Sunday, November 22, 2009

fads and trends....


my theory is if you name your store after a fad...you will be hurting....

example...shabby chic ...the word is over....the color and feel is a big huge trend that will hang on for a long time.........the fad of shabby is about over......the word feels over used.... its kind of out..as in its in or was in target and walmart...... but neat casual white stuff is still good...and the whole idea of shabby is still what our store is about......but still im so glad i dont have shabby in my name...glad that i didnt hinge everything on one idea....


in other words ...if your store makes it....you dont want a name that sounds out of touch and dated in a few years....
i loved the word shabby....it said it perfectly....but now when im still selling it i need a new word....now im kind of having a ball with steampunk.... but i dont want to change our name to anns steampunk parlor...



the trouble with having a business thats all about a big fad..especially if its your favorite style and you are new.... ..THE TROUBLE IS... is you dont realize its going to change/get old/ ..... i think thats where the french thing is headed....once the trendsetting buyers see it one too many places they will be looking for the next thing.... we had that situation in our record shop....we made these huge fun earrings for several years....it seemed like a sure thing....THEN the girls turned to llittle bitty stud earrings....we were toast!!!....past fads...cabbage patch...80s hair...collectors plates, collectible anything.. beanies....cutsy country...victorian....
tracing a fad...heres an example of something thats hitting boutiques right now...religious things...like statues , big serious victorian things, angels, SANTOS, ....this makes antique dealers smile....because the antique world has been after this kind of thing for at least 7 ore 8 yrs..... i really think the antique world is where the new styles bubble up ....the good show dealers sell to to the big designers and trendsetters and the buyers for the big famous stores ..... .....anyway those famous people go to the big shows....brimfield, roundtop, scotts, kane county, springfield....etc etc etc..... etc etc ..... ... and thats where everything starts ...imho.....then it filters down to the big gift companies and to the boutiques then to target, walmart and hobby lobby....

its interesting for me....because even tho i stay right here in indiana,.....we are at the bottom of the pecking order...I DO GET TO HEAR THE STORIES RUNNING THRU THE DESIGN WORLD... ..if some business does great with our stuff they dont broadcast our name... but we are always looking for something that would be right for the top of the pecking order of buyers..IM SHOPPING FOR THE BIG BUYERS ALL THE TIME, BUT FINDING SOMETHING THAT GOOD IS HARD....and we definitely sell to some people who sell at those shows..... lots of our stuff has ended up at the big fancy places.... and in magazines.....and in how to books...but not with our name...


i get to hear about the big buyers who i have seen in mags etc and thats fun too.... like martha stewart and racheal ashwell and what the anthro and terrain buyers are looking for..
so what is hot on the antique trail right now? i would say industrial....lockers, metal drawers, big metal factory tables ,..stark and mission.... ..and big church things still...and the real big fabulous stuff ....and some primitive...

my newest interest is whole idea of recycled, junk, and urban and steampunk....we are embracing that at green oak...we have a whole industrial section... its so cool!!! .the wildest parts , like my love hurts sign, probably wont be huge here...but we do have lots of outside the box customers and we do sell to some big show dealers and we can be a source for them... our country girls are always open to using outside or barn things inside..so they like some of the stuff ....

something could be here at our store and at the pier show in new york a few months later....happens all the time...with the right stuff....

thats my theory for today....


i really think your longevity in business will come from your expression of style....and i wouldnt limit your vision with a real specific word like french or shabby or whatever comes next... i would pick a vague name , an abstract name, that can still be relevant when your customers change or you get different customers......a name that wouldnt box you in to some style thats in menards and hobby lobby and walmart a couple of years down the road...
here we are big enough in space to cover lots of styles....but even in a smaller store i think you have to choose either jump on the bandwagon of a fad and go for it...then close when its over........or jump into a fad but keep something else going too....... the second choice is the healthy one imho...

so in a nutshell....lets say scarves are hot....and you want to get in on it....if you name your store scarf city....it will be over and you will have the wrong name....which might be just fine....
i wish our name was green oak home and garden...

but every time i bring it up dh gags....it would be a huge amount of work to change it...our name doesnt say what we are well at all...

if you are picking a name....GOOD LUCK... hope you can find one that wont drive you nuts down the road...

5 comments:

Anne~fiona and twig said...

YES! Thank you for getting inside my head and posting my thoughts exactly!
These are the exact reasons I named my business Fiona and Twig...perfectly ambiguous, but it still has meaning to me.
Wow, I completely agree with everything you've shared here.
Well done!
Anne

ann at greenoak said...

yes!!!! its such a beautiful name....and can fit whatever you get interested in....

Mr. Flannery said...

Anne - Industrial is cool. We were doing restuarant stainless steel sinks, drain boards and counters 10 years ago. Still look for anything metal that may be usable. Personally I'm much more classic. I am drawn to English gentleman's club (kind of worn leather and old oriental rugs)combined with a lodge/cabin flair. That stuff tends to go home rather than to the shop.

Debi Ward Kennedy said...

This is a great topic....and I just figured something out as I was reading it. I knew that 'Green Oak' sounded familiar. When you said 'Ann's Steampunk Parlor' in this post, it finally clicked together in my head....

You're ANN from the Victoria & Bliss forums, aren't you?!!!! (Sometimes it just takes me awhile....)Thank you for being a reader & follower of my blogs all this time!

ann at greenoak said...

no debi....not me....but i do read your blog!!! and enjoy it.... i like talking to other people inthe business ...but dont know of very many forums...

me flannery ...i like english country so much...they had wide and wild taste.....im bad and like about anything...at home tho its mostly 1850 to 1880 with a lots of old folkart... and i like things real ...no naugahyde or fake silver or particle board...
i love the store where i can play around with it all ..from foo foo to industrial...