Why I decided to put my small business back into a brick & mortar...
I closed my shop back in 2018 and it was gut wrenching for so many reasons. I did eventually become a vendor in a HUGE antique mall and stayed there till the pandemic hit but I never felt like it was a reflection of my business. I painted furniture to sell; if I went to far out the box, I would be stuck with a pice that didn't sell and I would have to repaint it. I felt like a manufacturer versus a small business.
I actually had started to downsize my space prior to the world shutting down because my heart wasn't in it anymore. I was resentful towards the industry, I was still in pain from everything that had happened to my family and I, and I couldn't connect with my customers anymore.
When the world finally opened back up, I decided to cut my losses and not go back into a retail space. I concentrated on being a content creator but slowly over time, I was missing that connection with the outside world. I wasn't sure if the relationships that I was building online were real and honestly, it is very easy to be tight with people online for a minute and then next thing you know, you can't remember their name.
Everyone is a handle or an account. People lose their human value and the content creator space can be polarizing and overwhelming. I found myself in. place where I needed something tangible. I needed to create with a purpose outside of my phone. And in true majestic fashion, the universe heard my heart and put opportunity at my doorstep.
Years ago, I used to do outdoor markets in everyone favorite spooky city, Salem, MA. Yes, the home of Hocus Locus and The Salem With Trials, is less than an hour away from me and I spent most of life, visiting and falling in love with this historical city. The duo who owned and ran the Outdoor Market, posted about opening up a retail space and I didn't even think twice. I mean, I did cause I talked it over with my husband but I decided that it was time to take the risk and reap the reward. I decided to bring 8 by design to Salem and go back into a brick and mortar.
Now, I wish I had buckets of money to open up my on brick & mortar but honestly, I would've still done something collaborative with other creators. When my shop was open, I had offered space to approx. 50 women owned small businesses to help them make their dreams come true. Needless to say, this opportunity to be in a collaborative space, was already in my blood. I didn't let any bad thoughts enter my brain. I didn't try to talk myself out of anything but I will say that life now is not what is was in 2018. There is so much change in the industry, with my personal life, and there is so much change to come but I have been learning and allowing myself to take things slow.
Old me would be upset if I wasn't working 24/7 but new me is taking it in stride. I'm building my confidence back up as a business owner and allowing my imagination to run wild again. I'm not undervaluing my work. I'm creating for the vision in my mind instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing.
One of the best things is that I am the only painted furniture creator in this space of almost 30 artists & creatives (there might be more tbh). This allows my creations to shine but I will say that I have to get focused on advertising and letting people know that I'm there and that I can help them with their furniture needs. It's time to create a new business plan specifically for this location and I will be sharing some of that process in my Instagram Close Friends Stories. If you are a small business owner and you are looking to connect with other small biz owners, send me a message here or on my Instagram .
If you are local to Massachusetts, I would love for you to visit The Salem Flea Marketplace and say hi!!! You can also find some of my current inventory by clicking on the Furniture & Vintage Decor Tab.