Success Doesn’t Take a Miracle in Old Pasadena
Times are hard, and doing business anywhere is a challenge, but as far as Old Pasadena is concerned, the rumors of the economy getting better seem to be true. Like anywhere else, to take full advantage of that, you not only have to work harder, you have to work smarter and in Old Pas, we also work together. Cooperation is what gave Old Pasadena its start in the late ’80s, and it’s what is keeping us ahead of the curve today.
This was a very good holiday season for our 21-block district. Even though we don’t have all the figures in from all the stores, we can see that our garages were consistently at full capacity, unique visitors to our web site nearly doubled from last year, and merchants have come to us with thanks and stories.
Marci Christensen, proprietor of Lula Mae, an award-winning Old Pasadena gift boutique saw a dramatic increase in profits over last year. She is not only a smart merchant but also an active marketer. Since OPMD research had predicted that virtually all our customers would be spending less, she changed her product line to take full advantage the situation. To attract more customers, she participated in all our holiday events beginning with the Halloween Trick-or-Treat weekend. To maximize her visibility with limited ad funds, she developed a website and blog as fun and quirky as her store. She linked it to the OPMD site, offered on-line coupons from both sites, then gave the coupon discount to all her customers, whether they knew about them or not. “I see the look in their eyes when they get the added discount. I know they’ll visit my site now, and they’ll come back to the store.”
Andrea Auman, owner of the Crowned Studio Salon not only experienced a 35% increase in business, she did it overcoming an additional challenge. In the middle of the worst recession in anyone’s memory, she decided to move and start up her business all over again. “It was the best possible timing as far as I was concerned,” she remarks. “I knew my best customers would follow me, and with Pasadena rents at an all time low, I knew I could find a great place in a great city.” Andrea not only took full advantage of the OPMD web connections and events to bring in customers, she started up networking and cross-promotional events of her own. To maximize her electronic presence Andrea links to her partners and fellow merchants from her home page and maintains FacebookTwitter accounts and a blog.
As diverse, and sometimes eccentric, as the merchants of Old Pasadena are, all of our success stories share this aspect of working harder, working smarter and working together. No magic potions (that we know of), no lucky Leprechauns, and no behind-the-scenes buyouts or bailouts have been employed to give us the upper hand. Just good research, good marketing and good business. The Old Pasadena Management District is proud to be the hub of this activity, and is working hard to keep giving our merchants and business owners ahead of the game.