Sarah Jack and Scott Harris were simply wife and husband, until their jobs were simultaneously made redundant, in the most corporate sense of the word. They became a team, in the small business sense, when Sarah, a magazine publishing executive with two decades of experience driving subscription marketing campaigns, and Scott, an art director, combined their talents into BLAST, a uniquely eclectic art gallery in the NYC suburbs.
"Within hours of being laid off, we had moved on to the next chapter,” recalls Sarah. “We had always been attracted to this weird little place,” she says of the oddly small building,“ and the idea just grew from there."
It took six months from conception to launch and they've been expanding ever since. Each month brings a new artist and a new showing. And a new social media campaign.
"I guess what we've been most successful at is finding like-minded people through social media," Scott says. "We already have thousands of Facebook fans and we work really hard to connect our artists and art to people who might love it. It's worked really well."
One of their first visions for the store was a Mac on the countertop.
"Very early on, we knew we wanted one of those stores where the Mac was the centerpiece,” says Sarah. “We didn't want some old cash register or PC sitting up there."
Their first purchase was a MacBook Air. Their second was Checkout.
"It was important to us that we could get started with Checkout quickly and easily,” Sarah says. “The software, hardware, all of it came with almost no learning curve. Then, with Enstore, we were able to create our online store inside of an afternoon. Ourselves."
Their Enstore went live and within hours they sold a handsome Mr. Spock dinner plate.
For their accounting, they didn't have as much experience, but they jumped in with two feet.
"We sought the advice of a local Certified Consultant, Charlie Redmond, who helped us understand the relationship between the sales information Checkout generates and the General Ledger that AccountEdge maintains on the back-end. An integrated system was perfect for us," says Sarah.
Up next? Coffee.
"We're going to expand next door into a Coffee Shop / Art Gallery. We're excited," Sarah beams.
The moral? Maybe that in these tough economic times people are looking to connect, and they’re doing it through social media. Maybe that enthusiastic entrepreneurs armed with a solid marketing plan can succeed in any business environment. Or, maybe, that Star Trek paraphernalia is timeless.
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