Friday, May 31, 2013

owning a shop - my most important rule!

Each week, I get tons of email and Facebook messages from girls with a dream like I once had. They want to open a little shop that is all their own. 

I sometimes feel as though I should write a series for you all on opening your own vintage shop, so I am working on that idea. I am taking mental notes of lessons learned and when I have been at this a little while longer, I will give you some helpful hints of what to do to help your dream come to life. It is very different than a 'gift' or 'decor' shop....there is a whole side of things most of you wouldn't even suspect would be involved in a 'mostly' vintage type brick-and-mortar shop. 

My immediate circle hears my one most important rule all. the. time so I thought I would give you this tid-bit as my 'mantra' of the moment...

Honestly, I think they are sick of hearing me. But, to know me is to hear me. So they will have to deal. :o)

My number one rule for anything in business, or life for that


Simple as that. As the owner of a new and pretty successful little shop, I cannot stress enough how important it is to acknowldege that fact that you cannot do it all. 

Let me repeat that.

You CANNOT do it all. Try as you may, it is impossible to do all the things necessary to make your shop the very best it can be! Learning to recognize that and be willing to let go of the control a little is not easy. Because lets face it, if you have the ability to steer the ship enough to own your own shop, you have to have a little bit of 'control' in your personality. That is not a bad thing, to me it just means you can carry the weight. You bear the responsibility and you are not afraid to act and guide in the appropriate way. 

That being said, what I mean by 'don't waste your resources' is this. You need to surround yourself with the very best people you can. This may mean an accountant, employees, a cleaning crew, a handyman and for me...a stylist

I am sure you all know Susan from the blog fame Maple & Magnolia. Well let me tell ya, bringing Susan on board was one of the best things I have ever done in my LIFE!

She is my wing-man. Wing-woman? Wing-girl? Whatev. She is my words of wisdom. The girl that snaps me back to reality when I am thinking crazy. We plan. We plot. We work out the details. She cracks. me. up! She is my friend, and she is my stylist. And it could not work out any better to have her be a part of Urban Farmgirl. 

And here is why. 

When you work a bazilliion hours hunting down the vintage goods, dragging them home, cleaning them up, painting 80+ pieces of furniture each month, repurposing things. pricing them, selling it all, sometimes shipping it and doing all the millions of behind-the-scenes details that go along with owning a shop, you NEED help. {whew...I am tired just typing all that!}

That is my advice for the day. A little something for all of those that have asked me about how to bring their dream to reality. Do what you love. And be prepared to work double the amount of hours you think you will. {wink...} but most importantly, surround yourself with good people. 

Did I mention that since the shop is only open twice a month, we tear and down and rebuild it with new displays and merchandise each time we are open?? Crazy. But important!

So I guess what am trying to is ok to let go. It is ok to ask for help when you just don't have enough hours in your day to get it all done.

And if you have someone as fabulous as Susan available to give you the hand you grab her and hold on tight! 

And did I mention she sews some pretty fabulous pillows, too?? They are amazing. We carry them at the shop! And all those cute buntings you see? Yep. She sews those. too. 

See. Told you she was awesome. {wink...}

If you haven't read her blog post today, you have to click over and read it...and the one before that since they go together. The girl is hilarious!

Are you close to Rockford, IL?? We would LOVE to see you in the shop sometime! Stop by for a visit! Here are the open dates through Summer.