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Indie Spotlight

Chicago Artist Nancie King Mertz If you are an independent retail shop or restaurant owner Findzall is right for you! Often referred to as a "Mom and Pop" business, independents or we like to call you "Indies" are what makes our towns special. Indie boutiques and eateries are the true fabric of our society, the personality of our neighborhoods and the heart and soul of our communities. Findzall is here for you providing valuable tips, pertinent links, continuing education and more ways than you can imagine helping Indies thrive and prosper. Have an idea about something you want to know more about? Contact us at

In this section Indies will find:
The Three E's of Indie Retail

We all know the three R's from when we were children – Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Okay, I was a good speller and never understood why they called them the three R's. Then there were the three rules of real estate – location, location, location. That one makes more sense. But have you heard of the three E's of Indie Retail? Ignore them and your business could struggle. Embrace them and we at Findzall believe that your business will thrive.

+ more...

1. Email Marketing
The first E of Indie Retail is Email Marketing. Every business should have a system in place to gather information about their customers. In the past we asked for home address. Today we ask for email address. Sending an email to your customers is like receiving a note from a friend. If they are a loyal shopper they want to hear about new merchandise, events and sales. You can send an email marketing campaign about your shop or restaurant or you can participate in a community email from your business district. Or you can do both. You can submit your events to local magazines like Chicago Magazine ( to participate in their email marketing efforts. Your stores email marketing campaign can occur once a month or once per quarter. Once you decide, be consistent and plan ahead. Your customer won't want to miss a thing!

2. Events
Shopping in your neighborhood should be a wonderful experience. What makes your business district special is a constant flow of exciting events. Plan something fun in your shop or restaurant at least once each month. Give your customers a reason to stop in, try something new and have good time. Celebrate the season, your anniversary, a special sale or a delicious dish. If you have something going on every month of the year your customers are going to remember you and why they love your business in the first place. People are always celebrating something. Help them choose your business to pick up that special gift or get the gang together for birthday wishes. Give them a good reason to grab a friend or two and come on over!

3. Ecommerce
Shopping online has become a national pastime with over 30 million people turning to the internet for their purchases in 2008.* With those staggering numbers, how can an Indie compete? Many are adding Ecommerce to their web sites. Adding online shopping to your site can boost sales and also may turn browsers into buyers. Locals can check out your web site, see what you have to offer and make a fast choice when they visit your shop. Another option is to see an item online, call the shop and have it wrapped, paid for and ready to go. These are huge time savers and one of the top reasons that people choose to shop online in the first place. Free shipping is a great incentive in online shopping so why not offer free local delivery? That way an out of town shopper can choose to shop local for their loved one rather than boosting sales at You already have (or should have) a good web site, make it even better with Ecommerce.

*Online shopping statistic from WikiAnswers.


We put the spotlight on the best of the best Indie boutiques, stores and restaurants. Indie Spotlight highlights shops and restaurants that are amazing and exceptional.

Nancie King Mertz

We are proud to feature artist Nancie King Mertz owner of Art de Triumph and Artful Framer Studios in Chicago. Findzall founder Mark Maloney discovered Nancie's amazing impressionist oil paintings, pastels and watercolors while searching for art work for this web site. Nancie's paintings captured our vision of presenting independent retail and beautiful Chicago architecture. When we discovered that Nancie's studio was located near our son's Lakeview East apartment we knew that this was meant to be. We met Nancie at the Lakeview East chamber event "Commercial Real Estate symposium – Locating your retail business in a challenging economy" and discovered that she is a chamber board member. She is also an amazing, lovely warm person. Her shop Art de Triumph and Artful Framer Studios provides Nancie's original art work, framing, prints and fine art cards of her work. Nancie was named "Business Person of the Year 2008" by the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce and "Artist of the Year" by the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007.

Nancie King Mertz is the ideal Indie shop owner with a wonderful store open 7 days a week with great store events and is willing to give her time to improve her local business district. What a find!

Art de Triumph and Artful Framer Studios
2936 N Clark Chicago, IL 60657

Open 7 Days a Week
Mon– Fri: 11-7, Sat: 10-6, Sun: 12-5


We believe in shopping and dining local and want to help you find ways to encourage your customers to skip the mall, forget the internet and avoid the big box stores. One of our favorite Shop Local campaigns is the 3/50 Project that encourages everyone to pick 3 independently owned businesses, spend $50 among them per month and save your local economy. Want to create a shop local campaign for your town? Contact us at Remind yourself and all of your employees to Shop Local!


A great way to get the word out about your Indie shop or restaurant is (where else?) on the internet. Between smart phones and computers more people are getting information, maps and reviews online than ever before. Listing your business makes you easier to find, shows your store hours, links to your web site and more. Businesses that are listed on the web are more likely to be found, noticed and reviewed and that translates to more sales. If you Google your company and it doesn't come up first, you may be losing customers.

Below is an alphabetical list of links to local popular search engines, newsletters and blogs. Add your business, sales, and events today, it's free!

+ Get Listed Resources

Chicago Magazine
Salescheck - Shopping E-Newsletter
Dish - Restaurant E-Newsletter
Promote your business in Chicago Magazine's trendy weekly newsletters. Sign up for each one to see which one is right for you. When you receive the newsletter, page to the bottom of the newsletter to send tips and comments.
Tip: Do subscribe to their magazine. They are a great promoter of Indie businesses.

Note: Findzall did not locate the place to post a free listing but wanted to include this popular search site.

Google Local Business Center

Judy's Book

Merchant Circle

See More Shopping Chicago

Style Chicago

West Suburban Living Magazine
Check to see if your business is listed, if not send an email to the editor.
Tip: Do subscribe to their magazine. They are a great promoter of Indie businesses.



Need Help?
Yikes, this seems like a lot of work! No worries, send a message to and put Get Listed in the subject line with your contact information and we will help you Get Listed.

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