February 28, 2013

"What Sells And What Doesn't: Antiques Mall In California"

Hi there.  My name is Little Miss Maggie, and Carol has asked me to do a guest post on her wonderful blog on the topic of "What sells and what doesn't"  

This is my first guest post, and I'm very excited to be here.

I have been a dealer of vintage and antique items for the last 11 years and sold in at least six different shops.  Right now I'm a dealer in a beautiful store called Aubergine Emporium, in Simi Valley, California, which is a suburb of Los Angeles.  I have included some photos of my space and a couple others in our shop that I think make great use of the space in our store.

I'll start off with what sells first.  Let's call this the good news portion.

Farm tables, large and small, are great sellers.  In fact, so is the whole "farm house" look.

Cabinets with cubbies and drawers.  They can be metal or wood, large or small, but they are great for storage and can add a lot to home decor.

Vintage scales, skeleton keys, bird cages, vintage jewelry, vintage frames and small colored kitchen utensils.  We also get weekly requests for blue ball jars, and colored depression glass is making a big comeback.  Vintage suitcases are still great sellers, but mostly the flat kind so they can be stacked one on top of the other.  The slanted luggage is a harder sell.

Buffets are a hot seller right now because people like to put their big screen TVs on them.

Tall night tables, not short ones.  Furniture is taller now and short furniture is not in.  Benches and settees always sell, and these can be large or small as well.

Architectural items are always popular.  This can include vintage door knobs and hardware.  Pairs of peely paint doors are in hot demand, but the single old doors are cooling off a bit.

Now for the bad news portion, what doesn't sell in my neck of the woods.

I told you farm house is hot, but shabby chic is not.  Anything with pink roses does not seem to sell and that includes china and upholstery.  China is pretty much out unless it's red and white transfer ware.  Cups and saucers do not sell unless it's Mother's Day, and then they must be marked pretty much under $10 for the set.

Industrial is cooling off very quickly and that especially applies to lighting.

Victorian furniture is not in right now, but Craftsman is still good because of its simple lines.

Oak furniture (unless it's Craftsman style) almost always has to be painted.  It will not move in our store.  This also applies to traditional style furniture.

Upholstery with busy prints is not a good seller either.  Plain is in.

Mirrors are not great sellers, but their frames are.  Framed art is not selling either and I love it so the one piece I have is relegated to my top shelf.

Old windows are not selling and man cave items are really not in demand anymore.

Pink (unless it's Depression glass) on anything does not sell in our shop nor do clear glass items.

 Now here is what I call the "tweeners." 

Gray is hit or miss.  It really hasn't made it big here.  Safe colors for us are white, black or red.

Silver tends to be very seasonal.  Garden items sell obviously in the spring, but not so much the rest of the year, and last year even the vintage garden furniture was not a big seller.  Maybe because the newer styles are so much more comfy.

Vintage linens including quilts are making a strong comeback.  Quilts have not been popular for years, but now they are starting to be asked for.

Now comes the advice section of this post.  

If you will notice my photos, we use every bit of wall space we can.  If our walls don't look like Swiss cheese after a few months, we are not using our real estate wisely.  My space has two upper shelves and I also have a hanging swing I use for a shelf.  Everywhere the eye can see there is something to take in.  I can also hang items from my upper shelves.  We also stack our furniture to free up floor space for more inventory.  My only advice here is that everything needs to be organized so it can be clearly seen.  Don't make it look like a storage locker where things are just shoved in.  Keep your space clean and inviting and visit it often.  I spend at least three hours a week in my space rearranging, fluffing and cleaning.  Bring in new items weekly.  If you can't find anything to bring in that week, use your time to clean, rearrange and try to regroup what you have so it looks new and fresh.  If you don't spend time in your space, no one else will want to either.  This applies to regular customers who come in weekly.  If they think they have seen everything you have to offer, they won't spend time in your space looking for the latest and greatest.

Keep a good variety of smalls as well as large items.  In fact, if you keep a good variety of items in your space, you should keep a good variety of customers coming back for more, and this also applies to price points.  I try to keep a lot of things in the under $20 range.  Yes, I have some really expensive items, but I want people to feel welcome in my space so I try to appeal to a lot of different tastes and budgets. 

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Thanks, Carol, for inviting me to take part in your wonderful series "What Sells and What Doesn't".  It has been an honor and a privilege to be here today.

