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Green Oak Shop Talk

Updated: 2018-02-14T14:52:52.816-08:00



I feel like a deserter.... if you have gotten anything from my blog glad..i wish we could talk more.... . now im mostly on facebook... our store is about half new now... and the big thing is real good furniture and the junky recycled parts....the good old junk like doors and windows....also working is rehabbing depression era furniture... I still buy the good old things when I can....but don't get much..... the new 30 and 40 yr olds are saving us.... its been our best year ever....

web life


I LOVE FACEBOOK... and trying to learn it as well as i can my daughters is working the best of any ive seen....bella chic... we have over 1200 fans now.... so im pretty thrilled with that....AN IKKY on an all female forum for girly stores and boutiques.... well one is opening a new store and another is asking the rest of us for small donations for flowers for her opening....heck i can hardly manage my own pathetic social life,,,,i dont want to mess with anything like sending 3$ to a paypal account for flowers to a forum member....... and there are about 50 women on the forum.all with life events and changes and celebrations...i cant deal with it...i can say good luck on line but thats about all im up now im feeling like the oddball..especially if im the only one who doesnt do it... ..but i just dont want to start all that....i feel funny about it.... im already weird because im past year 5 in business,and a bit bigger,and im not really what they call a boutique, and have what i would say is a lot harder view of business,BLOGGING... I like it,,,,but facebook is getting way more interaction and interest.... the blog world is so wonderful and rich....and if your path is towards national celebrity or getting into magazines or even finding kindred spirits its a good path... ...but for driving people to my store its not really a very strong part....... what ive found is my favorite folks who ive met blogging are so dang far away from indiana!!! they will probably never get here... i still love hearing from them/you tho!!!so ive kind of changed my view of blogging , maybe either for my own entertainment and expression and at the same tme maybe try and make ... more and more about the actual store and hope to appeal to my customers and folks who come to i guess i m going to think about my blogs as for store and all about the store experience and the fun people who come thru our doors......i dont see the value for GREEN OAK , the store, for me to try and cultivate a big blogging network out there in the blog world...i have to remember that my thing is local not national.... but with some wonderful national cyber friends..who i love to hear from....i love brainstorming and wonky store talk.... im so disappointed that this blog and the forum i tried to start didnt turn into that.... i just dont think you can beat real back and forth among others in the same boat...getting feedback from others is so good.. but its not happening very much.......if anyone ever finds a good active store forum i would love to more like me .furniture, gifts, garden rehabb, ..not mainly clothes and website.... heres what we picked... i just love daughter in law did the hard work .... i critiqued!!! .i just dont know!!!! i want to talk talk talk...and not be the oddball...but maybe i really a the oddball...whatever!!!hugs... selling on line....we are trying it a teeny way...seems like every january we get that bug....ITS NEVER WORKED SO FAR...EXCEPT EBAY IN THE OLD DAYS...THNKING ABOUT....GOOGLE AD WORDS...CRAIGS LIStFACEBOOK.... any ideas? making a store calendar with store pictures to give awaylearning curve....trying to use vista print better...trying to learn how to get cool images from my ipad onto my having fun with moxier collage on my ipad...;i still cant lay out my pictures like i would like to on my imaginary board of directors and back up and cyber helpers have all come from me being out here on the web and luckliy bumping in to them....... and i am so thankful,MY SON JON , WHEN WE HAVE A STIKKY SITUATION TO TALK OVER OR DECIDE ON STILL ASKS WHAT DO YOUR INTERNET BUDDIES SAY ABOUT THIS? [...]

event theory.....


we are in the middle of our annual february sale.... its going great and feels like a better year all around!!! lets hope..... his year we dropped most of our newspaper ads and no radio ads...and sales went up....we used our wonderful customer list to send out postcards,.... our email list....our facebook and spent 60$ on local targeted facebook ads.... and the weather was good for a what worked? who knows..our events have been great...we do them over and over...and hopefully the customers know its real and worth coming to...i wouldnt do spur of the moment events.... ours are february party....yardsale and the holiday openhouse...each has its own personality and reasons for just thrilled with facebook and trying to learn the best ways to use it.... this year we have revamped our website..... i hope it doesnt mess us up in the search engines..... links to the old website are probably gone.... its over my head... heres the new one.... main thing about repeating events is that it had to be good enough the first time so that the buyers wanted to come back and do it again the next year. ... our 4 are so good and crucial to us, i would be scared to add a 5 th...dont want to rock the boat.... we really have great customers!!! and dont want to overdo it...i put a hat on our hairdressers dummy for this event....[...]



