Classic Cottage Co. Expansion Recap

Welp, we’ve expanded! The structural logistics took a little longer than expected. For some cray cray reason Aaron and I thought we would be able to finish everything in one day. Everything meaning – put up faux brick, stabilize metal piping & wood beams, style lace canopy, move in new items and (my favorite part) stage merchandise.

…And so it begins…

Haha, I have no clue what we were thinking when we came up with that plan. 😂

All in all, it worked out and we’re excited to say it the new additional booth is ready!! We’ve already sold from this more rustic style booth.

Double the space, babes!

As I’ve said before in a previous blog, this new additional booth is aimed to offer more rustic, primitive, industrial items. We’re embracing wood tones and metals while offering rustic treasures to the Auburn/Opelika community.

Less than a week after expanding, I’m so very proud to say customers have supported our vision!

Already, I have learned that I love working in this larger space. For one reason, there is room for me to work/stage while customers shop. Another reason, we’ve blended in book pages throughout the newer space. (stop by to see exactly what I’m talking about) Having pages hanging above me is totally my style because I love to read!

Still have my sweet sign gifted from Aaron Bowman.

Again, thank you so much for the support and encouragement!! 

-Karlee Bowman

Insane splinter to prove the insane weekend!

Classic Cottage Co. is EXPANDING.. AGAIN!

We’re so excited to officially announce Classic Cottage Co. is expanding for the fourth time. It’s easy to see our location at Angel’s Antique in Opelika, Al is busting out of the seams. Our inventory is still moving as fast as we can with the space we have.

Our last expansion at this location was last July. Aaron and I were so proud to have a larger space in a corner location with our custom design. We are now seizing the opportunity to nearly double our amount of floor space by expanding out to the booth directly beside us. In other words, our current booth IS NOT relocating.. only getting bigger!

The vision for this expansion is to serve our customers by offering a more industrial/rustic/primitive style merchandise. You’ll find items like industrial metal base tables, wood crates, metal tool boxes, light fixtures and much more.

French cottage style lovers will adore one side and the rustic industrial farmhouse lovers will appreciate the other.

Look for this expansion May 1st! We look forward to offering our customers beautiful unique treasures in Classic Cottage Co. at The French Flamingo and our expanded location inside Angels Antique.

Karlee & Aaron

Before and After French Provincial

As I’ve said many times before, French provincial furniture makes my heart beat a little faster. Anytime I spot it I have to stop my self from shouting out “SOLD”. As a picker this can be really dangerous considering I have to make a profit.

A few weeks ago I spotted a beautiful 9 drawer French provincial solid wood dresser. Before shouting “SOLD” I remembered to check the price this time. Yay for me the price was set within my range of buying, fixing and flipping. Immediately, I knew customers would fall in love this this beaut after we were finished with it.

Once getting it home, we realized the drawers were smooth as butter and the condition of the wood was great. (Minus a few dings here and there) I forgot to check it thoroughly. (Aaron just LOVES when this happens..😐)

I splashed some paint on it and it looks amazing!! For this piece I went with a creamy off white. I would call it a buttercream color.

Usually, I love to distress the detail on a French Provincial style piece. Tastefully distressing can really show off the sweet curves.  However, after seeing this dresser solid cream I decided to leave it as is because it was simply beautiful. “Whoa, am I crazy??” I thought. So, I brought in an extra opinion (Aaron) and he completely agreed.

This piece is a true gem and I love finding amazing pieces for my customers! If you enjoyed this post click HERE to read about another before and after from my early picking days.

Before

(Not the best of pictures.. Truthfully, this blog post was an after thought)

After

My Vintage Booths in March

Another month has passed so it’s time for a monthly recap for March on my booths. Apparently, many of you are interested in my antique business. (Insert BIG Karlee smile here ☺️) March was a great month for us!

Mirrors Sold 

I know, how random is that?! We were selling mirrors left and right. Ha, I’m still trying to catch the mirror stock pile up from March. Small, large, rustic and french – a wide variety of mirrors sold all month long.

Comparing Springs

As I’ve said before Spring of 2017 was painfully slow for us. I mean PAINFULLY!! 😫However, so far this Spring we’ve managed to turn the tide and items are selling. March was a repeat of stock, empty, stock and empty. We’re hoping the same will happen for April. Time will tell!!

