Client Name: Susan McCoo
Business Name: Hilltop Consignment Gallery
Business Website: https://www.hilltopconsignment.com/
Location: Concord, NH
SBDC Advisor's Name: Julie Glosner
For Susan (Sue) McCoo, Co-Owner of Hilltop Consignments in Concord, NH, her love for unique furniture and trinkets was something of a budding romance. In the 1970’s, with some time on her hands, she would spend days giving old furniture some love, stripping it of its paint, putting oil back on, and just having a ball giving it those finishing touches to make it new again.
Some years and two businesses later (Sue also owns Capital Craftsman & Romance Jewelers and Viking House), Sue no longer had time to spend on her hobby. However, the spark remained. She and her husband David would take drives and stumble upon antique stores and consignment shops they couldn’t help but visit.
In 2018, Sue and a partner bought Hilltop Consignment from a friend of Sue’s, whom she met while they both were undergoing Cancer treatment. The friend unfortunately was not doing well and made the decision to sell the business. Six months later she passed away. “She was a lovely woman,” recalls Sue. Eventually, Sue’s co-owner moved on and now Hilltop belongs to Sue and David.
Hilltop Consignment is a 7,500 square foot, two floor showroom in the heart of downtown Concord. At Hilltop, consumers can discover a vast array of unique finds including art, clothing, jewelry, home goods, furniture, toys, collectibles, and more.
While Hilltop Consignment was new to Sue in 2018, being a business owner is not at all new to her. Still, she finds the support of NH SBDC to be important in helping her run her three businesses. In fact, she has worked with NH SBDC over the past four decades!
Sue’s relationship with NH SBDC started 42 years ago when she needed to move one of her stores. She worked with them again when she bought her second store and after a ten-year gap, she turned to them again for assistance with Hilltop Consignment. Today, she still leans on them for support when she needs it.
Sue reflects, “this wonderful service has helped to keep us on track. When you need a business friend to help you navigate challenges, a move, evaluate new opportunities, and evaluate yourself, these folks are the best!”
Sue reminds other business owners not to forget the NH SBDC is there. She shared a story about how she was struggling with an issue last year and for months she just couldn’t figure it out. Even with the other modes of support she had surrounded herself with, none of them could seem to find a solution. Then Sue remembered the SBDC.
“Oh my God why didn’t I think to call them,” thought Sue. So, she reached out and received a quick response. Soon, she was on a call with her NH SBDC Business Advisor, Julie Glosner. She shares, “I was talking to Julie right away and all of a sudden, I was like, ‘Okay, this burden was cut in half,’ and I was like, ‘okay, I'll have a solution. I don't know what it's going to be, but I'll have one.’ So that’s what keeps me coming back.”
Thinking about her time with Julie, Sue exclaims, “I want to be like her new best friend. She’s so sweet.” At the same time, Sue credits Julie for her ability to get down to business. After the initial assessment of Sue’s challenge(s), Julie will often ask, “So what are we going to do about this? What are the goals?”
NH SBDC has helped Sue with the stress that comes with owning a business, relating them to counselors in the way that she’ll ask them a question and they’ll rephrase it and ask it back to her. She notes, “it helps you to think. You know you can get stuck in those trees, and it helps you to see the forest.”
She also appreciates NH SBDC’s experiences with other businesses allowing each advisor to offer a different skill set and perspective. NH SBDC also has an abundance of outside resources to provide small business owners with valuable connections for additional support, which Sue finds valuable.
“You have so many worries that sometimes you feel like a hamster in the wheel. You have to jump off every once in a while. NH SBDC will help you get off the wheel enough so that you can look at your issues, which usually aren't as bad as they feel like they are, and then help you walk through it. Don’t be afraid to ask for a business savvy friend. Save yourself time and energy to get yourself back on track.”