NXTpass Biz profile: Potomac Bead Company
The More Beads, The Better
Potomac Bead Company
Owners: Allie & Nathan Buchman
What brought you to the Downtown Hagerstown area to open your business?
We love the atmosphere, architecture, and community in downtown settings. In all of our Potomac Bead locations, we have established ourselves in downtown areas in order to join in the effort to revitalize the heart of the cities.
You have a unique product for this area. Have you found residents receptive to your product?
Locals are often very surprised when they walk into our store at the selection and variety. We try to engage first time visitors by explaining the products we have, the classes we offer and the opportunity to spend time with others in a creative environment. Because we are a niche, destination shop, and one of the largest bead stores in the world, most of our customers travel a fair distance to shop. We love this and the additional business it brings to downtown Hagerstown.
What are some effective ways you’ve found to get the word out about your products and classes?
For locals, we really focus on word-of-mouth advertising. If someone has a great time in a class or at a Bead & Wine night event, we encourage them to bring a friend next time and tell others about it. For locals, out-of-town shoppers and our growing e-commerce customer base, we rely greatly on online advertising. This includes social media outlets, our over 500+ free YouTube videos & email campaigns.
What advice would you give a business owner thinking of moving into the downtown area?
Be prepared to challenge people’s preconceived notions about downtowns. Many people have biased opinions about city centers & Hagerstown is not an exception. Usually, the people that are most vocal, non-supportive, and hesitant are not going to be your customer anyway. Embrace downtown, confront the naysayers and promote the experience. That is the way to gain support, new customers and grow your business in a challenging market. The more businesses that take a risk and open in Hagerstown, the stronger we become as a business community!
Potomac Bead Company is located at 53 W. Washington Street in downtown Hagerstown.