Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

4 of 5
BACKNEXT
Flat is the new up
Flat is the new up
Luan Schooler
Co-owner, Foster & Dobbs
Portland, Ore.

Schooler knew that she wouldn't hit her target of making her specialty foods shop profitable before 2009. The question was, how far behind would she be, and would she be able to hold on until the economy turned?

During the holiday season, we had the triple-whammy of the economy, huge snowstorms and scaffolding for our building that made us appear closed. The holidays were certainly less than what we had hoped for. All through November and December, people were anxious. In fact, I think consumers were grateful for the storms because it gave them an excuse to not go shopping.

While it was hard on the business, having the season be down, in a funny way it made people more relieved and more relaxed about spending in the new year because there was a sense of relief that we had made it through the holidays. We were dreading January and February, but the weather cleared up and the scaffolding came down and we were actually up a little from last year. It was not what we'd expected at all. And now, well, if flat is the new growth, then hurray - we're growing!

We're not yet profitable. We might not turn that corner this year because of the economy, but we won't lose ground. If we can hold ground through this, that'll be excellent.

We're still being pretty tight. Everything has to earn its spot on the shelf. And the employees are happy with as many hours as we can give and are understanding when we can't give more. I feel we're in as good a place as we can be. We're looking forward to nice weather bringing more people out - I'm already seeing it.

NEXT: Reevaluating the business

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: May 20 2009 | 1:52 PM ET
Sponsored by
More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More
Sponsors