Spend three minutes behind the counter with Jessica and Anne DeStefano, the mother-daughter team that runs The Marble Faun Books & Gifts on Essex Street in Salem.
Patch: How did you get your first start in business?
J&A: We first started a jewelry business in 2007, selling to various gift shops on the North Shore. We both have extensive retail experience and always dreamed of owning our own shop. Our location was a perfect fit, and we opened The Marble Faun Books & Gifts last June.
P: How did your parents influence you as a business owner?
J&A: Well, we are a mother and daughter team, and we love working and collaborating together.
P: How long have you lived here?
J&A: We have always lived on the North Shore, and one of us has worked in Salem tourism for 12 years.
P: What's your favorite thing about living here?
J&A: We love the proximity to the ocean and the tremendous history the North Shore has to offer.
P: What's a business mistake you've made that later you were glad you did?
J&A: In our first year's enthusiasm, we were overstocked - but, the overstock is allowing us to get through the first few months of this new season.
P: What's the best business advice you've ever received?
J&A: "Listen to your guests and get to know them," and "Go with what sells, even if you personally don't like it."
P: What advice would you give to a small business owner just starting out?
J&A: Do what you know and do what you love. Stay true to yourself. Research and have a plan.
P: What do you look for when you hire?
J&A: We would look for someone who likes working with the public, is honest, hard-working, and well-mannered.
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