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!!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
i was pretty excited to see this skirt peeking out from amongst the boring solids at goodwill last week. it was an ugly, rainy day-not to mention spring break-and me and the kiddo HAD to get out of the house and do something fun. of course my idea of fun is thrifting, so that's what we did. i found a cart load of stuff and went to try it all on and NOTHING WORKED. it was really sad. i was determined not to leave that place empty handed, just out of principle. i did a once over, and there was this brightly colored and crazy patterned skirt of wonders. i nabbed that thing and ran happily to the checkout. the day was saved.
sweater, skirt, shoes-vintage, thrift
bag-vintage dooney & bourke, gift from matt
Posted by amanda at 8:56 AM
Monday, March 26, 2012
back in austin, we took a thrift trip to saver's on a dreary saturday afternoon. and while the weather outside was frightful, the vintage inside was delightful. i came away with a bag of goodies including this striped blouse. but i can't take all the credit for this find. i spied it in jessie's cart, gasped at it's awesomeness, and then she graciously handed it over. it is so 80s-tastic with subtle gold flecks in the sheer fabric. i have ideas for this blouse. i think i might give it a few alterations to make it more versatile. but i kinda love it.
and my necklace is a clyde's rebirth original. merl is such a flippin' genius. it was tons of fun getting to try out so many of her gorgeous jewels over txsc weekend. i wore a different necklace each day! but this one stole my heart. i've gotten loads of compliments on it already and i love getting to tell people that it's a one of a kind creation. makes me feel special.
skirt, shoes, bag-thrift
Posted by amanda at 9:04 AM
Friday, March 23, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
i think the question that gets asked the most is how did i get started? well, i'll tell you: i had the dream, the dream of having my own shop, being my own boss. that's the driving force. if you hadn't been dreaming of it for a long time then the days that really suck will get you down and make you want to give up. but, there are also practical steps to it.
1. find a space
this can be kind of daunting. you want a great location, but not one that's gonna be so expensive that it becomes impossible to make a profit. i'd look into up and coming areas and maybe even a space that needs some work.
one day i started talking about opening a shop with my friend christina. turns out that she dreamed of owning a gallery featuring local artists. about a month after we talked, she called me about a building in our historic downtown that was being renovated and would i be interested in renting a store front. heck yeah!!!!! so we worked it out to share a space. that way, it wasn't a full time job for either of us (she's a realtor and i was previously a stay at home mom). so the renovations began and i had about a year to plan.
2. gather inventory
i didn't want to take out a loan or ask for money to get me started so i began to gather inventory very slowly, storing it all in my house. when the time came for the grand opening and i started moving all my stuff in, i didn't have enough!! so remember to get more than you think you'll need.
3. business plan (or not)
i'm not a big planner. it just sucks the fun out of life. so i really didn't come up with a business plan, as such. once i found out my monthly rent, i was able to kind of come up with a budget for what i could put into my business to start with. i'm one blessed lady for having a husband who was willing to give me the money to get amandromeda up and running. i opened up a business checking account with enough to get me through my first years rent and extra to cover my start up costs, like display pieces and store signs, etc. i would most definitely encourage you to save enough to get you through the first year. you may or may not make ANY money in the beginning, and frankly any income needs to go right back into the business. it's nice then to not worry about how you'll pay your bills.
so those are just a few things about getting started with your own shop. i'll have much more to say in the coming weeks. please keep your questions coming! i want to answer all of them :)
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
sunday in austin was the main deal-the symposium. i mostly listened in on the business panels and came away with a lot of cool ideas to integrate my business with my blog and to utilize social media in a more creative way. as well as getting more interactive with customers and readers. i've got a fun little shop update coming soon that was born from ideas taken from the symposium. i feel like i do need conferences like this to keep things fresh and get me motivated to try new things.
but because the sun finally decided to come out that day (you know, the day we had to be inside the whole time), we were all pretty excited to get some photos taken. merl was gracious enough to snap these for me. she always manages to make me look pretty :) plus, the grounds around the blanton museum of art were sprinkled with flowering trees and made the sweetest backdrop for our outfits. sort of a style bloggers dream.
dress-lulu's (from txsc swap party)
shoes-call it spring, jcpenney
necklaces-jcpenney, clyde's rebirth (similar)
Posted by amanda at 10:52 AM
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
saturday in austin for the texas style council was spent at a mentor's breakfast and then a rousing day of thrifting at savers. the weather was abysmal but we were still able to scoot across the street from the txsc headquarters to get some pics in between downpours. it was actually really fun. i think those were my favorite moments-the ones that weren't planned, spontaneous, silly. they were also the times when you got to know people better. of course that was the best part about the whole weekend, getting to know the girls behind the blogs. and you know what? they're pretty rad.
sweater, blouse, shoes, purse-vintage
jeans-calvin klein, thrift
necklace-jcpenney, clyde's rebirth
Posted by amanda at 10:00 AM
Monday, March 19, 2012
it is officially spring break around these parts. and of course most of the week will be rainy and gross. however, this past saturday was one of those most glorious of weather days. i did spend a lot of it at the shop, but had visions of donning a bathing suit and heading outside with a glass o' wine and florence + the machine. and since i didn't want to miss a minute of the sunshine, i grabbed my photographer and we took pics of my pre-bikini outfit on the deck. and where i gently admonished him for not getting the shot of the wind blowing my skirt and making it flutter prettily.
dress, jacket, clutch-thrift
necklace-jcpenney (not really similar but still pretty cool)
ring-in pink (similar)
Posted by amanda at 9:15 AM
Friday, March 16, 2012
i'm wearing shorts, you guys. SHORTS. yeah i've worn skirts without tights just about all winter, but shorts?? ahhhhhhh, now that's different. sure sign of spring.
i found these, along with the blazer, at my favorite little local thrift store a couple days ago. i had such a successful trip to savers while in austin that i was itching to get a couple more basic pieces for the season. and frankly, i love shopping. i can't lie about that.
and my blouse is from the friday night swap at txsc. i am totally diggin' the fun colors and print and the fact that it was my very first swap item! i could really get into something like that. i think i should host a party at my shop sometime. good idea?
and thanks for your comments yesterday!! keep 'em coming. can't wait to get started on this new feature :)
blazer, shorts, purse-thrifted
ring-in pink (similar)
Posted by amanda at 9:33 AM
Thursday, March 15, 2012
i took this photo on february 6, 2009. it was amandromeda's grand opening and i was a nervous wreck. i worried that no one would come, that i wouldn't make any sales, and the whole thing would be a huge disaster. fast forward three years later and i'm still in business. not too shabby.
last weekend at txsc, kendi (the keynote speaker) talked about following your path, realizing your dream. for her, it was opening a shop. i had that same dream and was fortunate enough to be able to start my own business. i know that there are a lot of you out there who have the same goal. so i've decided to do a weekly post about shop stuff. talking about how i started, how things have changed, highs and lows of being your own boss, and things like that. but i want to hear from you guys. do you have a question about becoming a small business owner? send me your comments!!! i'll do some videos of my experience as well as regular text posts. i'm kind of excited about this :)
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
just a few instagrams from my weekend at texas style council. i can't tell you what a privilege it was to spend a few days with some of the most creative and inspiring women (and dudes :) i know. today i am brimming with ideas for both the blog and my shop. it's pretty exciting. so thanks txsc for the good times!!!!!
Posted by amanda at 11:51 AM