5 things I have learned so far…after starting the business

1. There is less time to blog.

I look back to when I first starting posting my journey, there was something like 17 posts that first month. I am lucky if I can squeak in 2 now. It has become one more thing TO DO. But I enjoy it and want to spend more time on it when I can. So if it is important, keep doing it. It is a thing on the To Do list, but it is a good thing. That is with anything that gets to be a “burden” Do an assessment, if is important to you and necessary, keep on, otherwise, let it go.

2. The majority of people want me to succeed.

Why did that surprise me? No idea. I guess in the days of negativity, I believed that why would anyone root for me? There has been sooo much support. From the city leaders, to the people in charge of the grant, to my family and friends and just local people. At first, the locals didn’t know what the store was going to be. There has been a lot of curious townspeople that have stopped by. The negative person in me would say to snoop. When they keep coming back in to see what is happening, I feel, maybe, there is a little hope and encouragement and EXCITEMENT!!

3. I probably will find enough old stuff to work on.

My biggest worry was running out of stuff to work on and to keep the store filled up, Right now, my work room is full to the brim. I just don’t have enough time to work on all of it! There is always a “lead” Someone on my list that has either contacted me to get their stuff or I have heard about. Really…. that was my biggest worry when I started this business… “How would I keep the old stuff coming in?” Isn’t it funny how the things that worry us the most, end up being NOTHING to worry about?? That is why God tells us to put our worries in his hands. He will take the burden. Trust in the Lord.

4. There is only so much time in a day (which has been said how many times?)

At first, I was probably running on adrenaline. The excitement of what was to come. I worked my 40 hours a week at the clinic, stopped by the shop to see what Nate was doing, yeah, he was working, but that was usual. I did what I could on the remodel. Really, what he accomplished in about 3 weeks is remarkable. He is awesome. I am lucky he had a little time off work to help me out. 

We have agreement after 20 years together. He says he can’t, then I say he can! I am his encourager, his cheerleader, his believer, his boss and his motivator. I believe in him to my core. Anything he does, I completely have faith in him. I know he will succeed in anything he does. He is smart and a hard worker and I am so very lucky to have him in my life.

Fast forward to the girl that is writing this. I believe I have held up pretty well, with the occasional melt down. Really not huge issues considering. I may drink a little beer once in a while, or a glass of wine or (whine) I need to give my all at my job at the clinic—-40 hours a week. I did negotiate my hours down to 2o/week starting this coming June. By negotiate, I mean at the clinic AND the above worshipped man, NATE. He is soooo stable, he does not like risk. But my goodness…. how much can I take? Like, there is only so much hours in a day right? I bitched about this in a previous post, so I won’t go there again. LOL. My take on this is, you will know your melting/boiling point. Listen to it. Things will work out. Even though I will get 20 hours less at Sanford, I will probably put 40 more in at Tattered a week. What it that old saying? The more you make the more you spend? Totally true. Give it up. Give something up. For me, it has been my housework. I like to have a clean house. Suppers are also lacking and my time with the family in the evenings have been sacrificed. That is why I need to cut down at the clinic. There has to be BALANCE. Which, I think, was also a previous post.


5. Some things come easy

When there is a passion, I believe things will come easy because it doesn’t seem so much like work. That is why your Mom said find what you truly enjoy doing and make a career out of it. I tell my son Tucker that. He is 17, he will be a senior next year. He loves motors and tires and mud. He loves the outdoors and his friends and girls. So, I have encouraged him to find something he really enjoys. He wants to attend college, I don’t know if that will come easy for him. Of course I support his choice. As a Mom, I have encouraged him to go for conservation management, because with his desire for college and me knowing he loves the outdoors, I think that should come easy. That is for him to find out. I just have to love him and support him. 

For me, there have been things that have come easy or at least easier than I thought. Like above mentioned, getting old furniture has been easier that I thought. 

I also have worked many, many hours more than I am use to. I don’t watch TV much anymore and haven’t missed it too much. Usually there is so many re-runs, I figured it will play again soon enough. So, I don’t mind working more and sitting on the couch less. If only someone would do our housework!

Customers: They are there!! I really didn’t know what to expect. I just believed they would come. I am surprised every weekend with the support and encouragement I receive. I am learning as I go. I throw out an ad in a paper (which I think is so expensive and hate spending $ on) I don’t advertise that much. One of the hard things now that is a downfall is that customers are confused as to when the store is open. Until June when I can reduce the hours to part time, I really can’t publicize the future hours.

The flip side of customers is competitors and peers. I think the biggest misconception in business is that everybody needs to fight for themselves. I started from scratch.

So many times I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I will tell you one thing. Find some friends in the business. The people I thought would be competitors when I first started, were my biggest assets!. Meghan from The Red Poppy and Becky from Aunt B’s have been such a resource for me! They have been so generous with all my newbie questions. I hope I can be a help to someone who is starting out. It’s wonderful up in the north country to have friends in the business and to network with these gals who have already traveled down my path and are courageous, LIKE ME!!

