It really does.
Especially when you have a lot (too much) going on in your life. My Dad would say, ‘This ain’t no picnic’. I guess that’s why they call it Life, and not A Picnic. But no matter what’s going on with you personally, time marches on. So when someone asked me recently how long I’d had a shop down at Sweeten Creek Antiques, I honestly had to think about it for a beat.
Almost five months ago on a VERY rainy day Big Daddy and I moved my ENTIRE act in to a tiny 10 X 10 space in one of the larger and more popular antiques shops in Asheville. I was so excited I could not even think! I was running around in my shop like a scared rabbit, trying to get everything styled and priced, all while LOTS of shoppers were watching. I went home that day with what felt like a large brick in my stomach. All I could think was, ‘what if no one likes me?’
So I stayed away for several days, almost a week really. I finally got the nerve to run down there the next Thursday, on my lunch hour ‘just to check on things’. I tried to be really casual about it. I tried super hard to not expect anything. As I rounded the corner the first thing I noticed was SEVERAL holes in my shop where stuff used to be.
I was speechless.
I could not even remember what had been in the holes in the first place! I had to go back to work and dig my phone out just to see what had sold!!
So I wanted to take a little time today to outline what sells and what does not sell for me. It’s funny to me that this is completely a regional thing and in my opinion Asheville NC has been late to the party when it comes to painted furniture.
So here goes:
1. Painted Lamps
Specifically pairs of lamps.
Even more specifically, ones with burlap shades.
I’m pretty sure I’m on my eleventh pair down at my shop and currently they are the only ones I have left. Single lamps also sell, but much slower.
I make simple pillow covers with envelope closures. I use both down and synthetic inserts but I prefer the down. I also charge more for the down ones. I really limit myself in terms of my fabric choices and I’m talking about price per yard. I try to stay under $5/yard. I am very fortunate to have an AMAZING fabric shop right in my own neighborhood. This allows me to peruse the $2.99 table regularly. If I’m making larger square pillows I always make them in pairs. Singles do not sell well at all unless they are lumbar pillows.
If I’m being honest, I pay my booth rent with Smalls. When I’m out on the prowl for things to fill my shop I won’t even pick up something I can’t triple my money on. Usually more.
So in my crazy brain, my shop rent is pretty low. I only spend about 1/3 to 1/5 of the cost of my rent to actually make my rent. And my rent money is usually made on items I don’t have to do anything to (like paint, repair or sew). My max ‘Buy In’ currently is $40 or less, including furniture. In the Small’s catagory, nicknacks sell better than tableware by a good bit, but they both sell. I try to stick to white ceramics/ china, architectural-looking stuff and old silver. Tea cups and saucers do not sell well at all.
4. Painted Furniture under $80
This really surprised me.
Small tables, trunks and benches go out the door the fastest. The larger, more expensive pieces are slower. Single chairs are the worst. I swear I will never my another single chair again. Pairs only! Particular colors of painted pieces also seem to sell faster than others. White and Aqua sell well.
I love to make chalkboards!
I think everybody should have one and I think they are really fun for kids. Generic chalkboards sell better than Seasonal ones in my booth, but they all sell.
So to all of y’all who are looking for info on running your own booth / shop I hope this helps. For me it has totally been Trial & Error but I’m quite happy so far.
And I’m loving EVERY minute of it!
Blogs I love!