I’ve switched out most of my inventory in the showcase and have changed gears yet again. Out are the majority of the purses and all of the costume jewelry. I loved them, but obviously the market was not right for them at the antique mall. So, I’ll sell them another way, perhaps online or in a trunk show. I’m losing money on rent, but the past three months have been an incredible learning experience for me!
So far, the antique shoppers of Nashville have liked (and, more importantly, bought) the following: baroque-style gold mirrors, end-of-the-day Bakelite, vintage belts, vintage wicker and leather purses, blue glass, and a decorative fan.
I’m trying to be the bootstrapper of bootstrappers and the guerrilla marketer of guerilla marketers, considering my budget is, well, nonexistent. Sometimes, I think I’m going to go crazy, because even when I’ve stopped intentionally planning, my brain takes over and I can’t concentrate at work or go to sleep at home because new ideas spin around and around and around until I have the compulsion to write them down or make a new phone call contact—immediately.
My business has gone through such a metamorphosis, even in the past year, that sometimes I stop and wonder if I’ve completely lost it. How will I ever stick with one idea through to the finish line? How many other ideas will I hotly pursue, only to drop later on down the road without so much as a tootle-loo?
More importantly, will I ever start to make a profit?
Yet I can’t deny that jumping in and making the financial commitment to sign a 6-month lease, however small the space, has been the best thing I’ve ever done. Even my little showcase has transformed me from dreamer to do-er, and that one small change has affected every aspect of my life. Instead of buying clothes for myself, I hunt down vintage finds to add to my collection. Instead of blogging as much as I used to, I spend my spare time making labels and pricing my stock (a task I have been surprised to discover I dislike!). Instead of taking a leisurely lunch break, I take at least one lunch per week on the run when I drive over to check the booth and rearrange things to keep it fresh looking. Instead of reading a book, I write marketing plans.
And, for the final, and most unusual change to my business daydreams: the boring stuff is taking precedence. Since I’m so small, I have yet to print business cards (albeit they are next). Instead, I am determined to learn small business record keeping and my next step is to set up a cash-flow statement and an inventory database to keep track of sales, trends, and current stock. How mundane. How tedious. How absolutely necessary!
Who woulda thunk that I, the graphic design enthusiast, would put the image-making stuff last!