Hi friends. I know it has been forever since we last did a blog post. I can't even blame it on bad eye sight for lack of updates. I had an eye exam last week and thankfully got a good report. Just know that we always have good intentions though. Speaking of eye exams... today, I want to share a post about True Vision Eye Care. I realize this is not booth or junk related, but in a way, it kind of is. Over the spring I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow junker and vintage dealer. Her name is Dr. Shara Draper Mays and she is one of the owners of True Vision. Shara and I have become fast friends. She is just the sweetest person you would ever hope to meet. I love it when a Doctor is great at what they do, but when they also have a great personality to go with it. That's always a bonus. To show you what a small world it is, we were in the same antique shop as vintage dealers last spring, but had never actually met.
I am a true believer of supporting local businesses and small Mom and Pop shops, especially those I love. So you may start seeing a few more posts like these in the future. Last week I went to True Vision Eye care located in Acworth, GA for my long overdue eye exam. They are in a new location now. And lemme tell ya...pictures didn't do justice to this place.
It is just BEAUTIFUL! From the moment I pulled in the parking lot I was impressed. Once inside, I felt like I had walked into a swanky boutique. Although, you knew you were in an Optometry office, it didn't feel all cold and sterile. It felt warm, inviting and like a place I would just want to hang out. They have state of the art equipment, or at least to me it was. Oh and did I mention what a knowledgeable and kind staff they have. They have a large variety of eye wear including designer names as well as sunglasses and contacts. I loved it so much I booked my Mother an appointment for next week. So I wanted to share some photos I took on my visit. Enjoy! If you are local to Acworth, GA or the surrounding area and find yourself in need of Optometry services please give them a call. You will be glad you did.
Happy Sunday everyone. I hope you all are having a great weekend so far. The weather has been perfect to get out and go junkin. We found lots of yard sales. I scored an antique chest of drawers from the late 1800's early 1900's. I can't wait to give it a makeover. And speaking of furniture....one of the questions we often get asked...is How do I ship furniture online? So this blog post is for all of you vendors that have been wondering how to do this. We found a gorgeous shop on Etsy that sells furniture and we reached out to them for some info. We compiled a list of questions that we get asked and, Dena the owner of Little French Farmhouse was kind enough to answer those for us. She also had some additional info to share after the questions portion.
1. What shipping providers do you use for your larger pieces?We offer delivery (50 miles) and we use various east coast furniture movers. 2. Do you the package the furniture or does the shipper?Professional movers blanket-wrap our furniture and offer white glove in-home delivery with indoor setup. 3. If you do, what preparations do you make for the provider? Smaller pieces ship FedEx or Greyhound, we box and pack as needed. 4. What does a typical dresser cost to be shipped?There's no way to accurately answer this, as it depends on size, weight, and most importantly, distance. It will be less to ship from NY to VA then it would to ship NY to CA. 5. Where do you find your shipping supplies? (If you package your own items) Many local retailers sell boxes and bubble wrap. When possible we recycle packing materials as well.
6. Do you offer returns on your items? All of work is custom so our items are final sale. 7. Do you include insurance? We require that all shipped items be insured for the customer's protection. Peace of mind is priceless! Uship.com is the most popular option for shipping. They will connect you with dozens and dozens of shippers who participate. You choose the one that best fits your needs, this will vary each with each shipment. The site is user-friendly and many customers go with that option when making their own shipping arrangements. For cross-country shipping of larger pieces (queen beds, armoires, full dining rooms) we find these companies to be very reliable: Craters and Freighters and Plycon.com -- their team arrives, they blanket-wrap the furniture, crate it (off-site) or whatever is needed, and ship it fully insured. They assume full responsibility for the packaging and transport. We are artisans, not furniture movers. We're good at what we do, and they're good at what they do -- we leave long distance furniture shipping to the professionals and find this always works out best.* For local deliveries our own driver will blanket-wrap and transport the piece to the customer's home. It can be a one or two man delivery depending on the size and weight of the piece. For smaller items, say a vintage window or a chair for example, we wrap it in multiple layers of bubble wrap, add peanuts, then slip into a box and ship via FedEx or Greyhound. No loading docks involved. If we can't get it there, both offer pickup service. End tables aren't going to fit in a box, they are going via shipper pickup or local delivery. Greyhound has size limitations so not everything can be boxed and shipped. An exception for example... detachable legs could make a small table shippable, and it would be wrapped the same as a window; multiple layers of bubble wrap, and into a box it goes. Rule of thumb, don't bite off more than you can chew. If the packing/shipping process of any particular piece is overwhelming, then it's a job for the pros. They know what they're doing, the customer has peace of mind, and the item arrives undamaged -- this is always the priority. This is how we do it. I hope this has been helpful! We love creating amazing, unique pieces for our customers. We specialize in dresser-to-bath vanity conversions, and upcycled vintage furniture. We can paint YOUR furniture as well. All work is custom -- We bring your vision to Life!
