By Sue Mancall
FRAMINGHAM – A customer walked into our store a few weeks ago wearing baggy jeans — at least four sizes too big. She had been shopping at SKM for about five years and I knew I could be honest with her. I said, “Leslie what are you wearing? You have worked so hard to lose a lot of weight, and your jeans are way too baggie. Can I ask you to please try on these size 5 jeans and tell me what you think?”
She gave me a skeptical look and said, “These will never fit.” Undaunted, I said, ‘Try them.” She came out of the dressing room with a huge smile on her face. The jeans looked and felt fabulous, and she was so grateful for my honesty. This is why I love what I do. It is so gratifying to help people feel good about themselves.
I cannot believe I have been in business helping customers look and feel good for 20 years. Where did the time go? I started off with a small line of sterling silver jewelry andasked good friends to host home parties. My biggest concern then was trying to reverse directions on my way home from a party because GPS was not yet a thing and I would get lost EVERY. SINGLE. TIME! For years, I set up my house with jewelry in every room and my creative friend would help me display pieces using orange lentils and beans.
The business continued to grow by having booths at corporate events, hospitals, and trade shows. In 2012, we opened our first small, 400-square-foot retail location. SKM became a place for people to stop by for a chat or to pick up a small, affordable gift or a piece of jewelry for themselves. I counted on my unbelievable team to help run the store as I continued with events outside of the store.
Five years ago, I looked at my husband outside our current location and said, “What do you think? Can we convert this store into a boutique?” Of course, he said yes. Matt has always been my strength and my No. 1 fan and now he’s an integral part of SKM behind the scenes. We opened our current location at?? as a “pop up” and I knew we needed more than jewelry. Clothing, jewelry and accessories have filled the store, but it is our customers and my amazing team who make this “home” so special. We love giving back and we always give to local organizations and have several fundraisers throughout the year.
In March, when the pandemic first hit, I honestly did not know what we were going to do. All our shows had been cancelled and the store was temporarily closed. Early on, I saw my vendors carrying masks. I brought in a few and advertised on Facebook and Instagram. A few days later we sold over 500 masks, donating a portion of sales to the Taly Foundation.
Within a month, we sold 3,000 masks. Pivoting. Flexibility. These are words I use often. We pivoted next by having Facebook Live events. We loved seeing our customers and friends sit by their computer with a glass of wine as we show the latest from SKM! Faith and Tanner were phenomenal models as they showed off the different styles from our store. Now that we are reopen with protocols in place, we have created a safe place for our community to shop or to just stop by for some retail therapy!
And best of all, these days, I no longer get lost.
Celebrate our 20th with us this weekend: 10% of all sales will be donated to the Why Not Devin Foundation. Help families with a child fighting a rare, terminal pediatric brain cancer that has no funding.
Christine Soutter Suau, who works at SKM, has become part of our work family, and we want to be able to give back to this foundation she has worked tirelessly to create since the passing of her young son Devin, three years ago.
EVERYTHING will be 20% off this FRIDAY, SATURDAY and SUNDAY. We will also have giveaways and treats! Shop small and shop local. It means so much.