Some were curious about my online reselling and antique mall adventures, now's a good time for another honest update. I'm not giving up yet but man, I've been tempted to quit the antique mall cold turkey. A slight increase in sales for March was the only thing that stopped me from giving notice to vacate my spaces.
I've Been Lethargic: I think I've finally burst out of my slump, the extremely slow sales this February put me in a fog. I have a common right-brain-thinker problem, a strong tendency to get emotionally involved in my projects. Their failure means I'm a failure. I'd been putting in a metric ton of hours to get no pay, such is life for an indie business owner, but lack of pay did nothing to motivate me. I gave myself time to clean my house back to near-spotlessness again yesterday (just don't look into the closets!) but before that merchandise was scattered and my apartment looked as my messy as my mind felt.
And About the Booths: February and early March sales being slow was my fault, I opted for minimally staged booths which isn't the Southern Crossing Antique Mall way (which is instead, stuff-every-square-inch) and left it like that for a while out of stubbornness. I now own two small bookshelf-sized antique mall booths and last month was my first one not making my rent since my beginner days which was also disheartening. The methods I need to take to make lots of money at Southern Crossing are not ones I want to take or that I feel I have the money/energy to work on at the moment. While quitting is still at the back of my mind I may go on just to challenge myself to it. It's a lot on top of trying to write quality blog content, change the blog direction, and keep my online listings up. And live. A little.
The Booth Problems: The space limitations really bother me, I've been in Southern Crossing longer than many of my contemporaries, at least 3 years if not more, and am still on the "waiting list" for a large booth. I'd feel more comfortable with a huge booth to stage, but this also comes with a bigger rent responsibility to earn back. Southern Crossing is a nice way to host merchandise while spreading my brand name to a lot of shoppers (If you're a reader from Southern Crossing- thanks so much for being here! Ignore my rambling, I appreciate you) but I don't want it to be expensive, pretty storage. I need it to be successful.
A Personal Problem: I'm going to sound like a jerk confessing this but I get resentful toward the shoppers for "not supporting me." It's hard not to feel a pang of hurt (again, I'm twisted connecting business with myself personally) when customers praise my wares but don't buy one item OR make sure to only buy the one or two things in the booth marked on clearance and stray from everything else. I will turn off the feelings because clearly, it's my job as a retailer to create "need" for an object, I studied marketing, I know it's all on me. My hands are shaking with nervous shame confessing this but it's a problem I can't be alone in. I'm going to work on this by working harder and smarter on everything I do so there's no shame. I have a feeling the stupid thoughts manifest because I'm not trying hard enough and I'm looking for someone else to blame other than myself.
*Note, Prices: Something I forgot to note on my booths, I had to raise my prices which likely contributes to slower sales. I sell my items online and off and can't price them low locally when I can get more online. So juggling that is something I'm working out, too.
On the Other Projects: I'm getting my resume back in gear, brainstorming pitches and slowly applying for other writing jobs. I'd prefer one I could do working from home between all of my Thrift Core blog and reselling commitments. I feel like I haven't truly developed art/writing-wise in two years! I've also been calling around, taking creative classes, and researching for the other projects on my long to-do list behind-the-scenes. Some will be cancelled or re-structured. For instance, I wanted to create unique home oil burners but learned my design would damage the "medicinal" value of the essential oils. Back to the drawing board there!
Sales are back up this March, thank the proverbial lawd of retail, friends and I are theorizing that income tax return checks came in late? If you noticed I didn't post daily the past couple weeks it's because I've been pulling planned posts because of being in that foggy-brained state-of-mind.
Hopefully this will be the last work-rant, I'm feeling better about accomplishing goals this season. As always, I hope you'll stay with me and continue to support as I transition away from reselling and into a whole living/art/personal-lifestyle direction with the brand.
Been facing any problems with sales, reselling, indie business or life in general? Let us vent, fellow co-worker-less friends.