Thanks, Dena. We appreciate you taking the time to help us out. You can find Dena online here:
Smalls. You either love em or hate em. There was a time when I didn't want to deal with them. I wanted to sell chalkboards, message boards, open back picture frames, hand painted signs and furniture. Those were my items. Needless to say I soon learned those things don't pay the rent. Smalls do. I also learned having a variety of merchandise with a variety of price points helps my bottom dollar. I now embrace smalls and look for them whenever I'm out junking. I usually have good luck finding these items at yard sales, estate sales, auctions, and thrift stores. The hot ticket items for me that always sell any time of the year are: old wire baskets, picture frames, chalkboards, linens, hankies, lamps, vintage luggage, skeleton keys, sewing notions, lace, ball jars, and almost anything rusty or chippy.
Since we are all from cities and states, I was curious to see what other dealers were selling. I conducted a FB survey about a couple of months ago and these are the things that other dealers are selling:
Other items that are not vintage, but are good selling smalls are candles, pillows, soaps, handcrafted items, cloches, and seasonal items. What are your hot selling small items. Please feel free to comment below.
Hello Junkers. I hope you were able to get out this weekend and enjoy this beautiful weather. I've soaked up as much sunshine as possible. I even made it a point to break out my camera and take some nature shots. Having a camera in my hands again made me realize how much I miss it. Weddings and high school seniors were/are my favorite subjects. My hubby gets mad at me for saying I used to be a photographer. He says once a photographer always a photographer. Okay, I agree, but I'm just not an active photographer anymore and nonetheless I was just happy to be shooting again. Speaking of photography, today we are interviewing the gorgeous, Hollie Hallwyler of Juniper &Bloom. Hollie has a booth at Curiosities Antique Mall in Beaverton, OR and she is also a lifestyle photographer too. My two loves... photography and junk. So here is a girl after my own heart. Hollie was kind enough to spend some interviewing with us and you are going to love her beautiful booth. So if you are ready let's get started.
1. How long have you been a vintage dealer? I've been a dealer for less than a year. I started with a couple of flea markets in the spring of 2015. I then moved into my space at the vintage mall in July.
2. What type of setting (Mall/Boutique/Flea Market) are you in? I'm in a vintage mall with close to 60 dealers. The spaces range from shelves to big booths. Each dealer has a space that is unique and offers something different. The mall caters to people looking to buy cool pieces for their house (that you can’t find at a big store) or that are searching for nostalgic collectibles, vintage clothing and jewelry and one of a kind pieces. As well as some antiques and fine jewelry.
3. How many booths do you have? I currently have one booth.
4. What size booth/s do you have? My space is approximately 8x10 ft.
5. What do you sell? I sell painted furniture, furniture paint (Mudpaint) vintage home accessories, vintage jewelry & clothing, frames, hand painted ‘peg people’ and handmade dolls.
6. What do you find sells the most in your booth? Small-Medium pieces of furniture have always sold really well for me, like side tables and dressers. People also love cool frames, detailed mirrors and unique accessories.
7. What do find sells the least in your booth?I have not had any luck selling glassware or dishes of any kind. (The only exception would be cool and unique barware).
8. Why do you think your booth has been successful?I feel my space has worked well because its something I’m passionate about so I give it my all. I’m also very conscious of what is moving and what is not and adjusting accordingly.
I’m always looking for ways to improve.
