BY: RYAN LOMBARDI
Nestled in the small town of Homer City, you’ll find Trendy Trades, a resale shop selling gently used brand name clothes, accessories and shoes. Visit the store and you’ll find owner and operator Natalie Cadile, who greets you with a smile and whose attitude reflects the feel of the store, warm and welcoming. We talked with her about overcoming hurdles in a new business, sound advice for new business owners and entrepreneurs, and how leaving school to pursue her dream was one of the best decision she’s made.
Reselling clothes and accessories began as a hobby Natalie shared with now husband, Larry. “There was never a shortage of clothes to sell. I’m pretty much a hoarder when it comes to clothes.” she said laughing. Her and her husband would thrift shop all over, and find high quality items to resell. Eventually, a small storefront opened in downtown Homer City, and Natalie seized the opportunity. It was officially the start of Trendy Trades, who over the next eight years outgrew two locations and are currently settled into an over 3,000 square foot store on Main St downtown Homer City.
Pictured from left to right: Natalie Cadile, Jackie Tyger
Natalie runs the store now with her right hand girl, or ‘other husband’ as she said jokingly, Jackie Tyger. Jackie brings with her corporate experience within the retail industry, and together they bring the store to life with weekly specials, pictures, and videos as well as creating various opportunities to raise money for many different non-profit organizations.
Starting a retail store with no retail experience can be extremely difficult, but Natalie found a way. While talking with her throughout the interview you can really start to see how she’s been so successful, even when just starting out with little guidance. The secret is to care. When you care about every one of your customers and all you do and make sure everyone feels welcome, you’ll find success one way or another.
Why did you decide to open a consignment/resale shop?
“I’ve always wanted to own a consignment shop.” Natalie said. After reselling numerous items as a hobby for awhile, you start to see a need and even want in the area. “The landlord gave us such a good deal on our first location that we just had to try.” Her (the landlord’s) encouragement really helped in the beginning, and is a big reason they are in business today.
What was your biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
“I’m not very organized.” Natalie said smiling. “My husband Larry has been a huge help over the years keeping all the book work organized, accounting, etc. It’s been a real blessing.” You also have to be very self motivated. “Friends ask to go out some nights and you just have to say no. You have to prepare for the next day’s sale or buy clothes or prepare for whatever is coming up.” Finding people to balance out areas of weakness is incredibly important. “I’m so lucky to have both Larry and Jackie.”
“Friends ask to go out some nights and you just have to say no. You have to prepare for the next day’s sale or buy clothes or prepare for whatever is coming up.”
Have you ever doubted yourself throughout the process?
“All the time.” Every sale that doesn’t go right, when customers don’t show up, when a promotion doesn’t go as planned, there can be a lot of doubt. What helps to get through those times is the constant support of the people you surround yourself with. All it takes is someone to say “It’s ok!” and all of a sudden a situation doesn’t seem so bad.
How did you learn the business starting out?
“A lot of Google.” Natalie said laughing. A lot of reading, researching, and flat out experimenting. The best way to learn something is to just do it.
What advice would you give to a new Entrepreneur just starting out?
“Number one: If you are going to do something, do something you actually love and are passionate about. Every waking hour I think about this place; messaging people, talking to people about sales. You better love it, because it consumes you. If you’re going to half-ass it don’t even bother honestly. When I started I wasn’t all in since I was in school. It wasn’t until after I devoted all my time to the business did it really pick up.”
“If you are going to do something, do something you actually love and are passionate about.”
About the Author
Ryan is the founder of MuscleMan Media. A normal guy who just so happens to know a thing or two about digital marketing and social media. When not working, there is a good chance you’ll find him at the gym.
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