Monday, May 24, 2010

Opening up a new shop

Silver monogrammed pitcher from Goodwill $4.99 with phlox and lilacs from my garden.

Wow. This past week, I have been so busy. The kind of busy, that as tired as you are, you can't even fall asleep because your mind is racing over the list of 300 things left undone on your to-do list, kind of busy. For all of you that have a shop or a booth you know what I mean, because that is what I now am, officially a shop owner!

This is something that I have wanted to do for several years. Having a strong business background, I knew it would take more than finding treasures and setting them up in oh-so-lovely vignettes. It would be a commitment of time, energy and resources. In the past, in anything I did, I always put family first. So while Elizabeth was in school with all her recitals, concerts and other activities, it just wasn't the time. Of course, after she graduated, I still made up excuses.

I have always had the talent of finding my treasures, literally for pennies, being knowledgeable about their true value, and reselling them for a substantial profit on e-bay or through my lawnsales. In fact, my lawnsales were legendary. Being located in the center of town, I never had to advertise in the paper. My distinct red signs put up the Friday before the sale at the two main intersections in town, always guaranteed a good turnout. I could count on my "regulars" waiting in my driveway at 6:00 a.m. and would be disappointed if I hadn't made at least $200 by 7:00 a.m.

My sales would have the usual housewares or toys along with some rescued furniture (which I found curbside or real cheap and fixed up). I live in a college town and there are always students looking to furnish their apartments. But it was my McCoy, Weller, Hull, & Roseville pottery, my vintage linens, silver and especially my quirky/unusual vintage finds that fueled the sale. Priced to sell but not just give away, I understood that the folks buying the big ticket items would be re-selling them and that everyone along this consumer chain had to make a profit.

This past Saturday, I held my lawnsale to coincide with the rummage sale being held by my neighbor, the church. Since they had heavily advertised, I was expecting even more customers. It wasn't my usual sale. No McCoy, Weller or anything else that distinguished my sale from the others. Those items have been set aside for my shop. I only netted $200, but not bad considering what I was selling. Typically, I end a sale day between $700 to $900. More important than making money for the day was being able to meet potential store customers and getting out the word that there is a new shop in town. I collected a list of e-mail addresses to be notified for the shop's grand opening. Even better, I made several contacts with women looking to do consignments.

Right now the space is being renovated so I am looking at the end of June to open. It is located at 8 School Street, Second Floor, Gorham, Maine. The name of the shop is "2nd fl Thriftiques" and will feature vintage fashions, furniture, housewares and art as well as repurposed treasures made from vintage pieces with a new twist.

I didn't receive my business cards in time to pass out on Saturday, so I quickly made some up using mailing labels and vintage playing cards. Talk about "repurposed treasures". The cards were a huge hit.

On the front side it reads:
2nd fl Thriftiques Shop
Fabulous Vintage Finds & Repurposed Treasures

The back reads:

Consignments Taken
8 School St. 2nd fl, Gorham, Maine

I have created a blog for the shop and will be posting shop business at that site, when new inventory arrives, etc., with lots of photos. I will be setting up a paypal account if anyone is interested in purchasing items from the shop. However, until the grand opening and commencement of my new blog, I will be posting a few blurbs about the process of getting the shop ready here at A Conversation at Goodwill. I would love any comments, advice, and helpful suggestions, from all of you that already have a shop or booth. Your help would be so appreciated.

Any new adventure is as intimidating as it is exciting. When people ask why now, why this point in time of opening up a shop, I simply respond with this ......... I turn 50 in August and know that I will have to work for at least another 17 years. It might as well be something that I truly enjoy doing. Good or bad, I will never regret opening the shop; however, I would regret not at least trying. "It is never too late to be what you might have become" Please wish me luck.

Got it at Goodwill


La Vie en Rose said...

Totally fab news...YOU GO GIRL!!!

I will stand shabbily in the background applauding all your new ventures and wishing I had the tenacity.

