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Creative Leisure News
2677 Ashley Ct.
Tremont, IL 61568
Phone: 309-925-5593
Fax: 309-925-9068
Email: mike@clnonline.com


 


 

Insights on business -- and life.

Printer Version

How A Retailer Can Help A Vendor Create A Product

Product testing with store customers.

by Kim Donahue (August 19, 2013)

(Note: The following is an excerpt from Kim's new book, Growing Up Retail, a memoir of her years with Tall Mouse Arts & Crafts.)

Remember that funny fabric paint that came in an accordion bottle? That was Tulip paint which is a little success story that was invented on the porch of the Mouse. As with some other retail stores, we participated in the development of the products, but this story was a bit different.

Around 1985, the inventor of Tulip paint was a chemist in our town, and his family shopped the store frequently. At the time, there was no product for people to paint on shirts that was easy, fun, and reliable, so we kept working with him as he developed the needed paint.

He would come in and talk to us about his product, we would try it, give him our feedback, and he would go back to the lab and work up something else and return again. He also set up a table in front of the store and had our customers play with it. He got instant feedback with lots of guest comments.

He was onto something, and it wasn’t long before he produced the product. We were the first to display the Tulip fabric paint. It was a big hit, and it happened fast! Tulip paint or "puffy paint" was a craft store gold mine.

He made a promise as a thank you to the Mouse for the help. No matter how big or busy his company got, our orders always went to the top. He kept his promise, and we kept our customers in full swing year after year with puffy t-shirt painting supplies.

Later he sold his company and happily retired. This made me realize that a small company can make a difference. I was really amazed that we, a small town craft store, could influence and assist a large manufacturing company in a big way.

(Note: Growing Up Retail is available from Amazon Kindle and in three months will be available from other e-readers. To order it now, click HERE.)

xxx

 

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