THIS IS FROM A FELLOW JUNKER OVER ON The JUNK REVOLUTION forum..... there is a lot of good friendly junk talk over there....

I constantly am thinking of ways to sell/attract repeat buyers. Here are some quick tips; PLEASE take them with a grain of salt.

Stage your booth. Little vignettes here and there help folks visualize how your item(s) can be used in their home. I notice that most gift shops do this. Use your creativity to your advantage.

Buy cheap! You already know this...I read your Goodwill post!! Give yourself a little wiggle room when marking prices...people almost always ask for a discount.

Sell cheap! You will establish a reputation pretty quickly if your merchandise is appealing and affordable!! The silver-lining of our present economic state is that an antiquer can find items that are much more affordable than they were a few years ago.

Carry some unique pieces. You may have to invest a little more $, but the payoff will come when you attract customers to your booth.

Carry smalls. Too many large pieces with large prices can lead to large "outstanding-rent amounts" at the end of each month.

Pay attention to what sells. For instance, glassware does not sell too much in our mall. I stopped buying it.

Notice successful vendors booths-- and pay attention to their items, prices, arrangement of booth, etc.

Advertise. Right now I am advertising items from our storere on Craigslist. It's free. I advertise every few days by genre: Primitive items, shabby items, lamps, pottery etc. It REALLY works and has increased store traffic. You can take four pictures of items in YOUR booth and give your booth location and store location/ store phone numb.



just s returned from chicago gift show where we bought and bought.... w e even did christmas ... poor chicago , its being usurped by atlanta.... the show at the merchandise mart gets smaller and smaller.... still i buy heavily from 4 companies who were still there.....

it was a ball!!!

but we will be pinching pennies till june.... the orders will start coming in this week....theres about 20 of them...

christmas folder


(image) my main job right now is to write down all my december observations....we are pretty well thru the season now and the buyers have made their judgement of all our choices!!! and i want to remember how it was ... ... next spring and summer when we have to prepare for this season most of the details will be a big blur...for me anyway...
so im all about making lists...
#best sellers....and worst
#what we are stuck with
#what we sold out of
#best displays and lots of display notes from all the parts of the store.
#best price ranges for ornaments and whatever...
#event notes
#what companies couldnt deliver what i ordered
# best and worst stuff by company...
THIS SOUNDs SO EASY AND BASIC....but boy in november when we face all these issues and how to present everything and i pull this list out its wonderfully helpful....the more details the better....the more pictures the better.....
and same goes for helping in the midst of ordering...the list will tell me where the best snowman came from...and what i forgot to get enough of from another company..... too many of my favorite things are too high for the store....
this year i think i will have a survey and try and get all of our ideas in to my christmas folder....
this has helped me every year

THE OTHER PART OF MY CHRISTMAS FOLDER IS all the info from our big openhouse..... what we did and what worked and how we did the emails and facebook and snail mail....with lots of pictures and copies of the ads and postcards....also the numbers from the days,,,

tekk talk.....


I LOVE MOST OF THE THINGS THE INTERNET HAS BROUGHT OUR BUSINESS....ESPECIALLY CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY....BUT IT SURE HAS ITS CHALLENGES....we are totally early adopters.. luckily dh makes it biggest thrill was back when vcrs could catch my soap if i got a total headache is that i cant grasp any universality, in how things work now....if there is any....hardly any of it makes sense to me..... i have maybe 15 phones in my life and even they work different.some you dial 1 some not, the finding recall number is all different.....i cant even turn on the radio/ cd player right..he got the best with about 20 buttons,,,, , in the car i have sirus radio and at home pandora and cant manage my dream screen...i love roku and netflix...i dont text or twitter,i make business advances and leaps by pen,not on the computer ... as in lists, mind mapping, doodling, drawing or conversation., by talking to real people altho maybe on the internet...especially on forums with like minded our surfing the internet is part of my job ,,,a super fun part imho, ..i love seeing the junk world, the industrial world, the boutique frenchy world, and so many niches in between our world of business ~~~~we had website early, blog early , ebay early, email contact with customers early..facebook early.... its been good for to all the developers out there...i want it easier and i want everything..i think our store benefits a lot from the Internet....right now im trying to learn we are..http://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/GREENOAKANTIQUES and i would love to find a coach to help me master word and some picture programs ...i knowif i could do those better our blog and site would be better and instore signs etc too....i need an upgrade on my skills!!! if we could only buy one and plug it into our heads!!!! this is all hard imho...[...]



we area really getting our facebook going right now.....
i think 3 things are working well for us ...things that i cant take credit for...... 1, demographics,our fANS are mostly women who like our store in real life are already heavy into trying to join them as much as they are joining me...... 2, being local, which means im working with mostly people connected with me in some way already...3.and i have the kind of thing they are already happily buying..
also they like style and seeing pictures....and green oak is about the nice side of life....not hard stuff like work or the dentist....
.. facebook is probably a real natural for our store...i wouldnt think it would work that well for every business.... especially one with mainly men...or online marketers....they would be in a lot bigger group than me... there must be hundreds of online marketers out there....

guys over 50, maybe 40 mainly think facebook is for seeing what your friends had for my HUMBLE opinion...



