Monday, January 7, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

Happy Monday! 
I spent some time last week moving into my bigger space for Mr. P's Emporium. 
I'm not quite done "futzing," so I didn't take any photos of the entire space yet.  I will show you one of the things I've started on though:

A "Winter White Sale" where everything white in the space is on sale.  I'm still working on a couple of white pieces of furniture to bring into the booth, which I hope to show you soon. 
I alluded to changes this year in my New Year's post, and some relate to Mr. P's. 

As some of you may know, I'm a marketing consultant.  I've been in marketing for over 25 years, and have focused on strategic marketing communications contract work for the last couple of years. 

I love the creativity of  marketing communications. And overall I've enjoyed my clients and the variety of my contract work. However, it can be stressful, and my last two contracts totally burned me out. I felt like I really needed a break. So in the fall I decided to take the rest of the year off and focus exclusively on Mr. P's Emporium. That's when I leased my current space. Prior to that I had just sold on Craigslist, been in the Lucketts Spring Market, and had my Etsy store.
Now that it is the beginning of the new year, it is decision time. Do I go back to my "real" work, or do I put my all my focus and energy into Mr. P's Emporium?

I absolutely love everything about running a vintage business.

Well, almost everything. 

Let's say I love everything except the money! Right now Mr. P's isn't making any. And even if it was more successful, this definitely isn't the way to riches!
I am extremely lucky in that I have an incredibly supportive husband. But there are practical considerations. On the other hand, this is something I've always wanted to do!

My thinking is, if I decide to try to make Mr. P's a go I should jump into it with both feet. If I do that I need to source, paint, and turnover more furniture. And that's difficult if I am working at another job.

There is also the issue of my current location. While it was the perfect place to start out in and test the waters, I'm not sure it's the best fit for my style of refreshed and upcycled vintage furniture. It's more of a traditional antique mall, and the merchandise the other vendors carry is primarily glassware and collectibles. I don't think it's the type of place the shopper would come looking for the kind of thing I sell.

I opened in October, had a good month in November, and a slow December, which is the first month I didn't make my rent.  The furniture is where I make money. And while I've sold some furniture in the three months I've been open, the majority of my sales come from "smalls." And the smalls cover up the furniture. You see the quandry. That's why I moved into the bigger space in a better location, and I'm going to give it a month to see if sales pick up.

In the meantime, I'm thinking about other locations--and about the bigger picture.

Do I make a practical decision and go back to work? Or do I follow my heart?

Decisions, decisions!  


  1. I am very blessed and have not had to work full time in years! I am not going to lie it has been a struggle at times.But being a stay at home Mom has been important to both of us.My daughter is a teen now and it is even more important that I am around.I also sell at a "Traditional" antique mall.I have been there since June.My first month was great.Then I had three bad months.I started to pick up again and I have done better.But not where I would like to be.Oh I know I won't get rich doing this but I was hoping to do a little better.This weekend brought great news someone is going to share my space with me.Which means they will pay half the rent.They will help out allot so the future is brighter.I don't know where this will take me but I am following my heart.I too am very blessed with a supportive husband.I am also going to open an online shop and sell some smaller things.

  2. Deborah, as you know I followed my heart and opened my shop. The only thing that saved me was buying my own building. That one spark catapulted us into our retirement property. I loved my bookshop, I loved my customers and the lifestyle. I thought I would be there forever. Unfortunately I had a minor stroke and it was a one woman operation. I would never trade those years. Life is so good. I’m blessed with a unique retirement. I guess what I’m saying is live for what you love. It can all change in an instant. I would have had the stoke anyway and how sad it would have been to never have had the JOY!

  3. Thanks for your comments and the other words of encouragement I've received directly. Still thinking about my options!

  4. I saw that a reader left a very nice comment and then removed it, possibly because she didn't hear back from me? If so it's because she is a no-reply blogger and I can't email her directly. Please know if I read and appreciate every comment and always respond directly if your email appears!

  5. Such a tough decision--practicality vs. your dreams! The dreams can turn into something amazing though. I truly believe it's all about what we're able or willing to put into them. Maybe you could do your 9-5 part-time until you got a little more traction that you're comfortable with? I'm no reply too with no apparent fix. The old way doesn't seem to work. :( SO frustrating.


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