Young Entrepreneur Finds Success in Gift Business
Ten years ago, when he was just 16, Matt Triest opened his first gift shop, a seasonal store on Cape Cod which sold toys, crafts and beach supplies. He managed the store every summer while studying business in college. Then when he graduated in 2017, he sold that store and opened Be Charmed, a gift shop in his hometown of Medfield, Mass.
What makes your store unique?
We’re the go-to shop in town. If someone needs a gift, they come to us. We’re also known for our large selection of local items which are made in Massachusetts or New England. We have a lot of bigger brands too.
How would you describe the atmosphere of your store?
Based on the color and feel, it has a beach vibe. We’re not near a beach, but a lot of our customers have beach homes. We have an open floor plan with windows on three sides, so there’s lots of natural light. Our flooring is light, the walls are neutral and the fixtures are light-colored. It makes for a nice open feel.
To what do you attribute your success?
I listen to my customers and I always have unique items. Whenever I bring in new things, I make sure to merchandise them well and give them a good spot in the store. If it’s on a dark bottom shelf, people will never see it.
How do you promote your store?
We do a lot on Instagram and Facebook, and we try to send out newsletters as often as we can to our email list, which has gotten pretty big.
What has been your most successful recent event?
We’ve done a few after-hours shopping events to raise funds for local organizations. For that, we’ll give the organization a percentage of our sales and offer food and drinks. It always gets new people in the door.
Looking back, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
You’ll make buying mistakes in good and bad ways. Sometimes you’ll buy products that might not do so well and you won’t sell as much as you wanted. And sometimes it’s a really popular item and you didn’t buy enough. These things happen; it’s just part of doing business.