For anyone who has worked retail, the letters "LY" bring up memories of goal setting, comparison, and optimism to beat the figures from this day 'last year.' My first non-farming/field job was at the ripe age of 16 working for the brand new store Limited Too at Eastland Mall in Bloomington, IL. I loved it! I had great co-workers, made some spending money, and spent all that money within the company due to the corporate discount. I continued to work retail for the next six years and worked for another store within Limited, Inc. This was when I was formally introduced to the overuse of acronyms. We had sales reports on our UPT (units per transaction) and a whole bunch of other performance measures with acronyms I cannot recall; the one I remember most vividly was LY - the total volume of sales from this day last year.
Well, this weekend 'LY' (last year) was the unofficial start to Barn Chic Antiques. This was the brainstorming phase, and my lovely little business all began with this:
I found this beauty of a green trunk at the Austin Antique Mall. I somehow got it in the backseat of my sedan, brought it in the house, and discovered a whole bunch of other treasures inside of it - pictures, great cowboy boots, a frame, and other random antiques. The vendor was either storing merchandise in the trunk or had carried in other items and forgotten to take the pieces out. The next day, I headed back to the antique mall to return the items and spent several more hours wandering from booth to booth, wishing I would one day be in the antique business. I went home that night and expressed my interest to Andrew, who couldn't have been more supportive. My next step was to see how realistically I could buy and resell to cover expenses, so this exact weekend LY, I took my first buying trip. I headed out west in a rented Expedition primarily to buy a Hoosier Cabinet in Bertram....but I also discovered a country auction being held in Lampasas and wanted to make the most of my rental. I ended up loading that vehicle to the ceiling and even out the window. It was a slow but exciting drive home thinking about the possibility of having my own booth.
I didn't actually get a space for two more months, but I began to lay the groundwork for Barn Chic Antiques. I researched, window-shopped, gathered some inventory, car hunted, read countless blogs, and filed for status as a business in Travis County.
And here I am today, just one year later, with a fun little space in a great mall, a new community of online and in-person friends (never a stranger in this business!), a blog to share my experiences, great connections with old friends about the new endeavor, a better decorated house, an overflowing garage, a Texas-sized SUV, a massive excel spreadsheet, and a hobby that never gets old.
This morning I introduced my great friend Aden to the booth. We met nearly ten years ago at the UT School of Social Work 'Steer Towards Texas' weekend, and this May I will be honored to stand by her side at her wedding. I had a great time hosting her this weekend and I loved showing her around the antique mall.
Aden had a mid-day flight back to New Orleans, and after she left I headed out to Geronimo and Seguin for a little shopping. Glenn and Joe, I really upped your 'UPT' score today - just a heads up! Stay tuned for proof of today's shopping success!
Have a chic week,