Friday, May 31, 2013

Investing in Your Biz: Summer Sales, Advertise, Design, Work Forever!

Tomorrow is June, the summer equinox is on the way! As much as I want to check out and enjoy the Florida weather and beaches, and just go on road trips from city to city buying beautiful mod merch, I know this is the time for me to buckle down and work hard.

Remember the goals you made at the start of the year? We're at the midpoint of the year, time to re-evaluate and see if we're going in the right direction. If you need help, I'd LOVE to provide it. I'm working with clients to design banners for their blogs and etsy shops and make their brand consistent. I offer coaching, product photography, and business plans.

Design work samples. I also do pro-picking, reselling for clients, product photography, and biz plans.

I notice a lot of small business owners and resellers that want to go to the next level but they're not investing in their business. I've paid as little as $27 for instructions or guidance that led to thousands in sales, it pays to invest in your business!

Please e-mail me if you'd like to advertise on Thrift Core for June and July (tons of exposure for the summer months when sales are slower!) or work with me. You can read more about advertising or buy an ad here. See you next month with lots of fun posts!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thrift Store Reseller Hatred, Bannings, & Security Escorts: Ever Heard of This?

A long-time reader sent me an e-mail he'd like you to answer. I'll give you the gist of it, then let's discuss. He's a reseller who frequents a popular Thrift Store where many resellers stalk their quarry. He quietly picks his prey and minds his own business, but was suddenly confronted by the store-owner as a problem:

When I asked the manager for specifics on the day he escorted me out he wasn't able or wasn't willing to give me any examples of what I had done to disrupt his business. He just said I'd had 10-15 complaints that day and was done for the day. He then asked me where I sold and pointed my face out to head cashier and security.

When I confronted the security guard for following me around the store the  next week he just said he was told to "watch the stock room doors" and that if I had one more complaint against me I would be banned for life. I then asked him if customers complained to him or if he sees anything in my behavior that I should change, he said no and that the manager was just being difficult to everyone. I let him know I understood he was doing his job and went about shopping.

I went to the store the following day  and the store manager just looked at me with a stare. I didn't go today, and feel like this next week is a good time to stay clear of that particular store, evaluate my actions with other pickers / customers, scope out alternative stores, and  focus on creating an online store. 

He says he's not the only one getting reseller hatred. Dealers have to check out through separate lines where the merchandise is examined by cashiers so the prices of similar pieces can be raised later. My reader, who asked his name and the shop name be kept anonymous, feels resigned to the fact that as a "dealer" h has to endure different treatment than the "regular customers".

My Thoughts: I've never had to deal with this kind of reseller discrimination. Our Goodwill pound store has security escort the items out and gives the word before shoppers can look through them, but it's nothing like this. Our stores and vendors are just happy to get rid of their merchandise, whether you're a reseller or not. After all, resellers or not, we're all customers! Dammit!

What would you do if faced with this situation? Are there Thrift Stores like this where you live? How do you feel about the future of reselling? I get stories like this more and more.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Step-by-Step Tips for Planting Succulents/Cacti in Your Groovy Vintage Planters


I have a planter addiction, and I'm not ashamed. I'm slowly adding succulents and houseplants back into my apartment. Plants are natural air purifiers and greenery is clinically proven to the good for the soul; it's science! Succulents are different from your typical houseplant (tropicals) and require different care and planting methods. Here are my recommendations for filling your planters with beautiful succulents and cacti:

1. Drainage: Most vintage planters don't have holes at the bottom for drainage, so add a layer for gravel to the base, 1-2 inches tall.

2. Soil Mix: Succulents and cacti need well-draining soil, buy a cacti/succulent mix or add sand to the potting soil, it should comprise 1/4 of the mixture. I like to cover mine with gravel with aesthetic reasons, but it also helps the soil retain moisture between waterings.

3. Watering and Care: Give your succulents a good drink after your transplant them and once a week thereafter. They will thrive on a very sunny windowsill. They love sun and heat, but will live in a defused light setting.

4. Have Fun: I like to add something extra to make a pleasing succulent diorama. Especially dinosaurs and robots, of course!

Tip: I take the planters I want to fill with me to the garden center so I can choose plants that look right and more importantly, that'll fit! Also, herbs are a bad choice unless you vintage planter is huge and well-draining.

