Christmas Open House 2019

Sunday, November 17th. If you want to shop early please come at 10 a.m. until noon. However, I ask that you bring a non-perishable food item. The food will be given to The Momentum Center (they are located in my Centertown neighborhood – and do amazing work in our community). At noon- 4 p.m. the store will be open to everyone (however, if you still want to bring a donation that would be greatly appreciated!)

This is a big day for the store! Starting mid-winter I start buying all the cool, authentic, vintage I can find. Then I store it in my basement……the week before I start hauling it upstairs and piling it in my garage. The Saturday before the trek to the store begins. (I’m also packing up all the fall to head back to the basement for next year)…..and at 4 p.m. the store closes for the overhaul.

It takes about eight people (six hours each)….and the store is magically transformed in to Christmas. So, why would I do this? Wouldn’t it be easier to bring the holidays in little, by little? Sure, but what would be the fun of a holiday open house then?

This is one of my favorite days (behind the Flea on Seventh, and NY Day Lakeshore Antique Trail Sale)….the Magic of Christmas at the store.

So, please know, I’ll continue to post the treasures headed to the open house….but you won’t be able to purchase them until the 17th. If it helps your anticipation…..there will be cupcakes ;0

Auction Fun

Last month I was out of town when I stumbled on some estate sale signs. You know me well enough at this point…..I followed the signs! Fortunately they were current and well placed…..so I found the sale easy enough. An old farmhouse, garage and barn looked promising.

However, as I was walking up I hear the auctioneer. Not an estate but an auction. Which apparently started at 9 a.m. At this point the barn had all been sold (which was fine – a lot of project pieces!), and they were finishing up in the yard with all the hunting and yard equipment. As I stood taking in what was happening I realized I was one of three women also. And these guys were looking at me with…..?!?!?!?!? Why would SHE show up to clearly a guy’s auction…and so late at this point (it was close to 1 p.m.).

So, I grabbed an auction number from the desk and went to check out the basement and garage. Turned out the garage had been sold already as well. Which was a bummer because there was a whisk I would have scooped up. Then down to the basement of the house.

The basement had about 10 areas stacked and clearly sectioned off. So much of the stuff on the table was cheap bric-brac. BUT, the cleaning section had this table – piled with buckets, vacuums, cleaning supplies, etc. And I loved the table. So, I was ready to bid on that corner.

As it goes this was the last area sectioned off. The other tables were selling for great prices….$7-$10 for a whole table of items…..my hopes were up 🙂 My top bid would be $30, no matter what. Bidding gets started and quickly went to $20 with four of us bidding. Then three of us, then two of us, then I lost out when the other guy bid $31. Ugh.

With nothing to lose I waited a few minutes, went over and introduced myself to him. Turns out he didn’t want the table but all the other items. (he also looked at me like I was nuts for wanting that old table). And because he thought the table was nothing….he sold it to me for $5! 🙂 I didn’t have to get rid of all the other items, saved $25 and I couldn’t have been more excited……but then……

Off to my truck I went to get the $5 cash for this guy……and in the garage was the guy who had purchased all the items on the table where the whisk was. Since I was so successful with the table….I asked that guy if he wanted to sell me the whisk……50 cents later I was the proud owner of that whisk!

Jumped in my truck, drove around back, by the time I made it back to the basement the table was unloaded and ready to be loaded on my truck.

I was out of the auction in about 40 minutes, without any additional items that I needed to load, donate, etc. And it only cost me $5.50. Woohooo.

Auctions might just be my thing!

Yard Sales

Yard Sales!

I love yard sales. You truly never know what you will find. I’m a feast or famine yard-sale person. It’s the kid’s clothing with the missing sock OR it’s great vintage at great prices.

Local yard sales are great fun – but if you want an amazing yard-sale experience you need to hit a trail.

For the past several years I’ve shopped 127. I’ve only been in Ohio though (this sale covers all of 127 – and several states). After this many trips I have vendor friends along the way, know which places to stop and which places to drive past. Sure, I might miss everything……but every year I’m out of space and money any way you look at it. And make sure you eat at the local places while shopping…..saves time and the prices are better.

This past week, for the first time, I shopped 12. This trail goes West to East at the bottom of Michigan. I’ll certainly try it again (because, I love yard sales!), but it was a lot more clothing etc. This was real garage sales vs. 127 often has full-time sellers on the trail. Which can mean better stuff; but at higher prices.

And last spring I also shopped the M15 trail – east side of the state – North to South. This was the best……real garage sales but with great stuff (and great prices).

So, if you love yard sales……get these on your calendar! See you on the yard-sale trail!

Fridays with Dad

For the past two(ish) years I’ve spent every Friday with my Dad. We’ve gone to thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales and even picked treasures up from the curb!

What fun we have had! We’ve made great friends along the way too. Ludington to Midland to Battle Creek. And let’s talk about the vintage we have found along the way!

My Dad is always saying…..”I’d take a gamble on that!”……and it doesn’t matter what it is or what the price is. I’m the one saying….”Nope, cannot do that price or it needs more work or…..” And trust me…..he loves it when I end up buying it and it sells right away!

We’ve heard the craziest stories, found treasures neither of us knew what it was, we’ve seen clean homes and the dirtiest of homes. But the best part of it…..is the time/memories we’ve made together.

Thanks, Dad, for always being willing to hit the junkin trail with me!

Chippy Dreams Come True

The other morning we were loading the truck with vintage goodies headed to the store. As the sunlight was hitting I snapped this picture. And, later, while looking at this I felt such a joy.

Yes, chippy vintage makes my heart happy. Chippy green makes my heart happy, saving/reusing/recycling vintage makes my heart happy…..and having my own vintage store makes my heart happy.

