by Lorie Lewis Ham
I recently discovered a fun little shop in downtown Reedley that I never realized existed, Wow! Accessories and More, owned by Blanca and Larry Valencia. I had the chance to chat recently with Blanca about the shop.
KRL: When did the store first open?
Blanca: Our official date was February 1, 2013 at this location but prior to that, we had rented a small space at the corner of G St & 11th. The response from customers was so good that we outgrew our small space quickly and so we decide to find a building so that we could expand.
KRL: What exactly do you sell?
KRL: When, how, and why did you first come up with the idea for this store?
Blanca: The idea of selling started a couple of years before we opened an actual shop. It started when I was coordinating a fundraising event for our church women’s group. I solicited for vendors and my daughter said, “mom it would be fun if we could sell something.” I thought what a great idea! So I went and applied for a seller’s permit and when they asked me what the name of my business was going to be I had to think quick and said it was “WOW!” the acronym for the name of our women’s group “Women of Worth”, the rest is history. Of course, the main plan is that I will have something fun to do when I retire from my regular job but for now, like my husband likes to tell people, “I’m living my wife’s dream.”
KRL: What is your past experience with this type of work, or owning a business before now?
Blanca: I actually had a small clothing store during the 80s. I had five small children and wanted something where I could make my own hours, so to speak, and hopefully make a little income. I did that for about four years at which time I decided to apply for the government job that I have been at for 31 years.
KRL: Is this a family business?
Blanca: I am the actual owner and my husband runs it. My daughters (4) help, and my youngest daughter actually has a degree in fashion merchandising so she does a lot of the buying for the shop.
KRL: What do you like best about owning Wow!?
Blanca: It’s got to be the many great people we have met. The interactions with old acquaintances that we had not seen in years, some since high school, and the many new friends that we have made has been the best thing.
KRL: What has been the hardest?
KRL: Why did you feel that Reedley was a perfect fit for your store?
Blanca: We had already had a great response by doing events like Reedley Fiesta, Street Faire, church fundraisers, so we thought and hoped that our already established clientele would come to shop and they did.
KRL: What is unique about Wow?
Blanca: I like to think that it is our customer service 1st and our affordable prices second. We strive to delight each and every customer. I think that is why we have so many loyal ones that have been coming in since day one. One of my favorite books (and every family member that works at the shop must read) is THE HOW OF WOW! By John Murphy, it’s a quick read but to the point on providing world class service, no matter how big or how small, your business is.
KRL: What are your future goals?
KRL: Any special events coming up?
Blanca: Next big event is the RDA’s Ladies Night Out. The theme is the “70s.” My husband and my high school years…can’t wait, you know we are going to do it up!
KRL: What is the date of the RDA event?
Blanca: Thursday, November 12, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., theme will be Disco 70s!
Wow! is located at 947 G Street in downtown Reedley and is open Monday – Friday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Like their Facebook page to keep up with the latest sales and events.