Idyllwyld’s owner, Jamey Mateer, showcases her love for vintage and eclecticism.
Photos by Morgan Legel
Guam Business Center
1757 Army Dr.
By Morgan Legel
In just under three months, Jamey Meteer, owner and curator of Idyllwyld, signed a retail space lease, remodeled and designed the space, obtained a business license, brought a range of merchandise to her store and opened Idyllwyld.
Located in the Guam Business Center on Army Drive in Dededo, the 1,100 square foot shop offers vintage furnishings, home décor and clothing, as well as contemporary accessories, self-care items and other items.
With a vast range on nearly every inch of the store, Meteer says there is something for everyone.
“The shop is really great for things to buy for yourself, like selfcare or just for fun,” she says. “But everything makes great gifts as well. … It’s just a really unique conglomerate of artistry.”
Product lines from more than 25 venders line the shelves, all of which are either made in Guam, have ties to Guam or help represent the island’s culture.
“We want to be reflective of more modern times, but still be tied to the island — having things that do that, but not being just a normal Chamorro gift shop.”
From the décor in her store to the items she sells represent everything Meteer loves about the island and in her life in general, she says and she hopes that she can create the same feeling for her customers.
Meteer and her family moved to Guam last summer, but she has already made it her home, and plans to stay for the future.
“We’ll always have a space here on the island,” she says.
How would you describe Idyllwyld to a potential customer who has never walked through your doors?
Jamey Meteer: I like to describe it as a “creative co-op.” The main canvas of the store is the vintage, like the home décor and clothing — the things that just add character to your life. The second tier of the shop is local handmade and art options. Everything being sold in the shop is made by someone in Guam, by someone who has connections to Guam or by someone who is in a demographic that is very common in Guam, such as South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. We want it to be reflective of the island as a whole.
Where did you get your inspiration for the shop’s eclectic idea and décor?
Meteer: Because I have been collecting vintage since I was a teenager, I developed my own taste and style. The idea for the whole boutique didn’t really come together until I was living in Florida and a shop there reached out to me to showcase my artwork — as a ceramicist and painter; once I got more involved, I realized the owners were also vintage collectors and that was basically a beta version of what my shop now is.
It’s not a business model I see very often. We had a lot of success in Florida, and I knew it was something I could bring to Guam and have it be successful as well.
Tell us about some of the brands and vendors you have currently?
Meteer: Some of our best-selling brands have been the Good Boys brand, which does linen and home sprays, candles, some stationery and tote bags. People seem to really love the brand — they’re here in Guam; they just started during the pandemic, and they just have really cohesive branding with really pleasant scents.
Another one is Isa + Tasi Co., who is actually based in Idaho, but she is Chamorro. She does greeting cards, stickers, art prints — all of which are Guam related. From cards with carabao on them to Hafa Adai signs and all sorts of things in Chamorro as well.
We have Tasi Treasures as well. They’re a group of three gals that collect local sea glass and do high-quality silver-smithing as well with that, so their jewelry is really beautiful and one-of-a-kind — connected to the island and really representative of its people and its resources.
What are some of your top-selling items?
Meteer: Definitely the home and linen sprays by Good Boys; those consistently sell out. I love them because they have a very mellow scent that can be used for home, perfume, clothes and anything else.
One of our artists, KCCreations671, does a lot of bracelets and other types of jewelry that’s mostly beaded, and her stuff has been selling like hotcakes because her prices are affordable, but every single piece is unique. They’re lightweight and just really cute too.
Besides those, our vintage stuff sells really well too, which is great for me as the business owner, that our main inventory is selling well. Other than online, there just really isn’t a place to shop for hand-picked, vintage clothing and home décor.
Can you tell me more about the consignment system you have and options for vendors?
Meteer: We start every vender with no vender fees upfront, so being in the shop costs nothing to them. What we do charge is 20% of all sales, and they keep 80% for themselves. I like to remind them all that they can price their items however they want — so if what they usually sell online or elsewhere, they can add 20% to it and bring it to the shop and that way they would still receive 100% of the original amount.
Starting in April, venders will have the opportunity to come into the shop and help work the register, clean and work with customers, to reduce that fee from 20% to 10%, which takes off the burden of myself and part-timers who would be working the shop normally.
Another option that venders have is wholesale, if their work is something that fills a niche in the shop and that we’re looking for.
The last option is paying a $60 flat-rate per month, and then we would just take 10% sales fee for the transactions.
In the future, what would you like to bring into your store?
Meteer: We’re working on bringing in more foodstuffs, such as honey and baked goods.
And we’re bringing in a flower-weaver on March 26 for a “spring fling” type of event. She makes leis, flower crowns, small bouquets. That’s going to be fun to have more flowers and plants in the shop. We may ask her to do some tutorials, but she will definitely have a station set up.
How predictable are customer tastes?
Meteer: When people come in, they’ve consistently said, “Oh wow, I’m kind of overwhelmed, there’s just so much in here.” I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but people seem to really enjoy being in the space, which is the goal. I want them to spend as much time as possible and it helps them have a more positive experience. It’s always interesting to see what sells and to see what people are drawn towards.
Something we’re incorporating more around the shop is rearranging everything every couple of weeks. Things that have been on the shelf for two or three weeks and no one has touched them, suddenly are the top sellers. It’s very interesting, the shopper psychology and what catches their eye, what they decide to buy and why. We try to be aware and keep it flexible.
As a small business, what have been some of the greatest resources to you?
Meteer: Because of when we got our licensing, we didn’t have access to the Small Business Pandemic Assistance or anything like that, which is fine, but our business license was free. Besides that, YouTube tutorials help. And the main resource in helping run the business is Google Suites.Other than those, there aren’t many resources in the community we’ve tapped into yet.
Do you think business in Guam differs from the mainland?
Meteer: In terms of tax and revenue and legal processes, it’s a little different. The expectations are a little different. The way the powers that be communicate with small business owners is different as well.
We did have some of the same challenges in terms of getting past certain red tape to get the business open.
It is interesting to see what has sold in this shop versus what was sold in the shop in Florida, or throughout my time in the Midwest or in California.
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