Saturday, June 20, 2009

AROUND OUR WORLD

ITS TOUGH OUT HERE BUT WE ARE DEFINITELY HANGING IN THERE.....a few things on my mind....

* IM RESISTING LOTS OF THE DATING PROGRAMS we are BEING OFFERED..... my goal is to make do with lots less new christmas this year..... and still be a wow thing...also i hate paying for stuff after its over....

*I DONT THINK THE 3/ 50 IDEA IS WORKING VERY WELL..we didnt sign up for it......IT TAKES TOO MUCH THOUGHT ON THE CUSTOMERS PART.... THEY HAVE TO BE EDUCATED ON WHAT IT MEANS....I LIKE THE ...KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON ....A LOT BETTER...ITS simpler and MORE POSITIVE AND STRONGER ..and easier to catch on to... i love the idea of the 3 50 ... people do want us to survive i think...in a way....if we meet their needs....
..................WHAT SEEMS TO BE WORKING NOW......
*BACK TO OUR ROOTS ..jon and i have been out buying antiques together ......even going to the neat smaller junkier places......and thats been so good .....i know the smalls so much better so i need to be the one out there..im going for cute and cheap and also for THE REALLY good if its at the new lower prices........this really is enriching the store.....
. and jon is going to yardsales again...... thats how i started the business., while dh had another job........ and already we are getting lots of compliments on the flow of stuff and the new incoming is selling fast.......the rough room is packed again..you can barely walk thru....WE ARE GETTING LOTS OF GOOD FEEDBACK.....its made me realize more how important the thrill of the hunt is to our customers...... they love that experience i guess.... and its showed me how observant and interested they are in the store...

*ETSY.....not big money by any means but it is working pretty well and has brought in a couple of thousand $$$$ in the last couple of months.... http://www.gypsymarket.etsy.com/
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*MALL BOOTHS........i wish we didnt need to be in them....its so much work ....but the checks are really nice and im glad to get them..... we are in 2...countryside and borkholders...
*THE GIFTS!!!!!....this is saving us so far this year....the furniture is way down and the gifts are pulling us thru..... i know they still like our furniture but lots of folks arent wanting to spend over 200$ right now....im working hard and paying attention to the gifts....
and i have marked down lots of things that were too high and turned them into cash...

*SOMETHING BIG AND FABULOUS IN THE MIDST OF THE REST........ like our big signs....the big parrot butler in the key west room... the gazebo amongst the 30$ planters...the 6 ft cherub screen in the frenchy room....our gigantic fake clock...etc etc....the biggest best thing in every part of the store.... its good and reminds them they arent in hallmark!!!

*DISPLAY ....i hate that this is so important....BUT IT IS....for instance..we just gathered all our clocks together in one place...making a big dramatic clock area....and have sold several.... IM TRYING TO DO THIS better in every area...
* A GREAT EMPLOYEE IS BACK!!!...IM VERY HAPPY ABOUT THIS... and i feel like i can leave easier..to go junking or maybe just to go out in my garden or have the grandkids over.... she can sell!!!! and fluff...

ITS DEFINITELY HARD OUT THERE FOR US ....BUT I FEEL HOPEFUL..

..AND I KNOW A FEW STORES WHO ARE STILLLL DOING GREAT...BARELY FEELING THE DOWNTURN..... YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE... THEY BOTH HAVE lots of THE RIGHT THING FOR THEIR MARKET.... AND WEIRDLY NEITHER ONE HAS MUCH DEBT...one is totally focused on her seasonal market....shes in a beachy situation on the atlantic...... and the other is focused on a certain demographic ,,,,upscale 20s and 30 yr olds, who like what shes offering them....both are smart and flexible .
.. its so good to see something thats working....somebody going up instead of hanging in there or going down....
THINGS WE HAVE SURVIVED;;;;;in just the last 5 or 6 yrs, except for the antique worLd...which totally changed about 10 yrs ago...
.....the almost total collapse of the antique world around here...... nearly every shop has closed and most of the malls are struggling...or gone...that was our main business....and now almost gone...
....dropping the wholesale shows..... about 80,000$$$$$ a year....we had to do the math...
....dropping our pictures....which got copied and made in china, ours were handmade by carpenters here and just too high.......ours have been in several magazines, in our customers rooms...we had to do the math...
....losing our ebay....we have a 4000 + feedback rating and cant make it work now...we tried in vain...
...losing over 60% of our wholesale.... they went out of business or are broke...hopefully they will remember us when things get better....and we are so thankful for the ones still buying right now......
just saying ...
its a BIG MESS...
.AND HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO REINVENT OURSELVES?

3 comments:

Meadowview Farm said...

But, are you happy? As I get older, that becomes my measure of success... Doesn't make it any easier, doesn't pay the bills, just adds that perspective. It sounds like getting back to your roots of garage saling and antiquing may just bring you joy.
Kari

ann at greenoak said...

THAT IS KIND OF TRUE....BUT MAINLY WE HAVE TO KEEP THE BUSINESS STRONG ENOUGH TO SUPPORT US....
you are right..and im going to t ry and do lots more of it...... i feel lucky to be in a business where what i love to do, junking antiquing etc etc.... makes our money....i do like the wierdness, the unknown, and the neat people....and the huge variety....lots more than ordering garland out of a catalog....but i have to do that too...

ann

Anita said...

Hang in there...we see shows going very well...and we are gathering some great treasures that people are liquidating because they need cash. I usually do not lowball anyone, if I like it and the price is right, I will usually pay the $. So far, I have MORE inventory for shows that I need ...so that is good...and money keeps moving...and we are eating and living inside.

For me, for now, the shows are where it's at.

Anita