I know I’m most likely not the first person to come to this realization, but it dawned on me just the other day how much I think about my vintage shop space in terms of a wardrobe. Here’s what I mean:
1. Spend your money (aka splurge) on your staple pieces.
Photo credit domainehome.com
For a wardrobe, this would mean the items you wear almost daily, fit you perfectly and you want to last for a good, long time. My staples are jeans, boots, a leather jacket, a little black dress, yoga leggings, a denim shirt and quality t-shirts.
For a vintage space, this would mean the items that are in the highest demand and sell quickly. They fit perfectly because they reflect your style and represent a color palette that works with your space and sells to your customer. In this scenario, they WOULDN’T last a long time in the space (hopefully!) but would keep your customers thinking of your space the next time they are looking for a household decor staple. For Found and Forged NW, the staples are white or cream colored dressers, small side tables, window panes and mirrors.
The best is when I find a staple piece for a steal…however, I am not hesitant to “splurge” on these staple pieces as my confidence level is high that they will sell quickly and for profit. Makes sense no?
2. Complement your staple pieces with accessories that highlight your personal style.
Photo credit to Popsugar
For a wardrobe, this would mean more inexpensive pieces and/or accessories that punch up the fun factor in my closest without breaking the bank. If my mood changes, it is easy to switch out or donate for a new piece. My complements are scarves, camisoles, patterned shirts and skirts, flip flops and flats and most jewelry.
For a vintage space, these are what we in the vintage world call “smalls”. These are the $5-$25 items that may be more of a “risk” style-wise. When I buy the rusty, bright red watering can, my list of potential buyers narrows to those appreciate the “rusty” look and can stand a punch of red. Usually the less neutral the color, the higher the risk. For FFNW, these can be anything from a funky tray to a aqua glass bottle, a vintage camera to a huge deer antler.
Without the smalls though, my space would be a little cold. People shop vintage for originality and personality. The smalls are what can really put a smile on a customer’s face:)
3. Gut your wardrobe and reassess each season.
I’m not the best at doing this at home, but I have a goal to be like my dearest friend Michelle. When we were roommates, she would purge her closest at least twice a year, spring/summer and winter/fall, and if she didn’t wear it in the last season, it was gone.
For a wardrobe, this would mean donating and storing your coats, sweaters and boot socks come February (however it’s July here now, I’m sitting practically on top of the AC unit and just thinking about a parka gets me sweating) to make space in the closet for the spring pieces.
For a vintage space, this can happen a lot more frequently than 2x a year. I usually do mark downs once a month and try to get old pieces to move out. I am finding fresh inventory is a key to success. This also happens around Christmas time when the holiday shopping focus changes your inventory somewhat naturally (or at least it should). Then again in January, the Christmas stuff comes down and fresh and clean goes up.
4) Mix and match pieces, but keep with your original style.
For a wardrobe, this means putting the same t-shirt with three different bottoms. Get the most use out of your staples and keep your looks different. It can also mean being bold with mixing patterns and colors or using a complement piece in a surprising way.
Photo credit to Polyvore via ladylikecharm
For a vintage space, this means using a staple piece to display your smalls in an interesting way that draws the customer in. It can also mean changing up your vignettes and displays to mix and match different pieces in the store. Allowing your customer to see the pieces in a different light and in a different perspective can do wonders for turnover.
Curating a beautiful vintage space that people want to buy from, I’m finding directly parallels creating an inspiring wardrobe that friends want to borrow from:) Keeping this parallel in mind, it’s easier to “just say no” to a high-risk small purchase and be smarter and more style-conscious about your inventory stock.
What are your wardrobe and home decor staples? What are you not afraid to spend a little extra dough on?