Amy and her husband decided to move to theAmy and Mike Outer Banks in March of 1993. Little did she know at that time, she would be starting a career that has been keeping her busy for almost 25 years now. In April of 1993 Amy began working for Kellogg Supply Company, where she has held several positions throughout the years. Amy has spent over ten years in her current position, as the merchandise buyer for The Cottage Shop. We recently had a chance to talk with Amy and find out a little more about her and the things she has experienced over the years.

What do you love about life on the Outer Banks?
The beach of course! I have always lived near the ocean but the Outer Banks has such an awesome and unique landscape that it truly is my happy place.

What is your most memorable moment working with Kellogg/The Cottage Shop?
Not long after I started working at Kellogg in the old office (probably 1994) in Manteo, Andy Griffith came in one day to see someone…I was a bit star struck. I couldn’t wait to call my parents to tell them who I had met.

What are some of your main job duties?
Purchasing for the three Cottage Shop locations and our new Mud Pie store is my primary responsibility. That encompasses coordinating the inventory distribution between the stores, inventory management and merchandising. In addition, I handle the marketing for all divisions of the company.

How do you determine what products people will want to buy?
Coastal themed products are our mainstay and finding items that are unique and fun are always the goal. Looking at trends and attending trade shows help identify new products. Obviously not everything we purchase is a “winner” but that is the chance you have to take sometimes in retail.

Why do you think people have such a strong connection with The Cottage Shop products?
I believe customers connect with The Cottage Shop though our lifestyle displays…they can see the item in use and imagine how it would look in their own home. Also, we are a fun place to shop with products that make customers happy!

Which season or department do you enjoy purchasing for the most?
I love summer, so my favorite purchases are those for the summer season! I am drawn to the Sea glass colors so I must be careful or the whole store might be those colors!

What direction do you see The Cottage Shop heading towards in the future?
I would love to see The Cottage Shop continue to expand to other coastal towns outside of the local area.

How do you intend to stay ahead of the competition and provide new relevant items for your customers?
As a small business, we have the ability to adapt and change quickly when it comes to trends and economic changes in the marketplace and that keeps us on top of the game. Although I do the bulk of the purchases, we have an awesome management team which provides great perspective and resources. I am always looking for new products and willing to give them a try. We never want our customers to come in thinking they see the same products over and over.

Can you let us in on any secrets about products coming in the near future?
Most of our summer items are in, but keep an eye out for our July top picks: Seaglass Shorebird Art, Cocktail Shot Glass Candles and Shell, Cork or Cap Holders!

I am headed to the market in Atlanta next week…. so stay tuned as I will be on the hunt for new and unique items!

Special thanks from The Cottage Shop family to Amy Smith for all her hard work and dedication. Keep up the great work Amy, we can't wait to see what awesome products you come up with next!