YOU KNOW im always a student of small stores....and i wanted to share a couple of things ive seen working this year.... stores ive seen who are still going strong or even stronger in this economy...THE FURNITURE STORE....this creative gal has made a section for consignment furniture in her fancy furniture store...shes tough!!! 50% comission, the people have to submit a picture and make an appointment...then if she accepts the piece it has 3 months to sell then its hers...she can send it to good will or sell it for 10$$$...its doing great and causing her good buzz...i figure thats due toher high standsards...THE ONCE A MONTH FLEA.... i read about this one on my cyber buddy's blog , i follow his adventures and it seems like its working great..its a big monthly flea market....and it gets great stuff...and they dont have to be there all week every seems to be several dealers... and looks like its working out real well...i wish i could go to it......A DISCOUNT MERCANTILE..... this place is a big country store,, they are big and hunt down overstocks and box lots...good ones, like from big name companies....where they might have to drive to their warehouse and buy 100 boxes to get the price...and resells....they also drive clear down to Laredo Texas to get the good price on garden iron and the wild yard art the Mexicans are selling down our roosters.... they are doing great and buy our cupboards and tables...they cover several different styles ...which if you have the room is imho a great idea...we sell to a few upscale boutiques and most of the word i hear from them is pretty scary.... GIRLY ACCESSORIES.... this seems to be the biggest thing this year...selling jewelry and scarves is saving lots of stores....we didn't go that way...thinking we couldn't handle it right... but its been great for sooooooo many stores.... ...the stores ive seen who fell down this year are mainly narrow nichey or upscale boutiques.... too high, too narrow, too much competition, when primitives by kathy has glass slide collage necklaces for 5$ wholesale its pretty hard to keep getting 30$ for them...i just dont know about it....being famous or the new look in the mags at super high prices doesnt seem to relate to business survival....and pity the ones who follow in the same path..and some retailers who have closed are now consulting....but who would really pay for consulting with someone who couldnt keep their store afloat or even make minimum wage ? ....if we are talking about business it has to be about the money...the MOST HELPFUL COMMENT i got this year was from an emergency helper who also has a beauty shop...she helped us for Christmas, she did the biggest display for our openhouse.....shes about 30 miles away ...i asked her if her customers said anything about our store...she said yes...and i said what do they like?....she said....that they can find things no one else has, the prices, and that isnt just what the owner likes....i took that as referring to us having several styles presented at the same time...that comment helped me focus and see our good things...[...]




orphan ideas


  1. take a busload of people to a big flea market
  2. write an ebook on running a store and or rehabbing furniture
  3. learn the tekk parts of my job better
  4. buy a container from england like we used to
  5. take a trip out east with a semi 2 big guys and 50,000$$$$ and see dutch rose and brimfield and just shop till i drop
  6. build a decades museum
  7. a new shop with natural stone walls and a turret and a lot bigger
  8. find a good picker
  9. open a new storein plymouth or warsaw....i think it would work!!!!
  10. take a month off and just go to shows ...maybe to sell but mainly to get great things for the store..

how to stay open......


