You’re Never Too Old to Learn
That furry little guy in my arms at right is Humphrey. This sweet Yorkie is the four-legged greeter at HiHo Home Market in Gardiner, New York. While Humphrey keeps things lively at the shop (especially when he’s doing his little dance in exchange for a cookie), it’s his owner, Heidi Hill-Haddard, who really brings the shop alive. Heidi’s honed skills and overflowing imagination are responsible for the eye-popping displays (Fruit decorating a light fixture? A garden hose looped overhead? Flowing fabrics stapled to the walls?) and the creative business marketing (Facebook, Twitter, a blog, oh my!) that draws people to this Hudson Valley shop. Heidi is also this year’s Country Business Retailer of the Year.
I first met Heidi at the New York International Gift Fair last summer. We chatted over lunch about retailing, social marketing, gift shows and more. I could tell then that Heidi’s mind was always operating in overdrive. She is constantly envisioning ways to improve her business. When Heidi goes to market, she takes full advantage of the many learning opportunities available. When not on the show floor, she can often be found taking notes at a business-building seminar or sharing tips with other retailers on how to improve their Facebook pages. Heidi says her heart is that of an entrepreneur. “My plan is to always brainstorm, plan, work hard, create and believe.”
Heidi is the perfect example of continuing to learn in order to grow. This past year, she has explored as much as she could about social marketing and now has a strong and active Facebook page, which integrates perfectly with her website, blog, YouTube channel and Twitter account. As a result, she has completely revamped her marketing plan. Heidi also believes in growing her business by growing her town. She’s active in promoting local events and has always participated in various local nonprofit organizations. Going forward, Heidi follows this mantra: “Staying focused on the best we can be will always keep us ahead of the competition.” Click here to read more about what makes Heidi a winning retailer.