Meanwhile, here at Tattered….

It’s been exactly one month since the last update post. Time has past enough to give another update.

Next Monday I will be part time at the clinic so I can devote more time to the store. I seems to me that it is not really happening! I have always worked for someone else and full time. I started working when I was 15. I took some time off after my second son was born. I tried to be a stay at home Mom, but it wasn’t for me. I really give credit to those Moms and Dads out there. If I would have had computers and blogs and Facebook back then, I maybe could have handled it. It won’t be that I will have all this extra time on my hands. just that I won’t have to go at maximum overdrive mode.

The weekends open have been successful.  The store seems to sell about have of the inventory by noon on Saturday. Ideally, we will have replacements to pull from back room instead of it being a first come first serve situation. There is always things to work on waiting in the back room. I have accommodated several customers that have asked about certain pieces they had in mind. Often I show pieces that are waiting to be fixed up and it seems to be just what they are looking for, so I get to sell it. I have also did custom work for a few where they have brought in their piece and painted to their request.

Pink and Blue Mason Jars with Chevron - Cover Photo

I am trying to build Tattered’s branding image now. I am excitedly waiting for another draft of a logo. So pumped to unveil it. I am fortunate to have a friend who is a graphic designer who also is a vendor for Tattered. I plan to order custom bags and am in need of more business cards. With the expanded store hours, I should publicize that in the papers. I find that advertising is so expensive, BUT, there are a lot of people who don’t Tweet or use Facebook. So the old fashioned route must be used.

A mentor of mine told me when I first started not to invest so heavily in the store. She said just to recycle grocery bags, use a calculator, never advertise. I have followed that advise. There are times when you have to find your own way too. I bought a cash register because I felt like I was running a rummage sale instead of a brick and mortar store. I put my beautiful merchandise in crinkled up Walmart bags. I just feel cheap and unprofessional. I guess it’s not the image I want to portray. Even though the name is Tattered, it doesn’t actually mean that is how everything has to be.

So I plan to upgrade the image, a more grown up Tattered. I think that is how businesses can be successful though. Never to get stale, keep moving and shifting as needed. I did already upgrade the Facebook page  with an awesome timeline from Leesa Dykstra Designs. She does beautiful work. So much talent. I am working on building the fan base for Facebook. I think for only being open for 5 months, over 600 likes is something to be proud of. So keep the love coming and visit me at Facebook too!

Thanks for your support, please share my pages with your friends. I am hoping to update this site more now that I will be part time at the clinic, YAY!!

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Mid March Blahs

We are still in deep up north! Seems like every Monday drops another 6 inches of snow here. First day of spring and I think it was something like -10 degrees this morning. Minnesota winters are LOOONG.

Looking forward to spring for many reasons, but regarding the business: I will be reducing my full time nursing job to 20 hours per week and I can’t wait to add some curb appeal to the store. People probably can’t even see the store from the highway with the huge snow piles everywhere!

I was open last weekend again and am impressed with the sales. If I was open everyday and made those sales, maybe the hubby would finally be convinced. He is a safe person. My nursing job is a safe job. What I am doing at Tattered is risk. He is having a hard time with me cutting my hours down to part time. I still get health insurance, which nowadays is probably the most important consideration. I am not getting my ideal days off, but I think it will work out for the best in the end.

The big task this week has been fumbling my way through Quickbooks. We did our taxes for last year and Yay! Tattered is at least a tax write off. Hopefully all of the investment we put in 2012 will turn to profit for 2013. Quickbooks was a little tricky and I spent 3 nights playing. It finally fell into place last night. I have all the accounts set up and entered in bills and sales receipts. So far, no loss yet!! I do know that being open one time a month is not enough to make it big. Pretty much covering the expenses and a little extra. Nothing going back in the personal checkbook yet. I think that is normal, try telling Nate the Great that.

I decided to take advantage of a gun show in my small town Saturday and be open an extra Saturday. If I tagged along with my husband to a boring gun show, I would definitely tell him to drop me off at a cool place called “Tattered.”

I am so excited to create and make things people like. I have butterflies in my tummy. Like I said in Facebook today, I feel like a tulip buried under the snow in March, waiting to blossom!

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Starting a business is not an easy thing

Warning: this may be a negative, complaining type post. If you do not want to bring your mood down, you may want to skip this.

When I get to complaining about how hard my life is right now, I get absolutely no sympathy. My husband tells me, “no one told you it would be easy.” It honestly is starting to wear me down. Today has been a frustrating day. Monday is just one thing. We have a snowstorm going on, so travel was white knuckle on my 20 mile commute home. Then at work, a 4 pm meeting. Honestly, there should never be a meeting at 4pm on a Monday.

