Posted in Growth, New Year, Social Media

Get Up and Grow

Last month marked another anniversary of my business. I was too busy to think about or celebrate it. That sounds great on paper, but the reality is that most of the time it had to do with chaos and focus.

This business of mine began as a way to make enough money to see my family for the holidays and buy Christmas gifts.  It has evolved to be a “not so steady” stream of income .  This past month, I made a goal to pull out all of the stops, stand at the edge of a cliff and grow.

This weekend, the steps I took to grow, came to a noticeable fruition.  It was so noticeable that my phone kept “Cha-Chinging” and my husband thought I was running auctions.  I know that what I did was a positive step in the right direction.

  • I did a reality check and realized I cannot run this business alone.  It has gotten too big and I needed to seek out trustworthy people to do what I could not.  The criteria for delegating was “I don’t like to do this,” “I don’t know how to do this,” and “I don’t have time to do this.”
  • I already had someone to list for me, but I did not have much work for him to do as something always took me away from completing the task.
  • I already had someone to Share, Follow and go to parties on Poshmark.  However, I never had new items on my site (see reason in Bullet 1)
  • I hired someone to take pictures.  She took my lister to a whole new level.  In two weeks, my hoarding “death pile” has been reduced to ashes.  Everything but hardgoods has been listed.
  • I hired someone to take over my Pinterest and Instagram account.  Both had a bad habit of “brain sucking” me and distracting my focus.
  • I hired someone to take over my Facebook business account and run an ad over the weekend.
  • I worked late at night, early in the morning, in addition to the hours I was already putting in.  Except for religious obligations, I did not take a day off.
  • The cost of these 3 “new hires” was paid for by my sales over the weekend.

I learned 3 lessons that I believe will be vital going forward:

  • Stop being scared.  to take a leap of faith.  Sure you could fail…. but you could also win.
  • Get rid of the ‘brain sucks’ in your life, learn to say no and keep your eye on the prize.
  •  A business without short and longterm goals is one that is stagnat.

I am so excited about what has happened in the past 30 days.  It feels like I have found the recipe to the “secret sauce,” but I am smart enough to know that the recipe can never  remain the same.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Inventory, New Year, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

Honor, Courage and Commitment

One of the things I love the most when helping a family declutter and combine homes.  Mom moves in with Son-in-Law and Daughter, the items that are gone through produce not only memories but snippets of stories from long ago.

We’ve all heard stories of young men going off to fight in WWII.  It was one of the few times that our country was totally behind our boys and willing to ration what they had to keep the war effort alive.  This war story is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.

It began with my friend bringing down a WWII Navy Uniform.  It is in PERFECT shape.  In fact, it appeared it had never been worn.  As far as we know, it was never worn in active service.  Curious?  I sure was.

Wayne and Marion were a young couple in the summer of 1944.  He was a butcher for a local grocery chain.  Marion stayed at home with their 3 children and that fall to have their 4th child.

One day in the summer of 1944, The draft board informed Wayne that his name and number had come up and to report to the local armory.   He must have passed his physical with flying colors because he was given his military required clothing (including the dress blues) and given a date to report.

I cannot imagine how Marion must have felt.  We hadn’t reached the 2 year anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  They had 3 young children at home.  The 4th might very well be born with her husband overseas.

In a strange turn of events, the War Department realized after a review of his Draft Card that they had made a mistake.  Wayne should have been given a III-B deferment.  Deferred because of dependents and engaged in work necessary to the national defense.

Needless to say, the formal blues were never worn by him.  His wife carefully stored the uniform and passed it on to her daughter who did the same.  Today it remains in perfect condition without any flaws – as if it were a piece waiting for a museum.

At this point, the family does not want to part with this proud piece of history.  I have not been able to find an actual comp for this uniform.  They’ve been worn, have names and awards attached, and have not been stored with the level of care this has.

This uniform really is the definition of “priceless.”

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inventory, Seasons, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

When Mom Moves In…

Our lives are full of seasons.  We begin with infancy, childhood, adulthood and end as a senior.  Families come together, in differing seasons for various reasons.  One that most women go through is sorting through their mother’s, father’s, grandparents and extended families items.

