Who: The Lodge
Where: Pennsylvania (and soon, New York too!)
Retailers frequently treat mens’ accessories as an afterthought. The Lodge seeks to change that with an expansive range that covers everything from travel bags through to key fobs via pocket knives, all backed by a strong “Made in the USA” ethos. We spoke to Chad Beightol, founder of The Lodge, about the company, the stores they’re opening and how Vend helps him to both sell to customers and manage his inventory.
What is the vision & philosophy behind The Lodge?
We started The Lodge with the intent of creating a Man Shop with American-Made goods. Our vision for the company is to offer things that we think are essential for a guy to have a well-lived life. That ranges from cool bags, wallets and ties to grooming products and gear for his “Lodge.” We don’t sell clothing or shoes because we think that there are enough places that do that well – we felt that a place that really helped men with accessories wasn’t out there.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you decide on the right products and suppliers for the store?
We have a strong passion for the craftsmen who make our products in America. The things we like for The Lodge are things that we use ourselves and are always crafted with the highest quality. We seek these designers and craftsmen out and they find us. We’ve also learned about new brands through our customers, which is usually the best endorsement. That said, there are still some products we carry that we haven’t been able to find made here in America.
Where are your customers located?
We have a good mix of local customers as well as folks across America and around the world. Our online business has given us the opportunity to tell our brands’ stories and to reach guys everywhere.
New York is our largest customer base and we’ll be opening a new retail shop there this fall.
Why did you choose Vend, and how have you found it?
The great thing about Vend is the ability to both manage inventory and serve customers all-in-one. We weren’t able to find that with any other cloud-based system. The logic of how Vend inventory works really supports multi-brand retailers incredibly well. We do think there could be some enhancements with the ability to customize the aesthetic of the POS screens, but that’s retail – there’s always something to improve upon.
Do you have any advice for new retailers?
I would say first and foremost, you must take great care of your customers. And you need to have a passion for what you’re doing. Being a retailer and business owner isn’t always easy – it’s the passion that will get you through the challenges. Oh, and have fun, life is too short not to!
– Chad Beightol, Founder, The Lodge
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About Austin Gunter
Austin helps run the North American marketing efforts for Vend. Growing up around his family's Honey Farm and store in Texas, he has a passion for small business in his DNA. Austin is a writer, a traveler, and a live-music lover. Ask him what he's reading this week!