By Colette Gross
Being a female business owner is very empowering and fulfilling. My dream of having a shop of my own was fulfilled in 2008. For those of you who haven’t yet been to Station 8, it is a curated blend of home
décor, new gifts, artisan made goods, artfully blended with unique finds I bring back from my many buying trips. The assortment is ever changing but the core is always tasteful antique furniture, functional
home decor pieces and imaginative accessories for your home. A few months after I opened, the recession hit, so I have learned many valuable business lessons over the years; the first of which is to never stop changing, evolving and pushing the creative limits. I believe
that any woman can achieve her dream if she has the passion, tenacity and commitment and I’d like to share with you some of my insights from my own journey of being a Montana entrepreneur!
What has been my biggest challenge?
One of many challenges was adapting to my numerous roles that I now had as sole proprietor; the
biggest of which was to understand how to manage my time in order to prioritize the responsibilities of accountant, purchasing, marketing, visual display, pricing, and of course selling! I found that by taking 30 minutes every morning prior to opening, to plan, prioritize and set goals, I was able to manage my day and maintain flexibility as the day progressed.
What do I wish I’d known before I opened my shop?
I still remain surprised today, eight years later, that someone will come in who says they’ve driven by a million times or heard about the shop but hasn’t made it in to experience it yet. I would advise prospective owners to spend six or so months advertising and marketing their business prior to opening in order to inform the community what is coming and build the momentum and anticipation of their business!
What achievement am I most proud of?
I believe in collaborating and as a business owner it is important to be a vital part of the community. I am very proud of the monthly events I have hosted in collaboration with local artisans and fellow
business owners through my Diva Nights, Open Houses, book signings and music events. I enjoy the energy of hosting events with Montana Woman and am proud that my shop is a welcoming
environment bringing people together.
What is the best part of being a shop owner in the Flathead?
Sharing my passion with my customers, developing and mentoring my team of associates is my reward. I enjoy sourcing unique items and displaying them creatively but at the end of the day, it’s about people. The pride I have in my team, seeing their growth under my guidance and leadership is so powerful. I am always bringing new people on board to my “Team 8” to help them fulfill their dreams!
I invite you to come in and see what Station 8 is all about. Join us for our next Diva Night, Friday Oct. 21 from 5-9pm!
All the best,