SCORE Success Story - "Little Green Beans"
“Little Green Beans” Because Children Grow Like Beanstalks
While many would-be entrepreneurs dream about leaving their corporate job to start their own business, Sharon Munroe actually did it. After 21 years as a marketer and market researcher for large organizations, Sharon opened “Little Green Beans” a consignment store in North Austin which specializes in children’s clothing, maternity clothing, toys, books and baby gear like strollers and high chairs.
To start her business, Sharon incorporated some new practices in the resale industry making it very personal and integrated with the community.
This included in-home pick-up of gently used items for a month while the store was under construction – an idea that resulted in a local CBS TV interview. Within three months she gained over 60 consignees and 4,000 items. The business grew and within the first six months she had
already worked with 135 co-signers to sell 8,900 items. By the end of the first year, she had over 250 consignors and 15,000 items processed.
New customers and consignors hear about the store daily through word of mouth, social media outreach including a blog, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google AdWords and traditional media coverage.
A team of SCORE volunteers convinced Sharon that her original plan to buy an existing business was not economically the best solution and then proceeded to help her develop a business plan and find lease space. In addition SCORE and Sharon’s tenant representative helped find the bes
t location: one at a major intersection, and helped with reviewing the lease. SCORE is currently working with “Little Green Beans” to generate some new promotional and loyalty programs and to do a financial review.