Succulents are an excellent choice for vintgae planters because they don't need a lot of space, you can fill up a planter to make a pleasing still-life, and they grow slowly. They won't be outgrowing the planter anytime soon! Very small tropical plants  also do well in vintage planters and indoors, but they will outgrow the small planters sooner. (BTW, Still adding my planters to Etsy but e-mail me if you're interested in buying some. I have a huge collection and I'm selling them like crazy lately!)

What do you do with your vintage planters? Plant them up, display them, use 'em for organizing supplies? I tried using them for supplies but like them best at their intended purpose. Love me some plants.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thrift Haul: Thrifting for Art, Daily Deals, and Michael Jackson Surprise!


Oh art, I live for thee. Yet thrifting for art is just troublesome. It's fun to store in your home, the trouble is that it takes long to sell. Ah well, here's a look at the art and impulse purchases I've been having behind-the-scenes around there parts:

I found two of these prints, one is a gift for a special friend who does a lot of bring culture and art to the city of Jacksonville, Florida. I bought it from a yard sale run by a former art gallery owner. It's a painting of Jacksonville's beautiful downtown skyline circa 1994, it's developed exponentially since then! Selling this for $15.00 if a Jax lover is interested. It's poster-size.

Remember this from my Thrift Wish List? Yep, I broke down and bought it. I am suffering buyer's remorse, so you can buy it off my wall if you desire. Shoot me an e-mail! She is an absolutely gorgeous 1962 "Big Eye Art" print with a gorgeous color palate. I love her huge almond-eyes. This is another poster-size piece.

I bought these adorable girls from a church sale. I must seek out more church sale, the low prices were beautiful, I tell you! They're $25 on Etsy but I'll sell them on the blog for $12.00.

I bought this donkey planter at the same sale, he's too adorable and filled with a pothos tropical plant at Southern Crossing at the moment.  $15.00 on Etsy but you can earn it for $9.00.

Another find from the church sale, a groovy mushroom teapot. I can't resist a groovy 1970s mushroom no matter how hard I try. It's hanging out on Etsy.

It's no secret that I love the hell out of some Michael Jackson, a day is not complete without at least one MJ song playing in the background while I work.

Of course I had to have this adorable Michael Jackson book for 15 cents. Released at the height of fame in 1984, it's a thing of beauty.

There's a quiz in it, I dare you hardcore MJ fans to take it! Let me know if you want me to follow up with the questions in the comments or on Facebook. They're challenge questions, I'm an informed fan and I missed a few. One answer I only knew from listening to Quincy Jone's commentary from an "Off the Wall" re-release CD!

I love a utilitarian satchel and always scoop them up when I see them. This one is On Etsy for $30.00 but I'll sell it on the blog for $17.00. Matches everything!

This art piece purchase was a complete impulse buy, a beautiful piece by a local artist. Selling it with the matting for easy framing for $10.00, it's called "The Great Speckled Bird" and it's a limited edition print by Desirée Kantrim.

Let's Wheel and Deal: It's ALL for sale, so e-mail me if you'd like to buy anything you see. I've been making group deals and general deals on my Etsy items for blog readers, let me know if you want multiple items and I'll apply and group discount. 

Find anything amazing at the thrifts this weekend?! Do share your finds and posts in the comments.

Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ugly Junk: A New Retro/Antique Store After my Ecclectic Junk-Loving Heart

I was driving usual route to thrift and dollar stores along Blanding Boulevard when I saw a small Thrift Store I frequented had changed ownership. It was now Ugly Junk and the typography of the sign and well balanced placement of retro lamps hung in the window stood out. It's baudy yet classy, brilliantly trashy.

Any typogrpahy-geek, or individual with two working eyes, can see their logo (above, left) is just brilliant. Beautiful I say! I had to stop inside where the owners kindly let me take as many photos as I desired with my camera phone.  Love this information on the front, outfitting a Friday's or Ruby Tuesdays with loads of retro scores with character is a dream job for some sellers.

I wouldn't mind a full-time job outfitting Man Caves with groovy, nerdy vintage. Let's call them Van Caves. There is definitely a Man Cave/Bat Cave of my own for all creative exploits in my future.

This shop is pricey and out of my range as a reseller or collector and could use more cleaning, but I loved exploring all the goods anyway.

I enjoyed how a lot of the collections were grouped by type, nice touch that I need to carry over to my antique mall spaces.

