TAMPA - Small business owners are starting 2013 with low expectations for the economy and their companies. That's the finding of a survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business.
Uncertainty about the economy has kept many small business owners from hiring, borrowing and expanding over the past year. But that's not the case for one small business owner. She's actually getting world-wide attention!
Lauren Basil doesn't sell just anything. She's found a niche and made it big time.
Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Prada. It looks like a major department store with some major price tags, but a store in South Tampa is mom's dream come true.
Proudly holding a vintage Louis Vuitton, Lauren Basil said, "You can't get another one in the Louis store and you can't find it in the market."
But she has it. A high-end handbag and many others, she's selling at her consignment boutique.
"We are constantly growing," she said with a huge smile across her face.
The idea came to her three years ago. Expecting their first baby, she wanted to contribute to the family budget. Her husband, Justin, works in commercial real estate and at the time, the market looked glum. She looked forward and used Justin's expertise.
"You know the market was transitioning three and a half years ago. He had extra time on his hand so he could help me create and start Mosh Posh," she said.
Now, designer clothes, shoes, and at least 500 bags come in a week.
"We have grown from 700 square feet to 1500 square feet," said Basil.
The business grew so fast, last year Basil opened up an online department that's now even busier than the store. She's hired a team just to handle web sales and new consignments on line.
"Oh it's definitely a big deal," said Lauren Angrick who works in the on-line department. "Our sales have actually doubled!"
The shop has more than 74,000 Facebook likes, more than any other consignment shop we found online.
"By the day it grows by the hundreds," said Angrick.
And now Mosh Posh ships all over the world.
"We send to Australia, Hungary, Canada, all over," said Angrick. "There are plenty of people world-wide who want to consign their items as well."
But the dream started in South Tampa, and it's not just helping Basil make a living. Consignment vendors do well too.
"If you have something you are not wearing anymore, you can bring it in," said Lisa Morgan who regularly consigns. "Just drop it off. Sell it and you get paid. It's a pay day!"
And you can get paid big. Morgan received a check for more than $600.
"You walk out with a paycheck and they keep going too!" Morgan said smiling.
Basil's already developing her next move with the help of her husband. She's looking at expanding to New York or Miami.
And that's not all that's expanding. Baby number two is on the way and Basil said life is looking good.
The Basils are so thankful for the community support, they give back as much as they can. All clothes that don't sell and consignment vendors don't want back go to the Spring of Tampa Bay, a shelter for battered women. They also donate bags to charity and are getting ready to help sponsor a March of Dimes event.
The Basils make sure the bags are authentic and everything is in pristine shape before they will accept it.
If you are interested in the store, visit them on 500 S Howard Ave Tampa, FL 33606, or go to the website at www.mymoshposh.com .
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