Thursday, March 29, 2012
a lot of you wanted to know more about where/how i get my stuff so i figured i'd do a post focused on gathering inventory.
1. how do i determine what i sell
this is what i tell people all the time: if it catches my eye then i want it in my store. there's no set decade or style i look for. it just has to speak to me. also i don't only stock vintage. i sell some handmade items and also a small bit of just pre-owned things. but i'd say that about 80-85% of my inventory is true vintage.
2. how do i procure new items
this is the fun part! i thrift at least once or twice a week. there are a few charity shops where i live that i frequent as well as some really awesome spots in nearby towns that i can hit up on occasion. so i spend a few hours a week shopping for inventory. i do most of it while my kiddo is at school, but he's actually a pretty good shopper and is developing a keen eye for rad clothes (i know, i'm raising him right). but, what has brought me the most success is buying from people. there's a sign on my door that says 'i buy vintage' and boy howdy has that changed everything!!! just this past tuesday a lady brought in five 50s blouses, a 50s suit, and a few other great pieces that she handmade in the 70s. all in immaculate condition. that's where you find the best stuff. because the older generation took much better care of their clothing and bought quality garments. and if you can get it from the source, you can hear the stories behind it and develop a relationship with your supplier. that's really cool.
3. flexible inventory
when i first opened my shop, i sold primarily vintage furniture. crazy! at the time, i was more into interior design so i stocked my shop with chairs and tables and stuff that i'd refinish or repurpose. i always wanted to have clothes too, but decided to focus on furniture at the start. amandromeda was open about six months before i added clothing to my inventory. i quickly realized that i found my niche. there wasn't a vintage clothing store in town so i filled a need in my community. that's probably the most important advice i could give about inventory: listen to your customers and be flexible. if someone asks about a specific item that i don't currently have, i go looking for it. if i see that a particular thing sells quickly, i find more! your customers will keep coming back if they walk in, see something new, and find exactly what they're looking for.
i think i'll focus on budgets next week since i got a number of questions about that too. i just want to give each subject it's own post so it doesn't get muddled. i love getting to share my shop with you guys so keep your comments coming!!