I got home from work tonight and had enough energy to start cleaning house. Then I get overwhelmed and mad. My two teen boys are not great at helping with chores and it is our fault of course. I yelled so hard at one tonight, it felt like I pulled a muscle in my back. The other had so many dirty dishes in his room, it could probably fill the dishwasher. Honestly, I am mad when I am typing this, I feel like crying now. Don’t they realize I can’t do it all? Why should  I demand they help me? Then again, when I complain I need help and can’t do it all, my husband says, “no one told you it would be easy.” SHUT UP!! It doesn’t help to say that and it certainly doesn’t clean the house.

I get in this pity party and then the demons start dancing– “what are you doing? You can’t do it, you made a mistake, what if this is a mistake?” I am sorry, I am just mad tonight. I am not getting enough time to work at the store. I am open one weekend a month. I am still working 40 hours a week at the clinic and trying to keep this big house clean. I am in negotiations at work to reduce my hours. I admit, that is likely the reason I am in such a foul mood…back to that 4pm meeting. My plans to cut down and be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday are all up in the air and decisions are not being made. I won’t get into details… just to say I may not get what I was promised and I am highly disappointed.

What else don’t I have time to do? I haven’t touched the financials since I first bought Quickbooks. Nathan is asking me questions about some of the junk furniture I bought without looking closely and I can’t even make a decision about that.

I need a positive perspective. I have a lot of doubts right now of the reality of being able to carry on at this pace. I feel like I get no credit for how hard I have been working. Then I get certain family members that talk about other family members (think in-laws) about how hard so and so works, blah, blah, blah… what about me!?!?!  Oh I feel my back going out on me again cuz I am gonna SCREAM.

Help. If anyone out there has any tips on how not to lose it, please share, because I’m gonna lose it soon. Most of the time, writing is a therapeutic outlet. Not this time. This was a very negative post. It was also a very realistic post. It isn’t easy. My husband saying it whenever I complain irritates me to no end now. I need someone to encourage me now so I keep going. It makes me sad that the people around me can’t see that.

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Balance

To be hard on myself, I could say I am bad at the art of blogging. I made one post in January and one in February. The most successful bloggers have daily posts. I started out with more posts when I still just had a dream in my head. The dream in now a reality and there is a lot of stuff to do. So, I won’t be too hard on myself. I actually make myself feel better by thinking the daily bloggers are just stay at home mom’s who type away when their kids are off to school. Sorry to all those who I may have insulted, remember I think that just to make myself feel better.

I continue to work at the clinic full time. I have been open two weekends now at Tattered and the success is meeting, if not exceeding my expectations. The grand opening was fantastic, but the next open weekend was three weeks after that. I had over half a store to fill up again. Life and death goes on, basketball games come and go, a funeral for a first cousin the weekend before my opening and all the regular stuff; confirmation classes for the 14 year old, trying to keep tabs on my seventeen year old. Nate still working in the -20 below weather, he is completely exhausted from working outside, so wants the warm couch at night.

The second weekend I was open, I can say I did not feel at all ready for. The store was not nearly full of merchandise as I would have liked. There is only so much one person can do. I did have a good day of sales though without a lot of promotion. My sister and I struck gold picking one weekend, so a lot of the stuff that sold was good old antiques, that I didn’t have to refinish. It is nice to have a mix of classics with the fun retro.

I have a little time between sales, the next weekend open is March 16. So I thought I better get after the books. Last week I finally plunked down a little of the profits on accounting software. Why was that such a hard decision?? I researched and went back and forth for weeks. I went with QuickBooks. I messed around with it a little, screwed up, deleted a bunch of stuff I worked on one evening and haven’t opened it since. I think it will work fine, I just wonder if a box of receipts and sales tags would have done be just as well. It seems a little sophisticated for what my purpose is. I am sure it will be great, just another thing to do!

I am confident that the March 16 sale will have TONS of merchandise. I worked on old furniture all day today. Yesterday, we took a trip to Grand Forks and hit a few places. I found a shopping cart of goodies at the Goodwill, can’t wait to repurpose!

Gorgeous color

Gorgeous color

This actually is much prettier in person. It is done in a color called Florence and there is a chocolate glaze over.
 
Side table in Florence

Side table in Florence

 
 I am starting to have fun working on displays too. I need a lot of help here and have a lot to learn. There are some stores that I walk into and my mind is spinning and my heart is pounding, I get so excited at all the displays. I aspire to have Tattered by that type of destination.
 
Loving silver and glass look right now

Loving silver and glass look right now

elegant

Beachy- Cape Cod inspired

Beachy- Cape Cod inspired

The title of today’s post was balance. I don’t want this to feel like another thing I have to do. I have to find balance in life. The scales are one sided right now. I will be cutting to part time at the clinic so I can devote more time to my passion. Details are being worked out. My desire is to be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I would work 2 to 3 days at the clinic a week. I keep my toes in the stable ground of the clinic, while my other foot is pushing off the dock on the boat. So you can imagine how I feel, my legs are going farther apart, almost doing the splits, ready to fall in the water. I have to keep balancing for a while, so I don’t fall in.

 

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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!! 

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