i thought this might be a nice subject.....since staying open and viable is our goal...... i definitely want this to keep on working....and we can all look around snd see lots of shops new and old closing up their much is working against us small shops...we have competition from internet, big box stores, the companies we buy from...grrr,,,,ebay ...etc etc... ....our store has survived thru all kinds of outside and inside problems.......including the imploding of the antique business.....and being in a really poor state in a crappy economy....we aCTUALLY MAKE MONEY HERE!!! YAY!!! and wish we had a way to make even more or help other stores make more with whaT WE WHOLESALE.... ANYWAY heres how i think we did it...and are still doing it...``````in a nutshell heres our recipetry and give a good deal/value/price to your customers...thats probably why they come back and thats why they give you good buzz...its not that we are cheap or bottom feeding...but most of what we sell is really worth the money attention to your customers....if you have something for a long time that means they didnt like it....try not to bore your customers....or have things they like that they cant afford...or what they just saw in hobby lobby....if i see a lotof interested in something i go for it!!! if i really like something and they dont i just have to get rid of it and move timely.....try and have what they are looking for at the items in spring, pumpkins in fall etc etc, plasma tv stands for their living desks for their computers...and a fun christmas season in the early early fall..bloom where you are planted....consider the circle around your store and the people in it who might consider buying from you...i call this my target customers...for me its homeowners...adventurous, fashionable trendy, outside the box people who love their homes and want to make them just right....i love the ones without budgets!!!! who can go wild on a whim.... but i really depend on the big middle income group of people too...if i really got interested in say nautical ...well that would be bad and probably a waste of time in corn i have to keep that in mind too...go a little wild and unexpected and outside the box......the great buyers out there are very jaded and can shop you need to have something to wow them a little....when possible...our customers know its never the same here...always something different.... when they walk up to the door they see a 24 ft robot...with a baby robot hanging on.... that is kind of a sign that they arent walking into a hallmark!!!!inside i have nice furniture but also fun a rolling antique casket rack...aka a church truck!!! just say no....dont get tied up in custom orders, layaways, or giving credit....... so many reasons and ways to go bad on this.... i realize the modern person is used to llbean and zappos...i cant do that speed or very happy to be as is where is and with everything either sold and paid for or for sale...makes my life the much do you have to sell to make what you want to make? you have the inventory to achieve this?build it and they will come....doesnt work...see my very cool steampunk signs.they are great imho..but not selling here...they just dont fit...we need to have something they want and need....i like funky hand made furniture from the 1870s... i make my best money on painted black furniture from the 1930s...i cant go where my real taste is....well i could if i didnt need to make a living.....i hear a lot of internet talk about doing your thing and getting people to find you...thats really hard for brick and mortar.... its ok if they are really out there...too oft[...]



we got mentioned on a neat retail blog..she liked one of our displays..the demdaco canvas art figured out by jon and i, using old dog eared fence and a bench.........see here we started our business we had really great stuff coming in weekly... and sold it from our truck in the driveway or on the dirt floor of our old Quonset building or in our 700 sq ft shop......really great antiques... with no display at all....our antique buyers definitely looked look at the thing not the presentation.... so for about the first 10 yrs or so display was nothing....we were in the trends of living set the tone for our business and we supplied all kinds of antique furniture and smalls to the dealers who did the shows and sold to the public...we were about 90% wholesale back then..................................NOW we are about 70% retail and display is crucial....SO IM ALL ABOUT DISPLAY NOW.....AND THE BETTER WE DO THE BETTER IT SELLS...altho our customers do still like a big pile out in the driveway ...just off the truck....SO, THINKING ABOUT DISPLAY , HERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT I GO ON.......FIRST GOAL.....the wow ....... meaning having the area when you first come in be great....thats where we put all our best most expensive furniture....the harvest tables and the big 2000$ cabinets...and we try not to trash it up with smalls........birds of a feather flock we have several categories and give them their own space and color, foo foo,the black section, key west/lake... white frenchy, good antiques, garden ...etc etc....that way if you hate painted furniture you dont even go into that iron inside....we use big garden arbors./arches in several places.....they work so well and are very versatile.... and they always make a focal point, they are so nice and can walk thru them or put a table under them and use the sides top and middle....we do one with garland and wreaths with a table under and country signs on it....the back side is more signs...the other one we use is full of hanging chimes and matching garden stakes...., its against a wall...often we have used one for an entrance to another section.... another great garden thing are the big wire trees...they are about 6 ft tall and 5 ft wide at the top.with lots of branches... we sell them for gardens for about 200$ retail.....great for anything that hangs, but they take major room....recycle recycle recycle.....we use all kinds of doors and windows and farm junk to make our displays.... i really hate commercial plastic or particle board units....they just look cheesy..... we dont want to look like walmart or so jealous of old navy...who can manage a full size junky antique truck for their displays... we make displays too...out of big old doors and windows... kind of like giant potting benches..we make and use salvaged counters/islands/cash wraps a lot too... .. these big architectural displays are in several famous places and in the gift shows belonging to our wholesale customers......but without credit...ha ha...i dont care tho...if youve been to the store you recognize them for sure...also i think a lot about eye level.and like to have the best things right there.....and realize hardly anything will sell below knee level.... i also consider how easy it is to grab cant expect your customers to dismantle a display to get something....i love displaying and dont mind at all when something big gives us a chance to mix things us and make something new and fresh... now for something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT....THE QUESTION WAS , WHAT IN YOUR NORMAL DAY? im on a business forum and here was[...]



