Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandra Gerros.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Thank you for this opportunity. I’d say, going way back to the beginning when I developed a healthy attitude towards work and passion was how it started. I completed a bachelor’s degree in New York for fine art. I began exploring employment that facilitated learning in different areas.
I became a textile restorationist of antique textiles and tapestries. I worked in the New York diamond district at a sales counter for tradespeople and jewelry production. I learned retail management, buying, and merchandising in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Then fashion production and sales analysis in the garment district. When an opportunity presented itself to use my savings combined with a personal loan from a previous employer and confidant, I bought an existing consignment shop in Brooklyn.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, nothing was easy! In the early stages of being a business owner, my obstacles came from inexperience. Even with many years of store management behind me, owning your own is more involved.
I found a need to turn mistakes into positive building blocks because they were plenty and a healthy mindset and accountability were crucial to growth. After 6 years of providing resale services to a wonderful community, NYC was hit by the epicenter of the pandemic.
I knew that my business had a bleak future in a place where overhead costs will steadily increase with the possibility of economic instability. I not only had to pivot my business but relocate as well.
Requirements for a new location were local government investment in development and maintaining, local culture and festivities, lower cost of commercial rents, a large small business community, and finally – warm weather!
I chose San Antonio because it checked all the boxes of a large city with a small-town feel. I had confidence in creating a steady foundation here. My current challenge is taking on a healthy amount of debt to invest in the revitalization of the commercial space.
I didn’t acquire enough assets to be eligible for business loans, after living in Brooklyn, New York for 20 years. I had to go out of my comfort zone to ask friends and family for personal loans. Which I approached professionally by sharing my business plan and all my challenges and solutions with them for complete transparency.
I secured the funding and began the process of intense financial scrutiny of my personal spending. I felt if I couldn’t learn how to manage a small amount of income effectively, I wouldn’t be able to manage the loans I had received for the renovation and start up costs. Some of which included a portion of a tenant allowance from the Landlord.
It was my responsibility to gather estimates for general contractors and architectural services, choose the professionals, go through the process of obtaining renovation permits, and then oversee the work and payment. I’m happy to announce Maxiss Modern will open at 614A Broadway between Brooklyn and 6th street by the end of this summer!
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in the authentication of high-end accessories by using the skills I learned in textile restoration, fashion, and jewelry production. Accessories use many of these areas of production. I can analyze the materials and production history to determine the authenticity of designer goods or glaring defects of low-level production of replicas.
My business will be different from other designer resellers because I have expanded my business model to incorporate all aspects of sustainability. I will offer new products from local merchants in San Antonio or the US, offer classes and educational meetups and a design feature of the shop will allow me to easily move the fixtures to share the space with the community for special events.
In an age where technology is holding most of the business investments, I’m proud to be a supporter of in-person shopping and services. I am looking forward to interacting with people and creating a place where they can receive information on resources and local business recommendations that support their quality of life.
I would like people to discover that resale, vintage, upcycled and locally made products are luxurious and can be integrated seamlessly into their modern life.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Two things stand out to me as integral to success and that is fostering healthy relationships and being a good listener.
Building a reputation that is associated with responsibility, trust, passion, and kindness. There is no way I could have done any of this without the help of others.
And a key characteristic of being exceptional at sales is listening. Listening to a person’s needs is one of the most honorable moments in the service industry.
A fun moment with our customer is solving a problem together and knowing we can recommend local resources.
- Handbags: vintage $35 – $65, leather designer $150 – $650, high-end designer $1150- $5,000
- Jewelry costume $10 -$45, fine jewelry and designer $55- $2,500
- Clothing: men and women average $15- $125, $300 – $2,000
- Home goods: average $5 – $48 and small furniture $75 – $500
- Services and classes are $15-$65
- Website: Www.maxissmodern.com
- Instagram: @maxiss.modern
- Facebook: https://www.