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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Vintage booth Vent

So, It has been about a year (and a couple of months) since I opened my Vintage Booth.  Initially, it things went very smoothly, with me easily making my rent and enough money to buy new things to sell.  Sure. I expected alot more, but my husband likes to remind me that the first year of a new venture is rarely profit making, so OK... By fall of my first year, about 6 months in, I was doing fantastically, and got a bigger booth, but then things began to fall apart. Right around election time, sales came to a screeching halt.

The staff told me:
~The election is distracting, it will pick up next month.
~The Halloween store is a distraction (temporarily next door), it will pick up next month
~Everyone is shopping for toys, it will pick up next month,
~It's winter, it will pick up next month.
~It always picks up in the Spring... next month.

Things are starting to get better, but I needed to see if this was the store (weird location in a dead-ish plaza) was the problem, or if this model itself is dying because people seem to be shying away from antiques and used furnishings, and etc.

So my friend and I who both have booths opened booths across town, a different town actually, and of course, everyone told me how much they make over there, but after signing up, for 6 months, and about 6 weeks in, we are having doubts.  Sure I sold stuff in this store that I hadn't sold in a full year in the last store. But, I finally got someone to tell me the truth that the vintage booth's traffic had declined over the last couple of years.  So since I am obligated to this very big vintage mall for a few months, I am testing it against my previous more intimate setting to compare and contrast.  Stay tuned for more on this.

Finally, and fortunately, a place that we tried to get into gave us a call.  A high-end boutique/design studio with booths that has to see what kind of work you do and approve you has green-lighted us and we are also taking a combined booth there... so that I why I now have 2 shared booth and 1 solo booth. But I feel real good about the third one I am about to open, as in the short times I was there talking to staff, I was in the way at the check-out counter.... I could not stand there are all.  At the other two places, one bigger, and one smaller, I could hang out for a while and chat. That is a great sign to me.

With that said, my biggest vent with my two current spaces, that the new space does not allow is this:


They drive me crazy. I price my items very carefully and have a formula I use every time.  Basically, I pass on my savings to the customer... If I get something way, way below value, I just do my same math, and let the customer have it reasonably below value... I DO NOT try to figure out the max amount I can sell something for and then put up clearance signs when I am desperate.  As things got tighter at my original vintage booth store, I noticed that 15% then 25% and then 40% signs are a fixture in many booths.  This means that people are going directly to those discount booths and skipping mine!!  I feel like these signs should only be up for holidays and come back down, as the booths with the signs up all the time are not only short-changing themselves, but they are stealing attention away from the other booths... Currently the booth to the right of mine put up a 25% off sign, and the attention to my booth immediately went down. I put up a sign as well. I am going to be talking to both store owners/staff about this. It really is quite unfair, in my estimation.  I have had someone tell me to raise my prices and then put up the signs, but I have a real problem with being deceiving.  My items will always be priced fairly and games will not be played. The staff can call me if someone wants to make a reasonable offer on something... but in a vintage mall, if one person puts up a discount sign and it becomes contagious, it drives down everyone else's prices.  That drives me crazy!

Ok, there are other vents, 
~like moving your items into my space... 
~Crowding the walkway around my booth with your extras
~Sitting on a chair in my booth (other vendors)
~Placing your small items on my freshly painted dressers (in my space or in over-flow space allowed by the store)
~Having a booth that just looks crappy, devaluing the value of the other booths

So in short, I really enjoy this business, and am looking forward to my new space that avoids MOST of the issues that gets under my skin. I will probably keep one of my other spaces as well... the one that performs best, and will use it to sell items that don't do well in the upscale booth.  I am rooting for my original location solely based on relationship. I like the people. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

My youngest homeschooled child gets her college degree

Tomorrow I pack a bag and drive a couple of hours to my daughter's college.  I realize that is a short drive for an overnight stay but an intimate college has intimate ceremonies and that includes an event Friday night, and graduation Saturday morning... hence, hotel and overnight bag.

I dropped my daughter off at her college less than 4 years ago, my only daughter. It didn't take long for her to find me some more daughters for me to love. Not all survived the journey at this college, but tomorrow, I will be cheering for at least 4 graduates, not one. I love them all like they are my own... as a matter of fact, I spoke to one of them on the phone for over an hour today.  Two of the girls in particular, her besties, couldn't be more like her if I raised them myself. They are literally her left and right hands.  I pray that they stick together through all the good and bad that this world has to offer.  While my daughter is always my daughter first this trio she has created has me excited for what is to come next.

But back to my daughter.  This homeschooled kid (center), who the preschool teacher said could not learn to count, who the Kindergarten teacher said was too fidgety and that she would make a good athlete, who the first grade teacher insisted needed ritalin, who I decided to homeschool for her sanity, this kid, is finishing college before her 21st birthday.  This means she started college right after her 17th (summer birthday) and she will turn 21 while she is away at her internship this summer. She may not be Einstein, but she is graduating with a 3.67 GPA and in record time, as her last semester was merely a formality and at her pleasure. She had met the requirements for graduation in 7 semesters.

That is all.  My heart is full.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Oh good, I'm not dying

So apparently, my vitamin D level is very, very, very low.  That would explain the exhaustion and weakness.  I am taking supplements.  I have to follow up with a battery of other doctors I have been avoiding... yay.  I did get to the orthopedist who doesn't really know why my leg goes numb, but we will try physical therapy and see if there is a change.  (I have good insurance, so we can monkey around for a while, I guess).

Meanwhile, I really, really, really, really need to get this homeschool book done.  So many people are calling me for advice... and it seems black people are leaving the schools en-mass.  They are figuring out what I figured out a dozen or so years ago.  No child's best interest will ever be looked after... it is for the good of the group, which rarely serves individual.... and if you're black, it serves you even less.

Read: Young, Gifted, and Black, Prepare to fight for your education. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Still alive, the Zika didn't get me

I finally kinda feel like myself after the flu last winter, and my mini vacation.

I costumed a few shows last winter, and kept up with my board duties, and that pretty much kept me offline.

Here are a few pics of what I have been doing.

Stealing Home (partial cast)

Amazing Mayzie

Gertrude Mc Fuzz before

Gertrude McFuzz After

Children's show, Rumplestiltskin (faces cut out)

Rainbow tree in Puerto Rico

Plants in Puerto Rico