Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Cheap to Free Furniture Makeovers

Hi friends. We posted a note on FB a week or so ago that we were putting Booth Crush on pause until we could get over some hurdles. I never knew life could be so tough when it came to taking care of my elderly mother. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all. In fact, I cherish every moment I have with her. I just wish I could make her well again. She has so many health issues and it just breaks my heart to see her struggle so much.

Life is just crazy right now for both Dawn and me. During this downtime, I was going through old photos and came across some of my furniture photos and wanted to share them with all of you. I mean who doesn't love a good before and after right? These items were either free or super cheap.

A lot of these photos are older makeovers. I think this first one is when Farmhouse was just getting started. I bought this old sewing machine at an auction for $5. The sewing machine didn't work and someone had cut the cord. I was the only one that bid on this item...lucky me. The top had some water damage, but I knew I was going to cover the top with planks so that didn't matter. I already had chalk paint and lumber on hand. I spray-painted the handles black for a farmhouse look. I think it turned out really cute. I don't remember how much I sold this one for, but I remember it sold on the same day.

This next makeover was a curbside freebie. My neighbors placed these two chairs out on trash day and I snagged them. I already had fabric and paint and on hand, so these chairs were $0 to makeover and I sold them for $80 each
Can you guess what this next makeover is from? If you guessed a headboard you are correct. I had a queen size headboard someone had given me. It needed way too much work to function as a headboard, so I salvaged these panels. They were very easy to remove. They are made out of that burlwood material so pretty lightweight. I was able to make two chalkboards and I sold them for $50 each. The table it is sitting on was a sewing machine table I scored for $8. I can't remember how much I sold it for.
This next image is from an Etsy shop called Passion for Flair. I wanted to show this pic because it is similar to the headboard I used for the chalkboard panels. Heather, the shop owner does furniture makeovers and if you are local to Bordentown, NJ you will have to check out her store, although she does ship. So next time you see one of these headboards, remember you can always repurpose the panels. The ones I had, you could also remove the back and replace it with chicken wire for a message board.
My next makeover is from a yard sale. I think I paid $3 for it. There was no bottom and it was very scratched up. I cut a piece of wood for the seat and dug through my scrap fabric and flipped this one for $75 or $80
This old dresser was given to me. The drawers were in really bad shape and beyond repair. So I added shelving and painted it this pretty turquoise color and sold it the same day.
This curio cabinet was a score for only $15. Just a quick coat of chalk paint was all it needed. I think I sold this one for somewhere in the neighborhood for $150ish or a little more.
This next pic is mine. I can’t remember if it was shared in another blog post or not. I apologize if it is a repeat. I found this cute little picnic-looking desk at an auction for $10. It was dirty, but solid wood. I gave it a good cleaning and a coat of chalk and it was as good as new. I paired it with a $5 vintage bistro chair and sold the set for $120.
This antique shaving dresser stand was hard to sell. I even lowered the price to $40 and no one was biting. So…I decided to remove the mirror from the drawers. I ended up selling the bottom half for $110. I flipped the mirror upside down and added a shelf and sold it for $125. I wish I could find the after photos for this one. If I do, I will add them later on.
I hope these ideas were helpful. Just remember the next time you are junkin to keep an open mind. If you see a a piece of furniture that is beyond repair take a closer look. Is there anything on it that can be salvaged?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

3 Ways to Get Holiday Traffic

We know most of you are busy preparing for Christmas. The last thing you need is another to-do list. So we are going to keep our list short and sweet. This blog post is for shop owners. But even if you are a dealer please feel free to share this with a shop owner. We wanted to share three easy ways to get some extra holiday traffic. Remember this is just traffic and the customers might not be spending at first. But fingers crossed they just might. If your store makes a good impression on them they will remember you and shop at a later date or even better they will tell their friends about you. 

1. Toy Donation Center

There are different toy drives you can do or participate in this time of year. If you are not sure how to start one, just call your local fire and police departments. They can point you in the right direction. The U.S. Marine Corps offers Toys for Tots. You can sign up online to be a participating drop off center or click here. The deadline is Dec 16th. There are more details on their website. Yougivegoods is a website you can partner with as well. Just make sure to promote, promote, promote. If you have a reader board sign outside, make sure to state you are a toy dropoff center with the details. Make sure you put a poster in the window. You can create something using a poster board and don't forget to share on all your social media platforms. 

