Shop Talk: Getting Started & Choosing Product

Hello friends!

I have missed posting daily this last week!  I’m learning, though, that while we are still building our local business, it will simply happen sometimes.  This control freak, uh, responsible party, will just have to concede with that for the time being.

I’m also finding that while I am passionate about blogging, it’s thrilling to take my love for design & decorating in our homes and translate that into an actual, physical representation of our style and what we believe about creating style in your home.

Because you sweet folks ask so many questions about the shop & how it’s going, and because I’m enjoying each step, I’ll be writing a weekly Shop Talk post.

Much like we did in the 31 Days to OPEN series, we’ll talk about this and that, and get real with how it’s going, what we’re trying, what’s working, & what’s not.  Mostly, I’m inspired to share everything we’re creating and styling there–it often gets so busy each week that I’m finding I never even post half of the shop happenings!

While we’ll kick off with very specific posts next week, I didn’t want to leave you with nothing this week.  Let’s talk product & creating a look.

Shop Talk | perfectly imperfect

When we decided to embark on this journey, the first thing I did was sit down and begin sketching what the bones of the shop should look like.  I knew we had to have a building with character–there was no way vintage and handmade would have had the same effect in a brand new, commercial space.  If we had gone that route, we would have spent some time (and money) adding some aged character.

Next, I began to think about what things I’d love to carry.  This is where you’ll have to take your local area/needs/demand into consideration.  While Troy has lots of gift shops & antique places, we don’t really have many HOME decor stores…a place where you could grab many different items to create a certain look.  I also wanted to carry only things I would put in my own home, which means I wanted to carry new AND vintage items.

It’s funny…some people walk in and just get it.  Others look around and say, “what’s your theme…what are you going for in here?”  This makes me laugh A LOT.  There’s no theme.  We carry items that speak to us–and while we want to offer choices for different customers, we never wanted to carry items just because we thought they might sell.

Styling/buying for a shop is much like buying for your home.  While there are no set rules, you want to create a space that feels ___________ (you fill in the blank).  For us, we wanted a space that felt elegant, rustic, and unique.  We wanted it to feel somewhat like our home & offer things our readers and customers could honestly say they couldn’t find anywhere else locally.  When we open our online shop, we’ll be carrying things that do the same–and while people can get many products online, we’ll be committed to selling things at the lowest price possible, and to find those really unique, interesting items.

And since I’m buying/choosing products that speak to me, I think the shop has come together quite nicely.  It all flows together–and this was important to me.  You know how you walk in some places, whether they’re selling new or vintage, and it just makes sense?  You walk in, and you can’t help but stay a while.  I think much of this is not only created due to the styled look, but in the actual products that are there.

For instance, when we first opened, we got our major basics:  neutral linen upholstered furnishings, some display/tables, great pillow choices, vintage & painted furniture, our paint lines, some wall art, & some smalls.

Now, even after a couple of (very blessed!) months, we know we were on to something.  I’m so humbled and thankful–and this time, when I went to Market, I stepped out a little.  We chose some more feminine items to mix with our rustic choices.  We selected new color palettes, and made more investment.

(P.S. I can write a post on my views on financial stuff, but in a nutshell, I believe FIRMLY in taking time to build your business, and working within cash flow.  No major credit and owing.  I’d probably have a nervous breakdown, anyway.)

The point is…there was method behind what we chose.  Just like in a home, we nailed our basics.  We focused our initial investment on larger, impactful items & filled in with vintage choices.  Now, we’ll be carrying loads more smalls (that I CANNOT wait to share with you!), handmade French and Turkish items, and even a small party line (that I physically get jump-up-and-down-excited-about every time I see it.

We stretched a little–but I’m sticking to my gut.  If I go nuts for it, we should give it a try.  Does that mean everything that I choose will sell outrageously?  I’m sure that’s not the case, however, I’ll trust my instincts to create that entire feeling and experience.

Something tells me it will work out in the end.

P.S. Have specific topics you’d like me to cover in the Shop Talk series?  Be sure to leave your questions in the comments today!

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Other posts in Shop Talk:

Creating Displays

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Perfectly Imperfect on Pinterest

20 Responses to Shop Talk: Getting Started & Choosing Product

  1. Maria Ward January 18, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    I look forward to the shop talk posts and am glad your business is doing well !!!

  2. Erika Holmes January 18, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Shanna, love this series. I want to hear more about the local artists you will be working with to create specialty pieces for your store!!!

  3. Emily Penn January 18, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Hooray! As a long distance reader, I cannot WAIT for the online store. I’m so excited for you and love watching everything take place. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  4. Nikki Dahl January 18, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Its so great, you are making it happen! I am super thrilled for you and I cannot wait to see your new items!

  5. Baileywife January 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Yeah! I would love to see more pics of your displays!

  6. Windmill Farm January 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Congratulations!!! What a super job you are doing planning, making goals for yourself; and even adhering to a budget plan. I wish you much success and I too, can’t wait to see your photos of your shop. So I can buy!!!

  7. Caroline January 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    So thrilled for you & the shop, love hearing about what you’re up to, thank you for letting into your world. :-)

  8. Sandy Miller January 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    You’ve had me since I first saw your beautiful smile and I’m so sure you will be a huge success. Love what you do.

  9. ZoeAnn Yussman January 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Can’t wait to see more of the shop! Sad that I live too far away to attend workshops or shop there.

  10. SheilaG @ Plum Doodles January 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    You shop looks amazing, Shaunna. I’m so glad it is going well, not a surprise at all! :)

  11. Jenny January 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Congratulations and well done! I would love to do something similar in the near future so I look forward to reading your shop series. All the very best. ;-)

  12. Jane in Oregon January 19, 2013 at 12:19 am #

    Is your shop staying warm with the acoustical tiles removed from the ceilings. I am sorry but I have been worried about that and the electric bill. How is that going? Are you warm enough?

  13. Kim January 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    I am so excited for and your new shop. I am long distance fan and can’t wait to for the online shop to open.

    God Bless You

  14. Claire Poole January 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    More pictures please!

  15. Daniel Sides January 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Congratulations for the success, cant wait to see more of your shop. Great

    Custom Paintings

  16. Aja January 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    LOVE this. Thank you so much for sharing your shop journey. Opening a little shop is a dream of mine, and I cannot tell you how inspiring you have been. I’m so happy you guys are being blessed and living your dream!

  17. Barbara Renfrow January 27, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    How exciting to have your new shop. Will you be selling any wholesale to antique dealers with TAX CERTIFICATE FOR RESALE?

  18. Mercedes February 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi! Love everything you do. How much are thoses big glass bottles and do you ship? Thank you for your time.

  19. amy February 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Just opened our shop last week. I had a couple of spaces at different antique markets. The opportunity came about to open a shop and we couldn’t pass it up. Scrambling to find new merchandise that I love. If you have any particular resources you love, I would be ever so grateful!

  20. tammy February 12, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    would you mind sharing where you have wholesale accounts? thanks. tammy

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