This group of jars, to die for I tell you. I believe I overheard the owner say he bought a lot of these items on auction with Ruby Tuesdays restaurants closed down.

The Ruby Tuesdays theory would explain the beautiful lamps hanging in front of the windows, Tiffany-styles of many patterns grouped into a glorious collection.

I loved many of the mod lamps and shades like the groovy mushroom and white number behind the table but many were a bit damaged and out of my budget.

And there was a beautiful couple of shelves filled with vintage packaging to pause. Old package design, they knew how to do it right!

I'd recommend a tour through Ugly Junk if you're a local collector or even reseller. You may find that special vintage item you've been seeking your whole life, waiting to go home with you.

Would you love a job selling antiques and retro goodies to movie sets, man caves, and sports bars? I would! Though my brain's imploding at the thought of keeping so much merchandise around!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Antique Mall Update and Reselling Confession: Sometimes I Wanna Quit

It's my second month of running two antique mall spaces at Southern Crossing. Neither are big enough to stage much furniture, but now I have much more space for storing merchandise and getting creative. The sale are alright, a little better than before but not by much. Today I wanna talk about the dark side of if it all. Lately I'm overwhelmed and I wanna quit:

Phone photo of my booth check-in yesterday. I like the new beaded curtain, makes it feel like a cozy closet.

I do enjoy staging the booths and I'm anxious to make them as professional as possible, but the antique malls are a hell of a lot of work for not enough payback.

One problems is that I'm not giving people exactly what they want in this mall, housewares and furniture of the best quality and lowest prices possible. But the more I think about filling my small apartment and merchandise room to the brim with furniture I don't have the space to store or time to fix-up, the more anxious I feel. This work makes me feel weighed-down by STUFF. 

I just wanted be frank with you, the dark side of reselling is often feeling overwhelmed by all the junk you have to sell. Your soul will be weighed down by THINGS. Things make me feel like I'm not location independent the clutter is unsettling to look at. I put it away at the end of the day but I still know it's there.

Selling online is a lot of time consuming work but I can track the metrics to increase visibility to and sales, there's a global audience and I make more money from it. One day I may switch to all online, but I like the local connection I make at the shops. I'll keep working hard at it to find a way I can fill the booths and makes sales without sacrafising my selling standards or sanity. That and working on as many community-building projects and nonprofit things as possible so I don't feel like a soulless retailer!

Feel free to vent, what's the bugging the hell out of you about reselling? Or selling online? Or your creative side job, blog, day job?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thrift Haul: Back to the Flea Market with Pacman, Boozing, Mod Lamps & More

I hit up my favorite flea market for the first time in months this Wednesday and went crazy. The booths needed fresh merch and the new finds were inspiring. It took a couple of days to clean and process it all, but 'twas worth it!

Holy Ash Tray Nirvana, Batman! Okay that made no sense, but god damn, these were too beautiful. I've never puffed on smoke from tobacky of the non or wacky variety but man do I have an affinity for ash trays. See the sets I made out of them on Etsy.

This huge atomic style red beast is a pretty piece for daily use or display. I'm selling it for $15.00. ---> On Etsy

I then focused on my other fetish, glasses! This beautiful set of glasses features one of my favorite reptiles, a pair of gorgeous chameleons. This set is from the iconic Budweiser Superbowl commercials. ---> On Etsy

I finally found video game glasses! I've been jealous seeing them turn up on other blogs and on Etsy. ---> Etsy.

And rounding out the 1980s pop culture we have these kitschy band buttons to admire. I'm selling them on Etsy. ----> Etsy

I try to never buy coffee mugs but this one with a history of phones up the 1980s is a nice time capsule piece. Now we can chart a similar piece with cell phones alone! ---> On Etsy

For  a look a the unusual we have a peanut with a gold tooth. Yep, peanut creamer with one gold tooth. Carry on. ---> On Etsy

How about this nice...rural gentleman? Just a fun made in Japan plastic toy that I thought would photograph well against white. May be fun to pit him against dinosaurs in a still life sometime. ---> On Etsy

These lodge-tastic retro steins are nice a nice local bits of history, love the iconic look of the pair. I sold a similar Vegas one. Hope they'll do well on Etsy or locally. ---> On Etsy

And for really getting your drink on, how about a 1/2 Gallon of ale? Got these cute set for a song. Selling them for $15.00 for the pair. ---> On Etsy

I bought this golden bulldog ice bucket and matching cup retro drinking set for my boyfriend, it reminded me of his bulldog, Dozer! We'll use it on his deck when we're resting from gardening. Now we just need patio furniture to put it on...