9. How often do you refresh your booth?I’m in my booth 2-3 times a week on average. In busier months, I’m there almost everyday. I like to make sure it looks well stocked and inviting at all times.
10. What mistakes have you made and learned from as dealer? I can think of 3 mistakes that I have definitely learned from. The first thing that comes to mind is just the mistake of buying the wrong piece for the market I’m in. I’ve learned a lot about the clientele in the shop as well as those who frequent my personal booth.
Second, looking back to when I first started, I kept my space a lot more clean and sparse. I feel that was a pretty big mistake because I was not maximizing all of my ‘real estate’.
And lastly, I wasn’t great at posting pieces online and using social media to draw people into my space in the beginning. I missed out on a lot of sales by not expanding my audience.
11. What plans do you have to improve your booth this year? I have a handful of things I am working on to improve my booth. The biggest for me devoting a lot more of my time to making sure I have an active presence online and on social media.
12. What advice do you have for someone just starting out? Go for it! I knew nothing about buying and selling vintage furniture when I started out. I just decided to dive in and make it happen. It’s also smart to scope out vintage malls and spaces to get an idea of how things work, what is selling and what to expect for pricing. Once, you’ve got your start, don’t be afraid to change things that aren’t working, changing things up is key. Also, rely heavily on the expertise of the mall owners and the veteran dealers. You can never learn too much about something you want to make a success.
13. What do you think the number one mistake is that unsuccessful dealers make? Dealers that aren’t active in keeping their spaces up, pricing things too high for the market they are in, or are unwilling to make changes when things aren’t working.
14. Do you do this for a living, part time or as a hobby? For now this is part time … but it also feels like a hobby because I love it!
15. Do you stick to a specific color scheme with your booth?I definitely have my favorites. I tend to use a lot of muted tones like whites, creams, greys and light blues. I also use some blushy pinks and soft corals. I love my space to have an overall ‘French country/French provincial feel. But I love to throw in bold pops of color on some pieces like the color ‘jade’ in the Mudpaint line I sell.
16. Do you utilize social media, and if so, which ones work best? I have found that social media has kept my business alive. I use Instagram, my blog and professional Facebook page. The Facebook groups I’m in that allow me to post things for sale have been very beneficial. I also use craigslist to bring people in.
17. How much is your monthly sales income? I am very happy with my overall sales but am always looking for ways to increase them!
18. Do you price your items with even, odd or somewhere in the middle? I price with odd numbers. Occationally, I forget and something is given an even number. But in general, I choose odd.
19. Where do you find your vintage goods? Everywhere! Estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores, craigslist, FB groups, my friends/families garages,…. I’m always hunting for new treasures.
20. Do you change your booth out to reflect the seasons and or holidays? I love being festive. Of course Christmas is my favorite! There are so many amazing vintage Christmas decorations out there, its hard not to go overboard. Last Christmas, I strung lights, added small trees and had ornaments hanging. For the fall I had a few touches of fall foliage here and there and, for the rest of the seasons/holidays, I just try to add some pieces for sale that reflect the what time of year it is.
21. Do you swap out stale merchandise or do you reduce it for a fast sale?
I do both. I think it depends on why I believe they are not moving. If Ithink it just needs an aggressive price to make it move, I’ll drop the price in the small increments. If I think maybe the color is too specific or I notice a certain color of furniture flying out of my space, I’ll take it home and give it a new look. Since I sell furniture paint, this is actually a simple fix for me.
22. Do you think booth location is important? I do actually. I think it’s just like anything, location, location, location. But I also believe that you can do things to bring people into your space, even if its not the most prime location. You can do things to set yourself apart or to standout. And, if you are doing well at marketing yourself and getting people in the door to come see your space, it shouldn’t matter where you are in the mall.
23. Do you use any kind of inventory software for your personal use? I do not. I started with an excel spread sheet, but have not been good at keeping up. I have some ‘in my head’ systems that seem to be working well thus far.
24. Do you market your booth/s outside social media? I have not done much in the way of marketing myself off the internet. It’s probably an area I need to improve in.
