February 7, 2013

"What Sells and What Doesn't: Vintage Market in Florida"

Guest blogger Kitty

My booth at Adjectives Market

My name is Kitty and I'm so happy that Carol asked me to write a guest post on what sells and what doesn't. She's my favorite blogger and I've followed her since the day I found her blog online. She lives in Orlando and I've had the occasion to meet and talk shop with her several times. She's a wealth of knowledge and always willing to share her expertise.

My booth at Adjectives Market
I have a booth along the upstairs wall at Adjectives Market in Altamonte Springs, Florida located in the Greater Orlando area. I got my feet wet selling vintage items at Renningers Flea Market in Mount Dora about an hour up the road before I moved to Adjectives Market. I immersed myself in design many years ago and grew up with antiques, so selling vintage items is something I really enjoy.

In the beginning it was hard to part with my display pieces, so I try not to have "display only" items in my booth.   Now I sell them knowing that something new and just as fabulous will come along.  Just think, if something makes your wares look good, what it might do for a customer's home?

My old booth at Renningers Flea Market
Most people think of burlap bags when they think of my booth. I sell a lot of burlap, most of it stenciled by me in a wide variety of designs. Although my signature is burlap, I also sell a lot of signs and found metal objects. I lean toward industrial design and primitive wood.

The paper flower were to merchandise the crate- until people wanted to buy them
I vary my merchandise by season selling signs in the summer and pillows in the cooler seasons. I try to limit my inventory to smaller items I can move by myself and fit easily in my truck. I also sell little packages of gift tags and seam binding ribbon and the paper flowers above.

What sells best for me:
  1. My signature burlap bags
  2. Old ladders and benches
  3. Carpenters tool boxes
  4. Found iron pieces I faux finish
  5. Signs I make using reclaimed wood
What sells slowly for me:
  1. Cute feminine tables- maybe because my typical customer likes industrial design
  2. Very pricey vintage porcelain signs so I stick to the smaller ones
  3. Glassware- collectible or not, I don't sell much at all
  4. Antique tools
  5. Basin pitcher sets
I have developed a following of customers who either know me or my burlap designs. Since I don't have to be at Adjectives Market to sell (They have a hired staff that handles sales), many customers recognize my work when I'm out at shows or they see it posted online.

My advice to vendors is to develop an expertise in a particular area and to network with other vendors regarding pricing and aesthetic desirability of items to sell. Carve out a niche for yourself and become the "go-to" person for a particular type of merchandise. Get to know your customers and listen to what they say. They know what they want. Finally, fluff your booth on a regular basis. I sell more when I am there "fluffing" than when I'm not.

I welcome you to visit my blog Heart Vintage Design and my Etsy shop. I write about a variety of topics often touching on business practices and featuring events in the greater Orlando area.

Hi, it's me Carol...Thank you so much Kitty!  OK, how much fun is this getting to see what sells, what doesn't and getting tons of selling ideas along the way....I am loving Kitty's horse picture!!

I hope you are enjoying this series, if you have missed any of my guest bloggers there is a tab at the top of my blog titled "Selling Antiques"that has links to all of their posts.

Happy Creating!


farmhouse-story said...

love her signs and the ribbon roses!

Anonymous said...

what beautiful creations, I enjoyed this guest spot , you two have so much in common, even your friendly easy going style, its a pleasure to meet you!

DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

Carol, this series has been wonderful. I open your blog email as if I was opening a gift package. Kitty has given me some great ideas as have your other gift bloggers. Thanks so much to you and Kitty.

Egretta Wells blog said...

Very interesting and some good advice I can use in my own booth! Thanks for having a guest post, Carol..really enjoyed it!

Bluebirdbasketry said...


I would like to personally THANK YOU for not having "display only" items in your booth. It makes me crazy when I see this - and it is usually the best item in the booth. I always figure if the person is that attached to it they should put it in their home. Big display pieces I can understand, but...


Connie said...

Hi Carol, you are such a sweetie to feature Kitty's shop and blog. I am also a follower of Kitty's . . . I wish that I had found the two of you before last February when I visited the Orlando area. I was staying at Coco Beach for a week . . . if I ever get back . . . your booths are on my must visit list :)
Have a wonderful weekend.
Your blogging sister, Connie :)

Celestina Marie said...

Oh I could spend a lot of time in your booth Kitty. Love the burlap horse design.
Great info once again and I love knowing you sell it all and not just display pieces to hold the goodies. Great post.

Thank you Carol. Have a nice weekend.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Carol,
I love here unique booth. She is so right about finding your niche and becoming known for a certain things.
Love this series and i'm learning so much.


Diane said...

Always interesting posts! Love the photos too!

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

Yes, we're enjoying these inspiring posts, even if we don't sell. This is awesome!


Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Lots of eye candy here. Thanks so much Kitty for showing us your beautiful treasures.

Elizabeth said...

Very nice !

Hosanna said...

Love the "what sells and what doesn't" posts, especially since I am getting ready to embark on marketing some of my stuff at shops and fairs and such. :)

Createology said...

Thank you Kitty for guesting and sharing your knowledge and expertise. Your space and items look wonderful. Thank you Carol for the continued introduction to others for "What Sells and What Doesn't". Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...


These guest dealers are so much fun to read about and see how they run their business!

Marlynne said...

How fun to hear from many vendors. I love the ribbon flowers! will go look at her Etsy shop!

Heart Vintage Design said...

Thank you Carol for giving me the opportunity to be part of this series. I'm looking forward to reading more guest posts as part of this series. You are a joy to work with! xoxo Kitty

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Love those paper flowers and what a deal on the seam binding! Very nice booth :)

material pursuit said...

Kitty, thanks so much for all your suggestions & inspiration. I sell at flea mkts 150mi SW of you & relate to the trends you mentioned. Will try harder to follow your closing advice to carve a niche to be that go-to vendor!

decorayadora said...

what beautiful creations, I enjoyed this guest spot , you two have so much in common, even your friendly easy

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

this is so much fun learning what sells in different parts of the country! And I love your black and white table Carol. It's probably sold already xoxo

Olivia said...

Wow! Another great post! Love all that beautiful seam binding ribbon, yum yum!!! Thank you for hosting Carol! xoxo

Unknown said...

Thank you Carl for teh guest blogger and thank you Kitty for sharing with us! This is definitely something Ill keep in mind! ;)


The Pink Geranium or Jan's Place said...

What a timely post, as I really want to sell, and not sure where to start, and how. This was a very good read!!!

jan @ The Pink Geranium

Little Miss Maggie said...

This is great advice. I love those paper flowers too. Perhaps Kitty would like to do a guest tutorial on those? I'm off to visit her blog. Thanks, Carol.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm enjoying this series so much and wishing I could travel to your area to shop! I live just a bit North of you! Thanks Carol for the fun and to Kitty for the great tips!

Sylvia said...

Hi Carol, Hi Kitty...great topic, very helpful for us newbies.

Sylvia :)

Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...

I love the burlap sign and the paper flowers.

miss flibbertigibbet said...

Loving this peek into other vendor's booths. Just opened a new booth in a totally different area and have already done well. It's so interesting to hear what sells and doesn't! I LOVE those paper flowers!

Bev said...

love love love your designs your craft room is an inspiration