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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Musings from the Midway....

"Yessir, folks, step right up and see Lola,
the slippery, slithery Cobra Girl: She walks, she talks,
she crawls on her belly like a reptile, a leapin', screamin',
creepin', crawlin' mawnster! She's eleven feet lawng and she's ALIVE!"

"Now move along, move along...just follow us this way
and peek behind the curtain, if you dare.......

She's perplexed, she's bamboozled,
she's LIT-ER-ALLY flyin, without a net: She's......

Annie, the Clueless Shop Dealer! "

How the heck-fire do you guys do it?
I have a newfound respect for all of you shop dealers, believe-you-me.
The sheer amount of time invested in research,
acquiring inventory, cleaning, refinishing, pricing, booth set-up, travel time....
if I didn't love what lies ahead of me so darn much,
I'd likely feel pretty overwhelmed right about now.

Pricing is proving to be a prickly point (too much alliteration, I know).
After signing my lease for my first booth space at the local antique mall,
I took a leisurely tour of every booth there (well over 50)
and jotted down how each dealer had priced their wares.
To say they were all over the map would be a gross understatement.
One dealer had vintage suitcases priced at $15,
another had almost exactly the same thing going for $55.
To be fair, the mall I'm going to be in is one of the better ones in the area.
In my research of other malls, I've come across lots of dealers
who didn't know Milk Glass from Milk Duds....
venues where the descriptors "rare" and "antique" were tossed about
rather freely, as many items designated as such were clearly neither.
Methinks I'm going to stick to just calling everything I sell
"vintage" as a sort of pre-emptive CYA move.

See how I feverishly whip around that muslin and cheesecloth
in a booth decorating frenzy?

Trust me though when I assure you that I'm not complaining,
not by a longshot. I'm loving every minute of this,
addled and discombobulated though I might often feel.
Just sharing thoughts here....keepin' it real, like I've promised you
I will always, always do. I just feel a little out of my league,
especially when I compare myself to the likes of you pros.
Here you guys are gearing up for Warrenton, the Mother of All Shows,
and I'm having a minor wigout over how to price some twee tchotchkes. Sheesh.

Hmmm, maybe being a midway denizen isn't so bad after all....

The way I see it,the chief role of the carnival barker
is to charm and to sell, correct?
And rather than luring them in to gawk at poor old hapless
Lola the Cobra Gal, my aim is to weave a fanciful world
within the walls of my booth. Isn't that what we all try to do?
To create beauty, to expose the unusual,
to sell our customers on the possibilities
of (warning:overused cliché alert) thinking outside the box, stylistically speaking?
To lure them in with the unexpected and to
present a challenge to view the world through fresh eyes?

Rewrite in progress: " Yessir, folks, step right up and see the Amazing Annie,
proprietoress ex-tra-or-din-aire!
Right this way ladies and gents, into the world of Fiona & Twig,
a world of whimsy and wonder and just a whiff of danger....."

I think I like the sound of that.
Wonder if I can hire him for my grand opening....

This post was edited to remove
any photos not taken by myself, Anne Lorys.


Anonymous said...

Hello Annie:
I'm exhausted too. Remember that I mentioned crazy hours, try 18 hours days. Are we masoquists? We must looked like it to the ones watching. It is very difficlut to explain to my family how much I love what I do since all they see is me coming home pass overtime, covered with paint and smelling like s...I'm with them, its hard to understand. I don't know what drive us, money is not since I doubt any of us is raking their cash towards the bank door. How do you explain to people you luv rust, peeling and cracked doll heads, furniture with 10 different colors in it, the castoff of many since many of us deal on what I called junktiques? Anyway Annie, congrats for your space and good luck pricing. Don't price yourself out by overpricing but don't give it away neither. I always ask myself; Would I paid that? How rare and hard to find is it? How popular is it? You can always go down and run sales and most costumers will ask for a discount anyway. I know, not so much for help, well I take that back, I will include you in my prayer list for properity and wisdom in your business. BLESSINGS, Marta.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Love!!!! this post! Yes, there is alot of disparity out there in the world of "vintage".
I do the same. Try to stick with that, it covers a multitude of sins. Also, these gals (T, Trash, Mindy and the you gals!) are "wonder-women" in my book, so I try not to get too hung up comparing my stuff, otherwise I'd never be able to post anything. There are times that my humble little space just slides by, because it just don't "measure up" . Anyway, thank the Good Lord we can all offer something. I think I'm a better "consumer" than anything else! Have tons of fun getting ready!

Myrna said...

GREAT POST! You gave me a good chuckle and a reminder to not take life too seriously!!
I think you're on the right track..and you'll learn as you go. And another overused cliche.."Enjoy the journey"! ;-)
BTW--why is your store called Fiona and Twig?
(forgive me if you posted about it and I just missed it..)

Brabourne Farm said...

How exciting and daunting - sounds like you're in for a big adventure! Well done you for doing what some many of us would love to do but never do. Also, thank you for visiting Brabourne Farm and for leaving a comment. Leigh

PaisleyGrove said...

Although I am a newbie at blogs and I have only viewed a few, I would have to admit that yours is exceptional. I just love it, you're a natural. Thanks for all your help with my blog. Keep up the good work, NannerPus!

Anne Lorys said...

I relate to all you've said, Marta. I'm not pessimistic, but rather realistic when it comes to how I'll fare in todays economy. Like you said, I'm doing this because it's a passion...I'm still working my full-time job, so we'll see how long I hold up, LOL.
Thanks so much for the prayers, I'll be keeping you in mine, too.
~ Anne

Anne Lorys said...

Hi Myrna and welcome!
Twig was a beloved calico cat I had for years, and Fiona was the beloved calico cat belonging to my best friend. I just really loved the sound of the names together, not too cutesy and hard to pigeonhole.
By the way, I love your blog!
~ Anne

Anonymous said...

Oh how I love carnival photos. Those are really nice. Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope to see you around again.

Free Art Printables said...

I found pricing hard too.. I finally figured out I need to double what I pay for it to make it worth it.. If I can't double it , i don't buy it. It's hard to walk away sometimes... Also, stock a lot of "smalls". In tough cash times, they always sell, where bigger peices may sit. you are going to do great!

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

I love this post! You are so creative in your writing. I have been reading your posts but have been to busy to click out of my reader to post a comment.
I wish you lots of luck with your upcoming adventure!
I'll go on and give my 2 cents about your other recent posts. Don't ever regret your posts! They are all very entertaining and enlightening!
About covering the pegboard... if you want material, you can usually get it on the cheap with sales and or coupons. Canvas? maybe a painters dropcloth? Not sure of the price of those though.
I think peg board looks okay if it is painted. You will have such pretties hanging there, I don't think people will be looking at the pegboard. :)
Keep us posted!

Duchess of Tea said...

I stumbled upon your blog and found it so interesting that I am now a follower. I will be back soon.

Love & Hugs
Duchess xoxoxo

The Green Pea said...

Great post and I would use Vintage too. If I do not know I just use something like Old or pretty, cute little etc. Just always be honest, it will pay off. I am enjoying your blog. sandi

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