Interviews: QNS Spaces, QNS+A

End of the A

Mobile Boutique + Brick and Mortar

We’re so grateful to live in a community that understands the importance of supporting small businesses, the people we work with inspire us every day

Can you let us know a little background on how you started End of the A in 2014?

The truck was the first and best way we could think of starting a retail business on a budget. Another factor that played a part was the ‘mobile’ aspect of our business. We both live in an area that was affected by hurricane Sandy, it was comforting knowing our new venture could be relocated by the start of an engine.

Where are you both from and where do you currently reside?

Beth was born and raised in Rockaway Beach, she is fourth generation! Tara was born and raised in Brooklyn and moved to Rockaway in her teen years. We both met in high school which feels like a million years ago! We both currently live here in Rockaway and have no plans on leaving!

Can you share one difficulty you faced with the transition going from a retail truck to a store front?

The single most difficult part was filling the space up, getting enough merchandise and the best products for the space. I didn’t think that was something I would stress upon so much having two years buying for the truck. However, the store is like a completely different world, the aesthetic resembles the truck but the merchandise we carry is totally different. It’s a work in progress every day, we add new displays and keep things fresh so customers don’t see the same thing every time they shop with us.

Are you planning on setting up the truck along with operating the store this summer?

Yes! The truck is getting its tune up and getting cleaned up from hibernating during the winter months. We are really excited to have both running from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. We meet so many amazing people with the truck.

Is it important to you both to operate out of the Rockaways (or in Queens in general) or do you see yourselves moving/expanding elsewhere?

Our identity is here in Rockaway and it played a huge part in the decision to quit our jobs, take a leap of faith and start the business. It would be a dream to expand and we hope to one day, but right now if we did expand it would be another store or truck in Queens. We’re so grateful to live in a community that understands the importance of supporting small businesses, the people we work with inspire us every day, like you ladies!

From both of your experiences, what 3 tips would you give to someone looking into opening a retail store (or truck)?

There’s so many things but we’re going to try to think of just three!

  1. Make sure that you really enjoy talking, helping and meeting new people. It’s not a job for someone who doesn’t want to engage in conversation or help someone out who needs a little retail therapy! If you want to start a retail business consider working at an existing store first for experience.
  2. Take a few business classes if you aren’t already familiar with how to start a business. The city offers free classes too, we took ones at the QEDC before we launched the truck. (Queens Economical Development Center). Beth is a wizard of spreadsheets and Tara has an eye for design so we’ve been a good balance for each other in that aspect.
  3. Be prepared to be working when most others are not. If you are determined to be your own boss just remember that there’s nobody else to cover you when you can’t work! For us, it’s turned into a 24/7 gig especially with the brick and mortar taking off but it’s something we enjoy so much it doesn’t really feel like work (most of the time). Make sure to pick one day a week for free time and shut your phone off if you have to so you can reboot! It’s definitely necessary in order to keep loving what you are doing.