Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Marketing Our Vintage Goods

I may have mentioned before, we started this little adventure on a whim, after I had been admiring some pieces of furniture in Pam’s house one weekend. A few days later my thought process evolved from posting pictures of her furniture on my blog, to starting our own business with a blog, all over the course of about 15 minutes and several emails between us. Last year over the July 4th weekend we bought our first vintage chair with the intentions of giving it a makeover and offering it for sale. After having such a great experience as a vendor at the Nashville Flea Market last fall, we set out to rent a booth in an antique/gift store. We settled in a cute little store with a wonderful and kind owner. We then expanded and put some smaller items in a new local gallery (with an equally kind and wonderful owner). One thing became quite obvious to us. Different things sell in different places. What goes unsold for months in one place will fly off the shelf in another. Large furniture was our best selling item in our booth. Small items sell best at the Gallery, and a combination of both sell best at the Flea Market.

After marketing our products in 3 different locations, we realized we couldn’t do it all. Since this is our “hobby”, we knew we couldn’t keep a booth furnished and prepare for future Flea Markets. Over the July 4th weekend, we moved out of our booth at the Willow’s Nest. The owner also runs her store in addition to a full time job, so she certainly understands the choices we all must make. It’s interesting how many people we have met over the last year that share a love and passion for creating, so much so that they balance it with regular full time jobs.

We have met many people that sell at annual shows and/or maintain booths in popular hot spots for antiques and home furnishings boutiques. Most of these people pay upwards of $300 - $350 in monthly rent. Every month. That takes quite a bit of merchandise just to break even. We only have so much time and money, so we have only committed to retail spaces that can accommodate our limitations. The good part about this is that it has allowed us to test different venues and determine the best way to market our things locally. The biggest time consuming aspect of this venture for us is acquiring the pieces of furniture. We spend a lot of Saturdays driving around to yard sales, estate sales and checking out Craigslist. With that in mind, we are planning to be back at the Nashville Flea Market in October. This time we plan to have 2 booth spaces and also set up by Friday morning for a full 3 day sale. Several customers have asked us if we will be in the same spot. Since we aren’t regular vendors at the Flea Market, unfortunately we can’t reserve our space prior to the month of the sale. We liked our most recent spot under Shed #4, but will post the exact location a few weeks prior to the market.

Pam is in Bowling Green, KY this week on business. If you know of any places in the area she may find some treasures for our next sale, please let us know!


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