Friday, April 5, 2013

Changing spaces and moving out of the basement

Wow...I am just feeling so grateful. This is a post with exciting news, but I feel that a backstory is due and want to share a little more about me with you, my readers! The blogging community is one that I am coming to really feel a part of. You all have been so supportive and inspiring and I am honored to be a part of it! So, I have a long post...hang in there. I hope it inspires you to follow your dream and do what you love!

Painting furniture has been a staple in my decor since I was a teenager. It is just one of the ways that I express my creativity. It is one of the ways i relax and is very therapeutic for me. Friends and family have always complimented me and made me realize, that its not something that everyone either wants to do or enjoys doing. We all have our strengths. I believe we are all capable of doing anything we put our mind to...but if its not something you love to do, why not hire someone out to do it for you? That's where my business got started! It went from a hobby to a dream and is still very much in the early stages!

In November of 2012, I had some medical issues that had me bed ridden for most of the time. Prior to my leave from my full time + career of 12 years, I had been slowly planning on starting a small business painting furniture. After meeting with the owner of Secondhand Rose, a local antique mall...I knew that was the place for me to test out my talent and see if people would buy the furniture I paint.

I enlisted the assistance of my husband and my son to do all my lifting, sanding, ect. They also became pick up and delivery guys as well. Without them none of this would be happening! I have been pricing my furniture reasonable. I factor what I buy the piece for, my materials (paint, hardware, ect), and then a small profit for me. I know that I could charge more, but I want my furniture to be affordable. Well, I couldn't keep my space at Secondhand Rose full. My furniture has been flying out. Now...Let me just say I am not making any money! So, my plan while it was great...was not a good business model. I need to factor my labor, I just have to. I believe that the right customer for me, is one that appreciates the quality of my work and is willing and able to pay for it. Seriously, how much do we all pay for cheaply made particle board furniture, that we then have to put together ourselves. There is quality in what I do, and I am beginning to realize that thanks to many customers that have bought my pieces and emailed me to tell me how happy they are with their purchase!


If you haven't been in Secondhand Rose, here's the short version of the layout and how it works to rent a space there. The store has a huge basement where there are approximately 25 or so spaces that are rented to various vendors. The mix of style and offerings down there is a very mixed bag. It's really like a monstrous garage sale...anything from antiques & collectibles to coach purses and then you have a couple booths that have taken a more modern approach to their booth inventory and style. They have some homemade items made from vintage kitchen ware, ect. Another booth has a mixture of industrial and French country. And there was me. I have a very small space 5x8. We all have a distinct space that is ours. It really started to prevent me from having as much of a selection as I wanted to offer. I just couldn't fit it all in there and have it look and feel how I wanted. Which was preventing me from taking His and Her Restoration to the next level and making this a profitable business.

In addition to the Basement there is obviously the main store, which is not set up like the basement at all. First of all there are no noticeable "booth" spaces. There are about 15-20 vendors EDIT (I was wrong, there are only 4 vendors upstairs...I am the 5th) that rent space upstairs, but it's spread out all over the store mixed in to be able to have it more appealing to the customer for a more unified shopping experience.

A few things that I have noted over the last 6 months; Secondhand Rose is a staple in Lodi. People love to come in and browse and find that one unique decor item to add to a vignette in their finding that reminder of your childhood. The owner is a breath of fresh air...the other vendors that I have met are amazing and a great group of people that love vintage and antique items like me. They are women that love garage selling, junking, and transforming vintage and antique items.

As I was talking to friends and family over the last few months, it was clear that 80% of who I spoke to...were not aware that there is additional shopping in the basement. So it's been a personal goal of mine to get some space upstairs. I thought maybe In a year or so, I would talk to Chris and see how we could make that happen. It was s a pie in the sky for me, as I am currently not profitable...

Wednesday of this week, I was heading downstairs to the basement to freshen my space at Secondhand Rose and see what had sold. As I was heading down, Chris stopped me and started the dialog of me moving my furniture upstairs! Chris has been extremely supportive of me and has been inspiring me to grow my business. So, when she offered me a place upstairs with open arms...I jumped at it!

It's official I am moving His and Her Restoration upstairs (read "I" as my husband & son) today! I cannot tell you how excited I am! There's no limit to the amount of furniture I can have upstairs! Chris, even asked me if I can keep up with my sales up there...haha. ;) I have about 10-15 pieces of furniture waiting in the wings to be transformed in my garage, shed, patio, and house. There are 3 pieces going in today, and the rest are coming before the Lodi Street Fair in May.

I see great things happening with His & Her Restoration and my partnership with Secondhand Rose. I can't wait to post pictures of the shop today, as well as new pieces as they go in. Stay tuned...this is a turning point!

There are some great things happening, and I am so grateful. I am finally following my dream and my passion, and while its not been profitable to has helped me by giving me the motivation to fight and be healthy. Anyone who has had an illness or injury keep you down, knows what I mean. It's easy to get wrapped up in it, and sometimes our minds are much greater of a power than we know. I am still in severe pain and take a lot of breaks, but keeping my mind occupied has helped me tremendously. "Everything happens for a reason", that's my belief! Good things are, if you are looking for that special piece for your home that is made in the USA, with solid wood, and hand painted by a local vendor...come in to see what we have. His and Her Restoration are one of a kind pieces. They are created to be statement pieces in your home, Dressers are great for many uses. I love using them for additional storage throughout my home (bathroom, hallway, entryway, kitchen, ect). I'll be posting a list of uses for dressers, armoires, and hutches that are not the most conventional uses that normally come to mind.

If you have read this far, THANK YOU!

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  1. Hey, Char!!

    Its Katie, Chris's daughter. I left this message for you on your facebook post, but I thought I would leave it on here as well :)

    My mom I talked about your big move a week or so ago. She wanted to know what I thought of you moving upstairs and I thought it was such a great idea. Just to let you know, there are only 4 other dealers up there. Yes, 4!! You will be the fifth. It looks like there are a lot of dealers up there, but its just because the few that are up there have so much stuff. I cannot remember the last time we moved someone from downstairs, upstairs. My mom is very, very, very, picky about who she lets upstairs because it is such prime retail space and the first thing customers see when they come inside. Your stuff has been selling really well and what you have to offer is in the direction my mom wants to take the store. So, congrats!!! We look forward to having you up there and becoming part of the upstairs family!! Oh, and it will be SOOOO much nicer not to have to lift all that heavy furniture and bring it downstairs, right???!!!!

    1. You are so sweet! Your mom and I are totally on the same page on what we want our furniture to look like in the store...I am so inspired! Thank you again for your support!! So glad you found my blog!!


  2. Good luck with your furniture and business! It sounds so official and special to be "upstairs"! Woohoo! You go girl! I hope one day I can get to where you are. I feel like my story is so similar to yours in that I have redone my own furniture for years but just recently started doing for other people! I can't wait to keep reading and see where your story takes you!

  3. It does sound so official, huh...I get to play with the big kids! Thank you for the support and encouragement. I hope my story continues to inspire you. ;) I can't wait to post pictures of upstairs. We are currently remodeling, so it will be a week or 2.

  4. Thanks for stopping by the vintage estate! We have a store in mn called secondhand rose as well!! Hope your move goes/went well!


    1. Thank you, Aimee. My move went great and I love being upstairs!