usually i have pretty LOW OPINIONS about marketing you might have figured out!!! especially ones who think your ego needs cuddled and pumped up.....but this one sounds just RIGHT!!! . its from the magazine country fact this kind of business view sometimes sounds mean and harsh compared to the diva kind ...the rose colored glasses, go girl, build it and they will come, you re great it will work kind of advice....this sounds like john shallert as someone said on our retailershoptalk forum.. .. it reflects the real world we are in out there when we face our store and our market and our possible customers.....the one I'm in anyway.... i got to hear john shallert once and it was great.......the diva view is good for building a great blog or being a trendsetter or a magazine publisher....and we all love gorgeous magazines!!!! but IMHO....DONT LOOK TO THEM FOR BUSINESS ADVICE....i always ask DO THEY HAVE A VIABLE STORE? or any retail experience that actually paid them well? arent they just talking to talented artistic women who love decorating? and making things? so my view is watch out if the advice is aimed at just women and is full of things that would gag your dh or landlord...... .... the diva view isnt good for meeting with bankers, getting you above minimum wage,,,getting customers in your town to buy from you enough to pay for you and your store... all those real world things ...ive learned lots from other stores, face to face and even more in the retail forums ...people out there facing the same market and trends and buyers im facing....i think our store has to aim at upscale at a mid scale price....just because of our local economy and besides it has worked for us for a long time....theres nothing better than a customer thinking they got a good deal from you... if i were in palm beach it might be lots different!!!! probably no room for our little metal 3$ kotex boxes tho..or our 1$ old claypots....i think the go girl build it they will come did work for a few...a very few but wow...look at nell hill or tracy porter...they did make it happen..but probably with very good , hard nosed , business tons of talent that fit the market....[...]

self employment

2010-05-11T04:15:37.059-07:00 hearing a lot about how hard running a store is....i could make a point that having any job is stressful IF it isnt working out.... ....say you were in charge of a big project for a company...and it didnt work and lost the company money....hey....if you got the same bad results the next time you would probably be fired...say you are in charge of a school and the grades go down down down....would they keep you? if you are in charge of tires for a trucking company and they start having a huge spike in flat tires on your watch is that a failure on your part? the boss would probably say yes and you are fired......if you have to work for a living, well, its going to be a hassle.....the market or some boss will be out there judging your efforts....and if they dont meet expectations you will have some bad point is running a store is hard, but working is hard...being responsible for anything is hard....the hardness isnt the point ...making it work is the least being self employed,, we are the boss and are out there taking a shot at making something work on OUR TERMS.. that means a lot to me.....but i totally respect the market....i have to........when i go into the foo foo room to fluff it up..or put in something brand new i get a thrill and hope my customers respond the way i planned...THEN i try to react appropriately.... meaning keep it up and build on the idea that worked or drop something that fell like a lead balloon if it didnt.... i dont see the point of blaming the economy, saying stores dont work, or focusing on all the unfairness out it unfair that i like red and the buyers dont? .or they didnt get my vision? well maybe...but i know nobody really cares .....were they supposed to? dang!!!..basically its just my tough luck....with a store...the market sends in its report on our efforts....i really believe that...and it scares me daily .... when things arent working...i look out at the market ..not in at my stress or my feelings... the stress to me is like getting hot when you are sick....its trying to report something is wrong...wrong with my decisions, my choices, my matter what the outside problems are, if i want to survive i better change my ways and fit into the outside/market situation im faced with.... ......i rant about the advice women in business take...because i see so many facing impossible hurdles.. because they took it....we have to be realistic....i love my work and i do actually know a lot of happy shop owners and show dealers who are making their financial goals...thats my soapbox for today!!! we picked this job!!!!.[...]

how to make money



im trying to learn so many different things on my computer....and its hard for me...who grew up with off and on switches and when things were so much simpler....i have a new set of fonts...including ransom note used here ..isnt it neat!!!! but im a tekk dud....and dh can only stand about 5 minutes a night for coaching.....
and i cant follow directions...apparantly...
OTHER WORDS WE LIVE BY..or try to our store...which has survived for 32 yrs!!! and last year was the hardest ever.... i have learned lots of these little ideas the hard way!!!!.
..under promise///over deliver....we say no a whole lot!!! we cant be like ll bean and offer a huge array of services........we like being a ' where is' 'as is' kind of place....where the buyers have to take their chances...and its cash and carry.... .
...freebies and laginappe....aka..throw the dog a bone..... like today a good customer brought a new customer in....i gave my old customer a bundle of pussywillows....and we always have coffee and cookies for everybody....we are out of the way and most anyone who comes really had to make an effort toget here......also if someone buys something ive had for a long time or i got real cheap ,well why not give a great deal once in a while.... .
....more is better....our customers love lots of stuff and they really appreciate suprises.....THE MORE WE HAVE THE MORE WE SELL.....






