Friday, November 2, 2012
Expanding my horizon
These are the kinds of mid-century items I love - and would keep in my own house. Elegant design, functionality, and wood with metal and wood with glass. Timeless. Classy. Yet these three items have been in my booth for a very long time. It's almost like my customers don't keep up with the same cool mid-century blogs that I do.
These are the kinds of items I would not keep in my house. I find them all charming and super-kitschy in a fun way, yet, they would not suit my everyday space. However, these are the things that my customers seem more attracted too. I have sold quite a bit of vintage souvenirs, most of them from Florida (pre-Disney World era). Fun things with owls and butterflies as well as mugs of all kinds are also reliable sellers.
So, I have gradually shifted my focus. I used to say that I could keep 90% of my booth in my own home decor, but that is approaching 50%. Initially I sort of felt like I was selling out in a way. That is silly, I know - especially since this is not just a hobby but a little business as well. I need to not take it personally that my customers are not necessarily attracted to the same things about mid-century decor as I am. Also, I am not in a stylish market in New York or on the West Coast, but in a more laid-back part of Maine. Finally, my sales venue is not upscale at all, which I like, since there is none of that whiff of snootiness that can linger around the more fancy antique stores. Some might say that I am lucky to get away with selling cute kitsch and not have to hunt down the hard-to-find Scandinavian design pieces etc. All in all, I guess I should be content.
Do you feel like you have to love the stuff you sell in your antique booth? Do you mostly focus on what you personally like or what you see is selling? Can a happy compromise be reached?