Blogging for over one year!

It’s been over a year since I started writing down my hopes and dreams to start my own business. I think I have succeeded pretty well. My doors are still open at Tattered and I just attended the 2nd annual Vintage Carnival and sold probably 4-5 times as much as last year!

To update everyone, I started out working full time as a nurse and attended the carnival last year. I then got lucky and found a rental property with a great location in my hometown. We remodeled it and had our grand opening January 26, 2013. I started out being open once a month while continuing to work full time. The store also has a few vendors that bring items when they can. Most of the gals are also busy working Mom’s that love to craft and create on the side. The majority of the sellables are made by me. So I have to find it, clean it, and recreate it. I continued to do this until May when I was allowed to reduce my hours to part time. Last summer really picked up in business and I seemed busier and more stressed than ever. In August, I made the decision to resign from nursing.

My end goal was to be open all the time, not just once a month. In September, I changed my hours to being open every Tuesday thru Saturday. Great! Consistency… That lasted one month. Business slowed down, but I still had enough customers that I couldn’t get projects done in the back room. I had paid $400 in radio, advertising my new extended hours, then changed my mind and went back to being open only that one week a month. What a waste of money. Oh well. Rolling with the punches, why keep doing something that isn’t working? I had a heart to heart with my sister and she suggested going back to open monthly. Her point of view is that people get excited to see the new stuff that has been worked on all month.

I really can’t believe I was able to produce so much earlier this year working. I am having trouble keeping inventory up now. The custom work is still a staple and takes up about 30% of my time usually. Now I hope to settle into a routine and keep going. A lot of people ask me if I miss nursing and so far I don’t. Sometimes I feel like it is completely all on my shoulders and am alone. At least working for a company, there is co-workers for support. I don’t have employees. I don’t mind working independently though. My mother in law usually stops in daily and we have coffee together. My boys will swing in the shop on their lunch breaks and after school. My sister usually comes and helps me once a month with painting or moving the store around. So family is there. Nate is working away from home 3 hours away, only home on weekends. I would love his help just making frames, benches and fixing the junky furniture I bring home.

I am getting pretty handy with the drill and miter saw. I use to rely on Nate to get boards ready for me, by ripping down 2 x 4’s, now I buy the right size I need and just use miter saw to get the exact size I need. I spend quite a bit of time at home too working on the craftier type items like burlap wreathes and pillows.

I wanted to recap the year and let you all know that I still am living my dream and have no plans of quitting. A lot of you out there have contacted me and have similar dreams. If you go for it and fail, what will happen? At least you know you tried. If you love what you do, the money will follow. I think our finances are better now than when I was working. I think before, I would spend money just to spend it. Go out for lunch and stop at Walmart. Now I spend it on my store, but that’s an investment!

I will just add a few projects I have completed, cuz pictures are fun to look at!image001IMG_1468 IMG_1471 IMG_1477 IMG_1480 IMG_1483 IMG_1485 IMG_1493

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 

Bar stool makeover

I know I promised a picture of the little side table, but I am really excited over these bar stools I made over. We have had these for our own use for 10 years. Honestly I was getting bored with them and wanted to buy new ones.

With the new Annie Sloan paint and waxes, I think they are worthy of staying! I am tempted, but I have to build the inventory for The Vintage Carnival coming up.

Boring stools-before

The honey oak wood colors are looking a little dated. My house needs a little makeover too.The stools blend right in with the floor. Where does one start and the other end!?

Matte finish of the chalk paint before wax

Here is the finished, ultra cute bar stools. I have four total, I know they will be a hit!

Bar stools made over

A close up of the finish. It gets such a silky smooth finish.

Close up of finished stool

These were so much fun and turned out adorable!

Until next time…off to bed. Nicole

I joined Facebook!!

I took a leap and put myself out there and started a Facebook page for Tattered. Tattered is what the business will be named, YAY! Facebook is scary because everybody and their sister will know what I’ve been up to.

I made a lot of progress today. I contacted a local fellow vintage decor gal who is heading up The Vintage Carnival in Thief River Falls, MN on November 10. She has booth space available, so I am signing up to be a vendor. I have did a craft fair before, many years ago, with a little different type of merchandise. Overall it was very successful. So, I have a purpose to keep going with the project. That is how it progresses. I love it when a plan works!

I also contacted a local gal for help with signage for Tattered. I have a nice big old cupboard door I want to use for a sign. She wasn’t sure if vinyl lettering would work, but I’d be happy with a stencil and do a little more painting.

My other accomplishment was tinkering with the soft wax and chalk paint. I took some pictures and will let you know how those turned out another day.

Thanks for all your support! Nicole