Another question I frequently get asked (besides how to start a milk glass collection) is advice on starting your own vintage shop.
First let me say, I am no expert! I've simply done what works for me. I followed my bliss every step of the way, and this is where it led me. Vintage picking is my passion, along with photography and styling. So I feel blessed that I get to do all three every day!
I can't quite predict what will work for you, but I've put together a few quick tips on getting started. I hope you find them helpful...
1. Do what you love: Like I said above, vintage picking is my passion. This may seem like a no-brainer....but just in case it's not:
Make sure this is what you love to do BEFORE you start your shop. There's a lot more that goes into it besides "shopping". If anyone can find a job that involves just shopping, seriously, sign me up STAT.
You'll need to have a basic understanding of websites, SEO, social media, marketing, photography, accounting, shipping, designing and more...unless you decide to hire those things out. I'm a one woman show, so all those hats fall on my shoulders. Long story short, think it through before you begin. Know where your strengths are. Know where you need to invest in help. Getting started on the right foot is so important!
2. Decide on your method of e-commerce: If you are opening your own physical; shop/booth, then skip ahead to number three. But if you are wanting to sell from home, you'll want to research your e-commerce options.
Keep in mind that when you run your own website, you do it ALL. Websites like Etsy and Ebay take a cut of your profit, but they do a lot of the work for you. Shopify and Weebly are both good "middle of the road" options, offering perks to make your life easier...but you pay for their service. If you choose to sell straight on Instagram or Facebook, you keep the profit and you do the most work. But there is no right or wrong answer! Bottom line...do your research. See which one fits your business style. You'll be glad you put in the work before-hand.
3. Social Media is your friend: I know this goes without saying, but invest time in social media. It is such a great outlet to promote your shop. You have to remember that there are a million other people out there doing what you are doing. Find a way to make yourself known. Promote your shop. Think outside the box. You can't expect others to find your shop all by themselves. You have to HELP THEM find it.
4. Trust your gut: Truly, so much of this is trusting your gut. There is no one right answer for everyone. Your personality, your vintage style, your time, your schedule....these are just SOME of the factors that go into your shop decisions. Things like this can't be "cookie cutter." My best piece of advice is to trust your gut, follow your instincts and do what works for YOU. Authenticity is key. If you try to do exactly what someone else is doing...you'll be just another shop. Be your own version of YOU. And the rest will follow...
I hope this was helpful! I would love to answer each and every question I get about opening a shop...but then I wouldn't have time for my own (ha!). I wish there were 24 more hours in a day. (Don't we all???)
Remember, YOU are in charge of your life's path. No one else. Find what you want and make it happen. I'm here to tell you, it CAN be done.