Sunday, March 6, 2016

Vintage Dealer Interview = Juniper & Bloom

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. 
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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Survival Guide for Antique Shows, Barn Sales & Pop Up Markets

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.