its feeling pretty good here in greenoak land.... we seem to be having lots of customers.... lots of buying....

i have a hard time figuring out why ...ive read so many books on business and lots say you have to track everything to tell whats happening....but DANG.... so many things happen in tandem.....i can never tell really how or why things are going up or down..

how do you judge ?

here i am figuring its because. ...of one or more of these
.the economy

better inventory choices at the show
new worker who does fabulous
facebook and internet presence
better displays
great word of mouth which has helped us bridge into a new generation of home owners.. our old customers have brought in their married daughters....
our GREAT crew of workers

see what i mean? its hard to really pick what the most important element is....

for advertizing its just as bad....heres what we usually do.. to our data base

selected newspaper ads

the expertS say track!!! as in track the ad by embedding an offer...then when the customers come and mention the offer you will know....this hasnt worked for us....they rarely respond to coupons or mention this and get this..... i know it works for others and we have tried it a lot with no results....


and now for some beautiful eye candy for you

wouldnt it be nice?


..there sure is a big need out there for a new book...something for independant stores....with pictures and real big features on a single store... country business puts a feature like that in their mag once in a while....i always get something out of those....and believe they pick stores who are solvent.....
.to me talking to other stores and show people is the BEST...
..i had a customer last week who had a store in was so good to talk to them...their path was so much like ours...the parts of the business that had fallen away, antiques, the parts that were keeping us going.SALVAGE, REHABBED , was interesting and very real world....
....i know jay...the one who helped curious SOFA, has a new book...but dang...he sells 300$ pillows.... thats just out of my circle....i want to read about how to reach my target audience better...and a maybe with a workbook with this display works this one doesnt....

..... i learn everywhere.. tho..except for the extreme girly naval gazing stuff...i dont need that kind of direction... i kind of have a big enough ego and desire already !!! and i rarely need pushing to get off my butt and start working..i like it! and it buys my groceries....
...but i love to read about good concrete facts and examples .. like whats actually working, as in money made, and how did they do it...but the gift world is different...the stars might be barely making minimum wage....and thats so misleading, imho...... i need money....
if you have a store and want to talk to other stores come join our brick and mortar forum its private and you have to show you have a store.... we are hoping it will be a good place to talk about store issues....

dire warnings


ive been thinking about shows and shops..... and how what works for shows might be real bad for a shop....... ........imho...IF YOU ARE A SHOP and you copy whats working at shows you might be in for a big probably wont work..... A SHOP ISNT A SHOW....a shop has to make money every single day with the local area shoppers...... a show dealer can build a wonderful niche or deal in a wonderful FAD and see if it works......the show dealers are in a enviable situation......they have a lot less on the line in time and overhead and can be a lot more flexible than shops....they can go for a fabulous niche and present it to thousands of buyers on one little time span....stores cant do that.... thats why shows are probably the smarter choice for lots of folks.......and they are a great way to get a taste of retail without going into it whole hog.... some areas i would be afraid to base a whole store on are......., . the trash to treasure recycled look, those girls want to get it at goodwill or make it themselves..they might pay someone famous for a candle holder made from a bedspring but i dont think they would pay me....or steampunk,too teeny of a group and mostly young and no money.... or even industrial , it sure sells for me but its not a big group, , or all handmade,i love it but i sell to the middle class families mostly and they are hooked on things that fit their budgets.. or the beautiful funky white booths we see all over the blog world,my favorite but i actually sell more black, or fairtrade,love it and have seen it work in key west.. or all folkart, ,most of it can be made in china for pennies... or all shabby, ...,love it and i know its still real strong .the founder is in bankruptcy and its in target..i still do it majorly but dont use the word anymore, ..,, imho not one of those things those things would support a whole shop in most situations...... ..... i guess thats the beauty and draw of doing shows and going to shows.... you can see the fringe things.......ALSO BEWARE OF MAGAZINES!!! THEY PUSH THE NEATEST NEWEST FADS...that doesnt mean the current fad would support a full blown store in your town.... the shelter journalists go to the shows to see whats happening.......THE SHOWS SHOW THE NEW IDEAS FIRST...THATS WHY WE all love SHOWs ......and then they write about whats new and great... .... that can really give a local shop the wrong idea....making the shops think the show ideas are right for their locale...when maybe its not right at other words....and a big dang.!!!. if we choose the store route we have toBLOOM WHERE WE ARE PLANTED...pick a niche OR FAD that doesnt have enough followers, meaning willing customers, in your area......then it probably wont work..and you lose money..... you can become a destination maybe....but thats really ideas are mainly about local midwestern where i if you are in a super rich tourist town with heavy traffic or a big city you could make about any niche work....or have a chance concern is that the shows and the blog world and the women mag writers are the big influence today.. they are setting the style stage.......but i dont take their idea of whats popular as a sure thing for my store...... to me ,they arent business experts....i love seeing their beautiful layouts of course..... but they really arent in a nutshell....look around , do your own research...... if you are ready to to invest big time / go for broke ,go into debt on the idea of opening a store, make sure its not based on some narrow niche or fad that wo[...]

