In the summer of 2016, we visited the popular vintage shop, Miss Pixie’s, in the Logan Circle neighborhood of downtown DC for a photo shoot we were producing. We picked Miss Pixie’s Vintage Shop for its charm, vibrance and unique offerings. Today, we revisit the shop, virtually, to find out how the shop has faired during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Quick Look at Miss Pixie’s Vintage Shop:
The shop is headed up by owner and vintage furniture connoisseur Pixie Windsor. Windsor opened the first Miss Pixie’s shop in the Adams Morgan neighborhood in the late ’90s. In 2008, the shop moved to its current location on 14th Street. Inside the shop, you can find books, vinyl, wood furniture, pop art, ceramics, comics, local artisan collections, and a wide array of “whatnots.” Windsor’s careful attention to curating the shops unique pieces has garnered much respect amongst designers and homeowners looking for special items to accentuate their design aesthetics. This loyal fanbase has stuck with Miss Pixie’s throughout the pandemic, plus with renewed attention to Pixie’s IG page – the store has been able to reach a brand new clientele. Let’s find out about her now robust social strategy.
1.What was your social media strategy prior to the pandemic and how has it changed since the pandemic?
miss pixie’s social media strategy focused mostly on Facebook and we updated photos once a week when new items came in.we would post one or two items a day on instagram, those items would sell right away! but we never really worked toward putting more than one or two items a day. we got lots of calls and questions on products, mostly from our Facebook.since the pandemic, we sold almost entirely on instagram, posting between 20 and 30 items per day. i was very excited about thisnew selling technique especially since we were essentially closed to the public thru the summer. we decided to do appointments for folks to shop but instagram continued and is still one of our best selling tools. we continue to update daily. it has also brought new customers who have never been to miss pixie’s. we now are open without appointments but limit the # of people in the shop, lots of new customers have been brought in by instagram. we started the pandemic with just over 10K followers, we are now at 18.4K instagram followers! we have linked our facebook to instagram and we have stopped updating Facebook posts as hardly anyone uses that to see what we have.
2. How do you form working relationships with local artisans? Is there a formal process where local artisans can apply to have their offerings showcased at Miss Pixie’s?
we do a holiday market once a year, not this year of course. over 20 local crafters and artisans are featured. we have done shows for local artists pre-covid, which included art displayed for a week at theshop and a opening night party hosted by miss pixie’s. we can’t do thistil covid is over yet and we have a long list of folks who would like to do this.we also do shows for our staff members who are artists. we do have one artistthat we feature and have featured in the shop year round, david amoroso.we do not consign or take on other artists work for sale in the shop, we just do the occasional shows. LJ hamilton, glynn romero, willie doyle are all miss pixie’s staff members who also sell at miss pixie’s on a regular basis. this isonly for staff members.
3. How else has your business changed since the pandemic?
We have lost 1/2 of our staff, so the folks that are left are very busy multitasking. all staff members are engaged in Instagram, posting, marking items sold, setting up items to be photographed. we have a staff member who is a photographer who does most of the posts. maintaining the post and answering DMs keeps us all busy. our sales are down 25% for the year but costs of payroll, etc. are less so it’s been ok! We have staff watch the door and keep customer # to 12 shoppers or less. i think folks feel much more comfortable and less rushed with the smaller # of shoppers in the store. pre-covid, we would have up to 60 people in the 4000 square ft shop at a time on weekends and it was very hectic, it required a staff of 5 on weekends. this slower pace requires the only 3staff and everyone really has time to engage with shoppers. the pace is nice! we are always thinking of new ways to market and engage customers and it has been a very fruitful time for us in terms of creativity. i have learned to flexible about arrival times of goods from the auctions (all our furniture items come from auction) and so it feels like there are new items every day. flexibility has been key to it all as the pandemic changes and continues. i feel it has been a big learning experience for all of us!