If you haven't been participating in our business series you can catch up starting with Part One Your Vision. Part Two we talked about What You Put Into It. Part Three we went straight to a Brick & Mortar store owner, and received some personal advice on opening your own store.
Unlike your ordinary business series, focusing on start up (which is important) we wanted to bring you another level to the table. We wanted you to hear first hand from business owners themselves about the "real world" of owning your own business and being your own boss. While researching start up and business plans are all very important, we feel an inside look is invaluable information for you.
Today we will be tackling part four of our business series Antique Malls & Rental Spaces. If you've been pondering the idea of maintaining a booth at an antique mall or similar rental space, we have first hand advice from The Eclectic Curio (click photos to enlarge)
Please help me welcome Sher Wikoff, owner of The Eclectic Curio.
First up, are you considered a vendor or a dealer?
I am considered a vendor at an antique & home decor mall.
For someone who has never had a booth or space in an antique mall, can you give us a little idea as to what to expect?
It is the best of both worlds! I rent a room, which is kind of like having a shop, but with no overhead of owning it. The room size is 14'x12', but many of the spaces in the mall are smaller with a couple being even larger than mine.
The rental agreement began with a six month lease and thereafter going to a month to month lease.
What types of items do you sell in your space?
I sell vintage and mid-century items and repurposed furniture pieces. Our mall is very unique and diversified with there are also being many home decor and handmade purse and home items, and antique and vintage items for sale, also.
How do you determine pricing?
How much rent and personal time go into maintaining your space?
I pay monthly rent and go into my room, as often as I am able to (usually weekly), and redecorate and add new finds to my room and then collect money for items that I sold. My favorite time to goes is during the closing hours so that I can enjoy the solitude and inspiration that comes from being there.
Many of the women who rent rooms or booths, also work at the mall on a weekly or monthly basis to get the feel of ownership and to get a discount on their rent.
Do you need to have a business license to have a space?
You do need to have a vendor's license in order to sell your merchandise in the mall, which is very inexpensive to obtain.
The only thing I wish someone would have told me before obtaining my first mall space is that I need to get a computer spreadsheet to keep my sales and inventory organized. Other than that, it has been a blast!
- first of all, coming up with a business name that describes me, my personality and my business - the eclectic curio!
- getting a business card printed up with the mall's address, my business email, and blogspot on it and having them accessible to customers throughout the room
- setting up a business email account
- setting up a blog and getting the word out about it via email and facebook, and using it as a tool to be an inspiration to others and advertise new items in my room or sales that I may be holding there.
- gleaning from the experience of other people who are in the same business and not being afraid to ask questions of them
- surfing the Internet and etsy stores for inspiration, ideas, and marketing tools
- staying on top of home and decorating trends through magazines, blogs, websites, and books
- getting the word out to family, friends and acquaintances through email and word of mouth about my business and services.
Thank you Sher for a wonderful insight on maintaining rental space for selling antiques and collectibles. Please take a moment to visit Sher's Etsy shop The Eclectic Curio for a gathering of curious vintage & funky finds, jewelry, and inspiration.
To shop her gorgeous space visit Mercantile Mall 104 Main St. in quaint downtown Milford, OH
Tues. - Fri. 11:00-5:00
The Eclectic Curio room is located in the back of the mall.
Just look for the bright funky colors!