My first career after college was that of an event planner for the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Though the main branch of this amazing life-saving facility is in Memphis, TN, I was based out of the Dallas office and spent two years traveling all over the southwest and LA coordinating radiothons, Dream Home raffles, and various other fundraisers. I met wonderful people and had such great experiences with all the travel, but if there was one thing I learned about my event planning, it is that I tend to see the big picture over the details. I vividly recall the volunteers being frustrated with me at one event for not having any paperclips. That is just one of many examples!
Though I have grown professionally to be better at details, I still tend to focus on the forest over the trees. However, having this antique outlet has helped me give some attention to the finer details. Take wrapping presents, for example. In the past, my idea of wrapping was to find a gift bag and stick some tissue paper out of it (I can do a great 'fluff' thanks to all that retail experience). I wouldn't even write on the bag tag as I wanted others to be able to reuse it later! OK, I might still do this. But if I actually did wrap a gift, just putting the paper on it and getting it taped shut was all that mattered to me. Sometimes my lack of measuring would mean that the ends of the package weren't even covered by the paper. But this year, I focused more on presentation; not only did I find precious gift tags, but I even put some BOWS on packages! Here are a few examples:
This is my sweet cousin Brittany, who said upon receiving the gift, "You didn't do this yourself, did you?" Obviously she has gotten a few of my presents before! I was quite proud to let her know that I did, indeed, wrap that package.
It occurred to me last weekend just how much my 'big picture' lens extends into my antique shopping. When Rachel and I were treasure browsing, she would find something she liked and show me. I would tell her I liked it too, and then she would respond with, "Yeah, well, I'm not sure what I would do with it." I, on the other hand, don't pay a lick of attention as to what purpose something I like will play in its new home. I guess it plays the role of a piece of decor I admire and would like to display, either at the booth or in my house. For the most part, my selections tend to blend and fit well with their surroundings, but I don't consciously think about that at the time I buy it.
The one place in this Barn Chic Antiques endeavor where I try very hard to focus on the details is on my inventory/expenses/sales spreadsheet. It is hard to know if you are profitable unless you are keeping track of each item's cost and sale! I try to assign an inventory number to all my pieces as I price them, but for this to be effective, I have to then transfer the number into my spreadsheet at home after I return from the mall and then the mall has to input that number into my daily sales report. And many of my smalls have the smallest of price tags, on which I can't fit an inventory number. I just have to hope that the description that the mall enters in the computer will resonate the description I entered. Sometimes they are bigger picture and just enter a phrase like 'ironstone dish.' Since I have about 10 pieces that could be classified as ironstone dishes, this makes it difficult, especially when most of them are listed around the same price. Today, I spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out which 'ironstone dish' I sold - because of the blog, I have hundreds of pictures. I looked through all the last few weeks' shots to identify the sold item. Mystery solved, thanks to my great attention to detail :)
I was quickly snapping a few pictures today as it was after 6 and the staff was turning out the lights. Can you tell what new piece from last week is missing?