happy days


wow, we got some cyber press well it was from a long time buddy , as well as customer, and i sure appreciate her comments.... if you are a store and want to talk to her,and other experienced store keepers, even some guys,,, ... join our forum...for stores only you know our things have gotten in the magazines / national press a bit but usually with no credit....which is might have seen one of our counters in gina gavins work room!!! in where women create... i love wholesale....and wish all my customers make lots of money on our stuff....altho i know its not that easy...BIG SNAFU.... gee there are a lot of ways to mess up..for example.....we got some rejects in an order and did all the work to return them..called, arranged, packed up....the box was behind the counter waiting for the call tag...dh got the call tag and didnt tell us....time passed..dh found the call tag and told us.....BUT the box was gone.... someone threw the box away @#%$$&* glad its spring....the store really feels different.... lots of furniture is selling... the customers seem to be liking our chicago choices.... so even tho im a virgo and can find the bad side of about feeling very optimistic...especially happy with dropping quite a bit of the country stuff and adding the MAN CAVE... and a big new section of black and white and tuscan ... kind of over for us....clocks, sticheries, lots of the rose stuff....up and coming for us...kelly rae roberts, lake merchandise, our counter/cash wraps/barsnaughty magnets and aprons...the best hint ive pickedup so far this answer to my query ???what do women want? walla the answer... booze,friends,men and weve added naughty magnets and notes and some fun bar stuff.... its working very well.... about every age of women is having fun looking at our magnet rack...speaking of age....the store is full of babies these days..... im so thankful for our new young customers.....the 30 somethings........ even tho i dont understand what they are like... .[...]



all the spring inventory is coming in....the weather is breaking and we are finally getting some sun.....the customers are venturing out more....the robins are back...
..........ITS SPRING..almost
on the money side its a hard month because so much is coming in..big loads of garden iron, the orders from chicago , everything we need for spring and summer.....but it feels good...we are fat and full ..
im hearing some good reports from some of the show people i know...they are reporting great sales and lots of people.... so im taking that as a good sign for all of us ..
the forum for stores is taking off.... if you have a store and want some brick and mortar shop talk come on over and check it out...

using the internet...


as a tekkno dud, im kind of thrilled and shocked that i can use the far i have 2 blogs , a website, I'm on 3 forums......including one that we administer..... its for brick and mortar if you have a store come on over!!!my latest internet thing is FACEBOOK!!!! what a game changer!!....I'm really trying to learn the ways of facebook....we have a fan page.... and i think my main buyers use facebook a lot, for fun ...and almost replacing email . i want to learn more about facebook connect....i want to get better and better content on....and i want to get my photo skills up.... the learning curve is real hard for i grew up with a 2 dial radio and a world where things said on and off and you took your film to the daughter in law and web mistress helps me thru some of the hard parts...i love blogging and connecting with other bloggers and seeing all the wonderful blogs out happy to be in that wonderful kind of national and very cyber world.... i love the exploring....but facebook is different.. for us anyway, its way more local, more close to home with lots of customers and people who can actually come to the store easily....i guess thats because when someone does become a fan their friends see our green oak page....i was lucky to be able to start with a good core of people... having my daughter and daughter in law, both mentioned our page, and who both have tons of friends, many who were already customers and glad to sign up........and then we got seen by their friends..... anyway im a big facebook fan and hope to get better at's our page..... go to lots of blogs for just enjoying the beautiful projects and ideas and hearing from people i feel like i know.... thats great...and i definitely appreciate the viewers i have on my 2 blogs.... it would be even better if i had something to sell them!!lol..but mine are more for the fun of it......most bloggers have lots more to sell online than we not interested in online selling so far...heres a cyber friend with some great tips on blogging....and more...```````````````````````````````````````````````````````` THIS IS ON THE TOP OF MY JOBS NEXT WEEK.....ANY HELP OR FREE ADVICE APPRECIATED....well, its big for me....we have tons of money in garden iron, and the best selection around.... its such a good product and should appeal to lots of new customers.... if i can reach them... i have to get a marketing plot going......and i have so much else to do i cant seem to focus on it..... i hate that sometimes that i put the crucial thing down into the pile and do the easier more relaxing out there painting when i should be making this marketing staff and family is great but no good at brainstorming....or i dont give them a chance....or they just want to agree with im looking at my cyber think tank...YOU.... I NEED some ideas towards A COHESIVE PLOT OR PLAN...we have, site, fb, email list, classifieds in newspapers, radio, display ads, ...trouble with display ads is that there are too many papers...i plan on spending money on this but i need an overall plan or get me going on this.........even a halfbaked off the top of your head plan!! any general outline or guidelines for me....? how do you approach a marketing idea? i hate this part of th[...]



