Meet Sammi! The whimsical and creative mind behind The Merrygold Shop
Meet Sammi! Sammi grew up at the Delaware beaches working at ice cream and small boutique shops. Creativity and art were a huge part of her childhood and she ended up studying painting in college.
Most of Sammi’s family lives in the Philadelphia region, so it was an easy transition to move to Philly (her grandmother actually used to shop on fabric row when she lived in Philadelphia in the 1950s!) Before Merrygold, Sammi was a window/retail display designer for over 10 years and, before that, she briefly worked in a flower shop at 6th and Bainbridge Street!
Needless to say it seems like it was Sammi’s destiny to open up a shop of her own in Queens Village!
Sammi has always been entrepreneurial and knew she wanted to work for herself. Sammi, however, never felt like she knew enough about “business” or had the funds to back her ideas. In 2019, she started to seriously consider opening up her dream business. By Christmas of that year Sammi had signed a lease on her current location on fabric row.
She got the keys in February 2020. Sammi and her fiance renovated the shop themselves, working non-stop, until they were ready to open on March 13th. In total, Merrygold was open for about eight hours of business before the reality of the pandemic set in. Sammi had bootstrapped the business with everything she had, but hadn’t yet quit her full-time job. For those few months she considered the shop a VERY expensive storage unit.
Sammi re-opened the shop at the end of June 2020 and balanced working the shop and her full-time job until august of 2021. “I am a believer in taking the leap, but I don’t love the feeling of jumping off a cliff- the slow transition from a reliable paycheck and benefits to working for myself was exhausting, but felt like the right thing to do given the scenario.”
Roses and Thorns
“I love having creative control of my space. The shop is my creative playground and I never take it too seriously. I think of it as a treasure chest and love mixing all types of products and found objects together. I just want to create a playful, charming, weird and whimsical space—a respite from the everyday grind.”
“The hardest part of running a business for me is the constant pressure to digitize. Small business burn out is very real. Running social media and web is not my strong suit, so until I’m genuinely more interested in pursuing online we will continue to run as just a brick and mortar. I can’t imagine ever losing interest in welcoming customers into our magical little storefront.”