Hi, It's me Carol....Maggie, thank you...Oh my gosh, you are a wealth of knowledge!  So many Great tips!  Your booth and the shop you sell in are gorgeous!  Please visit Maggie at Little Miss Maggie she has so many creative ideas and freely shares tutorials on her transformations!  

 If you have missed any of my guest bloggers they are all listed under the tab at the top of my blog titled "Selling Antiques"

February 25, 2013

Belle's Dress For The Ball

The Dress Form Ball is just two weeks away and Belle is so excited to show off her gown for the ball!

I thought we should wait for the ball to show off Belle's dress.....But, She thought we should show it now, Ok Belle wins!.

I started with a new dress form from Barr Display that I transformed to look old.  Tutorial HERE

Next I headed to the thrift store where I found a dress for $4.95.  It had 2 layers of tulle, fabric and a crinoline underneath...Perfect for a transformation.

I started by dying the dress and all of the fabrics, ribbon, and lace I was going to use in a big tub.  They all started out either white or beige, this is after everything was dyed.

Here is my tip:
  I like to dye everything together, even though different fabrics will absorb the dye differently, it keeps everything in the same hue.  I love this tan Rit dye, it turns everything to almost a pink color, depending on the fabric. 

The tutorial for making the flowers is HERE

I added a couple layers of lace just below the waist to give it some volume

If you're thinking all I do is play.....You're right!  This was my first project in my newly renovated and organized, craft room.  I had sooo much fun!

You still have two weeks until the ball, plenty of time to get your dress form ready. 

The Dress Form Ball is open to all dress forms, big, small, dressed or not.  Write a new blog post about your girl or girls, (Or you could use an old post) and link it up the week of March 11th.   Be sure to link up the actual post and not just the blog url.  If you don't know how to link up a post, email me the week of the ball and I will be happy to do it for you! No one gets left out of this party!

Happy Creating!

February 21, 2013

"What Sells And What Doesn't: Antiques Mall In Minnesota"

Selling in an antiques mall in Minnesota

Hi, I am Deb From Garage Sale Gal, I was so excited when Carol asked me to share
 "What Sells And What Doesn't" in my antique booths.   

I started selling about 18 years ago and at that time I rented a book shelf. 

The first thing I sold was glassware! The old depression glass, although it was a great seller then, it's a tough sell now

A few years after I started selling, hubby got "bitten" by the selling bug and we now enjoy this "hobby" together. We get up very early most Saturday mornings and hit estate sales.  I think it helps to have "man stuff". A good variety is important. 

We have a good size booth at "AUNTIE M'S" in Hopkins, Minnesota and we also have a booth at  "Antiques Minnesota" in Burnsville, Minnesota.  
I work 2 duty days a month at Auntie M's and this helps me to save a little money on the rent and keeps me up on what is selling.  The added benefit is when people stop in to sell their treasures, since I'm working, I get the first chance at buying

 We have a locked case for "smalls" and items that are a bit more money or "unique"!

And open shelving for most of the "treasures". 

Working the booth is very important, we try to get in to fluff at least one day a week and restock every couple of weeks. 

Interestingly enough, different things sell at each of our booth locations, but these are items that sell at both 

What Sells:

Mirrors ~ Old Suitcases ~ Chalk boards~Vintage Toys ~ Seasonal Treasures ~ Ephemera including kids books~Holiday items~Old greeting cards~Post cards~Bingo cards~Old advertising items~ Unique, odd, or one of a kind items

What doesn't sell in my neck of the woods 

Glassware~Knick knacks~Tea cups~Roosters~Linen~Wall pictures~Hats~Newer books

We stock a lot of smalls and Most items are priced under 20.00. If we have furniture, it's small tables, as floor space is limited.

My Tips

Don't price your items to low, by pricing them to low you can actually devalue your merchandise.  We also don't sell any items that are chipped or broken.

Well, that's what sells and doesn't in my neck of the woods, thank you, Carol for asking me to guest post.  If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me, you can find me at Garage Sale Gal.


Hi, it's me Carol... Thanks Deb, I want everything in your locked cabinet!  I had the great pleasure of garage sale and antique shopping with Deb in Minnesota.  Here we are, Debs in the pink.