2. Christmas Themed Photo Wall
The above photo is one I used in a blog post last year. Click here to read that blog post. Photo credit goes to Two Sister's Treasures

A lot of antique stores and boutiques have a designated area within the store just for Christmas photos. This is usually a cozy fireplace/ Christmas tree scene. If you are a larger store you probably already have enough inventory to stage your area. You could pull items from your various booths (with dealer's permission of course) to create a space. 

Don't forget to take a pic of your photo wall and share it on all your social media accounts. You need to get the word out as quickly as possible so people can start coming in and getting photos. Also, you will want to create a sign with a special hashtag so customers know how to tag your store in their photos. Once they start sharing their photos of your beautiful wall or space their friends will see it and want to come in for photos too. 

If you don't have a mantle you could also create a winter scene with a window. Hang up a curtain over a windowpane and maybe paint some snow on the window. I'm sure you have some talented dealers at your store maybe you could take a vote to come up with the perfect theme. 

3. Letters to Santa

Last but not least Letters to Santa. This has been popular for years. Lots of stores (not just antique stores) are getting in on the action for this one. Children love to write letters to Santa. So why not provide a mailbox for them. This way Mom or Dad have to make a special trip to your store. You can also have some blank letters available for little Jonny and Suzy. I have created one for you to print out and have ready. While this is pretty late in the game for this year, you could always have these for next year.

Please e-mail us at BoothCrush@gmail.com if you would like us to e-mail you the Dear Santa letter. Since blogger will not allow us to post a full-resolution photo we will have to email it to you. 

Next, you will need a mailbox for the letters. I bet you could create something on your own, but in the event, you want a more professional look here are some options I found at Lowes and Walmart. 

If you have created a mailbox for Santa we would love to see photos. Please feel free to share them on FB or email us at BoothCrush@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Displaying and Packaging for Christmas Ornaments

We have been getting lots requesting from our readers regarding Christmas tree ornaments. Some of you are wanting to know what the best way is to display and or package those ornaments. We wanted to share some of the photos we have been receiving on the post we did yesterday. Thank you if you submitted a photo. It's getting late and my old eyes are tired and ready for bed. But I wanted to throw this blog post up for those still seeking some display inspiration.

 I saw this little tabletop tree at Apple Barrell in Bremen, GA. I didn't see a booth name to share with all of you. 
 VIA: Lindsay at Leaf and Letter
 Love this idea with the clear boxes. You can find these online at Amazon or Etsy.

 Via: Magpie Ethel

Via: Jan McGrath

  Via: Pinterest

How adorable is this tree made out of old lampshade? Via: Magpie Ethel

  Via: Pinterest
  Via: Pinterest
  Via: Pinterest
  Via: Pinterest
  Via: Pinterest
 Via: Shanty Chic
Via: Pinterest
Via: Pinterest
 Via: Pinterest
This one is not really for ornaments, but rather those small Christmas knick-knacks. 
Via: Pinterest 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Getting Your Vintage Booth Ready For Holiday Shoppers

Photo Credit: Oliver & Rust (Pinterest)
I can't believe it's only 65 days until Christmas. The busy holiday season is fast approaching. People are already out shopping and getting a jump start on their list. Are you ready? This is the last big sales event of the year. I hope all of you are getting prepared. Lots of stores have their Holiday Open House in November.

If you are a newbie to the industry and this is your first Christmas as a booth owner. Get ready!  Now is the time to break out all your festive holiday decor. That means lots of Christmas lights and decor. You should price your Christmas displays to sell. In the past, I have had shoppers want to buy my entire vignette or even my decorated Christmas trees. You might be thinking this is a lot of trouble to redecorate...but isn't this why you are in the business...to make money? Price your displays and trees accordingly. Make it worth your time and replacement. If the customer really wants it they will have no problem paying what you ask.

Some customers lack the vision of decorating. So they would rather pay someone else to do it. I used to know a lady that had a seasonal holiday side hustle. She made great money doing this and thoroughly enjoyed it too. If I had the time I would totally offer my services to other booth dealers. I would love to go around to different booths and help decorate.  Hmmm, maybe I could do this on a limited basis. Do any of you dealers need help? Lol.

