Happy Sunday everyone!
I thought I would take today to catch up on this blog and delve a little more into my new Curious Sofa life. I say "new" because my daily routine still seems new to me despite closing the store 2 years and 7 months ago. I just realized today is my third year anniversary of launching the online store (which is my new life) so this post seems fitting.
It took me almost two years but I have finally gotten into a weekly routine of diligently working the website. After all, selling products online is my #1 money maker and keeps gas in the car and the mortgage paid. Inevitably I run into other antique dealers or retailers who say, "I could never do that!" but it works well for me and I have to say I am loving it. I can still shop, buy products I love, take pictures, design graphics and be creative all in the comforts of home with my pj's on, latte on my desk and a dog at my feet; what's not to love?
Every week I head off to hunt at my favorite places for vintage, antique and one-of-a-kind goods for you. At night, I flip through catalogs or research online all the vendors I acquired over the years to find the new merchandise that I love to sell as well. Every January I head to Atlanta to discover new products to offer throughout the year but especially at Christmas. (Speaking of, all of those goodies should be arriving any day!)
After the items are found, I sort and clean and shoot them for the website. Then I repack and take to the warehouse where they are carefully stored and shipped once ordered. I return home to organize the pictures, write descriptions and post them all to the online store. Then I spend hours advertising the new goods via Facebook, this blog and through emails. This process begins all over again the next week.
I also sell items in a booth at Lone Elm Antique Mall here in Kansas City on the outskirts of town in Olathe, Kansas. It is in the complete opposite direction of Prairie Village where the old store used to be and that is ok. The clientele is a little different so I feel less pressure trying to create "the big wow" as I call it. Here I can come and go as I please, rearrange and redecorate as much or as little as I want. I am able to put bigger items out there and divide up some of the internet merchandise too.
Social networking has opened up another job opportunity for me as well as I help Lone Elm and Bottoms Up Antique Market do their photos, graphics, and advertising. I like this too since I am on my computer all the time anyway and it allows me to use my graphic design and photography skills that I went to college for. I still can't call myself a professional in this area as I have so much to learn but I tell people I know enough to be dangerous! I scored a giant, newly refurbished 24" iMac so I am in geek heaven.
My graphic design passion along with being a full-fledged online retailer is working on a new website that I will launch soon. My old system isn't as user friendly as I would like so I have wanted to change it for awhile now. If any of you have ever wanted to dive into e-commerce, let's have coffee! As with any venture, I have learned a lot. Over the past TWO YEARS I have hired, cancelled, investigated and studied more e-commerce systems, templates and programmers than I care to think about (oh to have that money back!) all for the sake of finding the perfect fit and I think I may have, although I am scared too death to launch it and have to work out all the bugs it will inevitably have.
This year my 92 year old mother (who is in near perfect health and will outlive us all) decided to move in with my oldest sister. This lead to yours truly organizing and selling all her stuff at an Estate Sale. How anyone does this for a living is beyond me; so much work and little reward but it was fun hanging with my three sisters for two weeks and going through family photos... speaking of:
|Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 6th grade- YIKES!|
I have also been doing some design consulting which has been fun too. I finally found a way to accommodate customers that works well for both of us. For $250 I come into your home for 3 hours and we go through every room in the house or we work on one particular project. I make suggestions on paint colors, furniture placement, construction, materials, what to toss, what to buy and then I leave! You are left to do the work and email me once in awhile for advice. It has been amazing to me how overwhelmed customers can become with their homes and belongings and how all one needs is a new pair of eyes to get them focused. I have done six customers so far and each one has been so different: from an artist in the country to a small apartment to a suburban makeover. Email me if interested for your home or business: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not making it to the Round Top Antique Show in Texas this September as much as I would love to but driving to Shakopee, MN instead for the Junk Bonanza Show. This is SUCH a great show and I have not been for two years so I can't wait for it. This is in preparation for a big event I will be doing for the holidays.
ANNOUNCING!!Curious Sofa returns for the Holidays! Some of you know of the First Friday Warehouse Weekends here in Kansas City. (And if you don't know YOU MUST COME!) The first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each month, the old (formerly abandoned) warehouse district of downtown Kansas City (known as the Stock Yards) has been a bustling neighborhood for the last 5 years of some of the best junkin' and antiquing you will find in the Midwest. Warehouse after warehouse, some one level some four, have been taken over by small business owners, artists, sellers and dealers offering every kind of item you can imagine. In a six block radius, every venue has their own unique style of inventory from junky to heirloom and everything in between along with indoor eateries and food trucks.
One of these premiere shops asked me to be a guest vendor during their November and December shows and I could not be more excited. Please make plans to attend:
CURIOUS SOFA at Good JuJu
1420 W 13 Terrace, Kansas City, MO
First Friday Weekend, November 1, 2, 3
First Friday Weekend December 6, 7, 8
Mark your calendars and more info to come!