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!
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”
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 🙂
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….
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll share more ideas/thoughts/suggestion and hard-earned wisdom in the coming weeks!
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!!
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
I love bungee cords. There are two buckets full in my truck and one in my car. The bungees are assorted colors and lengths. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met a bungee cord I didn’t love 😉
For the past seven years I’ve been a junker. Bungee cords have allowed me to pack, haul, strap to and bring home treasures that would never have fit on their own. Shame on me for not keeping all the pictures from my adventures. You would have been amazed at how much I’ve made happen with the help of your bungee cords! I love to say, “I bungee cord the bungee cord!”
So, if in the future you are looking for example of how junkers can use bungee cords……look no further. I am your Bungee Queen.
Joyce (the I’ve got a bungee cord that will make that fit!)
Let’s start with a little back story. When our boys were little we all used to watch “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.” As we all know Pooh loves honey, and as he wanders the Hundred Acre Woods, he ends up at Rabbit’s house. Rabbit has honey! And Pooh keeps saying “tutt tutt, I smell honey” until Rabbit shares it with him. In case you need to know the end of the story 🙂 Pooh gets trapped, tries to get out and makes a mess of Rabbit’s house. Christopher Robin shows up and saves the day! Who doesn’t love a happy Winnie the Pooh story. 🙂
Up to the current moment…..Tutt Tutt I smell…..has become a common line at our house. I smell dinner, I smell a new car, I smell skunk, I smell too many athletic shoes in the mudroom (hahaha – parents of athletic boys and their gear will understand this!)….
Monday afternoon I headed south to pick through a barn. There were so many great treasures there, and so I loaded the truck up (used a lot of bungee cords too!), and took the beautiful backroads home. Arriving home I pulled the truck up on the drive anxious to show my hubby all the great treasures.
He comes walking out to the truck, drops the tailgate, grabs this old trunk……stops in place, looks at me and said…Tutt Tutt I smell mold.
Ok, it might have had to be one of those “you had to be there things”….but I could not stop laughing.
And all was right that night…..beautiful sky, backroads, barn treasures, truck full and a great memory laugh with my hubby.
I’m not handy. At all. I struggle with getting handles off dressers, drawers put back in, and don’t even think about letting me us a power tool! (OY VEY). Fortunately for me my hubby is super handy (lucky me, right!). Because he’s so handy he has all kinds of tools. Which, I will now confess to you that I’m not allowed to use. Apparently I’ve misused and broken some of them (ok, on several occasions and, I guess they are expensive to replace!).
My toolbox has one screw driver, a paint can opener, scissors and a pencil that I number dresser drawers with. Well, here is my exciting news !! I know own a sander. A really cool DeWalt sander. I’ve used it twice already. AND – this is the cool part….I can change the sandpaper all by myself ;0
The sander joined my extensive (hahaha) collection because of my sweet, super handy, unbelievably gifted, upcycling friend, Deb (Tickled Pink Furnishings – you can find her goodies at Pinky’s Place in Grand Rapids and Flat River Cottage in Lowell, Michigan)
After pestering her for probably a year about her projects I bought the same sander and sandpaper she uses. Which totally means my treasures are going to be fabulous <3
And now I have a tool with a power cord in my collection (hahahahaha) Thanks to DeWalt for making a sander that is unhandy friendly!