Thursday, February 6, 2014

Selling Experiments 2014: Raising Sales, Antique Mall Updates, Crafting Merchandise

Today's planned post had exotic creatures and vintage galore, but I can't get the damn photos out of my phone. I'd love to bust my Samsung Galaxy S III open with a boulder and rip out the data, but until I solve the glitch you won't see a primate have a showdown with a Chihuahua in a North Florida flea market. No hyperbole! Instead, let's reflect on January and have a chat about selling experiments and keep resolutions fresh in our minds.


Goal One: Brand the F*ck out of the Antique Mall Booths
Last year I wasn't ready when I upgraded my booth size in Southern Crossing Antique Mall and had to downsize...only to solidify my branding and schedule soon after! Freshly occupying two small spaces in the same mall I still feel cramped and await one big spot. My plan: strongly brand my shelves and stuff them full to increase sales/local connection.  The store's in quick biking distance so I can easily scoop anything that sold online and freshen my space while I'm at it. I like how stuffing the booths showcases merch diversity, increases sales and reduces apartment clutter.

Goal Two: More Markets and Creative In-Person Sales
I had a blast participating in a vintage sale in front of Revolve- Vintage&Modern. I missed in-person interaction with customers and gauging reactions to what I've curated. I love the stories people tell me about my items, how artwork I have is the same one from a childhood bedroom or how a dog figurine is identical to a dearly-departed pet. (So nice to meet readers, too.) Sales were great! Now I'm anxious to join more vintage markets and create new in-person selling opportunities.


Goal Three: Cohesive Online Store
Monday Thrift Hauls are a favorite of readers but they're rushed posts that yield bad photos. My Etsy Shop photos lack the proper scale and cohesion and I desperately want to re-take some photos and set rules that keep photos consistent into the future. I want the Thrift Core shop to be as pro as possible and really paint a visual story.

Goal Four: Making Much Merchandise
I recieve many indie business and reselling questions and I'm excited to create a detailed indie business eBook that will help beginners (and otherwise) be successful. I want to make a matching line of planners and art/craft projects that go with the brand. Speaking of brand...

Goal Five: Streamlining and Changing the Thrift Core Brand
I named my blog Thrift Core because I'm frugal and crafty, not because I wanted to focus on thrifting. It was always intended to be a lifestyle blog about gardening, healthy cooking, whole living, and art-making/selling experiments, but I moved away from that when I was too busy to focus on writing content I loved instead of content that was successful. I'm "re-branding" Thrift Core as my original vision. I appreciate vintage items for their artistry (shape, texture, color) and sell it because staging the photos and stocking the shops satisfies creative urges. I'm an entrepreneur/creator over a vintage seller or thrifter. Always. Frugality, thrifting and vintage will always be a part of my life and site but NOT the main part.

Let's Collaborate: I'm looking to trade with artists, graphic designers, cartoonists, ceramics/pottery artists, shop owners, and print shops/print makers. Need help making rent? Need some Thrift Core in your store? E-mail me, let's plot and plan. I'd love to collaborate with creative boutique owners.

So them's the plans for 2014. A brief follow-up on January: started Antique Mall re-branding, completed the year's first art prints (more lines/better staging to come), refined my work space and documents (post soon), and sold lots of merch for great monthly sales.

How are your sales/resolutions/plans going thus far? What are you struggling with? Last month I struggled to satisfy everyone while moving in my new direction but now I know the answer is staying true to my heart/vision no matter what.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

16 comments:

  1. My goal was to double my sales from last year (two stores combined). My January was tripled from last year, and so far February is looking good. After I got my first year under my belt, I learned what works and what doesn't work. What sells and what doesn't sell. Always growing and refining. Its constantly a learning process. My next goal is to get a facebook page started. I have hesitated only because I feel this computer has consumed my life and its hard to purposely add more in mix. But I know I just need to get motivated....

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    1. Facebook is easy peasy, worry not. All I've done is basically link my blog posts to it for years and it always grows in followers effortlessly/organically without me doing any work to grow it. There's ways to do it faster but it works for me. Congrats on the double of sales! I'd have to dig up January sales numbers from last year but I could easily say I may have doubled this year? And February is off to a great start. I didn't hit the $3K I set for myself but at least I've been tracking time wasters (maintaining the blog for instance is important but not a big money-maker in and of itsself, leads to sales for other things but take a lot of time for no immediately pay-off) and trying to focus more on profit.

