Saturday, April 14, 2012
Time to Regroup and Move Forward (which is the word of the year, despite an attempt to change it to martini)
I had a booth there for about five years, stopped when sales dropped, then started back when the shop came under new ownership.
My things (painted furniture and vintage decor, as well as some fun garden items that DL makes) have sold very well--large items rarely last more than a month or two--and I'm never in the red. In fact, I was doing so well, I asked for more space and looked into expanding into other areas of North Carolina.
That's when the first shoe dropped.
I was notified that Elizabeth's is getting rid of their booth space.
Ordinarily, I would shrug, say "okay" and move to another space. Except this is Winston-Salem. There isn't any other place where I will get the folks who like the fun, funky vintage vibe. (There's some alliteration, for those who requested it.)
So, I did some research. A woman with space in Greensboro (about thirty minutes away) would love to have my things, but she charges $600 a month! (Really? This is NOT New York. Or even Charlotte, where they charge about half that. Greensboro, fercryin' outloud.) I don't have one single item for $600. That's not just a 'no,' it's a "No way in HECK."
I contacted some members of the Tribe. (Someday, when I figure out to do it, I will have their buttons on this site.) They had lots of advice, but I was especially inspired by the advice Cassie had. Using this advice, as well as some of the research I have done, this is the plan:
**I have leased booth space at a shop about an hour away, but I can go online to see what I have sold on any given day, which will save me time and money. I also can pull out of the space with a 60 day notice. The space is smaller, but I won't be lugging big items up to the SECOND FLOOR. Not my optimal place, but a way I can test the market in the growing Raleigh/Chapel Hill/Burlington area.
**I am trying an outdoor show at Olde Tyme Marketplace east of Charlotte, where Beth has a great following. Charlotte is about an hour and fifteen minutes southwest of Winston and is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. I think this is a good way to test the market there.
**I'm also going to try my hand at a small sale here at home, in my garden house. It's a 20' x 20' space that we use as a workshop, but I think that I can get it cleaned up enough to do something in the fall.
Thanks to some of the other tribal members for their help:
Bliss at the ranch
Kelly who is eclectic
Linda who paints
and Karianne at the farm