2021: Mimi's Year In Review
Happy New Year, All!
We are so grateful for your continued support and patronage - Thank you!
We would like to take the time to share with you how our first year under new ownership and in a new location has gone, what we've achieved, and what we hope next to accomplish.
Things We're Proud Of:
- At the end of November we reached the end of our first year under our new ownership!
- We are now paying our employees a living wage! A big goal for us under new ownership was to pay each employee a living wage. Our next milestones in compensation are: being able to offer health insurance, and increasing wages to reflect the knowledge and care that each of our employees brings to the table. (That's going to take effort on all sides - including from our amazing customers).
- Our lease at 430 West State Street ended in March of 2021, and we successfully relocated our store to 401 Elmira Road. This was an adventure of epic proportions, and we are so grateful to our community and customers for supporting us through it!
- We are now sourcing our new products from local makers and regional small businesses! Previously, we had been ordering from various large domestic and international wholesale companies, and we are proud to say that is no longer the case! Our new product sales now exclusively support regional and independent artists and artisans. In 2021, 6.5% of all items sold were from our local makers, accounting for 4.2% of our total sales, and they earned more than $21,000 for themselves.
- We held our first Holiday Makers’ Market between 26 November and 24 Dec 2021. During this event, our local makers earned over $6,000 from sales of their merchandise.
- This summer, we hosted teens from Tompkins Workforce New York’s Summer Youth Employment Program, and the Ithaca Youth Bureau’s Youth Employment Service. We have been able to continue employment for some of them since their program ended in August!
- We successfully launched our online shopping in 2020, and have continued to grow it throughout 2021. From 2020 to 2021, our online sales have more than doubled!
All of this is made possible by you and the support of our Ithaca community. Thank You!
Seller Agreement Updates:
Beginning in 2022, we will be updating our Seller Agreement annually.
To reflect the higher rent of our new space, and to support higher wages for our employees, we have changed our Consignment and Buy Outright percentages:
- Formerly 50% cash or 60% store credit
- Now 40% cash or 50% store credit
- Formerly 35% cash or 45% store credit
- Now 30% cash or 40% store credit
By the Numbers: Our rent has gone up 117% (more than doubled, with that number increasing to 123% in February), and our wages have gone up by 29% (and will continue to rise as we strive to compensate our staff fairly.
Note: Anyone with items consigned prior to January 14, 2022 will still receive last year’s consignment splits.
Things We'd Love To Do Better:
- Challenge: Mimi’s Movers is understaffed, and we’re not able to meet all of the needs of our clients in the time frame we want to offer.
- Goal: Expand our Mimi’s Movers staffing, and be able to have our trucks running every weekend again - if you or someone you know is interested, please reach out to us through our website!
- Stretch Goal: We hope to purchase a box truck! This will offer greater flexibility and allow us to support other local businesses (eg. mechanics for regular maintenance, printing for the truck signage)
- Challenge: Our program to support our local makers through marketing, web development, and general business development support is on pause due to tight finances.
- Goal: Seek additional funding sources (grants/investors) to return to and then expand being able to help support and grow our local makers’ businesses! Because we all do better when we all do better. If you know of any resources that may be relevant, please do share them with us!
Early Win: The Return of Swedish Dish Cloths!
One of our goals for 2022 was to find a locally sourced and sustainable manufacturer of Swedish Dish Cloths. Bonus points for cute designs ;) We're proud to say that we've met this goal and our first batch will arrive later this month!
Three Bluebirds is a family owned and operated business based in Connecticut. They use local production and materials to create their version of the famous Swedish Dishcloth - with joyful illustrations in earth friendly inks!
A Note From Our Co-Owners, Ian & Amanda
We would like to say thank you to all of our clients and customers who have stayed with us despite COVID and our recent relocation. It hasn’t been easy for anyone, but we certainly wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for you. And we want to give a warm welcome to those of you who we’ve only just met; we hope to continue to serve you and our community for years to come!
Mimi’s Attic is more than just a store; it’s a place that celebrates the uniqueness of individual items and people and forges connections between them. As LGBTQ+ business owners, we’re proud to be fostering a workplace where staff are valued and can bring their whole selves to work. We’ve made being an ethical employer a top priority for the company, and the dedication and passion from our staff has already shown that those values are well-placed. As our regular customers and clients can attest, there is always some fun banter happening behind the register, courtesy of a happy and authentic team. We hope that everybody who visits us feels welcomed and at home in this space.
Engaging with the local community and sharing our enthusiasm with our neighbors was something that happened organically at our old location in the West End, where we were surrounded by other small businesses and a tight-knit group of residents. Folks would stop by just to see each other, not only to shop, but to say hello and to check in on one another.
Unfortunately since our move last March, when construction pushed us from our old home and the space needs of a furniture store forced us out of the West End, we feel like we’ve lost some of that sense of community, and we miss it dearly! Moving forward, we want to continue to call Ithaca home for years to come. We want to re-engage with our community, and we are looking for patrons who have ideas on how we can do so, and the organizational skills to take those ideas and run with them.