      Sales be hard! I need to get on that eBay train...

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  2. I find those photos rather exciting i must confess. Gosh you are so passionate and focussed. It's very inspiring.

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    1. 'Twas much fun, I love outdoor markets and can't wait to do more. Glad to inspire! I was lost for awhile so I'm crazy passionate now that I found a focus. There are downsides, personal life is neglected (need to force non-flea-market date-time with boyfriend) and last night I was so excited after reading a book I stayed up until 6 AM O___O . Running on 3 hours sleep now, will catch-up one day...

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  3. Good thing is to have the theory and then action! Many people with brilliant ideas stay in the theory department and nothing will happen, you are an inspiration van!
    my sales increased this month, I guess because I purchase advertising from a blogger well known. I wanna do partnerahips in the future with other bloggers and give aways.
    you changed your blog design! Changes are welcome. Im so used to your last picture that I thought I was in the wrong blog, silly

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    1. Thanks Marta! Totally ok if you wanna keep it confidential or e-mail it to me but I'm curious about where you're advertising? Glad it's working for you! Definitely agree, few people apply themselves, you won't get anywhere THINKING of all the things you want to accomplish. Instead, set action steps and hit them. Stayed up into the wee hours streamlining the blog, more changes to come with streamlining the blog/shop/brand :D

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  4. My goal this year is to organize! It's a constant work in progress, but with each new step, I want to cheer for the awesome wonder of shelves and baskets and a plan to make a crazy mess less so.

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    1. Haha, YES to this. I posted a behind-the-scenes on Instagram (http://instagram.com/p/j9iTa1s6rF/), I make a GIANT DAMN MESS out of my apartment when I get to work. I continue to say, "I think I'm almost organized ONCE AND FOR ALL" and smash the place again. Organizing and planning day for me, too.

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  5. Vintage is easy to throw up and tons of people come and view it on a blog. I'm starting to already resent it a bit. In no way will my blog EVER be just vintage. I closed down one blog because it got to narrow. I felt confined. Kinda regretting that now but whatev's. It is what it is. If I did it once I can do it again. Ah I see something about a mess in the comment up above. Would you like pics of my place now? I had a crafting swap I was late getting out so my craft room seriously exploded and all the shit I bought at the thrift store yesterday is piled around me in the ling room. Its snowing here and I can't leave the house. Feeling a little anxious. Guess I should go do something about it!

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    1. I wrote a bit of a rant (that will never be published) on how I resent being trapped in vintage and how those posts are effortless hits. Just inspires me to communicate better and improve research and writing, felt good to let out the bile. We can rise above, like you said. Haha, my apartment is TRASHED! Looks like it's a crafter/maker/reseller inevitability, when you get into it you will mess up EVERYTHING. I'm going to dedicate the rest of the day to cleaning it after a quick post office drop off...

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  6. I love that you said be true to your heart/...I needed to hear that!! As a newer shop owner, I had a plan and vision and I did not want to be like all the other shops. It is very difficult for dealers who have been around to get that and sometimes I let their " so and so does it this way" get to me...thank you so much for reminding me to stick to my vision no matter what!

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    1. I can't continue to let others dictate what I want to write or my selling direction. The more you're true to yourself, the more successful you'll be because you'll stand out in the marketplace.

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  7. You're so good about defining goals. Good for you! I'm working on opening a second Etsy shop to split up the handmade and vintage. Will be interesting. By the way, that was a heckuva lotta stuff you lugged to the flea market!

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    1. It's a vintage sale in front of the vintage shop "Revolve". I haven't done a flea market yet. I'm curious to try one but I don't think it will be worth the time, people will be wheeling and dealing too low, as I believe it normal/proper for a flea market environment. I thought a sale advertised in front of a vintage shop would get me some better deals and it did. And yep, wanted to try lugging as much as possible to see how it turned out and it did well! Was much easier now that I have my merch divided by type.

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  8. Get on with your bad self! : )

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