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One final one that diverges from our inventory control theme but just as important: For those who aren’t strictly certified fair trade resellers but also include ethical products: Is compliance with the Fair Labor Association Code of Conduct (http://www.fairlabor.org/our-work/code-of-conduct) a legitimate yardstick to judge ethicality?

  Kevin Natapow    This is always going to be a bit of a subjective issue. For whatever reason, many of us independent retailers are not members of one or all of that many fair trade governing bodies- WFTO, FTF, etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Many shops choose to carry products from local

How do you find fair trade suppliers who are not members of the FTF I understand there are groups who don’t like the politics of the federation who still may be doing good work. Then how do you know if they are really fair?

(1) WFTO is a good source too. Most of the non-FTF or even WFTO members we worked with we discovered on our travels and were just too small to be members but we believed in what they were doing. We also carried from non-FTF wholesalers in the USA who were not members yet but we

We’re thinking of adding a “real life” time on the floor observation to our staff interview process. Do you have any experience with this and how do you deal with lack of product or real Fair Trade knowledge?

  Kevin Natapow   Yes- we always did a "working interview" with people. Sometimes they seem great on paper, interview well, but are a disaster on the floor. We would give them our customer service document, give them 15-20 min to digest it and send them out. We did not require them to have FT

So…marketing. I keep hearing “social media, social media, social media.” I have been doing okay building engagement and likes and whatnot, but how do I get a “like” on Facebook to translate to feet actually coming through the door? What should I be building into my posts to create incentive to come shop?

  Kevin Natapow   It can be hard to translate a like into a customer but in a small way you already have. If you are able to use SM strategically and consistently, you will more than likely be able to convert a FB like into a customer. Using tools that help you post across

I love that we have a new resource here for displays. That being said, what are some other good resources to check out? Are there any quick, down and dirty, type rules of thumb for a) an overall store design and b) window displays?

  Kevin Natapow   Pinterest and going to lots of cool hip stores anywhere you go. We always got great ideas on vacation by "shopping" at other stores. Hit some major ones in Berkeley one year and had some great VM displays for months!   I try to follow what Anthropologie does for their window

I am wondering about how to identify our target market/customer. In the past, our customer has been majority women age 40-60, but we are bringing in younger styles and more trendy pieces trying to capture a younger demographic. (We are in a college town.) I am afraid of alienating our older customers. Any advice? Do we need to choose one over the other?

  Kevin Natapow   I do not think you need to sacrifice one over the over. Demographics always shift to some degree and if you are picking up a new one then great. Esp with your expanded space you should have ample space to cater to both. You can also see if your town, etc has

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