I found two more beautiful ombre glasses (already have a set on Etsy  here) and they look so nice with this groovy anchor tray. ---> On Etsy

I'll be surprised if this beautiful Trav-L-Bar hasn't sold yet, I normally can't hold on to them for long. I filled it with some beautiful vintage barware I had on hand and put it in my Southern Crossing booth over the weekend. ---> On Etsy

A haul from me cannot be complete without some planters, which I've been selling off lately after sitting on them for a while. I'm filling some with pretty succulents to keep at home too, but not these ones. ---> On Etsy

I adore this pants planter! I've seen them online before but never in real life. He'd be so gorgeous filled with greenery, if I can't persuade a buyer for it he'll live on my desk filled with a succulent.---> On Etsy

I found another small task lamp, selling him locally or in Southern Crossing for $12.00 if anyone's interested.

This beautiful trash/storage can was irresistible with its vintage illustrations and nautical charm. I love the striped interior. Would be gorgeous in the bathroom or storing yarn, fabric, or craft supplies. ---> On Etsy

This vintage fire bucket would be another fine supply holder, I believe it held sand next to a fire to put it out, would also be nice next to a fireplace holding logs or supplies in any room. Love the classic look to it. ---> On Etsy.

A dealer threw this card game in for free, selling it for $3.00 if anyone would like it! Great deal!

Fighting cocks! Love the animated expression and poses on this set, I have them on Etsy. ----> On Etsy

The next set of wall set of wall hangings- groovy 1970s butterflies that you can hang indoors or outdoors. ---> On Etsy

I liked the look of this vintage radio for the antique mall booth, which is redone to feel like a cozy closet. Selling it for $12.00 if anyone's interested.

I bought this desk lamp from a reseller friend who's downsizing, I love the soft glow. Excellent task lighting that's easy on the eyes. Selling it for $12.00 on the blog if you're interested.

And the bright green numbers on this clock were so appealing. A theme in this set of finds is bright colors, I've been looking out for bright, summery pieces. ---> On Etsy

And mushrooms! This mushroom jar reads "coffee filters" at the top. Letting 'er go for $6.00 if you're interested.

Like this bright bowling ball bag, it was almost brown with dirt when I found it, ick! The magic eraser did wonders for it. ---> On Etsy

By the way, this bag came with one ball and one shoe. I tossed the shoe, but the was one groovy old bowling shoe, neh?

And this ice bucket is super summer! Love the bright stripes on it, selling it for $9.00 to any interested party.

And here's a cool retro cooler to go with your summery ice bucket, love the typography on this guy that could have easily walked out of my childhood beach trips. ---> On Etsy

And what's summer without straws? Each side has a different fun illustration. It would be a fun display for the packaging alone. ---> On Etsy

One more thing more summer than straws, beach matts! Tempted to keep this beauty too but it's for sale for $12.00.

This one has beautiful vintage illustrations on the front and back that inspired me to make some designs. You'll see some more of this later.

Isn't it funny that one thing I haven't been able to find while thrifting or even curbside hunting/dumpster diving is a nice crate? I love the one I found above, perfect for shoppers to flip through my records. It's for sale but I wouldn't mind keeping it for display in the kitchen or living room.

I love the design on the front and the side! Selling the beautiful thing for $15.00.

Oh, and, pirate ship! I found and sold a version of this playmobil boat that still had its stunning bright orange sales. This one is for sale but I'll enjoy keeping it around to stage photos in the meantime. It's $9.00 to anyone who wants it.

I had bad-ass hauls the past couple of weeks, I must say. They were sorely needed after a long bought of thrift abstinence, sometimes you really need new merchandise to keep your antique mall booths from feeling stale. That said, I must get to work painting things, making, pricing, and organizing!

SALES and such: It's ALL for sale, so e-mail me if you'd like to buy anything you see. I've been making group deals and general deals on my Etsy items for blog readers, e-mail if there's anything you like! All the items in this post are going to be priced higher once they hit Etsy.

What did you find this weekend?! Do share your finds and posts in the comments.

Linked to: [Nifty Thrifty] [Thrift Share Monday] [The Penny Worthy Project] [Sir Thrift a Lot]
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

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