Monday, February 13, 2012

Al(butnotquite)most totally in business!

So... after 2 days, quite a few ibuprofen, a running total of 8 helpers, and nerves galore, I finally sorta am in business.  Here's the Before picture:

Booth #78, Kenrick Antique Mall, Watson Rd, St Louis, MO
What you need to know is, I wasn't feeling in top form last week, and was working til 10 PM every night this week (ok, so that might be last week now, and the other one the week before... whatever!), so I didn't really get much done in preparation for the move-in.  Thursday night I couldn't sleep, so I did work on it some - de-tagging, cleaning, sorting, etc. until about 4:30 in the morning, but mostly everything I did was after I got home from work at 10:30 or so Friday night.  I stayed up all night working on getting it all ready and packed up.  What I didn't do, at all, was price anything.  Now, why I didn't do this is still a mystery even to me.  Somehow I thought it would be better/easier to price items while also moving in/setting up.  Which I now know is not just untrue, but completely absurd.  I kind of wish somebody had smacked me in the head before I made that mistake.  Anyway, with things all packed up and ready to go (and my house trashed by my inefficient methods) some time after dawn, I got a nice smile and a calming moment from this view in my kitchen:
The best thing about glass block windows!

Then I went outside and found that it was colder than a mug out there, as my friend Matt would say.  And it had snowed.  And my alley-found shelf for the booth, which I had stashed behind my garage for a few days, was covered in a layer of snow over a layer of ice.  Oops!

Not an ideal start, but funny!

So I loaded up the items I could fit in Chester, my beloved if aging 2002 Cavalier, and headed over to the antique mall to start setting up.  My friend Tiffany and her sweet little daughter borrowed a truck from a  family at church and helped me out with the larger items.  Then I started to work setting things up.  Some of the work in-progress:

Setting the stage a bit.
I thought the sort of chevron-y afghan would make a good backdrop.  The blue thingies are, I believe, racks used to put glasses through industrial dishwashers.  I work at the corporate headquarters of a national restaurant chain, and these were being thrown out, so I grabbed them on my way home one night.  I love the color and the swirly-swooshy thing they have going on.

The clothes rack corner.
I ended up leaving a LOT out of the booth for now that I originally thought would go in.  First of all, 8x8 seems huge when it's empty, but it fills up fast.  Secondly, as I was staging, things sort of naturally started sorting themselves into what I can only think to call stories, and I ended up only putting red, white and black items in this corner.  You know, Valentine-y!

You may recognize Jack the Imaginary Journalist's coat!

 Closer look at my blue racks and the cool little cabinet below.

What I'm not making clear is that through all of this, I still hadn't priced anything.  In fact, when my friends Beth and Todd came by to help out, we ended up staging the entire booth, setting everything up just so.  It looked (in my ever-so-humble opinion) really good.  But, we never priced a thing.  So when closing time came, we had a pretty cool booth, out of which I could sell nothing, and no more time to work on it.  Here it is all nifty and finished:

Some non-red clothing, including Jack's coat again!
And that's some awesome vintage contact paper in the magazine rack.

Kitsch and kitchen items, decor, linens, plus the cabinet.

The "manly-ish area" - some man clothes, the shy little
man-lamp from a previous post, and a "realtone" radio included.

I adore the huge danish/atomic looking coffee percolator/urn.
For a bit there the "story" for this little area was a 1970s AA meeting.  So glad I added the red/gold chip & dip set and the cute vintage cards.  Now it's for the poker (or bridge?) game.

Here's how the Valentine-y clothing area turned out. 
I'm loving Bambi hanging out under the suitcase down there!

So anyway, this is how it looked Saturday evening, with the addition of a big sign saying:
 "N0T YET OPEN (Soon though!)".

Sunday I completely overslept, missed church, accidentally went to an estate sale (where I scored something so amazing that I'm still shaking my head over it now, but can't show you yet), and then met my church-crew for lunch, after which Todd and his bean sprout of a son Ryan helped me out with transporting the amazing estate sale score.  Then Beth and the lovely and amazing Tora and Opal came and helped me work on pricing.  We got there after 2:00 and they closed again at 5:00, and I'm STILL not finished.  We have priced, I believe, all of the non-clothing items, and a few of the clothing pieces, so at least I can sell some things.  There are now signs in two spots in the booth saying that if there are no price tags, the items are not yet for sale, but will be soon.

The question now is how soon?  I am working 8:00-5:00 tomorrow, and they close at 6:00, so I should have about 45 minutes I can work tomorrow.  I may have to do the same again Tuesday to get it finished.

So the moral of this story is (probably only addressed to myself, because who else would be crazy enough to do it this way??):  Never bring an item in to sell that isn't already priced.  EVER!


  1. You could use these photos and your memory to come up with prices while not at the booth then just bring them in and slap them on during your 45 minute window of opportunity. That's what lunch breaks are for. ;-)

    1. Thank you for being both clever and helpful! I did exactly that, and when I got there, there were only maybe half a dozen items I hadn't remembered that I had to do on the spot. Now, some of my descriptions might have been a bit off, but my handwriting is so bad that nobody will notice anyway, most likely!

  2. Replies
    1. Aww, thanks! I'm a little proud too, now that I've actually got it all priced. And I promised them I won't be there at closing time the rest of the week...