It is so much worse when it’s done after a sudden and emotional death.  In this case, I am helping my best friend go through the items her mother has accumulated over the years.  Items that were her mother’s parent’s, some from her childhood, throughout her marriage, after the death of her spouse as well as retirement.  This is one of the jobs I enjoy so much.

As we go through linens, china, glass and metal ware not only do I hear their deliberations on whether to keep/sell/trash the items, but the rich history this family has.  I mainly sell current men’s and women’s fashion, but my true love is lifetime treasures.

At times, it seem overwhelming because of the amount of memories we have to go through.  Roomfuls that are not sorted in any certain way, though I suspect if I asked either one of the ladies they would know exactly where the piece is.  For someone who has never done this before, it is good to have an experienced friend to help.  I am detached from all of the items and worry sometimes that I sound “cold.”

There are times though, when the decisions are heart-wrenching.  Do memories trump cash?  Does the extra space mean more than the memories that the space takes up?  Will they regret the decision years later.  I cannot see into the future and don’t own a crystal ball.  All I can do is give them is an estimate if the item was sold today.    I encourage them not to try to second guess themselves; that the first thought is usually the best one.

This particular family has a good repore with one another and the mother-daughter relationship is especially close.  The only real discourse has been to keep an item which is full of memories and try to find a place for it or to sell it for a large amount of money.  If kept, to pass it down to future generations with an explanation on the history of said item.

The greatest amount of stress seems to be the timeline that has been attached to the project.  We always have good intentions but we do not realize how long it takes to go through each item.  I assure we will get it done and I never suggest blindly throwing boxes into a dumpster without a thorough going through.  While it might move things along quicker, it is not getting the job done.  It is giving into stress and essentially giving up on the project.

Once this is all over, the family be satisfied and relieved.  They’ve kept the best items, sold/donated/threw away the others and have much more organization and room.  The time was well spent, sharing memories and stories that can be passed down.  Best of all, the knowledge that while there is a great amount of change the family can truly settle in again, when mom moves in.

Posted in New Year, Social Media, Time Management, Travel

All Aboard for the Train!

It is an age-old way to travel that many Americans today fail to take advantage of.  Many have forgotten it is even an option for them.

Here are some reasons I enjoy taking the train.

  • The expense one way is less than gasoline to get where you are going.  Forget about car rental, insurance and wear/ tear on your car.
  • Time.  How much is your time worth?  There is no stopping for gas or bathrooms.  The bathrooms are in each railroad car.
  • Again, how much is your time worth?  Instead of keeping your eyes in the road and focusing on the next construction area, you can be blogging, listing, texting, reading a good book; or, my absolute favorite: Sleeping.
  • Networking!  You meet people from all walks of life on a train and in the station.  They don’t force you to sit at all times.  Often, you will see groups of people standing around and talking.  There is a lounge or restaurant on each train which let’s you network with more than just a few people.
  • Scenery!  The train doesn’t take the same route as a car.  Often, you will find yourself in a forest of trees a field of crops, or a beach near the lake.  If you are in a major metropolitan area, you might find yourself several stories up.  The view is spectacular.
  • Weather generally does not affect the speed, schedule or even your interior climate.  No cars in the ditch in the winter and no stifling heat in the summer getting in and out of car.  The climate in a train generally remains the same throughout the year.

If you’ve never considered train travel, I hope you’ll look into it.  Imagine going somewhere you’ve never thought of, simply because there is a train route through there!  Imagine having the time to simply talk to people and decompress.

It is possible, when you travel by train.

 

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit fora Queen.

But

Priced for the Pauper

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Sales, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

It is beginning to look like an office.

When looking for an office to move my Reseller business into, I had three requirements

  1. I wanted it on Main Street, in the small town I live in.  It was important to me to help revitalize the central part of our town.
  2. All utilities included.  It is important that my office expense would remain the same each month, as my income isn’t.
  3. Storage space and packaging space was more important than the size of the office.  In order for this business to grow, I must have a place to store at least 2,000 items

As you can see from today’s pictures and previous blogs, this particular office had what we required and more.

