Friday, November 12, 2010

Store history

I was excited to see in my stats that some people looked at my blog! But then I thought, "oh no! how do I keep this interesting?". The pressure is on! I have several blogs I check in on often. I like the ones who update several times a week, so that's my goal.

A little about the history of Country Lane Crafts: I did local craft shows for a few years before opening the store. The building was in terrible shape. One day when we were replacing the roof, a storm came up, and water poured inside. We tried to keep up with it by forming a bucket bridgade, but finally gave up. I turned to Jessica and asked if we were in over our heads. She said, "no, but we're in up to our necks!". That was in the summer of 2002, we opened that fall.

The shop has had several changes since then. At first, I had a few antiques just to set the mood. Folks kept wanting to buy them, so George & I started going to auctions. The antiques have become my bread & butter. We've discovered that we can't sell a "nice" antique. But, if it's falling apart, & the paint is peeling off, it will be a sure seller! The more primitive, the better.

Also at first, we had several crafters on consignment. After a few years though, we discontinued that. I do have a couple crafters I buy from, but other than that, the crafts here are made by me.

The biggest change though is that at first, we only sold handmade crafts. No imports at all. It was a noble thought, but sadly, it just didn't work. I was losing customers to the shops who did carry imports. If you can't beat them, join them. I thought I'd hear complaints, but didn't.

We've dabbled a little in the cottage look; it didn't work. Spring seasonal doesn't sell, and fall is fading, maybe due to the economy. Even Christmas doesn't sell as well as it did. I decided not to buy much new Christmas decor this year, but am making more Christmas crafts instead. Today I'm painting snowmen on silverware, old angel food cake pans & vintage suitcases!

That is the type of thing that is selling best for me these days. Vintage items that can either be used as is, or that I can re-purpose into a whole new look, but still with the primitive feel. That is where my concentration will be now. So many ideas in my head - it's just a matter of finding the time to do them all!


Anonymous said...

Hi Barb,
I'm right there with you. I only sold locally made crafts in the store along with my own work. But sadly as you said, people don't seem to care for local made quality pieces that are unique. So, like you, I had to bring in some imports just to keep the sales going. I call it my cheep and cheerful line :)

I'm looking forward to following your blog. Stop by and see mine sometime, you're always welcome :)


Barb said...

Ha! I like your description, the cheep and cheerful line.

I do check in on your blog, just not an "official" follower. The other day I sent a link to my sister and daughter so they could see your upside down tree.

Until I started my own blog, I wasn't sure how "following" a blog worked, so the ones I look at are just bookmarked. I have a few now though that I think I will actually follow, and yours will be one of them.

Switching Gears to an Occasional Shop

For a loooooooooong time, I have wanted to switch our shop to an occasional shop. Until yesterday, we were open 5 ...