Interview with a Vintage-Chic Businesswoman Pt. 2

March 30, 2017

Interview with a Vintage-Chic Businesswoman Pt. 2

Didn't see Part 1 of this blog? Check it out here!

How do you find such unique pieces for your shop?


I’ve learned in the past 10 years of running this business, if you find a good artist, you keep them.  Of course as long as the artist is willing to evolve with you.  I’ve unexpectedly met many wonderful artists when I occasionally visit craft shows, who I have ended up bringing onto my team, so that the artwork that I sell from U.S. artists is not sold anywhere else!  I’m always sourcing and looking for people who understand my vision and would love to be a part of it.  I also sometimes go to trade shows up in New York City, but the thing about those large trade shows is that those products being displayed have already been “found” and possibly be carried by other boutiques already.  So I try not to go that route; I want to carry unique things that most people may have not seen before, and that’s what keeps my loyal customers coming back to me.  Even if I found out other shops start selling a line that I have I will drop it; I don’t want to be the same as everyone else

Anything exciting happening for 2017?

 

Yea actually! This September will be the official 10 year mark for this business.  It’s hard to believe that an entire decade ago I was riding in the passenger seat with my husband driving 10 hours on our way back from a vacation, and for those 10 hours I was just planning and dreaming in my head. And I was like. “Yea! I really think I want to do this!” That month I got my trader's license, and my awesome husband supported it.


The goal and the dream for me has always to own my own retail store. I ran Primitive Beginnings online for so long while my kids were little (it was easier that way; less risk), but I’ve always wanted the physical store. I’ve even had some of these display pieces in my house for 5 years just waiting for the day when I can set them up for customers!  Even though retail is risky, in my heart I know it’s what I wanted. I love the merchandizing, I love the people, so in a way for me I see owning your own small shop is a very romantic idea.  Finally opening my own shop on the year of our 10-yr anniversary is an amazing thought, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out through the rest of the year.

Do you remember the first item you ever sold?


I don’t remember the specific design, but it was definitely a hand-painted floor cloth for a friend. It’s an interesting feeling to find out that people are interested in something that YOU made.  It’s one thing to sell something that you found, but when you make something with your own hands and people love it, that’s something extra special.

What has been your greatest joys and struggles with being a small business owner?

 

Definitely the most fun part for me is bringing it all together. I love being able to set up the displays. It’s something that speaks to you, and yells at you if it’s not placed right. I have so many ideas from going to so many craft fairs and trade shows and seeing everyone's unique displays the past 10 years, so it feels great to finally put all those ideas I’ve stored in my head to use. It’s like a really fun puzzle; with so many unique items I love grouping them together in themes in my store.


My greatest struggle has been the financial side of things.  Keeping up with the books and crunching the numbers...to me it’s boring and I think when you don’t enjoy something it just makes it harder to do. I don’t pretend to be amazing at it, but of course it’s one of those things that every business owner needs to learn how to do if they want to succeed.

 

Thanks for reading! Stop by anytime!




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