So, I will keep trudging on. I have pissed off some people I am sure and inspired the ones that really matter. I have only been open for 3 months and have only BARELY scuffed the surface. I have so much to do, of course not enough time to do it all. Two nights ago I prayed to God to make me a less negative person. Shit, I don’t have time to be negative. I am on Facebook. It is a wonderful tool for marketing the business. There is also a personal side. Honestly, isn’t there “friends” that annoy and irritate you? For me, YES! So much that I was finding myself getting very distracted and negative from what those people were saying. WTH?? Do I need or have have time for that? NO.

Sorry for the personal side of the business, but we are all people after all and that is part of the business too. So embrace it! Love you guys, thanks for your support!


Dreams come true


Grand opening of Tattered. January 26, 2013.


Remember how it looked before? October 22, 2012.


Ready for customers!!


Pretty aqua pieces


All three of these pieces SOLD!


My first attempt at Valentines display


Treat Station with fabulous chocolate fountain


Very good turnout for the fist day open

The past month has been quiet at this site, but extremely not quiet at the shop! I wish there was more time in the day to do all the things I want to accomplish. I have learned there is no such thing as perfection. Letting things go is a great quality in life. There is always one more thing to do.

The past three months have been amazing. It was probably the hardest I have ever worked, but the most rewarding. There has been anticipation, but also apprehension and I found myself wondering what the heck did I get myself into? I doubted my ability and the hubby doubted the concept and still does a little, how well it would pay off.

Sacrifice was the name of this game. I missed a few of the son’s basketball games, I have worked at the clinic 40 hours a week, then going to the store until 9-10pm to work on the furniture projects. The fridge was empty, suppers were fend for yourself or frozen pizza, and the house…. remember what I said about letting things go? Yeah, embarrassing how it looked, but what do you do? Life goes on. In the past three months, normal life happened too. Four holidays past, I had surgery, my oldest son turned 17 and 2 new babies were added to our family. We also had a critically injured cat that was very close to being put down, but his fight and spunk and a little home nursing, he is almost back to what his normal will be.

When I started writing, I looked at the popular blogs and saw the daily posts and thought that is how to be successful. I credit those bloggers that they have the time and the consistency to keep up with that. That is not reality for me. I did get an email from someone I don’t know today and she found this site and also on Facebook. She told me she found the story inspiring. That is very gratifying. I write from the heart and as honestly as I can.

Just a little about the grand opening, I will maybe write more on this later. The day was a blast! We opened at 10 am and from 10-12, there was a packed store, with stuff flying out of there. My hubby’s mouth is still gaping from disbelief (along with the mother in law..hehe) He was impressed with the sales and the turnout, but still the skeptic, more cautious maybe. It’s a huge leap. He would like me to keep working the 40 hours a week and do this on the side. I don’t know how long he wants me to keep my mental health, but it wouldn’t be very long before I was cuckoo. I did hear good news that my request to reduce my hours to part time will likely be approved. I initially asked right after the Christmas, but was turned down at that time. I do work for a very good place and they want to keep the employees happy.

My next weekend open will be Feb. 16 and 17, I think that is the right dates without looking. Estimating half or over half of the merchandise sold at the grand opening. So back to the paint brush and looking for cool pieces.

I will try to give more details about the planning for the grand opening when it isn’t 11:30 pm!!


Finishing touches

IMG_0946Tattered Awning5 x 5 window and doorNate working his magicTattered sign IMG_0950 IMG_0955

One thing about actually working on the building and making the projects, it leaves little time for the progress updates. The store is very near completion. I am so impressed on the work my hubby has done for me. Tattered looks like a store that is ultra chic- urban, yet rustic and industrial. The floors look fabulous, reclaimed fir from an old feed store. Initially I thought I would stain the floors a dark color, but I love the mix of colors and the gray on some of the pieces. The trim is indescribable! I got the stain called Cobalt blue for free from our local hardware store because it was mixed wrong. It gives the old wood a gray-blue hue which brings out red in the wood. Our windows and door were professionally installed and the awning is also up. My Tattered sign is hung on the highway side and the porch is about done. We have to put some kind of siding back up where the steel siding use to be. It looks shabby and NOT shabby-chic! Nate is working on the more tedious things now. Basically, he will build my counter and will be sighing relief. He can’t wait to go ice fishing!

Take a look at the photos and you will see the floors and the trim and the ceiling! I threw in my upcycling chandelier project. I found that beauty at a thrift shop in the outdated brass metal finish. I finished it in the green patina that is so gorgeous!! I have it hung in the store as a fixture. My mother in law loves it! That means a lot to me, she even said I should put a sale tag on it. Speaking of light fixtures, I have been fretting so much about lighting for the shop. Today I let it go. I have spent too much time worrying about the right lights, but not spending a lot of money. I am going with the ones that are already there and as I get more inspired, will upgrade. Why force it?