The large french doors coming into the office from the terrace bring in a lot of sunlight.  We’ve put a futon as well as a TV with a Fire Stick.  It gives it sort of “waiting room” look.  Truth be told, it’s a place to ‘dump’ items that we’ve sourced and waiting to be sorted!  Looks can be deceiving.

The long countertop with the cupboards underneath is our packaging station.  I would love to get a Dymo printer, but we will be sticking with the dinosaur inkjet we presently have.  The wall hanging above is an inked tapestry from India.  It matches the colors of our business logo.  Nice thing to have to brighten up the room and your eyes naturally go to it when you enter the room.

The other picture shown is the kitchen.  It really is beautiful though we didn’t need anything as extravagant as this.  I jokingly said we should rent it out to Tupperware or Pampered Chef representatives in the evening.  I found a larger inked Indian Tapestry with greens and grays to complement the slate floor.

As of tonight, everything in the office is on hold.

I will be leaving town in the morning, by train, and be in Michigan’s Capital.  No, it is not Detroit.  I’ll give you a hint, it is below the middle knuckle of the mitten.  If you are from Michigan, you’ll understand.

Stay tuned and I’ll explain tomorrow why!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

Now located at 108 South Main Street in Farmer City, IL

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Sales, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

It is beginning to look like an office.

When looking for an office to move my Reseller business into, I had three requirements

  1. I wanted it on Main Street, in the small town I live in.  It was important to me to help revitalize the central part of our town.
  2. All utilities included.  It is important that my office expense would remain the same each month, as my income isn’t.
  3. Storage space and packaging space was more important than the size of the office.  In order for this business to grow, I must have a place to store at least 2,000 items

As you can see from today’s pictures and previous blogs, this particular office had what we required and more.

The large french doors coming into the office from the terrace bring in a lot of sunlight.  We’ve put a futon as well as a TV with a Fire Stick.  It gives it sort of “waiting room” look.  Truth be told, it’s a place to ‘dump’ items that we’ve sourced and waiting to be sorted!  Looks can be deceiving.

The long countertop with the cupboards underneath is our packaging station.  I would love to get a Dymo printer, but we will be sticking with the dinosaur inkjet we presently have.  The wall hanging above is an inked tapestry from India.  It matches the colors of our business logo.  Nice thing to have to brighten up the room and your eyes naturally go to it when you enter the room.

The other picture shown is the kitchen.  It really is beautiful though we didn’t need anything as extravagant as this.  I jokingly said we should rent it out to Tupperware or Pampered Chef representatives in the evening.  I found a larger inked Indian Tapestry with greens and grays to complement the slate floor.

As of tonight, everything in the office is on hold.

I will be leaving town in the morning, by train, and be in Michigan’s Capital.  No, it is not Detroit.  I’ll give you a hint, it is below the middle knuckle of the mitten.  If you are from Michigan, you’ll understand.

Stay tuned and I’ll explain tomorrow why!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

Now located at 108 South Main Street in Farmer City, IL

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

Moving Day!

Here in Central Illinois, we have had high humidity along with heat.  I prefer snow and cold compared to the sauna-like atmosphere.  You literally feel as if you are melting as you get into the car.

Yesterday we began moving into our new office.  We had spent the time, since we signed the lease last week, scrubbing, cleaning and planning where we would put furniture.

We had also hung a few items on the wall; bright colored materials, positive quotes and a few relics reminding us WHO was in control.

As the morning went on, it was not the physical act of moving, but the heat that wore us out.  Rome was not built in a day and neither would this job.

Currently, Jewels for the Pauper is physically in my home, in the new office and tomorrow will be in Michigan. It could be worse.  I’m not sure how…. bit it could be.

We did have a bit of fun while moving.  Photography props can be placed in the passenger seat and you can watch people’s reactions as they drive by :). Then there are the neighbors who look out their windows, wondering if I am moving out.  Hard to say what was funnier!

Tomorrow, I catch a train to Michigan for even more adventures.  Stay tuned!

 

#JewelsForThePauper

 

 

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper