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Meet Meghan Nichols of The Jolly Christmas Shop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meghan Nichols.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started The Jolly Christmas Shop in 2012. I’ve always loved Christmas (so has my family), so it was natural to want to try to open a Christmas store. In the beginning, we were online only. I was shipping out of my parent’s basement. The business soon outgrew that space and I started looking for a warehouse. While looking for a warehouse space, I stumbled upon a storefront in downtown Loganville (2013).

To my surprise, the rent was cheaper than a warehouse. I figured I would run my shipping and receive out of the storefront. My sister being a clothing store owner (Entourage in Athens), convinced me to open a storefront. I signed the lease in July and by September the store had to be open for the Christmas season! The first year was definitely the hardest, but I probably learned the most! By 2014 things were running smoother. We hired a designer to help us set up the store which helped out a ton! By 2015 shipping and receiving for our website started to outgrow the store and we quickly had to use storage units to hold the excess product and boxes.

In the beginning of 2016, we knew we had to start looking for a warehouse for our offices, storage of excess product, and for shipping and receiving. To my surprise a warehouse directly across the street from our store became available! A blessing for sure! We currently have the warehouse location for shipping and receiving, office space and for prop rentals and the store location.

Has it been a smooth road?
Our growth has been a struggle. Trying to juggle giving the business what it needs to grow, but also be conscious of the money you are putting out for growth. This leads to the other struggle, making most of your money in 3 months of the year. After the busyness of the season fades, I am always trying to watch what we spend money on during these dry months. This money has to last until we open our doors in September.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Jolly Christmas Shop story. Tell us more about the business.
At The Jolly Christmas Shop, we specialize in unique Christmas decor. We try to find unique items you wouldn’t find anywhere else. We try to capture the magic of Christmas when we choose our product. We design 8-10 tree themes, that you can shop from online or in-store. Our in-house designer creates custom garlands and wreaths for customers. We also personalize ornaments, which is always a customer favorite. We try to give our customers a personal shopping experience. We know a lot of our customers by name. Our main goal is to capture the magic of Christmas and sharing it with others.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the next few years if business stays in the upward direction we will probably outgrow the warehouse and we are already outgrowing the storefront. We may look for a new bigger location for both the warehouse and storefront in the near future. We would also love to get into the trends of the everyday home decor. Possibly open a new store with home decor and an online website selling home decor.

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