Todd Bettman, 42
Co-Owner, Occasionally Yours
Easton Town Center
How would you describe what's in your store?
It's a very carefully chosen selection of fashionable and affordable women's accessories.... We are about presenting the best, but not stuffily.
So what brands do you carry?
Vera Bradley designs, Brighton, Baekgaard, Pandora, MacKenzie-Childs, John Medeiros. And our goal is to have the very best election and very best presentation of each of those lines that we carry.
You say you hope people feel as if they're walking in a home when they arrive-your home. Can you expand?
We have put together a stable of carefully selected lines without the clutter. We feel very strongly that we're selling more than just product. We're selling a lifestyle. We've learned a lot in our retail years, and this is what we want to present.
You and your wife actually own four stores-one in Indianapolis, two in Dayton and now this one. So what have you learned?
Our strength is in our merchandising and our customer experience. It's in the details. (He acknowledges an employee carefully resorting Vera Bradley purses into perfect positioning after a customer who had looked through them left.)
So does everything always have to look so perfect?
We want people to experience more than just a handbag. With the Internet, some people are going for convenience over shopping experience. We want to make them believe in the shopping experience. We want to inspire higher expectations.
What's your wife's Vera Bradley collection like?
Huge. Taking over closets and rooms! (Laughing.)
And I hear your young sons can even identify Vera pattern names and styles.
There will be no shortage of girlfriends-if for nothing else, the swag. (Laughing again.)
Finally, you must get this a lot, but an interest in women's lines?
I have to be very confident in my manhood, because I sell purses for a living!
Kristy Eckert is the editor of Capital Style.