Seriously, let's talk more about your booth. Now that you have it decorated and ready to go what else can you do to make some extra holiday cash? Sell Christmas decor of course! I can't speak for everyone, but ornaments have done really well for me. I price them individually but if I have mass quanities I will bag up 6 or more and in a clear bag and tie them with a pretty ribbon and embellish the bag.

Other Christmas items that are popular are

~Christmas cards
~Holiday photos
~Christmas postcards
~blow molds, 
and those gorgeous aluminum trees

People go nuts for this stuff. They are not only shopping for gifts... they are shopping for parties too.  Oh and don't forget those ugly Christmas Sweaters. Those are always hit if you are allowed to sell them in your booth. I have done really good selling these on eBay.

Now let's talk about pricing. You are going to have all kinds of folks with different budgets. Try to have items at different price points. Especially items that are $5 and under. Those make great stocking stuffers. You want everyone that visits your booth to be able to buy and afford something. Do you offer handmade goods? Let your customers know by placing a sign in your booth. If you take custom orders just be respectful and make sure all sales go through the register.

Gift baskets are hot ticket items. A couple of years ago I bought the cute little, mason jar candles at the Dollar Tree. I decoupaged a bunch of small matchboxes with cute Christmas scenes and paired them with the candle. I dropped them down in a clear bag and then added a cute To & From tag on the outside and these flew out the door. Little gift baskets for neighbors and co-workers are great items to have on hand.

I was in an antique mall last year and saw these chocolate-covered, marshmallows on a stick. They have a cute note attached that reads Additional $5 off your purchase of $25 or more. We thought this was a great idea to encourage shoppers in your booth. They are getting a deal and treat or the kiddos are getting the treat.

This idea could be used with cookies or any type of treats and at various price points. Just make sure they are in in some type of clear bag. When children see these the parents are going to have a hard time telling their children no. Great marketing move. I whipped up my own little tags for you to enjoy. These are complimentary and you are more than welcome to use them on your own treats. Just email us if you could like a copy. BoothCrush@gmail.com
Another idea you can implement in your booth is hide the - - - - - - - ? This can be a Christmas ornament, or item such as a tophat, or snowman. When the customer finds it have them take a selfie holding up the item and tag your booth in their social media shout outs!

Giveaways are another way to generate sales. Have your customers place their name, contact info and item purchased on a slip paper, and place the paper into jar or basket. Check with your store manager to make sure it is okay to place this in your booth or at checkout. You can say something like spend $20 in our booth and entered into our gift basket giveaway. Some dealers just offer a gift basket with no purchase necessary. This would be totally up to you.

We hope these tips and ideas will help you to have a successful 2019 holiday season. We would love to hear your ideas and things that have worked for you in your booth or shop. Please feel free to comment on this Facebook post or e-mail us at BoothCrush@gmail.com

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Truth about Booth Rent

We get e-mails from time to time regarding dealer booth rent. Most are inquiries but there are those occasional rants we receive as well. While we don't mind answering your questions we have noticed an influx on this topic. So we would like to address some of your concerns in this blog post.

For the newbies out there, booth rent is a monthly fee you pay for a designated area within a shop or mall. This is your area and you can place your items within this space. Some stores/shops also rent wall space only. These are ideal for artists. But that's another topic for another day.

You pay booth rent to the store owner. Some shops will also take out additional fees such a commission on all your sales. Usually, it's 10% commission but some places don't charge a commission at all. These are things to ask the shop keeper when you are looking for booths to rent. We have an entire blog post written about the questions you need to be asking. You can click here to read more.

Most shop owners charge by square footage. Your rent will depend on the city and state you are in too. For instance booth rent downtown Atlanta is very high. The further you go out and away from the city the cheaper the rent. I've found myself in metropolitan areas as well as rural areas and I can say this..my rent was triple the price the closer to Atlanta I got. Rent also depends on where you are within the store/mall. If you are at the end of an aisle, closer to the front of the store your rent may be more. If you have a window space your rent could be higher. If you are in the back of the store your rent could be cheaper. It's all about location. The better the location, USUALLY the higher the rent.

You may be asking yourself...If the shop gets a commission why do I have to pay booth rent too? Here's why.

