Podcast

Ep. 92 Community Matters: THIS happened at the 2021 Savvy Shopkeeper Retreat!

We recently had the first Savvy Shopkeeper Retreat, and it was such a special and magical weekend. It was even better than I imagined!

Shopkeeper Shoutout: April Petersen of Frügthaven Farm

Our Shopkeeper Shoutout for this episode goes to April Petersen and her husband, Mike. They’re the owners of Frügthaven Farm in Greenville, Michigan, where the retreat took place. 

I interviewed April during the VIP Dinner event at the retreat. We sat in the coziest little spot in one of her restored 100-year old barns. April’s story, charm, and sense of humor had everyone captivated. 

As I wrapped up the interview, I mentioned how it’s been great to see how April and Mike have essentially become small business incubators. So many of their team members are also building small businesses of their own within the Farm! 

One of their baristas is their hand lettering artist and performed live music with her fiance. Another barista will be opening a cool vintage-style barbershop in their upcoming cidery. A third team member is now the florist in the market. 

What I didn’t realize is that Savvy Shopkeeper is also a small part of their incubator. April saw my vision for this retreat. She saw what direction I wanted to take Savvy Shopkeeper in. And she gifted me the ability to host the inaugural retreat on their beautiful property, along with the help of their incredibly talented and kind event planner, Kristyn. 

April and Mike, from the bottom of my heart: thank you!

Community Matters

When I announced the retreat, it was scary—we were still in the thick of the pandemic! Not only did I not know if shopkeepers would buy tickets, but I also had no idea who would help support this event. Plus, hosting a business retreat—especially with the vision I had—is no small feat. It comes with a LARGE, SCARY budget. 

Nevertheless, I took the leap of faith because I knew that I would also support many other small businesses in return. We used local Greenville vendors for flowers, food, photography, and audio/visual support, along with a few local-to-me Cleveland businesses for baked goods, printing, signage, and more. 

Our Signature Retreat Sponsor

I was thrilled when Tundra contacted me to be the signature sponsor. Thank you, Tundra, for seeing the value in giving back to those who actually make up the Tundra community of makers and buyers—many of whom are in the Savvy Shopkeeper community.

Swag Bag Donors from the Savvy Shopkeeper Community

What I didn’t expect was that our own Savvy Shopkeeper community members would step up and in a BIG WAY.

The 2021 Savvy Shopkeeper Retreat Swag Bags were incredibly packed with goodies because of our own community members. Here are the shopkeepers who donated to the bag:

MelMarie Skin Care

MelMarie Skin Care donated a makeup bag and a variety of all-natural makeup products. 

Tracey and Carmella are a mother-daughter team and members of the Shopkeepers Lab. They’re passionate about natural skincare, so they launched MelMarie Skin Care in 2013 to offer luxury natural bath products at affordable prices.

To order wholesale, visit https://melmarieskincare.com/pages/wholesale

Bexley House

Bexley House donated a hand-poured, full-size candle and 2 wax melts. 

Master Shopkeepers members Liz and Debbie are the owners of Bexley House, located in Clayton, NC. They love all things vintage and especially love helping customers find the perfect piece for their home or the perfect gift for a friend. They met as neighbors and share a love of decor, upcycling, painting furniture, and entrepreneurship. 

Their shop is a mix of home decor and gifts, along with their hand-poured soy candles, handmade decor, pillows, signs, and other specialty items that celebrate North Carolina. 

To order wholesale: https://www.bexleyhousenc.com/candle-wholesale

Anchored Soul Designs

Anchored Soul Designs gifted retreat attendees with a hand-painted “Dream” sign.  

Shopkeepers Lab member Stacey owns Anchored Soul Designs, where she creates beautiful, hand-crafted, coastal decor for homes and stores. Her signs are made from reclaimed wood, and every sign is unique. 

She began making signs in 2011 to create meaningful and fun decor around her own home. She believes in carefully cultivating spaces that “anchor” your soul and create a feeling of peace and rest.

To order wholesale: https://www.anchoredsouldesigns.com/wholesalerequest

Purple Fern Bath

Purple Fern Bath donated beautiful handmade soaps. 

Master Shopkeepers member Brenda is the owner of Purple Fern Bath in Brainerd, MN.

As a lover of handmade products, she took it upon herself to make the best soap she could imagine. Her soaps are silky and soft, with lots of lather. They have an amazing aroma, are beautiful to look at, and are moisturizing for the skin.

To order wholesale: https://purplefernbath.com/contact/

Embroidery From the Heart

Embroidery From The Heart donated embroidered makeup washcloths. 