WELL its the dreariest time of year and lots of my store buddies are feeling really down....and me too..a lot of dark thoughts are going why am i doing this.... is it ever going to work etc etc..... we all know its a tough economy.... some are even considering closing.... sometimes thats the smartest thing to do.... NOT ME THO!!!!we are hanging in there and thinking we can still make it work , even tho the last couple of weeks have been horrid. i really like my work.... no doubts there!!!but i hate thinking about money....and its a big cloud over us now....we have bought and bought for spring....spending like mad....and the store is packed ....and the parking lot is full of garden iron....its here and paid for and waiting. ...its kind of the worst time of year to have slow happens every year about this time........ but its no day last week we had 5 workers and 6 sales....thats just so wrong!!!! we did get lots of work done tho...BUT TODAY WAS LOTS BETTER!!!! lots of customers and they even dug around outside.... a little sunshine seemed to make a lot of difference today. ..we have used the last couple of slow weeks to really revamp the store.... so much new product has come in we have had to really look at the areas and how best to use so pleased with the new lines we picked out in chicago....and really think our customers will like what we bought!!! we are discussing the blahs a bit on the new forum.... did you join? sorry its for brick and mortar store owners only...but if you have a store come on over...did you see the new magazine? flea market style? its really neat and started by ki ....the woman who has the fun heres something else that i enjoyed fun crafty etsy ideas that didnt quite work out.... PET PEEVES OF THE WEEK.... almost every order came in with some over charged us by about 400$ , luckily i caught it.... we were supposed to get a big discount that wasnt on the bill... ...many orders included things not ordered...i try to return but if its just a 12 $ item or group i kind of just dont bother.and sometimes i think they substitute on purpose....just a guess tho.......we did make one big return, after opening 2 out of 24 and they were both damaged i figured just send them was big lighted paper balls from burton....i really like having a good rep....then if things go wrong with an order or a company you have someone to step in and do the right thing...i like my reps a lot.... ...well GOOD LUCK OUT THERE....AND GET READY FOR BETTER DAYS!!!! [...]

easy display


this was such an easy idea and i think it will help sell a lot of plaques.....
we had these fence pieces
and they were already jon just nailed them to the wall.... and then we put a bench below....and a shutter shelf on the side....

it just really worked and the new line of plaques stand out so well...this is just very different...

i really tend to end up with cupboard after cupboard....and THIS SEEMS like a good contrast...

all ready and FORUMS


all ready for the big sale....and hoping the customers are too!!! last year our feb sale was in the middle of a severe snow watch.... and it just ruined it....there is no way to really makeup for a disaster like that.... they can come later but its jut not the getting spam n my comments....they come in as anonymous and are for totally unrelated to anything im interested trying to sell me electronics or marketing tools etc etc....i might have to put some kind of screening or reading the letters in...not getting about 2 a day...if you signed up for the new retail store forum...THANK YOU... sorry its just for brick and mortar stores.... other forums i like are of good junk talk and some show dealersits open to everybody..and also for stores and all kinds of retail. . theres a good magazine on there too... also im on giftbeat...they charge..but lots of good talk on there for stores mostly...i love forums....they have been so valuable to me in going down the rocky road of retail during the last few years.... i really dont have faith in many experts....really now, do they even have stores? i dont think most do....the people i like to hear from and learn from are the ones down in the trenches like i am...facing this economy this month... i know there is some good expert advice out there, but give me a good FORUM DISCUSSION ANY DAY...on a forum its easy for several conversations to go on at once .. if you are a store please join us on this new one...the retailers above...[...]