No Business Left Behind: Vickie McDermott
Tell us about your business, your name, your business name, what you do.
My name is Vickie McDermott and married have 3 grown children, a lot of grandchildren, six of them. Owner of Funky Junk, a unique collection of junk art, repurposed items, furniture and antiques. We also have a selection of gift items, such as candles, earrings and some jewelry, gifts for dog and cat lovers, things that people get really excited about!
I have been a Mary KAY beauty consultant for over 30 years. Working with people is one of my fortes!
How long have you been in the business as Funky Junk?
We have been open since July 1 of 2017.
What’s your target audience? Who are your best customers?
Customers that are looking for unique pieces. Antique lovers, the junk art is always interesting for people to come and check out so you will never know what we are gonna come up with.
What was the biggest impact COVID-19 had on your business?
I think just being closed for a couple months and the slow restart. Because people were unsure, they were a little hesitant. But, I think knowing that we had a few things in place for them gave them some comfort. And they were ready to get out so.
We have hand sanitizer and wipe off customer credit cards. Things that give them some comfort and, you know, just cleaning the handle on the door and different things.
Have you done anything as far as marketing or promotion during the Coronavirus to try to promote your store?
We did. We constructed some entertaining, out-of-character videos and we posted them on Facebook but we were also featuring items from our store. So, in case people had not been familiar with our store, they now know what items we carry. It was entertaining, we kind of got a little lax on it once we reopened but we have new videos coming out soon so you will have to check us out on Facebook.
In response to your videos on Facebook, have you noticed any response? Has it given you any benefit from that marketing?
Yes, we have people mention it so that is a good way to know that they have seen it. Letting them know they can like us on Facebook if they haven’t checked us out. If they want some good entertainment for the evening, they could go back and watch some of our videos in case they don’t know about them.
Tell us a little bit about your Second Saturday promotion, how that works for your business and for the square.
This program is going to be revamped a little, but basically we were promoting that most of the stores on the square be open the second Saturday of the month. We were trying to do some type of promotion, so I’m hoping that continues – we are located on the southwest corner of our historic Centerville square. And we have other antique stores that people come to visit and it’s a great time for people to come from the lake for a one-day shopping trip. I have a lot of out-of-town shoppers that tell me that is what they are doing for the day.
Based on what you have learned how might other benefits benefit?
Just talking about the fact that we have done some things to the inside of our store to improve things. We are going to be working on our logo, a new website.
Anything else to add?
We have an event that’s called the Southern Iowa Junk Jaunt and it’s held twice a year usually in June and October. We have been privileged to be a part of that great event. You receive a map and you can go from store-to-store or location-to-location because we have some barn locations and places where people are set up for their displaying of “junk” or antiques. It’s just a fun event! We have thousands of people come and I am really in hopes that we will have it this year. But if not, we might have a way smaller version of that because some of our stores will still be open.