Hi Tracey, great to see you again! When we last spoke you said that one of your dreams was to open a shop, and here we are standing in your new shop in Blyth – it looks fantastic! Tell us about what you’ve been up to since you finished Be Digital in March.
I always wanted to open a shop and now is the right time. If it wasn’t for Be Digital I would never have done this.
Be Digital gave me the confidence and the skills to be able to market my business free of charge using social media. Since finishing Be Digital’s Springboard Programme in March I’ve constantly posted on Instagram and Facebook, both of which are linked to my website. Facebook has been fantastic for spreading the word about my business – I’ve gained lots of new customers this way. I ask my new customers where they heard of Dapa Workwear and they all say “We’ve seen you on Facebook” or they’ve seen Dapa Workwear on Instagram.
Some people said that social media wasn’t the way to go, whereas other people were saying it is the way to go – I really wasn’t sure what the best thing to do was. Previously I did all of my marketing by calling or going round meeting companies. As I’ve got older I’ve found my confidence for this type of marketing has reduced, so marketing on social media has been fantastic for me and my business.
Be Digital taught me how to use social media much more effectively for my customers. I learnt from Pascal that I need to understand and target my customers and build my social media content around them. Using social media this way has been brilliant! It’s helped me increase my customer base and this has given me the confidence to go for it and get the shop.
I work with taxi companies who were really keen for me to get a shop so their drivers can just pop in to get their uniform. Now I’ve got the shop, I want to work with schools, so that parents can also pop into a nice shop with their children, which adds a more personal touch.
Be Digital and being part of the 20 women on the programme gave me the skills and balls to do it – it’s been amazing!
Tell us more about your shop and launch event on Saturday 1st October
The shop is located at 60 Regent Street Blyth, straight opposite Morrisons car park. I chose this location because it’s convenient to get to, there’s free car parking all around, the shop can be easily seen and lots of people pass by (Ed’s note – a taxi driver popped his head into the door for a look as we spoke!). Also, we’ve got the development of the docks in Blyth. With the background I have in the offshore industry, hopefully I’ll be able to keep those links by working with the companies in the Port of Blyth. Now that I’ve got the shop they will be my next port of call!
The shop is an ideal size, there’ll be workwear on display and a coffee machine along with a comfy area for customers to sit and read the paper while they wait. My primary business is workwear but I will continue to do special orders, for example personalised gifts. There is no other workwear shop in Blyth, there’s nowhere around here that does what we do.
Our launch event is on Saturday 1st October from 9am to 4pm. I chose to launch on a Saturday because that’s the best day for my customers, they’ll have more time on a weekend to pop in and see us. For the launch there will be prosecco, cup-cakes and a free prize draw. If you come along and pop your business card in the box you could win a £100 voucher to spend in the shop. To promote the launch of the shop we’ll use Facebook and Instagram. We’ll also be distributing flyers and posters in the local shops.
We open for business on Monday 3rd October, my daughter’s 16th birthday, so a very special day for the family – Dapa Workwear is very much a family business. We’ll be open six days a week, Monday to Saturday, from 8.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays, Saturdays 8.30am until 1pm. It’s all very exciting.
Very best of luck with the launch event Tracey! From all the Be Digital team x