I discovered the White Rabbit Black Heart store while following the Montclair BID Instagram account, and after my first visit, I try to introduce as many people as I can to it. It’s straight up magical and has whimsy and curiosity around every corner of the shop. We have loved visiting (I swear there’s new items every time we go!), and were thrilled when Paul agreed to participate in our What’s Your Story series. We hope you’ll fall in love with his story and shop as much as we did, and that it will give you a small peek into the roller coaster life of being an entrepreneur.
What is your business?
White Rabbit Black Heart. We are a gift boutique full of magical items you never knew you needed.
What was the inspiration behind starting your business? How did you become an entrepreneur?
White Rabbit Black Heart began as an Instagram page full of snarky but true quotes. Then, I decided to start a brick and mortar shop full of local artists and small business’ work. Everything is curated so that our customers have the ability to “create a great story” with our products.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow your business?
Post regularly on our Instagram, finding and fully utilizing publicity opportunities, and getting in touch and supporting our local artists by featuring their product in our shop.
What are your success habits?
By connecting with and embracing our community, they in turn embrace us and allow us to continue doing what we love.
What has been your biggest failure in business and what did it teach you?
No specific failure comes to mind, but a huge lesson I have taken away from being in retail for 32 years is that you have to enjoy and learn from the journey, and worry less about the destination and being successful. And in general another quote I live by is “you have to go out on a limb to get the fruit.”
What drives you on the most challenging days?
When a customer comes in and says how my store is their happy place. It reminds me why I do what I do.
How do you define success?
Being in our community and helping out others.
What is next for your business?
Expanding our current shop so we have more room for more artists. We love giving people a space for pop-ups so they can better promote themselves and their business.
What is one piece of advice you’d give someone considering starting their own business?
You HAVE to have passion. If you are not passionate about it you won’t have any sort of success.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Designing events and floral designs.
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome on the road to having your own business?
Having enough capital, especially during the pandemic.
What do you struggle with most as an entrepreneur?
What’s your favorite way to describe entrepreneurship?
What is the single most important reason for your success?
Connecting with people. People help push each other up. Also, understanding your business’ energy and how it works with other like businesses.