Small Business Series No. 16: Chirps & Cheers

Let me take you to one of the happiest place on earth. Chirps and Cheers-- chock full of delicious papers, cards, office supplies and gift products that will make your heart sing. Well, at least those of us who love to send mail and have cute calendars. You will be met at the door by Olive the shop dog, and the smiling face of one of the most adorable ladies in OKC-- Susan Kropp. We are excited to team up with her this year and offer Holiday Card photos for families looking to order cards from her shop. So go check them out in their new location in Midtown and say hello to Susan for me!

Chirps & Cheers, Oklahoma City, Ely Fair Photography Small Business Series Chirps & Cheers, Oklahoma City, Ely Fair Photography Small Business Series

Name: Susan Kropp    

Business Name: chirps & cheers         

Website: www.chirpsandcheers.com

 Favorite Dessert: Jelly beans but not Jelly Belly’s. I like the big, old-school ones.

Favorite Artist/Album: any and all cast recordings of Broadway shows

When did you start your business? 2009

What inspired you to start it? Having spent my pre-computer childhood with multiple pen pals, I have always had a thing for snail mail. Paper, pen and a stamp was all it took for me to connect with someone across the world. Finding a letter from a Vietnam vet, a post card from the author Roald Dahl or a package of coins from an eight year old little girl like me in China was so memorable. There is something so personal about finding something in your mailbox whether it is a letter, a card or invitation. Being able to help people celebrate their “everyday chirps or extraordinary cheers” with paper is what inspired me to open the shop.

What would you say was your biggest challenge to overcome? I am definitely more of a right than left brain individual so learning the business side of running a shop has been my biggest challenge. Thankfully, there are so many great resources available to help small businesses with business planning, financing etc.. 

Who/what was your biggest encouragement and why? My husband Brad has always been my biggest champion. I have been dreaming and scheming to open a shop since I first met him when I was sixteen. After 30 years of listening to me, he finally said, “why don’t you quit talking and start doing? “ It was that extra push and show of support that made me realize that the dream could be a reality.

What is your favorite part of your business? People. I absolutely treasure the relationships I’ve been able to make with my employees, customers, vendors, reps, artists and community leaders. I never imagined the wonderful people I would meet and how they would impact my life in such a positive way.

Any advice to anyone who might be starting a business like yours? Have a great support system of family, industry peers, trusted financial advisors, etc. and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Lots and lots of questions.

Anything else about your small business that you’re passionate about? One of my favorite lines comes from a song in the Broadway show {untitled show} that goes “I’d rather be nine people’s favorite thing then one hundred people’s ninth favorite thing”. This has been with me from the day I opened. I’m passionate about giving our customers the very best service, products, information, etc… They deserve nothing less than our full attention to making them happy with their experience and purchase.

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I love, love, love that quote about being nine people's favorite thing rather then one hundred people's ninth favorite thing. And that really shows in the experience of chirps and cheers. Thanks so much Susan for being a part of the series, and for being a bright light in people's days! xoxo ely

 

Travels with Ely Fair: London

Edinburgh, Scotland (Plus some Change)