this tool from people by offering it in an exclusively digital format. 

We’ve spent the last two years listening to planner users and continuing to perfect it. The latest version will be better than ever! Stay tuned for the next planner launch at the end of this summer. 

The Question I Keep Getting About Joining Master Shopkeepers

I’ve been getting the same type question about the Zoom calls included in Master Shopkeepers. Most of these questions revolve around not being able to attend the calls live. 

The calls are definitely a major benefit of joining Master Shopkeepers. And yes, joining live has its benefits. However, almost all of the calls are recorded! There are lots of MSK members who can’t attend the calls, but still get tons of value out of the membership. Not only do you get the calls, but you get access to hundreds of resources in The Lab and a community of other store owners to cheer you on. 

We host an average of six calls per month, but several calls are only applicable to specific subsets of the community. We have 30+ subgroups for stationery stores, coffee shops, home decore stores, and more. You would only attend or watch the calls that apply to you and your business. 

Master Shopkeepers is a go-at-your-own-pace membership. Don’t let the call schedule be a roadblock to joining!

Save the Date for an In-Person Savvy Shopkeeper Event

I’m hosting an in-person event in May 2025! While we’re still in the planning stages, I wanted to let you know now so you can block out May 18-19, 2025 on your calendar. 

Although I’d like to host bigger in-person events, an important value for me is supporting venues that are owned by small business owners. That was why I loved hosting the retreat at Frugthaven Farm

Tickets will be limited due to the size of the venue that we’ve chosen. It’s in Northeast Ohio and has a special meaning to me, too! We’re already planning this over a year in advance—so when I recommend planning way ahead in your retail business, know that I practice what I preach. 

Join the Retail Profit Program Before April 30, 2024

There’s just five days left to join the Retail Profit Program at the introductory price. In this 8-week, 1:1 coaching program, we’ll build a custom Google Sheets dashboard for you to track and understand your financials, inventory, cash flow, and profit. 

You can learn more and book a discovery call with me here. The price is going up after April 30, 2024, so be sure to book before then! Book the discovery call BEFORE April 30th (even if the call is scheduled into May) and you’ll qualify for the introductory price.



  • [03:19] How Life Has Changed After Stepping Back From The Salvaged Boutique
  • [04:44] I Earned My Life Coach School Certification
  • [08:04] Working On My Health and Doing Several Hard Things at Once
  • [09:52] Writing for a Retail-Focused Magazine
  • [11:49] I’m Speaking at the Evolve Conference in Denver
  • [12:38] Exciting Changes for the Savvy Shopkeeper Planner
  • [15:35] The Question I Keep Getting About Joining Master Shopkeepers
  • [18:30] Save the Date for an In-Person Savvy Shopkeeper Event
  • [20:17] Join the Retail Profit Program Before April 30, 2024

Connect With Kathy

Kathy Cruz is an Independent Retail Coach who helps store owners work smarter, profit more, and grow their brick and mortar businesses. 

Connect with Kathy and learn more here:

Website: www.savvyshopkeeper.com 
Instagram: @savvyshopkeeper
Mastermind Group: Master Shopkeepers

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