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Daily Inspiration: Meet Matt Bissinger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt Bissinger. 

Matt, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve long had a passion for art and design, which ultimately led me to open my business. However, my path was not a straight line. Out of school, I worked for nonprofits for many years before deciding to open a small store with a friend. I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I learned on the job and enjoyed the challenges that come with owning your own business. In 2013, we closed that business, and I took what I had learned and went off on my own. Since then, I’m continuously learning and growing. My taste and style has expanded and changed over time with influences from countless talented colleagues and friends. The business has adapted to our customer’s needs and a large percentage of business now occurs online. However, because we started out as a bricks-and-mortar business, I’ve retained my commitment to service, and personal attention that you won’t get from most online experiences and that will never change. It’s the people that make it all worth it. 

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There are always challenges along the way, and one is constantly improvising. The biggest challenge of the past few years was obviously the pandemic. No one knew what to expect, and like most retail businesses, we were closed for a few months early on. We were fortunate to have loyal customers who supported us through those months, and we also pivoted our business strategy and took our business online in a way we had not been before the pandemic. Ultimately, what started out as a challenge has been a boon and allows us to reach more customers and show a wider array of product than ever before. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My focus is sourcing home decor products that are sustainable designed and built to last. Whenever possible, we like to work with local artists and designers, but we do buy from around the world, including textiles from Laos, tableware from Europe, and ceramics from South Africa. The best part of my job is developing these relationships with makers and being able to share their work. I’m always on the look our for accessible design that engages and excites me. 

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Beyond the obvious metrics used to gauge success in business, I think the number of return customers is a bellwether of how you’re doing and the holy grail for most businesses, especially small business. Not only are these your best customers, but they are also your ambassadors and will talk up your business to others. Customer satisfaction is perhaps the most elusive metric to track but happy customers are a true sign of your success. 

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