“Quality is very important to us. We choose individuals who focus on one product and make it really well. “
What inspired you to start your business?
Nikki Hickman: I opened my handmade Children’s Business in 2008 called Bella Due. I didn’t make enough products to fill an entire brick and mortar store. But I wanted a place for crafters like myself to be able to sell their items. So we created Serendipity. Like the name implies we provide a positive unique find. So many great ideas in our store. Quality is very important to us. We choose individuals who focus on one product and make it really well.
What’s the first thing someone would notice walking into your store?
Nikki Hickman: All the unusual items. People always are amazed at what our crafters come up with. They feel like they have walked in to Pinterest or Etsy. Customers love that our items are locally handmade. They love the variety and that they can have custom items created just for them.
Describe your merchandise mix:
Nikki Hickman: All or our items are locally handcrafted. We have a great mix of jewelry, home decor , children’s items and more. We give over 33 local crafters the opportunity to sell their items in a true Brick and Mortar location.
Do you hold annual events and exhibitions?
Nikki Hickman: Serendipity Handmade Gifts is located in the historic town of Kimmswick, MO. We are about 20 minutes south of St. Louis. The town sponsors several events throughout the year. Some of our events include, girlfriends days, shop for the cure, Deer Widows’ weekend, Holiday events and Small Business Saturday. Serendipity was the neighborhood champion for Small Business Saturday this year. We coordinated an event, where our customers enjoyed special offers at all of the over 20 shops in town. And they received giveaways sent to us from American Express.
Have you noticed an increase in customer demand for locally made and/or handmade merchandise?
Nikki Hickman: Locally handmade is what we are. It is what we started as and it is our focus. People love that our items are locally hand crafted and they often tell us how great a unique store like ours is.
How do most of your customers find you?
Nikki Hickman: We are lucky enough to be in a destination town already. So people come to historic Kimmswick to eat at the famous Blue Owl restaurant and shop at all the local stores. In addition, we market our store on Facebook, Pinterest and through emails.
What makes your store stand out from other retailers in your area?
Nikki Hickman: We are the ONLY locally handmade store in Kimmswick. There are over 20 stores in town and we have that niche. To us it is more than a niche it is our reason for having the store. We allow local crafters to sell their products and are able to offer something completely different to our customers.
What would you say is your key to longevity?
Nikki Hickman: Offering a quality product that is unusual. Also growing a customer base who appreciates handmade items.