August 21, 2010

All About Renting Space At An Antiques Mall

Have you ever thought about renting space at an antiques mall or shopped at one, and wondered how they worked?

Click HERE to enter my drawing of Tyler on 9/1/10

I have rented space at Orange Tree Antiques Mall in Winter Park Florida for 7 years, by no means am I the expert, but I can give you the general idea of what renting involves.

It is kind of addictive.  I started with a small booth and I am now in an 8 X 8 both.  Prices vary greatly by region, you can expect to pay $150.00 to $300.00 a month for a booth, but of course the sky is the limit on cost and size.

On top of my rent I pay the mall owners a percentage of my sales.  I pay rent plus 10% of sales.  My Friend Deb "Garage Sale Gal"  in Minnesota pays rent plus 6%.

My mall requires just a month to month lease.  Deb also has a month to month lease after an initial 3 month commitment.   

So, what does this get me?  I get the rental space to decorate and sell what I choose. The owners run the store and pay all of the bills involved.  They hire employees to run the cash register, collect sales tax, help my customers, do advertising, keep the store clean, the coffee made and the cookie tray full.  Once a month I get a spread sheet with what I sold and a check.

I can come in as often as I like to replenish and straighten up my booth. I usually go in a couple times a week and never less than once a week.  

Pricing is always the interesting part.  I have to take into consideration that I pay rent plus a percentage of my sales and usually participate in all of the advertised sales at the store, further marking my inventory down 10-20%.  

My rule of thumb is to mark an item up X3 what I paid for it, so if I see an item at an estate sale I have to think, can I sell this for at lease 3X what I paid for it.  This is the only way I will make a profit and cover my expenses.  Now, it goes without saying if I paint it, repair it, wash and iron it, or upholster it, the price will go up for my time and supplies.  Of course if I SCORE and get something for way below it's value, I mark it according to what it is worth.  My biggest find was a statue I purchased at a thrift store for $7.00 and sold for $488.00.  When I bought it I just thought it was a beautiful piece and then did a computer search and got the OMG high that we all live for!

There are 93 vendors at the mall where I rent.  I am very lucky that the owners only let one vendor of a specialty in at a time.  I am the only one that has the Shabby Romantic items.

 I love linen and have a large selection, most dealers do not want to mess with it.

I have a lot of "Smalls" as we call them, my small lower priced items, as it really helps increase sales.

Just a few parting thoughts.

I have a locked cabinet for expensive jewelry and fragile items.

I try to keep my booth fresh, adding new items and moving items around.  So many Antique store visitors are repeat customers.

I have the rented space at the antique mall and I have an online store. The antique mall is easier for me. The benefit of my online store is working completely out of my home, I can have as many or as few a products as I choose and an international customer base.  There is a lot of steps in the process once I have the product, I photograph it, list it, price it, inventory it, sell it, wrap it, weigh it, calculate and print postage, and ship it, all the while hoping my computer does not poop out on me.  

 The beauty of renting a space is once I have the product, I price it, put it in my booth, and pick up my check.  I am lucky that the mall where I rent is in a tourist area close to Disney World and Universal studios, it is very busy, and well managed.

WHEW!!  I'm done!  I wonder if anyone is still listening??  

I would love for you to share how your antique mall works, along with your thoughts and tips. 


August 15, 2010

Over The Top Stool Redo

O.K. I admit it, I went over the Shabby, Romantic, Fru Fru edge.  Have you ever watched that show "Say Yes To The Dress" on TLC?  It is about women picking bridal dresses and it is on Friday nights, well guess who watched it this past Friday?  Yep me, so I got up Saturday morning all inspired to cover two little stools.

Sometimes you can go months before you see the perfect little stool to recover, I have been lucky enough to find 4 in the past 3 weeks.  
I found two of these little gems for $5.00 a piece.

O.K., I lost my mind, Exhibit one.

This is covered with creme color vintage damask fabric

Then I used fabric from a antique crinoline for the lace overlay.

This is where I got really crazy, I have a gathering foot for my serger sewing machine so I took strips of the lace and ruffled it really tight.

Then nestled in ribbons, flowers, and beads from a vintage necklace.

O.K., I lost my mind in the shabby, fru fru world, Exhibit II

This is a vintage white damask fabric.

I sewed 3 beautiful lace doilies on top

Nestled a vintage brooch into a lace flower.

Added some vintage buttons.

And there you have it romantic, shabby, fru fru gone wild.

I put them in my antiques booth at Orange Tree yesterday and priced them at $38.00, now I wait to see if they sell.  I know they are over the top, but I really like them.
Click HERE and leave a comment to enter the September 1, 2010 drawing of Tyler, the vintage framed paper doll

O.K. You be the judge, have I gone to far?  Can we get to crazy with our shabby, romantic, crafty projects or can you never go to far?  Should I stop watching wedding shows?


