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A new St. Louis area store is designed like a home, to make you feel at home

Daniel Neman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Busch Transou's philosophy of management is derived largely from the book "Fish! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results," by Steven Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen. The book, which she insists all her sales associates read, presents four core principles of success in business:

— Have fun with the customers, but not at their expense.

— Be present, not distracted. Busch Transou said that one way her staff remains present is by welcoming customers with "How are you today?" rather than "How can I help you?" The emphasis is on the customer, not on making the sale.

— Make the customer's day. "If somebody comes in and we can make them smile, that's everything to me," Busch Transou said.

— Choose your attitude and, specifically, choose to be positive. "You cannot come in here and make somebody's day if you are negative," she said.

Much of the merchandise sold at the stores tends to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the stores intentionally also offer smaller items and gifts that match a less extravagant budget.

 

Note cards are just a few dollars apiece. Greeting cards ("I'm suffering an extreme case of not being Beyoncé") are $6. Stoneware coasters are $6 apiece; leather coasters are $46 for a set of four. Fragrant candles start at $28. On the other hand, they go up to several hundred dollars apiece.

The single item that Busch Transou is perhaps most excited about is AABIII Steak Seasoning (a 1.1 ounce jar, which is quite a lot of steak seasoning, is $15). The name refers to her father, August Anheuser Busch III, who personally created the seasoning himself from pepper, garlic and salt while on a trip to Italy.

Hearth & Soul has an online presence, of course, but the company's heart and soul are its brick-and-mortar stores. COVID, which ravaged businesses as well as families, has been a challenge, she said.

But "we're doing well," she said. Well enough to bring her store home to St. Louis.

(c)2022 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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