For Immediate Release
Beverly Schmitz Glass, PhD 620.276.0891
Wheatfields on Main is featured in the current issue of the national trade magazine, “Fashion Advantage”.
Published by T. J. Reid, a retail consultant who creates opportunities for retail clothing owners who attend New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas trade shows to discuss trends in women’s’ fashion world, the magazine provides current information that supplements her four books for retailers including, “What Momma Never Told You About Retail”.
Shonda Collins, owner of Wheatfields on Main, was very surprised by the request that came last September.
“To me, it is an honor to be asked to be a Store Spotlight for T. J.’s magazine. It is read by small retail owners and manufacturer representatives from all over the United States.”
The article, detailing how Collins got into the women’s clothing business and the impact of small retailers have in community involvement, covered a four-page spread including photos shot by Becky Malewitz of the Garden City Telegram.
Collins’ retail adventure began when she took a part-time job in the fall of 2003 to help out in her neighbor’s store. She never dreamed that she would own the business just a few months later. She operated a successful interior design business. But after a fire closed one the city’s largest employers on Christmas Day in 2001, business was slow as virtually all building in the area stopped and 2,400 jobs disappeared out of the community overnight.
The decision to “just help out in the backroom at Wheatfields on Main until Christmas” signaled the beginning if a new career. After only a couple of months of observing Shonda’s work ethic and business sense, the owner (Need to identify this person especially for the Telegram) asked if she would like to buy the business. Collins, who does not consider herself a fashionista by any definition, was at first shocked by the offer, then thought it was just a crazy idea. But with the encouragement and pledge of support from her husband, Jeff, they signed papers for the store on December 23, 2003.
“I was overwhelmed at first,” said Collins. “I had never even been to market. All spring orders had been cancelled by the previous owner. But I had the aid of retired long-time retailer and part-time employee Dorothy Weber, who helped me navigated my way through my first market in Dallas that January. I’m pretty sure I bought almost everything I saw and left most sales reps smiling as I walked away.”
The magazine feature also highlights the importance of community involvement. Said Collins, “Small businesses have an amazing impact on employment and the economy, which is often overlooked. As individual businesses, we are ‘small’, but coming together to communicate our needs, share information, and support each other, we are a force.”
Extra copies of the magazine are available at Wheatfields, 309 N Main, Garden City.