Master Shopkeepers member Teresa opened her Oakmont, PA brick-and-mortar in 2010. She creates one-of-a-kind gifts and apparel. Her philosophy is “gotta have heart” and be passionate about what you do for others to make them feel special. 

To order wholesale, send an email to: embroideryfromtheheart@verizon.net 

Rough Around the Etches

Rough Around the Etches created etched small biz tumblers. 

Shopkeepers Lab member Katsie, who was featured on episode 90 of the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast, creates locally inspired and sassy etched glass products. Her unique drinking glasses, mugs, tumblers, and lanterns are handmade in Cleveland, OH. 

Born and raised in Cleveland, Katsie is inspired by her love for her hometown. She thinks about what Cleveland is known for, all the places she holds close to her heart, and how she can incorporate those things into her work.

To order wholesale, send an email to: info@rougharoundtheetches.com

Door Prize Donor: Bridenbaker Designs

Bridenbaker Designs donated bowls, notebooks, and other fun items to our door prize bundle. 

Shopkeepers Lab member Lisa, who was featured on episode 91 of the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast, is an artist and surface pattern designer.  She wanted to create an eclectic mix of home goods, art, and accessories that were unique and one of a kind while staying at home to be with her toddler. 

With her husband’s help, Lisa started Bridenbaker Designs LTD from their home studio, where she designs, creates, and handcrafts all the items in their shop. She loves having her son help her bring their home goods into the world for others to enjoy. It truly is a family business.

Photography Donor

Elisa of Elisa Vietri Photography took headshots for all the attendees. She’s a Master Shopkeepers Member and was also an attendee of the retreat, which made her gift even sweeter. She took the time to give tips on looking natural in headshots. And instead of asking for payment from attendees, Elisa suggested that they could donate to the Savvy Support Fund. It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture. 

Retreat Testimonials

The retreat was a whirlwind of two days. It was absolutely jam-packed with sessions, connections, and stories. I wanted to share some feedback from participants, as it was such a magical weekend, and it’s hard for me to summarize it all. 

Inspiring Badass Women

“One of my joys in attending this event was witnessing the pride of accomplishment in both you and April. The inspiration that comes from seeing badass women bask in a moment of, ‘I did this. I followed my path, and it’s really good.’ I’m so here for it. 👏”

All the Thought Gems

“💯 living on the post-retreat high today! Smiling with all the memories and new thoughts running through my brain! It’s going to take me a few days to process all the thought gems. ❤️ I loved every minute! Grateful for Kathy and all the participants. ❤️”

This Was Exactly What a RETREAT Should Be

“I drove about 5 hours in silence still absorbing everything. This was exactly what a RETREAT should be.”

Kathy is the Real Deal

“I knew that I liked you before meeting in person, but I was so pleased to find that,  even in person – you are the real deal!  It is rare to meet someone as genuinely kind and considerate of others, and I want to let you know what a rare gem I think you are.”

I Feel Guilty Calling this a “Business” Retreat!

“So much was learned and shared that it will take a while for me to process it all. I knew when I found [Savvy Shopkeeper/Master Shopkeepers] this was an incredible group of people, but after meeting a lot of them in person, I feel it’s an even more extraordinary group that I can learn from and lean on. 

This was [such a] lovely event (thanks so much, April and Frügthaven Farm!) that I feel guilty calling it a ‘business retreat!’ You’re amazing, Kathy—don’t forget it. ❤️”

An Invaluable Experience

“What an honor being in the company of this gang of brave and badass business owners. Kathy, you freaking killed it! Yet another invaluable experience—from the time we had to hang out to that book of yours! And let’s not forget that Saturday night Sipper. 🍹 🔥❤️🙌”

Embracing Community with Savvy Shopkeeper

Community DOES matter. And every shopkeeper that I mentioned in this episode truly EMBRACES community. 

I can wholeheartedly say that the 2021 Savvy Shopkeeper Retreat was hands down one of the most incredible experiences of my own life because of these shopkeepers. 

Please show them some love! We all know how to do this. Like or follow. Comment on posts. Like posts. Shop online with them. OR… go to their websites to see if their wholesale products are a good fit for your own store. 

Resources

Timestamps

  • [01:36] Shopkeeper Shoutout: April and Mike of Frügthaven Farms
  • [04:28] Community Matters
  • [06:05] Our Signature Retreat Sponsor
  • [08:12] Swag Bag Donors from the Savvy Shopkeeper Community
  • [19:42] Door Prize Donor: Bridenbaker Designs
  • [21:28] Photography Donor
  • [26:16] Retreat Testimonials
  • [29:19] Embracing Community with Savvy Shopkeeper

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