Those of you who have been following my blog know that I've been trying to decide whether I follow my heart and focus on my shop (Mr. P's Emporium) full-time or whether I go back to work full-time. As I talked about in this post, having a vintage shop has always been a dream of mine, but I'm trying to also be practical.
Many thanks to those of you who have offered advice and encouragement. Right now I've decided to give it another six months, while also seeing if I can pick-up some freelance work. (If you know anyone who needs some marketing done, send them my way!) I'm going to be in the Lucketts Spring Market in May, so I will be spending a lot of time in the next few months finding and painting furniture anyway.
One thing I have definitely decided is that my current location just isn't right for me. Although business has picked up since I moved to the more visible spot, (I just sold a dresser that was up front) in the long run the mall just does not attract my target customer. I also don't like the way my space looks crammed in with no definition from my neighbors (other than the backs of one of my neighbor's display units!).
And the fact that I stock a lot of "smalls" because that's what sells in this this mall, makes the space look cluttered since I have no room for a big display piece. They have to be on the furniture, and I can't highlight pieces the way I'd like to.
So, I've decided to move. But here's where my current problem: I've found two, totally different, great spaces to choose from--and I'm having a hard time deciding which would be best for me.
The first is a beautiful new location that has opened near Lucketts, next to a shop that is already a destination for painted furniture. A former vendor from my current location has moved in already and loves it. The space would be a bit more than twice the size of my current space, and about $200 more a month. That's a big leap of faith. And although the store is definitely targeted to my customer, there is a lot more for the shopper to choose from between the new store and its neighbor. My pieces would really have to stand out. Plus the store is brand new and has no track record. But it is gorgeous, the woman running it is extremely talented, and it's in a great location, so I'm sure it will be successful.
The second is much closer to my home (Lucketts is about an hour away), and draws from a good demographic area. It is a combination antique mall and home store with new furniture (two sides of the same building). They also offer upholstery services. There are a couple of painted furniture vendors in the mall, and the owner keeps them up front because they attract in customers. (There is nothing like a Lucketts anywhere in the area, which is why people travel the distance to go out there.) There are two spaces I am looking at. One is right in the window and is bigger than my current space and $60 cheaper. The other is up front, and is about the square footage of the space in the other building I'm looking at, but the rent is the same amount as I'm paying for my current space (for more than twice the size). The lease is just month-to-month, so if it doesn't work I'm not stuck in the space for a long time.
So, you see my dilemma? I'm weighing the pros and cons of each -- and any of you who would like to weigh in with advice I'd love to hear it! I need to make up my mind in the next week or so.
Decisions, decisions ... again!
Decisions, decisions ... again!