BTW if you ever need anyone to help...let me know...great follower, crap leader. OH and I make stuff too, hehe.

Peace and best wishes,


Theresa @ 612Riverside said...

Congratulations Sherrie! I wish you only the very biggest success! In my book going after your dream is such a success that everything that follows is icing on the cake! I am so excited for you, Theresa

Linda said...

I am so excited for you! What a great new adventure. I am still working on getting my Etsy to work (I hope). I would love an actual store but more $$ then I have to invest right now. I will be rooting you on and hoping only the best for you!

Lisa said...

Congratulations for acting on your dream!! Sounds like you have worked hard on the plan and implementing it should be fun! I wish you all the best, and will continue to visit to watch your success!! :)

The Lone Dollier said...

Way to go! Glad you could realize your dream.

My dream is to also have a booth/table at an antique shop, but after I retire. I have a good gig going with the state (meaning great retirement!) so I have to work another 14 years then at 55, I RETIRE! After that, it's "Katie bar the door".


Angela said...

That is so exciting!! I wish I lived close enough to shop at your new shop. I love your idea of using vintage playing cards for business's perfect.

Charlotte said...

Congratulations! I would love to have a shop to sell my treasures also. The only problem with that is I can't bear to part with anything!

rose said...

I think it's great to venture out in the world .You will do fine have a good day.

sissie said...

Hi Sherrie,
I'm so excited for you and congratulate you for opening a shop.
I have been an entrepreneur all of my life and at the age of 58 I finally am doing what I love the most, my little antique shop booth.

So, you won't regret your decision, you will just go on to become better and better.


Anonymous said...

Oh Sherrie,
I am so happy for you that I am actually tearing up! I know you must be on cloud nine! You should be so proud of yourself for your dream coming true!! I wish you the best of luck and lot's of sales!
If I don't visit you a lot in the next few weeks, it's because something is wrong with my computer, but you will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers!
Have a great week and fabulous store opening!
Your proud friend, Melinda

Mimi said...

Sherrie, I am so happy for you! You will do great, I am sure. Wish I still lived in Vermont, I would make a trip up to see you. Best wishes for a super successful business!

Ann said...

Oh Sherrie,
I wish you all the luck and fortune that life has to offer.
Funny you should post these thoughts, I'm planning on doing the samething along with my bro-in-law by September in South Carolina. First the strawberry and now the shop!!!
Have a great week.
The Tattered Tassel

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

You are going to be great and have a helluva lot of fun at the same time!!!! Bravo! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Oakland Daily Photo said...

I'm always impressed with what you can find at your Goodwill. The ones in my area rarely have nifty vintage things. Opening a shop is quite an undertaking but your enthusiasm will carry you through. Loads of success.

Athena said...

Good luck! Yeah, you definitely have a talent for finding treasures at minimal cost. I wish you all the best with your new shop! :)

craftyles said...

Congrats and good luck. I'm sure you will do great! Wish I lived close -I'd be there at least once a week!

Laurie said...

OH I wish I lived nearby -- I'd be your best customer! Congratulations and I can't wait to see more!

Angela said...

Thank you so much for coming to visit and for following my blog. I've really enjoyed seeing the things you's obvious that we couldn't shop together...we'd each be grabbing for the same things!!
Have a happy week,

Kathy said...

Hey Little Sister!

I'm very proud of you - you do a fabulous job and make all the rest of us go - Oh yes! Why didn't I THINK OF THAT? You rule! Best wishes in your shop endeavor. You do us proud!
Big Sis

craftyles said...

Just wanteds to let you know I awarded you the Trendy Blogger Award. I enjoy your blog so much!

daylily777 said...

Congratulations Sherrie & Best wishes for Success in the future !

Nishant said...

I wish you only the very biggest success! In my book going after your dream is such a success that everything that follows is icing on the cake! I am so excited for you
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