Crowdfunding For Free Skill Sharing Events

As of today, we need just $96 more dollars…

to unlock our matching funds and reach our ultimate goal. Each donation, no matter how large or small, will receive an emailed report on all events in the series that you get whether you can attend the workshop(s) or not. Support this programming by donating a small investment of your own at:

NEW! CAM: Growing Micro-Entrepreneurs
Register for the first workshop here:


Pittsburgh Retail worked with community groups on the Northside of Pittsburgh to bring another year of Cedar Arts Market to Allegheny Commons East Park.  With the help of a supporting grant we were able to sponsor and introduce the first Pittsburgh VegFest this past August.

When offered the opportunity to raise funds for an extension of the program, it was a great time to begin a different series of events that offered skill-sharing for organization and fundamental bookkeeping by using the best available mobile and tech applications out there.

Micro-entrepreneurs aren’t a new thing, what is different though, is the latest technology.  Now more than ever are individuals easily able to make a quick investment with rewarding outcomes.  Software companies are releasing new partnerships daily that overlap functions to streamline user access, time, and return value on often free programs.

That is where CAM’s new series, Growing Micro-Entrepreneurs, is focusing on and highlighting specific applications, benefits, and tips to streamline the back-end of your retail business.  Hey Baby! Boutique owner, Karyn Pope, who creates, markets, and sells her wares throughout Western Pennsylvania has set up a system based on her knowledge and past experience as an accountant.

These workshops are open and free to the public, are intended for beginners and seasoned retailers.  If you are new to, or interested in learning more about, mobile POS systems,  preparing business taxes, utilizing applications and updated features of favorite office tools like, Google and Excel, then this workshop series is for you.


Retail’s Interactive Experience Future


It is Christmas day, we’ve all had our fill of coffee, cookies, and wrapping paper as we tore through the gifts from loved ones. My most valuable gift this year was a renewed subscription to the Harvard Business Review, which I would like to share some of the great knowledge I’ve garnered through my perusing of this publication.

We know tomorrow, the Next Day, most stores will flocked to much like Black Friday with all of the after holiday sales. For retailers, this is the biggest time of year, and though superficially great for the economy, how are the locally owned stores going to compete the rest of the year?

I have worked in wholesale, resale retail, and forward-thinking collaborative retail projects where buying can be seasonal or mostly inexplicable in layman’s terms. Most of the things we buy, we don’t need, and in an atmosphere such as is unknowingly to be in 2013’s revealing of our fiscal cliff for-certain catastrophe, most consumers are looking for deals.

This may not always be the case though, if your store is selling a style or mind-set, in the way that Apple does. In this HBR article, Ron Johnsonn, the former VP of Retail for Apple describes that their main selling point that gets folks in the store to buy is the experience.


Part of that experience is the mobile check-out abilities of tablets and smartphones that allow the customer to have a face-to-face relationship with the sales clerk. This means small stores need to take after the likes of Target, who’s mobile application and coupon center is by far the slickest I’ve seen, and integrate technology in their operations. Again, another great HBR Article describes just how and why this should occur.

Want to see deep in to the future? It’s not too far off in this developing virtual supermarket in Korea. The technological abilities to organize, superimpose, and assist decision making for customers with smart technology has just begun.


With all that being said, when tomorrow comes and you’re in a big box store searching for the super-holiday-end deals, check out the mobile devices, photography equipment, display ideas, and convenience appliances that would enhance your customer’s experience so that you save while you expand your sales plan.