Living Graciously, Artfully, Frugally.

Consciously taking notice of the gifts each day places in our path.

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” R. W. Emerson

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Couple of Thoughts on Business and Creativity

Yes I will get to the Dressing Room/Office/Guest Room but other things are getting in the way.

I have been thinking hard about how to make a living lately.
Reduced circumstances over a long period will do that.

 I love all things vintage.
Always will.
I am working hard to prepare for the Vintage Marketplace 
as I have for many other big shows.
Painting and cleaning and hauling.
Then crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
Because at a show you just can never predict what will sell.

Pieces you might think are fabulous end up having to be lugged home once again.
I am not sure I am cut out for this gypsy life.
Or for the unpredictable income. 
I have a great time at the shows and I love the set up.
Even the tear down isn't completely hateful because if a piece is coming back with me
 I may find a spot for it at home. 
I always have my Ohio Valley Antique Mall space to fall back on.

That said, I seem to always make some money at Ohio Valley.
But I have found myself neglecting my space for the shows.
Just not enough time.
But that is a sure bet.
What is wrong with this business plan?
I think I need to work hard at making my antique mall space fabulous.
Forgo signing up for more shows.
I am afraid to feel I am missing out.
Somehow I want to run with the cool girls.
But to what end if my bottom line is making money doing what I love?

I have some choices to make.
1.Keep the antique mall space and up the game there.
2.Do a few craft shows in the fall and really work hard on production.
3. Get my etsy shop up and running and most importantly, stocked.
4. This is the one I have struggled with, but in the end, it is my biggest money maker.
I hand pick accessories from a few wholesale sources 
to sell at ladies nights locally during the holiday season.
Girly girl stuff.
Scarves, jewelry, occasional repro home deco...
imports mind you...
and I sell them at a very affordable price.
Now, these are not vintage, they are not handmade, they are chosen by me for their adorableness.
I am afraid someone will feel I am not "authentic", not "genuine", not "made in America".
However, I am a local business.
I need to make a profit.
I like the idea of selling fun things that I hand choose.
My own handmade jewelry has to be sold at a premium, not always affordable.
Many women do not have the extra cash for pricey jewelry and accessories.
I don't...
I am hashing out these ideas here in blogland because I appreciate your thoughts.
How are you finding ways to make money, stay true to your ideals, and enjoy the creative life?

That said, I do intend to enlarge this part of my business.
It works.
See a little preview in Springfield.
Among my handmade and vintage wares.
Fluff and Nonsense at Frippery.

Just me putting it out there.
Comments and insights are welcome.
I need to grow Frippery
into a lifestyle business.
Handmade, vintage and yes...
 a little new and fun thrown into the mix.

Yours in what comes next, P.
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Debby said...

Goodness girl you are so stretched out. I'd make a pro and con list. SOmetimes they can surprise you. How about concentrating on two things. The one thing that makes the most money and the other thing that is the most fun. Then cut back on the others. Good luck. I will see you in Springfield. Do you know your location yet. (((((HUGS))))

Vintage Jane said...

I felt like you were speaking for me! Debbie's words are wise and are pretty much what I have almost ended up doing. My day job pays the bills, the fairs are what I enjoy and my dream of a shop will probably have to remain a dream as there is just not enough time to fit that in as well.

Wanda said...

Could you find vintage jewelry/scarves/handbags to sell at your home that you can still sell inexpensively, but be true to yourself?? You are doing a lot more than most of us following your keep it up. It will all sort itself out.. :)

Hopemore Studio said...

Pam, I hear you, and if we are anything alike then you think yourself in circles. Start a journal just for this journey. Do write down the pros and cons as suggested above, once you write them down you may find you can move on to the next phase of thoughts until an answer becomes more clear.

I can say from your post it sounds like you should continue on with your ladies nights, you will continue to find things your gals just love and you love to offer them.

The crafting is the hardest for me because the desire comes and goes, plus I don't make the time consistently. Curious question though..can you sell some of your handmade creations at your antique space? Is this allowed? If so why not make what inspires you when you feel inspired and then when you have a nice inventory you can sign up for an occasional show? Just thinking out loud here..I hope you find the answers you seek.

Eclectically Vintage said...

So hard to juggle everything! Your holiday bazaars sound fabulous (wish I could go)! It's one of your best money makers so obviously everyone thinks you and your choices are fabulous.

BonBon said...

Pam, creative people crave new ways to express themselves. It's easy to get inspired in too many directions and lose focus. You will make the right decisions.
I'm going through a similar but different situation if that makes sense. Need a job but don't want a traditional 9/5. I'm very creative but never made anything to sell...only as gifts. I keep thinking I could make money selling something original or writing but haven't made the leap to ACTION.
I'm going to the mall to see your space. Can we do lunch one day?

Jo said...

I so can relate. Lately I have been wondering if I am choosing the right path and should I regroup and pick more specific events. I plan once the summer activities and holiday events That I will take a hard look at how I want to proceed next yr and make a definite plan and stick to it. So please don't feel you are alone there are many of us feeling the same way.