Vision and mission at the heart of MSC
The whimsical world of the Mainstreet Collection came to life with the opening of a retail store, in picturesque Washington, North Carolina in 1994.
According to owner and founder, Tracy Mayo, “We were successful because we understood what customers wanted ... style, value and quality. Our mission has always been to provide unique, colorful gift items of exceptional quality at an affordable price point. We make this happen with almost immediate order fulfillment supported by our best-in-the-industry customer service team.”
Soon after opening, it quickly became a regional destination for shoppers seeking one-of-a-kind gifts for those with discerning tastes. The store was filled with creative displays and reflected the bright, fun attitude that has been the hallmark of the organization ever since.
And yet, something was missing. There were very few gift items available in the marketplace priced under $25. To fill the void, the company soon began producing its own line of items. Soft goods decorated with polka dots, stripes and artists’ designs received much acclaim at Junior League shows, and positive buzz throughout the industry.
After encouragement from retailers who wanted to carry the unique gift line, the business expanded. From a need sprung an idea that soon developed into a wholesale business on the second floor above Tassels.
The Mainstreet Collection (MSC) was born!
Initially, MSC found a niche selling to retailers who offered monogramming services — a perfect match for the pillows, baby blankets, linens, bath wraps and other decorated soft goods MSC offered at the time. Venturing beyond Junior League shows, the company secured a small temporary booth at the Atlanta Gift Mart where the MSC brand gained national and international exposure.
Demand grew so quickly it became impossible for MSC to keep pace through in-house production. In 2004, MSC contracted with overseas manufacturers who could maintain the high-quality standards MSC required at sufficient quantities to meet demand. The new production model marked the first venture into ceramics for MSC. And what a venture it became!
Success was immediate. The newly introduced Christmas ornament line sold-out long before the holiday arrived. MSC had a new formula for growth while continuing to provide healthy margins for retailers and great prices for the end consumer.
In 2005, MSC purchased a warehouse and consolidated its corporate office, shipping and graphic design departments into one location. The growing company was able to aggressively pursue expansion of the product line. The fully-automated facility allowed for the processing and shipment of most orders within 24 hours. Not only did this improve efficiency — it enabled retailers to replenish displays quickly without having to devote precious storage space to excess inventory.
The company continues to grow. In just a few short years, the Mainstreet Collection has become one of the top wholesalers in the industry with thousands of retailers across the country carrying the MSC line. Sales have grown 50 percent since 2005. In 2009, MSC opened corporate showrooms in Atlanta and Dallas and the product line now has over 6,000 items.
The spring and holiday lines feature entirely new styles and designs each season. All of the design work is original and exclusive to MSC. The world-class creative team meshes style with function offering innovative gift ideas that invoke the colorful palettes of the seasons.
MSC now offers a pre-sell program that guarantees 100 percent fulfillment for customers who place their orders when new products are introduced. MSC’s state-of-the-art Web site accepts online orders and allows customers to check the product availability and the shipping status of orders. MSC products are shipped complete so retailers can allocate display space without unnecessary guesswork. Also making the process easier, MSC provides custom-designed displays ready for quick setup.
Though the company has become one of the most successful and fastest-growing wholesalers in the gift industry; its mission has never changed. MSC remains committed to providing quality products and quick order fulfillment for retailers.
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