Business Matters: Customers Inspire Sue’s Country Cottage After Family Loss
This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, a day holiday shoppers are encouraged to buy local. But one store owner in Osseo has another reason to feel the Christmas spirit. She has her customers to thank.
Holiday Season Key for Small Retailers
At Sue’s Country Cottage in Osseo, the Christmas season has arrived.
“You can see from the front of the store as we start at the beginning, it’s just Christmas exploding everywhere,” said Sue Schmit, owner of the store. “We feature our gnomes, which are really fun and everybody loves them. These are handmade by a local gal.”
Schmit says this time of year is vital to small business success. So vital, in fact, that more than half the sales come between now and Christmas.
“It is a huge part,” said Schmit
Customers Help Inspire Store Owner After Family Loss
Schmit wondered whether she’d even be open this Christmas season.
“The locals, the customers and our regulars that come to our store and love it were very upset and expressed that to me and how badly they wanted us to stay,” said Schmit.
She considered closing this summer, not because business was bad, but she wanted to devote more time to her cancer-stricken father.
“My father had been rediagnosed with cancer and was given less than a year to live,” she said. “I decided it was more important to spend more time with him.”
Then, everything changed.
“God decided to take him in July instead and so I didn’t need to do that. So then I decided i wanted to stay in Osseo and I wanted to keep doing this.”
It turns out Sue’s father never wanted her to close either.
“He said that that was quite silly of me to sell my building and close my store,” Schmit recalled. “So it’s just another reason to stay open.”
A Place to Find Something Unique
Schmit’s decision to stay open couldn’t make her customers happier.
“It’s so fun because every time you walk in the door, it’s arranged differently and there’s new material and different gifts,” said Cindy Price, who says she shops regularly at the store. “You can always find something special and unique.”
Customers gave Schmit renewed energy.
“The overwhelming support that I received because I’m staying is fantastic and it just really makes me feel great,” she said.
And now she can focus on selling the kind of gifts that have become her staple.
“They can come here and get a unique gift and something you can’t buy at a big box store.”