Our 1854 Suburban Farm House

Our 1854 Suburban Farm House
So this isn't Home Sweet Home...adjust!!

Baby Blue

Baby Blue
love is all you need...and an old truck!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Change is Good ,it Motivates the Soul (and scares you into work mode)

A few weeks back our main vendors came to us (practically bursting with excitement) to tell us they had rented a store! We have become close friends over the past couple years and attended their wedding last summer so it's more than "just business" we have a great relationship.
We've always known that this was their goal and they have previously ran a shop from home, so it came as no surprise really when they told me, it just happened quicker than any of us expected..but that's life you have to grab the opportunity while its presented to you or you will always kick yourself  later. They gave us plenty of notice, and are still keeping a double booth here in our shop which is great,not to mention smart! We will send customers back and forth and call each other if someone is looking for an item that the other may have..that's the way it should be!
I had worked in retail for many years before opening my own shop and have witnessed the cut throat *ahem bs, that goes on between shops but it is NOT how we operate at all.
We figure the more shops in town the better ! It brings more people to the area and if we don't have what the customer is looking for or if they come to our shop first while looking for another shop they've seen advertised we ALWAYS send them over,and would only hope that the favor be returned.We are not in competition with other shops as in this business no two are ever the same. And the customers appreciate when we hand them a flyer and tell them about other shops,they remember that and will come back. It is a positive approach towards what could potentially be a negative, unhappy situation.
As excited as I was for our friends I have to admit, I've had many sleepless nights lately wondering if we should advertise for new vendors to replace them or just take over the extra space ourselves. God knows we have enough to fill it up,the basement here is a gold mine, select people we allow to go down there and bargain shop but mostly it looks like an episode of hoarders because I stash all my fav finds down there when the garage at home just won't take another single thing! Plus we had to make room for my sweet old truck.
So far we have decided to keep some of the space, but if the right dealer came along we would definitely like the "guaranteed" income and the variety of goods they could offer. The better the selection the wider the customer appeal.
If I had it my way I would only attract "farmhouse style" clients and there is such a great amount of other trends and styles out there,it would be silly to stick to one. I tend to buy only what I love when I am sourcing items and decor for the store,with the notion that if it doesn't sell then I can take it home. We sometimes buy something,love it at home for awhile then find something else and bring it to the shop for the next owner to love. I am always sad to part with pieces I love but at the same time I have learned the thrill of the hunt is the best part and that something else always comes along, so slowly I am trying to learn how to break the attachment to "things" and let them go! It is a hard thing for a pack rat to learn trust me! But once I have taken the time to love and looked at a piece for sometime it is a little easier.
This post is turning into one big run on sentence but it is helping me to vent to whoever may read this and give me their input as to the next steps I should take.
In these tough economic times we need each other to survive,whether it be sending someone to another shop,passing out flyers for local shops,or everyone working together under one roof to offer the best variety and selection of antiques and collectibles we can.
Our vendors are the reason why we have survived through the recession and we are in business because of  them,not the other way around!!! I have learned so much from all of the great dealers we have  rented booths to,(there is NO way, any one person can know it all) over the past 5 years. Some have moved on,gotten out of the business,retired,and sadly we have lost a couple due to them passing away,but each one of them has taught us something and helped us grow.
I decided to run an ad on kijiji it sounds quite blunt but when I ran a similar ad in the past the response was scary,people wanted to sell household garage sale items and used clothing etc. I put all of my expectations in plain ol black and white and hope the right person will see the ad. If it is meant to be it will be. If not we will have the space and push we needed to bring in all of the items that have been in storage or hoarded away downstairs..we could even open the basement up to the public. The possibilities are endless and this is why the sleepless nights....part excitement part fear of the uncertain future!!
Any thoughts??
Thanks for any ideas or tips you've found helpful in this situation!
Natalie

3 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carriage House Antiques said...

Dear Anonymous!
First of all it always amazes me when people have such "truth" to say yet hide behind "anonymous"...wow I guess I have haters out there..followers,or stalkers that have so much negativity and jealousy they have to vent on my blog. Which fellow retailers did I put down? I think what I said was that "Our vendors are the reason why we have survived through the recession and we are in business because of them,not the other way around!!! I have learned so much from all of the great dealers we have rented booths to,(there is NO way, any one person can know it all) over the past 5 years".
I have NEVER stolen one thing from a vendor,and lying to save face? I'm not a liar either..my accounting is done by a professional accountant and by no means is any penny unaccounted for! An audit would be welcome,and handled by my accountant.We pay our taxes every three months,which will change with the HST to yearly but we are keeping the 13% separate from the cash flow.The peddy cash in the till goes home at night because we have been broken into and a record is kept of each bill and the change so therefore another false accusation.
In the past 5 years we have experienced success along with slow economic times,just like every other small business does,our first two years were the best,then 08 was the worst,09 and 10 have progressively gotten better. Are we making tonnes of money here? No but do we owe anyone,or have any debt to credit cards or creditors NO!!!That's how we operate..plain and simple if we don't have the money we don't buy!
Anything else you'd like to know? I'd be happy to tell you, cuz it's not all the exciting but I suppose if you have nothing better to do than hide behind a monitor anonymously, and have nothing good to say..then maybe you should say nothing at all! Running a business is tough,but then again you know it all.
Natalie & Paul

Carriage House Antiques said...

Dear Anonymous
I tried to respond to your comments though email but it went to no-reply@blogspot.com which I doubt you received,therefore I can only communicate with you through my blog. Which by the way is intended for us to promote and help our business and our current vendors businesses grow,not to discuss issues that past vendors may have. That being said you certainly had issues I feel are important enough to discuss here if this is the only way you wish to discuss them,anonymously that is.
You are correct in saying that we will have to answer to one and only one in the end,I take it you meant our God. You should also know then that God's word says Matthew 18:15
"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother."
If you feel like we have done something wrong to you please feel free to contact us by phone or email and we will set aside some time to address the issues you have been harboring for sometime.If in fact you are truly a past vendor then you are someone we considered a friend and certainly would want to hear you out and resolve the problem, because that is who we are NOT the terrible things you said in your comments,which as the administrator of the blog I have every right to delete and respond to,NOT as a confession of guilt but as a way to protect our character that you have taken the same liberty to assassinate anonymously on the world wide web. Matthew 7:1-3
Jesus' famous reprimand for those who spend lots of time judging others, while ignoring their own faults. We certainly wouldn't want to be judged in the same way we judge others--so leave the judging to God, and focus on correcting your own weaknesses instead.
Keep that in mind when you make these accusations.
I am not going to even begin to list all of the ways we have bent over backwards to put our vendors first,to keep them happy,there is not enough space here and there's no use,you call me a liar anyway which if you know your bible at all you should be very careful about calling anyone!
Proverbs 26:4-5
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 16:7
When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Following God's law is the key to peace. When we live by God's ways, we learn the way to peace. Living God's ways doesn't mean all people will like who we are, but they will like what we are—peacemakers!
Hope to hear from you!
Natalie &Paul