Today marks the one year anniversary of my shop down at Sweeten Creek Antiques. I’d been painting and selling furniture, mostly to family and friends for almost a year and a half before I took the plunge and rented myself a space in a large Antiques Mall. Big Daddy and I loaded up his big SUV and my Jeep in the driving rain and moved me in to my first space. After he went on home and I was there by myself I took HOURS arranging and re arranging my furniture. I agonized over every flat surface, styling every tabletop and perfectly plumping each pillow that I’d handmade and karate chopping it in the middle. I stood back for a long while and looked at my shop that I had waited sooo long for and felt good about what I saw and left for the day.
I got in to my Jeep . . .
And I was absolutely scared to death.
What if I suck at this? What if I have to pack all this up and go home with my tail between my legs? I’m telling you a blue million things were RACING through my crazy little head as I drove back home.
I purposely stayed away from my shop for days. I think it was about ten days later that I ran down there, all casual like just to see if my shop needed any fluffing of straightening up. The first thing I noticed as I rounded the corner was
And I have NEVER looked back.
Today I wanted to share the most important things that I’ve learned over the past year.
In no particular order:
1. Booth Styling is EVERYTHING !
I feel the need to style my little shop exactly like MY own home/taste. I don’t try to be anyone else at all. I love old and beautiful things and I don’t want to pay a Go-zillion dollars for it. Apparently there are lots of people who appreciate this and they shop at my booth.
2. Do pay attention to design and decor trends and make it more affordable for your target demographic of shoppers.
Right now Junk is hot as a firecracker . Except they are calling it by several different names. When I’m out picking for my shop I try to stick to inexpensive alternatives in the same vein as Farmhouse or Cottage or Industrial Chic.
3. Keep your price range BROAD.
I would really like to afford something in my shop. I get super agrivated in anyone’s shop if I can’t afford a single thing that I pick up. And I certainly don’t want that to happen to anyone in mine.
4. Stick with what you do the VERY best.
Do not try to do it all.
I know my limitations and I try to consistently steer myself away from things that I’m not good at.
I stick to these:
Painted TRADITIONAL furniture
Accessories that I personally love
English Transferware and white ironstone
In a nutshell, what’s in my own home.
5. Stick to Furniture that has sold well for you.
In the order that sells best in my shop:
These all fly out of my booth, but I price them to sell. I do not price them to keep as very expensive China’s display surfaces.
6. Advertise on Craigslist
Both locally and in Larger surrounding cities.
I have to thank BIG DADDY for this one. I advertise on Craigslist in Charlotte, Greenville SC and Knoxville TN as well as Asheville.
Lord, it’s FREE! Do it!!!
7. Have Sales a few times a year
Post the sale in your booth and be sure to leave a copy with the checkout people up front. That way there is no confusion. Also advertise the sale on your business pages on Social Media.
8. Lastly, my Definite DONT’S
Well chairs period if I’m being honest.
Pairs sell much better.
Seasonal decor excluding Christmas.
The word FIRM on a price tag.
I will bargain on my large pieces of furniture if it’s reasonable. The folks at the checkout at Sweeten Creek Antiques call my cell with the offers and I either accept or counter.
I rarely pass completely.
I learned all of this via Trial and Error, as I do most things in life and I’m sure thing will vary in different areas of this country. I would love to know other people’s experiences with their booths. Please share this with me and others I the comments.
I would greatly appreciate them!
Blogs I love!