Just Shop!

  D6E6BCAD-5AFF-4381-923A-1C3DE024C9D9An interview with Mercedes Gonzalez of Just Shop

Why did you decide to open a business in the Catskills?   

My “day job” gives me a lot of opportunities to have access to “odd lots” of closeout merchandise. For years, I was hoarding goods to hit a critical mass in order to run a warehouse/sample sale in the city. The storage was a small fortune plus I couldn’t sell anything between pop ups. Then I started thinking that my Neighbors should also have access to fashion branded goods and not just cheap clothing and accessories. Plus, a store front is cheaper than the warehouse and I get to employee a few people, make money between sales and offer fashion at a value to the area. Win/Win

What was step one in making your dream come true? 

Finding the right location is no easy feat and I had to do it twice. Once back in 2010 when I opened the first store in Margaretville(which I had to close after the flood) and recently when I was determined to reopen.

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How long have you owned your business here?

Well the new location in Arkville has had a LONG slow opening since black Friday 2016, we have been open off and on during the off season building out the store and gearing up for the summer.

  What has been the most fun? 

It just kills me when someone shares a story about how great they felt or looked at  an event. We had some girls trying on prom dresses the other day and the moms were crying! That to me is the most rewarding, fun.

What are your favorite things to do here (when you aren’t working)?

I am always surprised at how social it can be here. Dinners at friends’ houses or hosting a dinner. I love it when you meet someone casually and start doing the six degrees of separation and find how much you have in common before inviting them over! 4th of July is always my favorite time of the year! The mountains are perfect, the weather is amazing and the fireman’s carnival is right out of ole time Americana.

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Name one thing you love about living and working upstate?

I don’t live upstate full time, I don’t think it will be an option for me for a long time. I suffer from a bit of wanderlust and fortunately my “day job” has a lot of traveling involved, last year I traveled to 8 different countries, but there is one thing I love is coming home to the mountains. I am so happy that I have found so many wonderful friends here that post photos on facebook, so I am never too far away from home.

What advice would you give to people who are beginning to dream about starting a business in the Catskills?

Don’t quit your day job, actually work in the business type you want to open and give it time, there are no overnight successes.

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