How We Did It

Coffee. Lots of warm coffee. Also, by not questioning/talking ourself out of buying pieces. When we went picking, we were willing to load the truck slam full! Haha, and then go back for more!!

Thanks for reading!!

-Karlee Bowman

My Vintage Booths During February

Happy March!! Just wanted to update you on my vintage booths during the month of February. Despite it being a short month, I’m proud to say February was our highest month in sales thus far! (Huge thanks to my husband, Aaron, for making that happen)

Florals Sold 

I noticed florals sold during the month of February. So very odd because I’ve never noticed florals ever selling this fast before. Faux floral arrangements and green garlands didn’t last very long. I guess people were ready for Spring despite it being Winter.

My Favorite Piece

My favorite piece in February is actually still in the booth. (Believe it or not) It’s an old small primitive style cabinet with original paint. I’m hoping it will find a home soon with someone who loves it’s charm as much as I do!!

How We Did It

How did we achieve our highest sales month yet? By working 7 days a week and enjoying movies. When I knew I was in need of a mental/physical break, we would go see a movie. Seeing a movie forces me to sit down and enjoy. We would work, work, work than collapse on the couch and indulge in a movie or Outlander. So work and movies is how we did it!

Now I’m excited for March! Last Spring business was slow so I’m certainly going to try to beat last year. I’ll keep you updated!

xoxo,

Karlee Bowman

My Vintage Booths During January

Happy February! January seemed like a really long cold month around here but that’s okay because that was just extra time for more open opportunities!!! Our vintage business, Classic Cottage did great last month. Such a blessing considering we had a few “closed days” due to New Years and icy snow!

Large Items Sold

Large items SOLD like crazy during January. When I say large I mean 150 pound dressers selling on the regular. In fact, between both locations we sold over 30 dressers and chest of drawers during January. My arms felt of jello nearly every other day.

Many cabinets, desk, shelves, dressers, chests and tables were shuffled in and out throughout January.

My Favorite Piece (A little sad to see it go)

I feel in love with a little dresser. My heart when BOOM 👏🏻 BOOM 👏🏻 BOOM when I spotted it while picking. Adorable petite dresser and detailed mirror with original paint. We cleaned it up and had it in the booth within a few hours. I kept telling Aaron it would look lovely as a sink in our half bathroom down stairs. We wanted to take it home but it came with a match chest and we didn’t want to break up the set.

 

After a few days, I told Aaron if it was still there tomorrow, we were loading it back on the truck to take to our farmhouse. Welp, the set sold that very day. So thankful it sold but so sad to see it go.

How We Did It 

“We” is the key word. There’s NO way I could have flipped this much merchandise alone. It took both of us – me and Aaron. Many nights he would be fixing a piece while I was pricing or cleaning other pieces. He would pick up furniture on lunch breaks while I was painting. Many morning before he headed to work we were loading dressers in my car or his truck. We worked around the clock and it paid off.

 

Thanks!!!

We want to give a big THANKS to all of our customers who support Classic Cottage. You kept us insanely busy and we are so grateful for that!!

My Vintage Booth During The Holidays

The Holidays are in FULL swing! This season is a very interesting time for those of us in the vintage junk business. We honestly NEVER know what the day will hold sales wise.

What’s Sold –

I will say this, Christmas-y decor has been selling. Honestly, it’s been selling consistently since October. This weekend I put a few vintage blow mold Santas in one of my booths thinking this is only to be festive in the booth because it’s too late to sell Christmas decor. Would you believe they sold that very day!

Furniture is also selling pretty well. I think it’s pretty common to ask for furniture for Christmas. 😉

What I’ve offered – 

I aimed for “gifty” items during this season. Beautiful mirrors, dressers and prints – anything that would make an awesome gift! 😍 I also tried to have everything blend well in the booth so it would be easy to shop. Here’s what I mean – it’s not really a “digging/searching” time of the year. I’ve aimed to have my booth in such a way that a husband could walk in and immediately find a piece for his wife. Makin’ it easy on the eyes. 😉

 

What I expect – 

Honestly, I expect it to be slow for the rest of the week; however, next week will be VERY busy! The week between Christmas and New Years was very busy for me last year. Shoppers are using that extra Christmas money and gift cards. They’re also remembering how empty the house will feel after the Christmas tree is gone.  It’s also nice to start the year off with new pieces. Thankfully, this year I planned ahead and should be loaded, stocked and ready!