Linking up with 
Make it 4 Mondays at Cottage Instincts
Debbiedoos B&A Party
A Little Knick Knack everything but the kitchen sink party

August 8, 2010

One Little Upholstery Tip

This is just one little upholstery tip I learned in an upholstery class many years ago.  I am calling it "DONOTAPULL!"

Before we start, if you have not already entered, go HERE for the drawing of the Vintage Framed Paper doll.  The drawing will be 9/1/2010

I was taking an upholstery class and the instructor had an accent.  I kept hearing her raising her voice to the other students "Donotapull".  When she got to me and said "Donatapull" I just stood back from the chair I was upholstering and that is when she grabbed the fabric.

"Donotapull"  Now I understood!

You all know the first step. Staple one side of your fabric.


 Now instead of pulling to make it tight.  

Apply pressure and smooth it tightly from the stapled side to the other side.

Now all the way round the edge and staple. 

 This gives you the tightest fit.  To see the difference, run your hand tightly and firmly over a chair or stool you have already recovered and you can see how tight it could could have been. 

Remember, Do not pull.

Apply pressure and smooth.

 This will give you the tightest and most professional look. 

 It will be much tighter than if you pulled and it will make sure that you do not have any uneven areas from pulling.

I took this $5.00 ugly duckling.  

Painted it white and added a barkcloth cover.

Now, repeat after me "Donotapull"

Happy Crafting!

I am linking up with Debbiedoos Garage Salen Party

August 2, 2010

How I Got Published and You Can Too

Don't you always wonder how people get their work published?
I want you to get published too!
This is how I got published in the September 2010 issue of  Romantic Homes Magazine

The article was in the "Make It" section. I framed vintage paper dolls.

When other people got published I always thought well, they are super artists.  Other's that were published probably are super artists, I am not, but what I did have was a little luck and a unique idea. 
I hope  this helps everyone that wants to get their projects or products published. 

This is my publishing journey 

I started my blog April 29, 2010 and went around to every blog I could find, commented on their post and said "Hi, if you get a chance stop over to my blog".  Unknowingly I commented on Jacqueline deMontravel's blog. Her blog was featured in the last issue of Romantic Homes Magazine.  I did not know Jacqueline was the editor of Romantic Homes!  

On May 9th, 12 days into my new blog I got an email from Jacqueline that said "Thanks for stopping, you have a lovely blog and website, if you are ever interested in submitting a project for the "Make it" section of Romantic Homes let me know".  What!!  Now, submitting work and being published are two completely different things, but not in my mind!  

 I pulled out all of my Romantic Homes Magazines and studied all of the "Make it" sections. Then started making things and photographing them.  I emailed the pictures and project details for 4 items to Jacqueline.  I just said "Thank you for your kind words, this is such an honor let me know if any of these projects are a contender".   

 With in 3 hours I got an email "Hi, I am the assistant editor for Romantic Homes and Jacqueline is interest in your framed vintage paper dolls, please send us 5-6 high resolution Pictures".....Wet my pants time!! 

I sent in photos then I didn't hear anything.  OK I thought, that was fun anyway!

Two weeks later I get a message," We received, your pictures could you send us more.  So started many emails back and forth.  How did you think of this project, Who will do this project, we need a biography, etc.

They said "We are considering you for the September issue", but for some reason I just couldn't believe it!
On June 28th I got an email  "Hi Carol, your Vintage Paper Dolls were included in the Make It section!  I took a peek and the layout looks wonderful.  I know you'll be pleased with it.  I believe subscriber issues should be in the mail around 7/14".  OK this is when I jumped up and down!

That's my story, I am absolutely not the expert!  I'm probably a one trick pony and will never be published again, but If I had any tips, they would be;

  • Submit unique items, not actually reinventing the wheel, just a new way to present a project, maybe it is just the packaging.

  • Consider what section of a magazine you want to be featured in, then tailor your products accordingly.

  • Submit a project.  I had a friend who got a lovely full page feature in Tea Time.  She sent her cookbook along with a cover letter.  

  • I know someone who submitted pictures of her products she sells in her online store and got published. 

  • The Stampington Company has many publications, this is the information on submitting projects for publishing.

  • Submit to local newspapers, I scanned my article and sent it to the Style Editor for my local paper the Orlando Sentinel and She immediately said She would like to do a story.  They are interviewing me in my home tomorrow.

I would love for you all to share your tips and stories of getting published or people you know who have been published.

Just a reminder to enter the drawing

Please click HERE for this giveaway of Taylor a Vintage Framed Paper Doll along with paper doll cards and tags, the drawing will be on 9/1/2010

Wishing you get published!