Denys Tawzer is the owner of The Owl Cove – a gift boutique in Ooltewah, just off I-75. Some of the most popular lines they sell are Pandora and KAVU. "Alex & Ani" is one of their newer retail lines as well. And, you can find an excellent assortment of greeting cards to go with your gift-buying. Something we found unique are cards by Emily McDowell who has an “empathy” series for people going through cancer or other serious illnesses.
What prompted you to start your own company?
For ten years I had my own embroidery business at home. Then, we opened the shop 3 years ago after my husband recommended that we buy land and build a retail store. We expanded from embroidered gifts like clothing and bags, to retail sales of jewelry, home decor, stationery, and other items.
Sometimes I’m asked about my sewing experience, but these days much of the embroidery is done through computer programming on our machines.
What do you like best about doing business in Chattanooga?
We really like our location. We’re in one of the fastest-growing residential areas in Hamilton County. Also, we’re the exclusive gift shop for this area, which is great because there’s not much retail here locally to compete with us.
What piece of advice would you like to share with other entrepreneurs or start-ups?
Make sure you have some start-up capital.
Even if your cash flow looks great, be disciplined about reinvesting. Sales can look good but plan to put money back into the business.
Do your research and get advice and help from others. For example, learn how to use your space well. We’ve discovered that selling jewelry is a good source of income in a minimal amount of space. Find out what works for you.
Plan to not make your new business your primary source of income for the first 3-4 years.
Remember what you like about what you do. A favorite part of my job is that I get paid to buy and shop for new products. I like having opportunities to find unique items our customers will enjoy.
How has our company helped you in your success?
I’m so glad HR Business Solutions helped us get our books set up on QBO and is able to handle our payroll. It’s helpful to have all these forms and statements taken care of. Having it outsourced frees up a lot of time and energy that I can put into doing what I enjoy, instead. And, you guys saved us money on payroll.
What else should we know?
We’re expecting holiday releases for Pandora and Alex & Ani in late October. Stop by and shop early!
In case you haven’t visited The Owl Cove yet, you can find them at 5223 Hunter Road, just barely a mile off Exit 11 from I-75. They have lots of parking and a great selection of gifts!
Thank you very much to Denys for her time in doing this interview with us. We're always pleased to promote our clients' success!
Lynn Talbott, MBA, PHR, has over 20 years’ experience consulting with entrepreneurs of small to mid-sized businesses in the HR and office management capacity. Her specialty is Office/Human Resource Manager coaching and training and finding practical solutions for bookkeeping errors and HR blunders. Lynn has helped manage over 50 business start-ups and many of those companies continue to rely on her expertise today as they continue to grow.