Monday, November 4, 2013

Reopening Lark & Lola - my new booth!


A few weeks ago I posted ^this photo^ on Instagram along with the announcement that I'd be moving in to once again sell my vintage goods & my handmade crafts. 

ReNew is a thrift store in Englewood/Denver, Colorado, opened by Denver Christian Schools as a sort of fundraising business. It's really a wonderful thrift store, with three levels of used goodies--everything from furniture and clothes to appliances and antiques--all with volunteer staffing. It also happens to be managed by a friend of mine from the past, whom I've done business with before.

ReNew is going through a sort of transition: from 100% thrift shop to a store that will have more of a unique boutique/flea market style plus some thrift shop still in the mix. There are talks of starting craft classes, inviting more vendors in, and other exciting new ideas. Since I have a history and rapport with the manager of ReNew, I feel so fortunate to have been invited in as one of the very first booth renters to this shop!

The Mile 
ReNew is also located on "The South Broadway Mile", so it's a great location to be in. Honestly, I'm really nervous. Any business is a risk. Then again, my favorite boutiques, flea market booths, and antique dealers have all been open for years. They must make money at it, right? Otherwise they wouldn't keep doing it. I'm just nervous that I won't make my booth rent back each month. I'll have to work hard to keep my space updated and fresh. But I've also really missed this! I've missed the crafting; I've missed having a creative outlet like this. Paris Street Market was such hard work and I hated having a deadline. An ongoing shop like this is nice in that I can add to & change it up whenever I want.

To get a discounted rate, I'll be working the shop 2 days a month. The store relies on volunteers, and it will be nice to get out of the house for a couple days each month. The hours are short; it will be fun! Plus, as a store owned by Denver Christian, I feel really good about doing business with them. In a way, this setup just feels kismet.

So here's the story on how I got back into business these last couple of weeks, after deciding to reopen Lark & Lola at ReNew:

I needed display furniture. Booths sort of rely on their furniture for display and extra income. So when I came across an amazing deal on a hutch at Goodwill, I brought it home, picked out some paint, and Justin set up a paint booth in the garage.
Painting the hutch
You all know I thrift like crazy. I used to sell vintage on Etsy, but I HATED the packaging and shipping, photo editing and listing process. So, I've had a lot of "inventory" {things I've thrifted and bought at estate sales with the purpose of reselling}. Now is was time to start dragging it out of storage! In doing so, my house became an absolute mess for a couple weeks there. Seriously. It looked like a thrift store vomited in my home. It smelled like it too. {This is a GOOD photo.}
Pre-move in mess
I started cleaning up the goods and pricing like crazy! I currently have my own barcodes for ReNew's system. I bought a rotary perforator on Amazon, and have been stamping  my own tags.
Pricing
I was so delighted to dig out a stack of my old business cards. I designed these by myself years ago, and I still love them.
Lark & Lola business card
Justin was kind enough to help out with the painting projects. This cute cabinet has been in our basement for months, just waiting for a little revamping.
Husband painting
I kept thrifting, eager to find fun vintage goods to resell. Antique dealers and vendors like myself rely on thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales to make up their inventory. I hunt the goods, I rely on having an "eye" {though I sometimes fail} for what is desirable and valuable, as well as a knowledge of old items. In this way, I feel like a curator. Anyone can get out there and thrift and hunt and dig, but not everyone is willing to do that digging--the dirty work. This is where vendors have their fun. Taking cute vintage goods and putting it in a setting like a flea market booth or antique store can make all the difference. My booth is a collection of hunted goods, hand-picked by yours truly.

I also love selling my handcrafted goods. But, unlike my previous booths at A Paris Street Market, I now have vintage items to boost my sales and fill my booth. It was HARD having to fill my entire space at Paris Street with just crafts!

There are some thrifted items I'm not sure I'll be able to part with. I bought these aluminum tumblers to sell them, but then I got them home and cleaned them up and decided I wanted to keep them. I bought them for $1 each. They are worth quite a bit more.
Aluminum tumblers
Finding seasonal items is one of my favorite things to hunt. Vintage Christmas ornaments are all the rage these days.
Vintage Christmas ornaments
Vintage tablecloths! I almost hate to sell these, but I can only keep so many vintage tablecloths for myself. Things like these that I love, I'll price them a little higher just because I'm not completely eager to sell them. If I'm going to part with them, it'd better be for a decent price.
Vintage tablecloths
So with the vintage goods hunted, and some crafts ready, and my booth space chosen, I was ready to open my booth at ReNew.

Go visit! There is a back entrance with more parking too. It's a huge shop--three levels. I rent a 10' x 10' space, and there is a lot more to see than just my booth.
ReNew back entrance & parking lot

Do you want to see my booth and how it turned out? Want to know if I've sold anything yet? Well, then see here: I've posted photos over at my Lark & Lola blog--so go check it out and tell me what you think.

I'm so excited!

By the way, I have to thank my husband for being so supportive of this. He has not only painted my furniture for me, he has encouraged me all along. He was open to this new business venture and helped me get this booth open. Thank you, honey! I love you and you are a blessing to me.

Cheers,
Heather

3 comments:

  1. Looks awesome! I want a vintage tablecloth! I'll pay you with some TJ's Hazelnut Cookie Butter!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I’ve seen the photos of your new booth and I must say that they're awesome! I think your booth deserves to be re-opened because it has a little bit of everything every girl of any age is looking for. Congratulations!

    Clint Shaff

    ReplyDelete
  3. It’s great to hear that you decided to re-open your shop. You have such beautiful crafts and a wonderful store to showcase them all. And I think it would be a shame if you just kept all your collectibles inside your warehouse. All the best!

    Sheldon Ward @ Brett-Halvorson Associates

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