25. Do you sell online too? If so which venue do you use -Ebay/Etsy/Other?I sell on craigslist and FB groups. Since I sell a lot of bigger items, I do no use ebay or etsy. I’m sure I could sell my smalls that way, but quite honestly, I do not have enough hours in the week to execute that well.
26. Would you like to own your own store someday? I would love to own my own store someday! Nothing huge, just a small little home store that focuses on painted vintage furniture, vintage accessories and hand crafted or locally made pieces. I love giving old things new life and I love supporting others who work hard at their craft!
27. Do you ever participate in barn sales or pop up sales? If so, how many a year?
I have not participated in either. I have done a few flea markets. I think 2 or 3 last year. But have since decided to focus the time I have on making my booth the best it can be.
28. Where do you find your vintage items? I find my vintage items mixed in with all the treasures I pick up at sales and surfing online.
Thank you, Hollie for a great interview and sharing your beautiful booth. Be sure to stop back next week for another Vintage Dealer Spotlight.
Spring is just around the corner y'all. As the weather warms up and the flowers start blooming so does our itch to get out and soak up the beautiful weather. For most of us junkers that means it's time for Barn Sales, Antique Shows and Pop-Up Markets. Every so often we get an e-mail from a newbie wanting to know what to expect at these events. So we compiled a list of tips that may be useful for first time show going customers. These tips aren't meant for your first time as a vendor at a show. They are meant for your first time there as a customer. For you seasoned pros, you know the ropes by now and you might want to skip this post. I sure wish I'd had a list like this when I attended my first event. Clothing & Shoes: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You will be doing lots walking, squatting, and bending. Layer so you can remove articles of clothing as the day warms up. If it rains be prepared for mud. I live in flips flops, but sneakers sure come in handy after a rain shower. Take a fanny pack. It is a life saver. Protect Your Skin: Since most of these events are held outdoors, chances are you are going to be spending a good portion of the day in direct sunlight. Make sure to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Your skin will thank you. Pack an umbrella for those unexpected showers. You will also want to have some bug repellent for those muggy summer evenings.
Survival Kit: Be sure to pack a tape measure for measuring larger pieces. A pen and paper for note taking. Some other things for your arsenal are: hand sanitizer, wet wipes, first aid, bee sting treatment, headache/stomach meds, snacks and water. I always like to freeze a big bottle of Smart Water the night before. Then I can sip on it throughout the day. Staying hydrated at these summer events can help you to stay focused on the task at hand: Junkin!
Take Cash: These days most vendors have the square to take your credit card payments.However there are still a few that don't. Remember cash is king. You are more likely to get a better deal if paying with cash. Also you will need it if you have to pay to park. Take a Rolling Cart: These babies are games changers. They make shopping so much easier. Don't worry if you fill it up. Just take it to the car, unload it and repeat. I found my utility cart here. Arrive Early: Remember the old saying "The early bird gets the worm" this certainly holds true for these events as well. Transportation: I really don't have to tell you junkers about this one. If you've been pickin for any length of time you know to take a truck, SUV or pull behind trailer. You never know what amazing treasures you will find. It would be a shame to have to leave them behind. Networking: Maybe this one doesn't necessarily classify as a survival tip, but if you are in the junking business it's an important tip nonetheless. Always have a business card with you to hand out. You never know who you will meet at these events. It's all about networking. Misc: Be sure to charge your cell phone since you will not have an opportunity to do so at the event. Most of us love taking pics so you will want a full charge. Speaking of phones did you know some of the larger shows have their own app? These apps can be very useful. Just be sure to check the event website for more info. Last but not least take your support system aka bestie or a good junkin buddy. That way you have someone to help you carry your stuff and hold you accountable if you are working within a budget.
Cat from Petticoats on the Prairie shared a couple of tips with us. And their show will be April 16-18 in Coleman, TX. Thank you, Cat for sharing these great tips with us. Don't be afraid to make an offer on an item you love...most dealers expect it and price their items with a little wiggle room. If you see it and fall in love with it-don't wait! Buy it right then because chances are when you walk away and think you will return later, it will be long gone.
