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Saturday, April 7, 2012

The new warehouse

My SIL leased a new warehouse space last week, and we will be selling our more moderately priced items from there by appointment. I thought I'd share with you some photos he posted on our Facebook page, so you will have an idea what kinds of things we'll have at that location.


19 comments:

  1. That's a lot of space. I'd like one day to have a space of my own to sell vintage/antique items and things I make/build of my own. I'm going to try a weekly Sunday outdoor antique market when it opens for the season to get some experience dealing with the public. Are there any tips you could give or things to watch for that you could pass on to a novice entrepreneur.

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    1. It's about 5000 square feet...or 465 square meters to you metric folk. We started with a booth at an antique mall, selling things we found on Craigslist and at estate sales. Then we rented a small store...and my SIL quit his job. He and my daughter sold their home and moved into the back of the store for almost a year with two boys under the age of 2. Unless you have a ton of money, starting a store can require a LOT of sacrifices. My daughter and SIL have much less time together now than they did when he worked a regular job, and very often when he's home, he's on the computer checking Craigslist and auctions all over the country. I'd estimate that he spends roughly 12-15 hours every day selling, buying, delivering or looking for furniture. When you're in a relationship, you have to be sure both parties are on board for that. From a purely business standpoint, I think the secret is in starting small and as cheaply as you can, pouring almost every cent back into the business and avoiding the temptation to try to expand the business too fast...but still being able to recognize an opportunity that's too good to pass up.

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    2. Thanks for the insight Dana. I've always had a knack for working with my hands, lots of guys say that but rarely can they follow thru. Having a mechanical background in a lot of different fields like automotive repair, welding, carpentry/cabinetmaking etc and having the ability to look at something once and know how it works and goes back together again almost like having a photographic memory has prepared me to take what has been a hobby of restoration and repair to a level where I feel I can profit from it. I'm not able to compete with the heavy hitters at auctions who can pay a higher price but my knowledge of how things work means I can buy the less than perfect pieces way cheaper, restore them cheaper but still end with quality and make a higher profit. Starting small is what I'm looking at to begin hence the once a week outdoor market or maybe consigning a piece or two to a local shop. If all goes well then check into renting a space. My girlfriend and I have no kids or plans of having any so it's just the two of us against the world and she is very supportive of me as I am of her and her endeavours. Nice to see your reply, things like that can be a motivator and confidence booster. Oh and while we are metric for some reason sq ft is still preferable in real estate terminology. Cheers to you and your family.

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    3. We started off buying things that didn't really need to be restored, because we aren't adept at refinishing. We were very fortunate to get in on a local auction before they became very well known and buy quite a few pieces at low prices at the very beginning. As the auction became better known, the price of the pieces skyrocketed, and we had to ask more. Then we found people to pick for us or found people with large stockpiles of mid-century furniture and would buy as many pieces as we could afford at one time. My SIL kept socking every dime that didn't to go overhead back into buying, and little by little, we began to be able to afford better and better pieces at auctions around the country. Of course, our knowledge of designers was growing, so we recognized good pieces when we saw them better than we did at first. And I have to give my SIL tons of credit for putting his heart and soul into this business. He has made amazing progress in only a year. Now we pretty much restore everything before putting it in our store, but we are going to sell project pieces out of the warehouse. We take pieces on consignment, and that may be a good way for you to start with really good pieces you come across, along with having your booth at the outdoor market.

      Interesting information about the square foot thing. I didn't know that. I figured everything was metric for you.

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  2. Cool stuff Dana! It'd be amazing to have a huge space like this just to fill up with mid mod. Lovin' the orbital lamp too. How much is it going for?

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    1. I'll ask Joe about the lamp. I think it's already sold, but I may be wrong.

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  3. Love what I see....oh, to see it all in person! Great warehouse space.

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    1. We're hoping to have it chock full soon.

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  4. Oh my, it's vintage Disneyland!
    Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. I was vintage Dirtyland a week ago. The space had been empty for a long time, and it took 5 people two whole days...and power equipment...to clean it. It turned out better than anyone imagined when they started.

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  5. I am soooo envious of all that space...and all the cool stuff you have in it! I'll bet it will look a lot emptier by the end of the weekend!

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    1. We were renting warehouse space a few months ago, but it was in a dodgy party of town, and someone tried to break in, so we went back to a storage unit for a while. But you finally reach a point where a storage unit simply isn't enough, and we were lucky to find this very reasonably priced space a couple of blocks from the store.

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  6. Now when you say "Moderately priced"....?

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    1. We'll sell our restored designer pieces out of the store, and we will sell designer pieces that haven't been restored yet...and probably even some things that aren't designer pieces but have good bones and would be good projects for DIY folks. We want to have a broad range of prices to suit every budget.

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  7. What a great space and all the gorgeous pieces. Happy Easter!

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    1. The space still needs some work, but we're really happy with it. Happy Easter to you too!

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  8. The new space is looking pretty rad! All that new room gives out a great feeling, when it comes to work. The new space has to potential to make business grow, since it provides more work to be made and more merchandise to store.


    -Saturnino Walmsley

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    1. Yes, it's given us a lot of space...and an additional place to sell from. It's working out really well for us.

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