I've been promising to write about this for awhile, so here it is! A couple months ago my MIL let me know that she signed us up for a booth in a new antique store in our little town of Buckley, WA. "Antique" might be stretching it a bit...more like vintage or new or whatever you want to put in your booth. Kind of an upscale thrift.
But it's got the layout of an antique mall. It's in a big building on Main St and has about 16-20 different vendors. It's called The Queen's Ransom if you're ever in town.
My MIL knew the owner from around town and got to talking when she stopped in one day. MIL does excellent reupholstery work and the owner was excited for her to put some of her chairs and projects in the shop. So as fast as that, we were on a waiting list. I was excited but not quite ready! It was always something I had wanted to try, but wasn't sure if it was worth the expense/time/etc. Splitting the rent with my MIL took some of the scariness out of it!
Well our wait wasn't long. By the next week we were told a booth was available. It was kind of an odd shaped booth in the back of the store. The owner assured us she wanted us to move 'up' as soon as possible but we were fine with the smaller size. Especially since we had no idea what we were doing.
Being the thrifter extraordinaire that I am (ahem ahem) I had a large backlog of vintage things to price and put in the booth. We scrambled for fixtures, bookcases, tables...and moved in. When we finished, my first thought was 'We need more STUFF!!'. It's amazing how a booth just swallows up your items, even if you think you have a lot of stuff.
Here's that first booth..after we had stocked it for a bit. And my MIL had gotten some chairs into it. I was never quite satisfied with that booth, the awkward shape made it hard to put in furniture, and it was dark. But we were selling things and learning a lot. And we didn't have to hide back there long. A month later we were told there was an opening at the very front of the store and the owner wanted us to have it!
The move had to be done pretty quickly since it's not good for business to have upheaval for a long time. Again, a scramble to find a few more fixtures and we moved. This spot is brighter, bigger and altogether nicer. We moved our stuff and I thought "We need more STUFF!!".
It's all an ongoing process. Here's the new booth recently. I spent time there on Monday moving things around which is vital in the booth world. Please excuse the naked dress form. She is fully clothed now. The sweater that was on her sold and I forgot to bring new clothing!
We're still learning. I've learned that it's a LOT of work. Staging and foofing is NOT my strong suit. So the items are pretty much just there. The inventory is mostly mine at this point. MIL acknowledged that finding things that will sell and finding them at the right price is harder than it seems. She's leaving that to me and she'll focus on the furniture projects.
So far we've made a profit every month. We've learned that in our location, the items that are $20 or less sell the best. People in this economy want 'deals', even (or maybe especially) for their unnecessary, decorative items. My great, super fab items get sold online..where I can get the price their worth. But the booth has items that are still very good...all of it is sellable online. So if we decide the booth scene is not for us, I'll still have an outlet for all this STUFF!!