Meet Andrea Thomas-Lambe of Thomas Park Gifts! A Milton Scene interview

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Meet Andrea Thomas-Lambe of Thomas Park Gifts! A Milton Scene interview

Learn about Andrea Thomas-Lambe and her small gift shop in South Boston

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Check out this interview with Andrea Thomas-Lambe, owner of Thomas Park Gifts!

What’s the name of your business?

Thomas Park Gifts

How did you get started in this business?

Thomas Park Gifts originated as a small gift shop in South Boston, Massachusetts. A good friend would come by the shop and give me sewing lessons and from there, I am self taught. When I closed the brick & mortar location, I did craft markets in the South End (mainly) and started my Etsy shop shortly after. I started with purses, handbags, wallets and accessories but quickly fell in love with boutique clothing and accessories for girls. I have since added embroidered items to the shop. I love to create dress up, imaginative and pretend play for your little ones! I do not do alterations or home décor. All of my work is made from scratch. I also sometimes sell fabric & trims.

When did you start your business?

1998

What are some lessons you’ve learned while in business?

Persistence & being able to adapt. My business relies on trends for the most part so I need to pay attention to what is popular at the moment and move on from them when they are not.

Have you always worked in this type of business or have you dabbled in other things? Please describe.

I was a legal secretary for over 15 years but also worked second jobs in retail. Both my parents were in retail as well. I knew I needed a creative outlet so the part time in retail gave me that.

If you could provide advice to anyone looking to start a business in the area, what would it be?

Since a majority of my business is online and not really locally based, it is harder for me to answer this question. From experience in other areas, I would say know your customer and what they want. When I first started out in South Boston, it was hard to figure that out. Most were resistant to a newcomer. Over the years, I began to understand the needs of the neighborhood and adjusted as that area changed.

Please describe your favorite or ideal customer.

My favorite customers are actually the children that buy my items. I do craft markets in addition to my online shop and when a small child opens up their wallet and purchases something with their allowance it always makes me smile.

What is your #1 tip for other business owners? (For example a favorite app, daily practice, way of interacting with customers, etc.)?

Being self employed it is easy to get distracted. Discipline and keeping regular hours are key for me and my business. Staying organized, especially when tax time rolls around, is really important too. When you can, invest in the best equipment for your business.

What’s your favorite local business to support (besides your own!)?

The Nutshell & Toy Chest in East Milton Square! Nancy and her sales team are amazing. The shop has a large variety. I am happy to assist with all their embroidered personalization on pillows, blankets, etc.

How can people get in touch with you?

I currently sell on the handmade site, Etsy. My shop is thomaspark.etsy.com which has a contact button or my email is [email protected].

Please provide your website and social media addresses, if any:

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