River Rock Outfitter

April Peterson is the co-owner of River Rock Outfitter.

Let's get to know April.

Woman standing in room taking a selfieWhen do you start planning your holiday window, store displays or social media posts?
To be honest, I’m not very proactive with my window displays.  Window decorations are a bit of a mystery to me.  I’m pretty good at merchandising and store displays but I get very nervous when trying to plan a window.  Maybe I should consider an apprenticeship with Bob Whittingham?  Regarding store displays, I always build on the same theme – “lumberjack holidays”! I love buffalo check – it screams outfitter!  Each year I purchase one or two more displays, spools of ribbon, and other decorations and just keep adding to the theme.  I love that we have a consistent look and feel each year but with new added surprises!  You must stop by to see our dressing room – it’s my favorite little hang out spot for the holidays! 
What new gift or special offer are you most excited to offer your customers?
We have an ADVENT-URE Calendar!  It’s a play on a traditional advent calendar with an adventure twist!  We offer 12 days of adventure-themed gifts with discounts and free offers.  We’ve expanded this year to offer one HUGE gift, FREE to one lucky winner.  Customers who purchase one of the 12 days of holiday deals will be registered to win a prize pack valued at over $500!!  The prize pack includes an item from each of the 12 days!!  Keep an eye on the River Rock Outfitter social media pages for more information!
Strangest question asked about a holiday retail item or special offer?
We don’t get this question as often now as we did in our early years but customers used to ask when they purchased a gift card – “Do you think you will be around next year for this card to be used”?  I used to get hurt by this question but now I just laugh and ask…. “Will you be”?! 
Will you offer a holiday event or treat to your customers?
Each year we give out a special thank you card and small treat on Small Business Saturday to the first 100 people who purchase from us.  This year we handed out $10 dollars off bounce-back coupons to be used January/February and we included a small Kind bar.  Our theme this year was – “We appreciate your kind-ness shopping small with us!”.   
Share your holiday shopping fail?
Every year I order too little for the store.  The outdoor industry buys earlier than other sectors – we buy a full year out from when boxes arrive.  That means right now I’m ordering for December of next year!  It’s a science (forecasting) and an art (gut) but it’s still challenging to always plan for exactly what customers want, how much they want, and when they want it!  It never fails….I always NEED more fleece and flannel!  #gorpcore4ever   
Great debates:  Clear or colored light displays and gift bags or wrap gifts?
Clear lights and gift bags for the shop.  I get excited to shop for tissue paper every year and I purchase holiday tissue in July!  I learned very early that tissue paper sells out quickly and I want to get my first choice. 
Have you ever hidden a gift and not been able to find it?  If so, what was it and to whom was it to be given?
Hiding a gift implies that I was prepared and shopped early!  That NEVER happens!! 
Have you ever switched a name tag on a holiday gift and why?
Is that something people do???  That’s living too dangerously for me!
Weirdest holiday gift received and your reaction?
I’ve always loved paper and paper products. Even as a kid I loved picking out school supplies, getting new notebooks, and fresh pencils.  My grandmother was a secretary so she would fill up a box every Christmas with leftover office supplies – labels, paper clips, notecards, etc.  It was always my favorite gift to open!  I’m sure this sounds weird to most but I’m sure there are some closet office supply hoarders out there who will appreciate this little tidbit about me. 
Best holiday gift given and their reaction?
One Christmas a customer came into the store with a brochure of a beautiful red Mercedes he was buying for his wife.  He wanted to purchase a down jacket in the EXACT same color so that she matched her car.  This was a first for us but we hunted down the perfect jacket.  I like to imagine she is cruising down the road and people passing by are commenting on her pretty sweet jacket!     
Unique or bizarre holiday tradition?
Ugly holiday sweaters!  Where did that come from?
Last minute shopping or shopping months in advance?
Last minute and more than likely you are getting something from River Rock!  ….and it’s probably a fleece, flannel, or SOCKS!  

Circle with rope knotted in the middle with red background and white lettering

You will find April at 215 William St.  To learn more and contact April visit the website.

River Rock Outfitter

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