Truly the happiest though is….chasing your dreams. What ever your dream is…..figure out a way to chase it! <3

It Must Be Fun

Interesting. Today was a tough day, coming off a tough month. So, let me start at the beginning…..

Winters are rough. Not a lot of people are out shopping/buying for room remodels or fun, vintage treasures. Then add this crazy winter. We had quite the snow, ice and freezing temps. So, I’m behind the 8-ball, working it like crazy, promoting, tagging….and participating in shows everything month. Which means packing, unloading, setting up, taking down, reloading, driving home, unpacking. It’s a LOT! And since once of my business goals this year is to be part of a show every month….it’s like repeat, repeat, repeat 🙂

Today I had a customer in the store, she had just retired. As we were chatting….she said: And I quote here: How fun it must be to have a little store to play with every day.

It was at that point….my thoughts were OY VEY!

I guess the good thing is…..I’m chasing my dream and still loving it! So, word of advice……chase what you love….that is what makes it fun to “play everyday”

Blessings my friends, Joyce

Who Knew?

The other day, my hubby and I, went to pick up a work bench. I am sure we have driven past the business thousands of times in the nearly 37 years we have lived here. We had no idea what history was happening inside this business.

We met Jerry (who I bought the work bench from)and so I asked him what was the business? What was their story? Turns out !! His grandfather started this business…..and in addition …..he created all types of equipment. His grandfather has more than 250 patents!

We had SO much fun hearing the story and learning about a business in our community. Fair warning….if I buy something from you I’m going to expect a really cool story 🙂

It takes WORK

I find it hard to believe…but it will be three years ago this spring I opened my dream store. So, I thought I would share the scoop of what I have learned….

  1. It takes work. It takes 24×7 work. Truly, I would not want to tell you how many hours each day I spend on social media. Every day is filled with picture taking, posting, answering. Every day is filled with junkin, fixing and repairing. Every day is filled with cleaning the store, shoveling the snow, making the outside of the store look like a place you wanted to go inside. The lists are long my friends.
  2. If you do not absolutely love what you are doing ….owning your own store will burn you out quickly. Yes, my passion is my vocation now, but isn’t that great!
  3. Set goals. It really isn’t enough to just have sales everyday. This past week I took a screen shot with every month of my sales for 2018. One of my goals this year is to BEAT every month from last year in sales. That helps me push for getting my vintage treasures OUT in the world, and getting my friends and customers IN the store.
  4. Compare Carefully. We should all know if you compare you lose. Someone/Something is always more….fill in the blanks. That’s why I add the word carefully. Talk with other business owners…ask questions…what is their slowest day of the week? If it is the same day as yours, ok then. If not, ask why do they think that day is the slowest. Certainly never ask for their trade secrets or confidential information…but you can certainly learn enough from asking.
  5. Network and Collaborate. My vintage area owners have been meeting for the past months. They have become friends, and great resources, for me. We often refer customers back and forth to each other. In the end we want our customers to find that special treasure and they will remember that we helped make that happen. We are also pooling our financial resources together for large-scale advertising.
  6. Budget. Stay on top of this. There are so many things coming at me – advertising, donations, underwriting, etc. I watch my budget like a hawk. I’m on my Chase Bank (shameless plug) app every single day. I know what I have in my accounts, when my charge bill is due, and what checks have been cashed. Nothing should be a surprise.
  7. Sales-Tax Dollars. Do not spend them. Do not make these dollars part of your budget. When I look at my accounts I am always taking out what I have collected in sales tax. Big mistake to use that as your income. When it’s time to pay you will be behind an 8-ball. And when you are behind financially it is never easy to get back in front.
  8. Pay for your Non-gifts. I hired a CPA about four months in to opening my store. Not my gift. Now, I give the paperwork monthly to him and my worries are done. Some of my business friends scramble and struggle and…ok, occasionally freak out. I’m over that. It is a HUGE relief.

Looks like I’m out of word space 🙂 And I have so much more to share! Email me if you have questions vintagegreenantiques@gmail.com.

I’ll share more ideas/thoughts/suggestion and hard-earned wisdom in the coming weeks!

Let’s Move the Cake Plates, Again :)

On Wednesday the store overhaul started. Christmas was packed up, that took a few hours, and then snow and glitter needed to be vacuumed up. (on a side note the store has been vacuumed twice now and another vacuuming is still needed. Behold the power of fake snow and glitter!).

One of the store changes was to place a beautiful black buffet in the entryway. We decorated it with cake plates and sparkly greens. About two hours later a couple came in. They asked if the buffet was for sale….and and…that meant the cake plates needed to be undone.

We moved a grey cabinet in the entryway and back went the cake plates and sparkly greenery. Closed the store for the night. This morning…..a lady came in and asked if the grey cabinet was for sale. Sold the grey cabinet.

Third cabinet arrived shortly after. Back went the cake plates.

So, either, come in tomorrow and buy all the cake plates OR feel free to buy the white/green table!!

This is how it goes 🙂

Christmas Open House 2018

Hand Collected Vintage, Authentic Christmas all year.
Three hours of carrying up from the basement.
One hour of moving it from the dining room to the garage.
One hour packing two cars.
Two friends who filled their vehicles as well.
Eight friends who worked for six hours, then four friends who worked another two hours.
Five workers for the day.
163 cupcakes were devoured.
The best Christmas Open House! So many vintage-lovin’ friends came, brought food donations, and so many authentic vintage treasures went home ….

And a partridge in a pear tree 🙂

Thank you my friends for loving on my Vintage Christmas Store <3