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.
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!
Other posts in Shop Talk: