Friday, May 29, 2009

reinventing....













reinventing....thats how we have survived...

IM HEARING THIS A LOT..from other stores ..AS IN IM REINVENTING RIGHT NOW.....meaning coming up with plan b i guess..a plan that will work...

THATS SURE WHAT WE HAVE BEEN FACED WITH ...trying to make our business work without being MOSTLY WHOLESALE..just 10 yrs ago we were way over half wholesale and now its barely a fourth....
i was pretty good at wholesale.we were pure antiques then ..all i had to do was find it and give a price....dealers flocked to us.... we did huge amounts of business with hardly any help ....and had wonderful customers who spent 10...20 30,000 a year....thats each!!!! .

well all thats mostly gone, they quit, the antique world pretty much tanked, and now we have had to reinvent to be a lot more retail ....im so thankful that we were able to make the transition....the guys left are the cheapest ones....and they are the richest ones too...but there arent very many of them...my new retail customers are mostly young and on budgets....DANG!!! but they are keeping us going and still like cool stuff....
BUT I SURE WOULD LIKE TO GET BACK TO MY ROOTS.....when people loved what they dealt in or collected and were out hunting antiques ....people in big trucks and lots of money.... it was so fun...
and back then....before jon had 4 kids, we could go places and do shows..

now im very swamped at the store and locked in there..with employees, dealing with companies, open 6 days a week. no manager,,, ..so im out there mostly over my head doing stuff im not really good at...

and i sure miss what im meant for....running around finding stuff in all kinds of cool places....we were only open 3 days a week at the start...

this summer im going to try and reinvent myself ..and get back to my roots..and just see how our new customers respond..... get out more, buy more antiques, go to more auctions, and maybe steal jon away more for a show or 2.....and buy less new stuff...and still be open 6 days a week with 4 people working each day...

i would love to see kane county.... or at least go to shipshewannae once in a while...
i knew the old customers so well.and they had so much more money to spend......now my base is younger women and families....im barely cut out for retail....but what the heck!!!!

the scary part of this reinvention is that we are going to lower our sites for money coming in....and make more on what does come in....losing over half our income , the wholesale, in the last few years is a lot for our new retail to make up....weve done it but i sure dont see how...and in this economy i dont see how we can keep doing it...
it was a lot easier back then...big sales out of the barn or from the end of the truck....no fluffing needed.....then if they made money they came back for more....it was pretty simple...
if you ever come in and the store looks like hallmark with no piles or junk and see me in good hair, decent nails, and a clean dress you know ive failed!!!!

3 comments:

Anita said...

Ann- I know exactly what you are talking about. Those (late 1980-s and 1990s) were the glory days. Judy and I each were dealers then. Then we got the hair brained idea ( each separately) to open a shop. Tied down, unable to jump in the truck and go, we grew tired of being stuck and all the haggling all the time...and people afraid to spend $50. So Judy sold her shop, I closed mine- and we are doing this. We ONLY buy what we love, we sell it fast and fair, and we are NOT getting rich- but we've kept the lights on in 2 houses and 2 vans a runnin'so far...Yes, we've lowered our expectations of what a successful show is, yes our pricepoint has come down, but adaptability is the name of the game...and it sure beats working for someone else and a timeclock....( I tried that too the last year..yuck) and we have made some wonderful friends along the way....Hang in there, and remember, being a chameleon is possible...

Anita

Meadowview Farm said...

"Reinventing" - hmmm, like how you put this all together in a proactive way. Seems that it is important to keep one foot firmly planted (those good old roots) and be prepared to advance with the other...indeed that is what a solvent business does.

In my business life (not my antique hobby life) I am working on creating a "Promise" with my staff...a promise we will make to our clients and ourselves. This will be pulling together our mission and vision into proactive statements that we will use as our mantra. We want to stay true to our work - but be able to respond to changing times...our promise will articulate our plan to do just that.
Kari

ann at greenoak said...

well, we really need to figure it out!!! so part of the plan is to be more about retail, and get some lower prices in here...probably with more good used furniture as well as the great antiques....
and get out more for more fun misc....
i think our recipe is still good....a fun place to shop....good deals... the wow factor..... its just a bit harder right now....
we definitely always need to stay tuned into our customers....and what they are interested in....
ann