 I met Deb through blogging.  I grew up in Minnesota and I love to follow hometown blogs.  I met her in person when she was on vacation here in Orlando, and then again when I went "home" for a vacation in Minnesota.  We had THE BEST day (HERE) of antiquing in Minnesota and I can tell you, Deb has so many years of experience under her belt, she really knows her antiques.  She is someone I am honored to call a friend, one of the sweetest, nicest, people I know......Thank You Deb!

If you have missed any guest bloggers, would like to catch up and want more selling tips, I have put a tab at the top of my blog entitled "Selling Antiques" 

Happy Selling 

February 18, 2013

Redoing My Craft Room

I love my new Craft Room, but had no idea it was going to take me almost 2 weeks to complete! 

 All I really had to do was clean and reorganize, but one thing lead to another

You know how it goes, I took everything out of the room, then thought..Well, why don't I repaint....Add more shelves...Change the fabric around the counters.....And on and on....

Now, if you're looking for a drool worthy shabby, romantic, craft room.....Opp's, you won't find it here!

 I really love that look but, I work best in a total utilitarian room.  If you have ever looked at my HOME TOUR you will see that I have a look I've termed, "Minimalist Shabby".  I like clean surfaces, total organization, no clutter.....I'm so boring!

Here was the room before, only it didn't look like this, it was a total mess!

The only way to clean it was to totally empty the room...Oh gosh the mess drove me crazy!  I filled up the guest room, hallway, bathtub, and dining table
 First up was painting.  I'm horrible at picking paint colors from little paint chips so I asked my friend Celestina Marie and she suggested a Behr paint called "Heirloom lace" (280E-1)...Oh, I loved the name and the color even more, it's a barely pink color.

Next up was adding a shelf over the window.  I wanted it low enough so I could reach it, but that meant the wire closet shelf had to straddle the window which required "L" brackets to hold it up

The ribbon holders are from Barr Display, they were meant for slat walls, but hooked perfectly on the wire closet shelf.

One whole wall in my 9 X 11 room is a slat wall.  I get many emails asking where I got the slat wall, it was from Barr Display along with the baskets.  The baskets are easy to ship, but not the slat wall, so my advise would be to see if any of your home improvement stores have slat walls or could order one.

All of the baskets in the slat wall where sorted and I still have room for more...Yea!
I do all of my crafting on the folded table below the wall

With Christmas money from Mom, I headed to Ikea and had so much fun picking out boxes and storage bins..I loved these boxes, they were linen covered with the perfect handles for grabbing them off the shelf

I also got the bins in the bottom of the fabric closet from Ikea.  I used comic book backing boards to wrap my fabric on.

My Mom found this great cabinet at an antiques sale.  The glass was missing so I used foam board and covered it with fabric.  It was the perfect place to store all of my adhesives, buttons, and ink pads.  

I recovered the stools

And used this lucious brown fabric for the front of the sewing and computer desk.  And used two pieces of foam core from the dollar store glued together and covered with corresponding fabric for a bulletin board.

I couldn't figure out how to finish off the window

 I knew I needed to bring the brown fabric up above the counter to balance the brown on the bottom but, I didn't want to mess with curtains by the sewing machines.  To the rescue was Angelina at JoJo and Eloise.  She suggested using the fabric on bulletin boards by the windows, then my brother suggested running narrow strips of the bulletin board up the sides of the window.  Genius..The window now looks finished and I can use it for fabric swatches and pins too.

After I labeled all of the boxes, took two huge bags to the Goodwill and three to the garbage...I was DONE!

I have to tell you, I am in total organization heaven!

I love my craft room or is it a sewing room, maybe a studio....I think we should all just call our rooms what they are...

Play Rooms!

Happy Crafting

February 14, 2013

A Sweet Little Curio Transformation

I love when I find these cute little curio cabinets with glass doors

This is how it started out....Please make me beautiful!!!

The first thing I do is take the back off, it makes it much easier to paint the inside.

The black flowered paper is drawer liner from the dollar store...I loved it so I bought 4 rolls

Then after I taped it off (Tedious) I painted it and added a water slide decal...Tutorial HERE.  The graphic is from Graphics Fairy

I put it in my booth and Orange Tree and priced it at $48.00. 

The series "What sells and what doesn't" will return next Thursday with an antiques vendor from Minnesota.  I didn't schedule a guest blogger today thinking I would have some fabulous Valentines project post....OK, so that didn't happen......So, what have I been doing instead of making Valentines???   Redoing my whole craft room, I'll show you monday!

Happy Creating!