IT’S A LOT LIKE…Work??

My space at the CRAFT & ANTIQUE CO-OP. For local readers: 1871 N. Ridge Road in Painesville, Ohio.

 

 

 

After completing my 4th weekend of being a Co-op Vendor and of listing items on eBay, I am beginning to understand what I’ve gotten myself into.

And it feels an awful lot like work! Thankfully, it is thus far work that I love. And I’m the boss—the person who decides what goes into my Co-Op space, how to display it, the pricing, what gets listed on eBay, and how items are presented for auction. So far, it is going quite well. But I am exhausted

Even more so than when I had a 9-5 job. With a ‘real’ job, somebody else is responsible for EVERYTHING; the budget, inventory, paychecks, insurance and the headaches that go along with keeping a ‘business’ IN BUSINESS. Though most employees work hard, the burdens that come along with business ownership fall to somebody else.

Before wandering down this path of (potential) Self-Employment, I knew that. Heck, I graduated college with a business major—we certainly studied these things. Yet, I didn’t really KNOW.  As things begin to take shape, I make my adjustments.

Which led to my spending this past weekend moving my home office to the finished (thank goodness!) basement.

Previously, my computer equipment was in the 20’x20’ family room–directly off the kitchen—in the hub of my humble home. A humble home that never seems to be EMPTY. There is (1) fluffy, (not so obedient—but nice) golden retriever, (1) five month old (marginally behaved) mutt, my (2) teenagers, my (somewhat) ex-boyfiend’s (3) teenagers and the (sometimes large) assortment of friends, boyfriends and people who are dragged home for sleepovers, movie nights and ‘family’ dinners. So, the idea that I could possibly run a home-based business from the upstairs was obviously not well thought out. Was I delusional? Especially, as I am still trying to decide if such a business is possible?

Besides the lack of privacy—we won’t go so far as to call it Organized Chaos…or to label my home Noisy—I needed to move the office to the basement, because after only a few weeks, I had begun to feel that I was NEVER off work. The computer winked at me each time I walked into the family room. It beckoned me to check emails, balance a checkbook, or to research an item to potentially list on eBay…and a few minutes quickly turned into a few hours.

The worst part of the main floor home office? In order to feel done with work, I had to clean up a mess of paperwork, eBay items, packaging materials, Co-Op merchandise…and more–at the end of each day! The mess started in the family room, but spread–like a wine on a cotton tablecloth–into the kitchen, dining room, and garage. With everything in the basement, I can turn off a light and be DONE for the night. There’s no need to clean up. I can leave everything ready to begin again the next day. Best of all, the upstairs is clear of all work items—and ready to be lived in.

Already, I’m finding that I am able to relax again. And to enjoy my downtime—something that will be in short supply in the coming weeks, if all goes well.

Please stick with me and I’ll keep you updated. If nothing else, I am having fun and there will stories…

MY FIRST FURNITURE SALE!!

I’M IN BUSINESS…(Maybe)

The $20 plastic HEINZ Pickle Pin

In my wildest dreams, I would not have imagined that I’d be living the life I am living today. And not because I am fantastically wealthy, Perfectly thin and fit, or because I have an expensive home…

In fact, I am actually quite destitute. Something I hadn’t realized until my Aunt pointed it out to me last month!

My ‘storybook life’ came to a screeching halt almost 2 years ago, when I walked out of a marriage that wasn’t going to work for me.

So began my journey into ‘re-creating’ home decor. Goodbye beautiful, center hall colonial with a huge backyard, three-car garage and swimming pool. Hello little white ranch house with a one-car garage!

The challenge? With zero money to furnish another home, I was in a bit of a jam and found that I needed to be more creative than I have ever been. Instead of this being a negative, I presented it to the children as an adventure.

We wandered through the nearby Craft and Antique Co-Op every weekend. It became our bonding activity. And we had (and still have) an absolute blast ‘finding’ unique items. The Co-op has one of the best selections of used furniture that I’ve ever come across—a playground for me to find items to strip, paint or re-finish. On top of that, there are hundreds of vendors with interesting selections of odds and ends…my son got a giggle out of the very, very old Playboy magazines he found one weekend in a locked case.

Added to my ‘finds’ on those ‘field trips’ to the Co-op, I took ANYTHING that friends, family and neighbors were tossing out, or not using. To the point where they began calling me before getting rid of things and picking up items knowing I could find use for them. Or even re-finishing items for them. And it became FUN.  So much fun, that last month I leased a Booth at the Co-Op. I also began selling items on eBay, going to estate sales, yard sales and auctions. I am always on the hunt for ‘finds.’ I’ve been surprised at how GOOD I am at it.

Had I stayed in my ‘old life,’ I might never have discovered this exciting new path. Every day REALLY is an adventure.

Just yesterday, I was working on my eBay listings. As I sat listing a silly one-inch long, green plastic ‘HEINZ’ pickle pin belonging to my grandfather, a friend called.  (Incidentally, the pin is an old World War II pin worth about $20!) Anyways, my friend found two vintage Art Deco dressers and insisted I come grab one. The price? Free. I will restore it and use it myself or sell it for $150.

My ‘Trusty Honda’ is now called the ‘Honda Pickup’ even though it is actually a Honda Accord. In went the vintage dresser yesterday! I have hauled all manner of dressers, tables, outdoor furniture and more in that vehicle. Larger items such as yesterday’s dresser typically hang out of the back—sometimes with yellow caution tape trailing behind in my wake. I always manage to arrange them in such a way that they cannot fall out, even though some of my ‘finds’ have teetered on the brink.

I will admit to a time or two when the kids slithered down in their seats—hiding. Because they could not believe I was loading something so UGLY!! They are no longer shocked when I turn the “ugly” into pretty.

We’ll see what the coming months bring…but with any luck—and a LOT of hard work, I might find that I have some sort of small business.

At the very least, there will be stories…