*Most antique malls and shops have to pay rent on the building they are in UNLESS they own it.
*They collect all sales tax and report them.
*They have to pay the electric bill which can be a huge expense in the winter and summer months.
*They have to pay the water bill so that customers/dealers have a restroom to use.
*They have to pay for telephone internet services so credit cards can be run.
*Some have to pay an alarm company so that your things are safe.
*Some have to pay for the software so sales can be uploaded nightly and you receive an e-mail with your sales total.
*Some stores have cable so that the hubby or kiddos can sit in the break area and watch TV while the wives/parents shop.
*They have to pay themselves and or staff.

It doesn't just stop there. Other expenses include cleaning supplies and paper products for the restrooms. Coffee and snacks for the break room (we're referring to the larger shops on this one) office supplies, light bulbs, business cards, paper bags and tissue for wrapping items, websites, advertising, and social media management, maintenance on the building (if they own) promotional items and the list goes on.

Think about this for a minute. You rent your booth/s. You take your things to your booth space and drop them off. They do the rest. They are there to open and close up each day. They are dealing with the sometimes rude and unpleasant customers, they have to help load your furniture. They have to keep the restrooms and break area clean. They are the ones dealing with breakage, messes and other tasks. You don't have to be there to sell anything. You drop off your things and you can go on about your day. They sell your items, collect the money and pay you at the end of the month or in some places every week or bi-weekly. So the next time you are questioning booth rent keep these things in mind.

The owners and shop keepers (well most of them) are your friends. Please treat them with kindness and respect. You treat them badly and they are not going to be willing to help you or send customers to your booth. So you are only hurting yourself. They are working hard for you so that you don't have to. Plus it is just best to be a nice person. You never know what someone is going through or if they are having a bad day or not. A simple smile or hello can go a long way. Happy shop owners equal happy customers.
Also, we are hosting our first Fall Decor Thrift Store Challenge on our Facebook page and over on Instagram. Come join in the fun. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Georgia Junkies 41

What do you get when you take four successful, good friends and mix it with a huge passion for antiques? A new junkin show of course! Today, we are so excited to share the interview we did with Georgia Junkies 41. There has been no shortage of shout outs over on our Facebook page for this upcoming vintage market.

You may be wondering why we have shown so much love for this show over the thousands of other all across the land. One reason is three of these ladies are dear friends of mine and that's just what friends do. The other reason is we were asked to be the featured vendor and of course, we are thrilled and honored to do so. I love these gals. The three of us had booths (they still do) at the Marietta Queen of Hearts, while Stephanie, Kathy and I simultaneously had second booths at another location in Hiram. So these old gals are my partners in crime or should I say...Sisters in Junkin.

Dr. Shara Mays also happens to be my Optometrist and is part owner of True Vision Eyecare in Acworth, GA. I did a blog post about them back in August 2016. If you missed it you can read it here. Shara has been in this industry for a long time and has had many home decor booths over the years. You can find her at The Market and at Queen of Hearts Antiques and Interiors.

Stephanie Rainey is a former teacher and assistant principal who is now a virtual assistant for Shaun Bradley with Vistage Worldwide. Kathy Albright works with ABS which is a company that sells shutters and blinds. These two ladies joined forces and created Scrappy Chix. They have a booth right down from Shara's booth at Queen of Hearts. You can also find them at Two Liru in Downtown Historic Acworth, GA.

Shana Gould whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet has owned and sold several different businesses. Most recently she was the mastermind behind Divas and Dames and Choxies Craft and Crate both in Acworth. She just launched an online boutique called Blonde Junkie. She also has space at  Two Liru.

Now here is where the funny part comes in...Shana had her new boutique branding done by the uber talented Kelli Mitchell over at Pink Lemonade Company. I,too, have been a long time fan of Kelly's work. I created a social media graphic for the show using some of her designs. I was going to do their show brochure but time just wasn't on my side. I had to suggest they get someone else. That, someone, was Kelly and that's when I was told Shana already had employed her design services. Such a small world. Here is the cute graphic I did for them.

So without further ado let's get this interview started. But first let's put some faces with the names.
from left to right Shara Mays, Stephanie Rainey, Kathy Albright, Shana Gould

BC: How did the idea for Georgia Junkies come about?
GJ41: A couple of us have been in business and renting booths at local antique and interiors stores for years. Two of began talking a couple of years ago about how nice it would be to have something like Round Top, Texas right here in North Georgia, but neither of us had ever started a business. So we contacted one of the other partners who has started several businesses to see if this was something that she might be interested in doing with us. At the time we all had very busy lives and we felt we were not in a position to start something new that could potentially grow to be something pretty big. So we put things on hold for one year. When we met again at the same Starbucks one year later, we decided it was a good time for the four of us and we had each put time and thought into what we envisioned this event to look like. The next week we found ourselves in Shana's jeep driving all over North Georgia looking for a perfect location. When we drove into Bartow County Saddle Club we knew instantly that this year-long dream was about to become a reality.

