Last year, I expected the "retail Christmas season" to be huge! We ramped up the store; stuffed it full of furniture (keeping in mind that last year we only had 1,000 square feet to stuff as opposed to our 1,800 square feet this year). We decorated like crazy and polished all the silver. After all, retail wouldn't survive without the Christmas season, right? Well...it was a HUGE let down. In fact, of my first six months in business, December and November were my two worst (financially speaking) months.
When I looked back at my sales from the two years I sold out of my garage, I had the same experience in December. So, I figured people just don't buy furniture during the holiday season.
This year, we approached the holiday season a bit differently. The idea was, rather than pushing for sales of large furniture pieces, we would display the store in a fashion that offered tangible ideas for home decorating. Ideas like how to integrate different styles of furnishings and make it work.
Other ideas like how to re-purpose "things" for decorating and display (i.e., the picket fence, decorative ice skates, enamel plant holder, drawer container, Christmas tree made from books...and the best re-purposed project of the year, the Singer Treadle table).
We set up coffee tables as benches, integrated retro furniture with classic antiques and proved that a potato basket makes for a great pine cone container!
And, we pushed for sales of some of the more "gift style" items like unique, handmade Christmas ornaments and paper wreaths!
Plus, we introduced Michelle E. Black's image transfers for the first holiday season!
Well, Christmas has come and gone! We sold more furniture this month than any month to date! Talk about an unlikely turn of events. I'll tell you one thing for sure, if it wasn't for the fabulous four interns we have right now, I don't think I could keep up with it.
These are a few samples of what has sold that didn't even get properly photographed and updated to the for sale page of the website.
A beautiful mahogany buffet with a dark walnut re-stained wood top and base painted in Emperors Silk. It's a pity we dont' have close-ups of this piece because we used Annie Sloan's Craquelier on the drawers and they looked so awesome!
The sister dresser was finished the day before and was a total (but totally unintentional) Miss Mustard Seed knock-off piece. The drawers are painted in a 50/50 mix of Paris Grey and Louis Blue and the framework is Old White. It wasn't until I put the drawers into the framework that I recognized this as an identical color-scheme on a MMS buffet. I was pretty bummed that it ended up looking like such a blatant rip-off, but it was beautiful in its finished state.
Both of these sold in less than 24 hours. And, another low boy dresser and mirror set painted in Graphite with Old Ochre accents sold one hour after it was finished. It was a whirlwind!
To restock the store, we have fifteen different furniture projects underway that are being featured in fifteen different Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors. I can't wait to share more about this project when it's all said and done. You will definitely be seeing process pictures of everything that we are working on.
We have some exciting things planned in the New Year so I do hope you will come back and visit to see what we are scheming! :)
In the meantime, I hope that you have a safe and fun New Year's!