Tips from our readers: Shirley @Shirley's Archives:Take a show map with you to make notes and mark booths you like and want to revisit (and maybe where they are holding something for you). If you have a tip to share please comment below. There are so many great shows and events coming up this spring. We have uploaded an entire album on Facebook with flyers for events all over the US. Be sure to click here to take a look. Stop back by next week because we will be sharing tips for first time show vendors.
This is a topic that most of us would rather not talk about. We certainly don't want to believe it could happen to us. But let's face it theft is commonplace in the retail industry. Forbes reported US retailers lost $60 billion retail shrinkage in 2015. Reports of thefts at antique malls, shops and even auctions are reaching an all time high according to Antique Trader. Those numbers are staggering. It makes me realize how fortunate I am to have been in this business for 17 years and to have only suffered smaller inexpensive losses. Even when I was a shop owner in Blue Ridge, GA it was rare for things to go missing. Was it luck? Maybe. It has been in more recent years that merchandise and has sprouted legs and walked off. So who's stealing?
Every age group and social demographic of men, women and children. There is no “typical shoplifter” profile. Nationwide, one in every 11 people has shoplifted; that’s approximately 27 million shoplifters. Shoplifters usually buy and steal merchandise in the same visit, and they typically steal $2 to $200 worth of merchandise per incident. NASP studies indicate that shoplifting is a compulsion; it’s addicting in the same way drugs are. The thrill of “getting away with it” releases endorphins in the brain that produce what shoplifters describe as a “rush” or “high.” NASP reports that it’s this high — not the merchandise itself — that compels shoplifters to steal; 57 percent of adults and 33 percent of juveniles say it is hard for them to stop shoplifting even after getting caught. ***This was a n excerpt taken from Antique Trader. Click here to read the rest of the story. It' is a great article.
As a vintage dealer this is a business risk we all take. No matter how hard we try it's not realistic to think we can prevent all thefts. If someone really wants it bad enough they will take it. However there are some preventive measures than can be put into place to protect your goods. While these tips may be helpful they are not guaranteed.
AS A BOOTH DEALER * Place a "Smile you are on camera" sign in your booth * Place a camera (real or fake) in your booth * Place a locked case in your booth (give the key to the staff) * Place smaller pocket-sized items in cello bags bags crinkle and make noise * Try getting a booth closer to the front of the store or near checkout * Try clear tape or clear bags for bundling some items together * Rent showcase near the front for valuable items
AS A SHOP OWNER * Place "Smile you are on camera" signs throughout the store * Place video cameras throughout the store * Install Door Chimes * Hire extra staff to work the front desk * Hire staff to walk the store isles and help assist customers * Install convex mirrors throughout the store * Ask customers to leave large bags at the counter * Install showcase alarms * Install anti-theft devices near the front doors
We posted a thread on Facebook yesterday asking dealers for advice on this topic. We are gonna share some of those comments here in case you missed that post. Leigha Young Burnham:Photos of inventory in the booth. Not just my inventory list. Then, at least I can locate it if stuffed in another booth by customers who change their minds or if I want to claim it as a loss. Renae Hamby:he place where I rent has a locker at the front door. She asks the ladies to leave their purse in a locker and gives them the key. Usually doesn't offend. If it does, they take their purse back out to the car. At one point she stopped asking and immediately had a large quantity of silver stolen. So the policy is back. If you're not a thief, don't be offended. Jolity at Antique Co op:This is a hard one. I've had many things stolen, of all sizes and all values. If someone is determined, they will find a way to take it. Not everything can be secured in a case. Customer service is key to prevention. Walking the floor and making your presence known will help a lot. Offering to take things to the register for them as they browse will also prevent items from being taken. Monitor cameras and approach people if you see something. Rose Cauthren Jubb:You don't have to invest in a huge case either. I started out using a small jewelry storage display case that I got at a craft store in their paintable section. I popped two d-rings on there (one on the case side and one on the door) so they matched up and I could pop a lock through them. Sara Cambreleng:I have always accepted the fact that a certain amount of theft and breakage will happen. I gave myself a number ( in my head) that I will 'lose' a year. It doesn't stop the loss but makes it easier to accept. We hope these tips have been helpful. We would love to hear what precautions you take for your booth. Please feel free to comment below.