BC: How long have you been planning this event? 
GJ41: We talked for one year and have now spent a second year planning. Our first vintage market is next weekend. March 22-24th. It's hard to believe that two years of dreaming and working is now a week away from reality.

BC: Creating a vintage market like this seems like a lot of work. To give an idea to anyone else out there thinking about starting one can you tell us how many hours went into all the planning?
GJ41: We met every week for over a year and we were constantly talking or texting. We each split duties such as advertising, website, vendor relations, etc. We would say at least ten hours a week each week for the first six months and since September, it has steadily increased to twenty to thirty hours. It has become a full-time job for all in addition to our already full-time jobs. But it has been very rewarding.

BC: What are some things you hope to provide the attendees? 
GJ41: We want this vintage market to be a really fun experience. We knew we wanted to provide the ultimate shopping weekend, but more than that we wanted to create an event that every member of the family would enjoy and remember. We have over one hundred vendors and we have been careful to accept entries based on the interests of everyone who will walk through our gate. There will be a fashion show, live music, product demonstrations on stage by our vendors, great food and a corn hole area for anyone waiting on shoppers. While shopping has always been our main focus for this event, we wanted to create a family-friendly feel.

BC: After the announcement of this show, your vendor list filled up so quickly. How did you accomplish this? 
GJ41: Great advertising has been our number one goal for this event. We have worked really hard for outstanding and now for excited customers. We have used all types of social media, particularly Facebook. It's amazing how far social media can reach. We had a customer contact us from Adairsville who heard of us from a friend in Arizona.

To get the best possible vendors we went out to all the local markets that are similar to the one we are building here and recruited top talent at each one. We had cards printed up with all of our information and personally invited vendors that we really wanted in our market. We also have a website and through that and our social media presence, many vendors found us as well. Now we are focusing on the event advertisement. We have done everything from news articles to a billboard in Cartersville to rack cards and to a radio interview that will air Tuesday morning at 7:30 WBHF am 1450 in Cartersville.

BC: You mentioned a fashion show and product demonstrations. Can you please give us the deets?
GJ41: Yes here is the info and schedule.

BC: Is this a rain or shine event? 
GJ41: Yes it is. There is a covered area

BC: How often will you ladies do these shows? 
GJ41: The vintage market will be a semi-annual show. We will have one in the Spring and one in the Fall.

BC: Do you have a date for your Fall show? I'm sure vendors are already asking you about this hint hint!
GJ41: Yes, our next show will be on October 18th-20th.

BC: Are you accepting applications for the Fall market? 
GJ41: We will take a couple of weeks off after the first market. Then we will start right back up in the middle of April with a recap meeting. Vendors can find the application on the website by the end of April. Fall is a very busy show so we would suggest vendors not wait too long to apply. We were sad to turn away some top notch vendors for the first show because we had already met our quota for specific categories. We are trying very hard not to duplicate booths, although that is tough at times.

When we reached a certain number for jewelry, soap, etc we said all others who applied after that were denied during the application process. We made a commitment to our vendors that we would try to control as much duplication as possible. We have been true to our word.

BC: What piece of advice would give others thinking about starting a vintage show like this? 
GJ41: Our advice to anyone wanting to put any type of event together, not just a vintage market but anything large scale would be to not rush the process. We took almost two years from the first conversation to the first show. It took a good majority of that to decide what our big vision was and to get every little detail hammered out. There are a lot of decisions, paperwork and details that no one thinks about when they are walking through a show. For instance, there is a specific type of fire extinguisher that must be on the premises throughout the event. And that's not the one we all have under our sink in case of emergencies. That is just one example, but there are many more details that we have learned this past year about creating an event that had we rushed it and not taken time to learn , we could potentially have had a disaster on our hands.

BC: Ladies thank you so much for doing this interview with us. Dawn and I are so proud of you ladies. We know this is going to be a huge success. In closing is there anything else you would like to say or add? 
GJ41: Here is some additional info for anyone wanting to attend.