One more end note. My Tattered Facebook page has 98 likes without even opening the doors yet, which is great! I put a challenge in to get 100 likes and then I will announce the grand opening date. So help out my local friends and like the site. The link is at bottom of page and also on my blog roll. Happy Holidays!!!!     Thanks!! 

Busy remodeling


Quick update on the renovation. It is moving along well. Still working full time, but forging ahead with plans. Reno is nearing completion. Nate has been working his butt off. I will try to give more information as time allows!

Juggling new business

Hey everyone! I haven’t had a recent update for awhile. I made it through The Vintage Carnival Saturday. It started a little shaky. My spot wasn’t ideal, but it worked out fine in the end. The weather was horrible, glare ice roads, that didn’t seem to deter traffic to the fair though, wow, what a turn out! The rustic arbor was a fabulous draw. I finally put a tag on it that it wasn’t for sale.  There was a lot of interest in renting it for weddings. So with one rental, it will be paid for. I sold about 16 pieces. I found that pricing was tricky. Of course at a holiday venue, a lot of people were shopping for Christmas gifts. It would take the right person to buy furniture. I had tons of traffic though and people seemed to be attracted to my booth. There were a lot of other vendors there that shared their experience with me, which is so much appreciated! We are having another carnival in the spring. I think the timing was perfect. I debuted my wares, before the store opens. I got the Tattered name out there and told people to watch for the store opening after the first of the year. By the time the spring carnival comes around, I will have more media in place and the store should be in full swing. Now to the juggling. Yesterday, I finally caught up on all the house cleaning and grocery shopping that has not been attended to the past month. I really didn’t do anything in regards to the store. It was the last day of deer hunting for the guys too, so tonight, Nate starts the renovation process on the shop, which to me is the ultimate excitement!! Today is back to my full time job as a nurse. I took Friday off to set up for the show. It’s hard to concentrate at the job with so much on my mind. Progress: Lumber has been delivered to the shop. Courtney is working on the signage for the store front. It’s going to be an 8 foot long sign with dark stained boards and the turquoise blue Tattered name on it. She is also a local gal that works a full time job and does these beautiful signs on the side with her hubby. I have all the quotes except for a furnace and an awning for the back door. I did stop at a consignment store yesterday where I had good luck finding quality pieces before. I struck out and left empty handed. I am going to an estate sale this Thursday to restock.  I forgot my camera, so couldn’t take any shots of the booth, so bummed. I too one awful shot with my phone. What kind of blogger am I!? Have a great week!, Nicole

The key to happiness

Rental key

Today, I got the key to the shop!! I paid the deposit and the first months rent. I really feel official. 

I’ve been working on getting estimates and space planning. Today I worked on furniture projects all day long. I have the Vintage Carnival next Saturday. I should have enough pieces to bring with. There are a few things left to do, like price everything and look at coordinating accessories to spruce up the displays.

Classic table

Tool box- what should go in there? Surely not tools

Little side table

Rustic top with classic antique white bottom

Antiqued bar stools

After the fair, then the rush will be on to renovate that mechanics garage into what’s been occupying my mind for the past several weeks. I hope that time and money are on our side! The meeting with the grant person was very positive. Any projects tied to the grant money has to be completed by the end of this year. We think it’s doable. We will likely do the construction mostly ourselves. Apparently, the carpenters around here are busy until spring. I trust Nate’s work, he built our house, addition and all the buildings on our property, plus he builds bridges for a living!

Just a little update on the progress. It is a lot farther along then I could have ever imagined!! Happy trails…. Nicole 

Rental for Tattered found

Current front door

Future site of Tattered?[slideshow]

Cool windows

Industrial chic!?!?

It was a big day yesterday. My husband turned 40 and a friend told me about a rental building in our hometown, 3 miles from our home. Wow! I was able to take a look around this site. Our friend has had a electrical business in there and is expanding, so this building is available for rent. I spoke to the contact and was able to go in and take a bunch of pictures. This site has so much potential. It sits in Newfolden, which is a small town, but sits right on US Hwy 59 that gets a ton of traffic.

The building previously was a auto repair shop. To say its “industrial chic” is a little stretch. The price for rent if very reasonable. I wanted to give a peek at what I’m looking at. There will be a ton of work to convert this into a retail space. There are two huge overhead garage doors that I would take out and put in nice windows. It has the bland white steel siding, that will have to stay. The owner of the building is a fuel cooperative and their office is the south side of the building. I don’t think the board would appreciate me shabbifying the outside up. There is an old door facing the highway that is covered up. I thought that should be used as access and put some type of porch on the highway side.

Mr. Realism agreed to rent it. He was happy to hear I planned on working full-time at the nursing and start slow and have a monthly “barn” sale to see how it goes. This morning he was drilling me on heating and what I am going to do about the uber expensive fuel oil furnace. Can’t he understand I am the creative one and he is is the unwilling mechanical/construction one? After 20 years of marriage, he should be aware of this arrangement by now.

Enjoy the showRental back/side room