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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