Merry Christmas!!

Karlee Bowman 

What Sold in my Vintage Booth During September

September was a great month for both locations of Classic Cottage. It’s always a joy to see what customers buy each month.

Fall Décor

Beginning September 1st, Fall décor sold QUICK! 🎃 Customers were on the hunt for anything “pumpkin”.

Metal Beds

Ha, it’s actually funny how quick these sold! 😊  Twice we had just finished assembling a metal bed and it sold within 5 minutes. Staging a bed in a booth requires physical and mental work, yet I was still very thankful for the QUICK sale!!

Chandelier Set

My personal favorite sale of September was this adorable set of chandeliers. 😍 They were identical, gold with sparky prisms. They weren’t for sale for the first two weeks because they made my booth so beautiful. However, after so many customers asked me about the pair, I gave in and put a price tag on each. No surprise, they sold within a few days.

 

 

Chandeliers are one of my main loves. 😍 Ha, this fact is quite obvious when scrolling through my Instagram.

We’ve wrapped up September! We’re already having a great October!! Thanks for reading my blog!! 😘

Karlee Bowman 

5 Keys I’ve Learned Since Expanding to The French Flamingo

It’s been a little over one month since I expanded my vintage booth, Classic to an additional location at The French Flamingo.😊 I’ve learned so many lessons since opening my first tiny booth during July 2016. Yet again, expanding to The French Flamingo has been another learning experience for me!

1 – Excellence

First and foremost, this expansion has taught me a new level of excellence. Ana is the owner of The French Flamingo. Ana keeps the entire store ready for a magazine photo shoot at all times. 😍 Needless to say, The French Flamingo is Gorgeous! 

Example – I was one light bulb short for my chandelier. I knew first thing the next day I would need to attach the missing light bulb because The French Flamingo is a classy store and expects the very best!

2 – Customers Appreciate the “Extras”

Go above and beyond for your customer because they notice. Take a few extra minutes to write the detailed history of the antique piece you’re selling. Be creative with your “extras”. 👍🏻 Customers deserve the very best!

3 – There’s Always Room to Grow

This expansion came very quick and unexpected for me.  Really, you could call it an unexpected blessing. I had just expanded to a much larger booth less than two months before I expanded to this additional location.☝🏻I’ve always suggested growing slow and steady in this business.

Two expansions in two months isn’t slow. During this process I’ve learned there is ALWAYS, ALWAYS room to grow! Take the risk!

4 – Delight your Customers by Selling Unusual Pieces

 Customers are looking for special pieces with pretty details.😍 Go for the piece with detail, quality and personality. Your customers will notice.

5- Make Every Moment Count

 I grew up in a family full of ministers, so of course this precious Scripture comes to mind.

“Redeem the time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:16

Each time I drop by The French Flamingo, Ana is creating something beautiful. We’ve had many conversations while she’s behind the counter all the while creating. She has taught me so much about time and being productive.

What Sold in my Vintage Booth During August

August was crazy busy for Classic! College student were on the hunt for cute affordable pieces all month long. 🤗 Most of these items are targeted to students. Here’s a list of items that didn’t last long!

Chairs

How odd!! Usually chairs sit in the booth for a while. However, people were buying chairs during August. 👍🏻 Metal, wood and even retro plastic.. All chairs were selling!

 

Desks

So many desks came in and out of Classic during August! I loved it because desks are one of my favorite pieces to paint! Silly enough, I love to imagine how a buyer will put it to use. 😊 For me a desk is a place of learning and creativity.

Chests

Specifically “chippy white” solid wood chests were only lasting a couple of days. It seemed I was dropping an old chest off every few days.

One particular chest was my favorite. 😍 This beast was “chippy white” with gorgeous detail and original hardware.

 

Painted Side Tables

Small basic side tables were in high demand. I noticed it was small tables of all colors. I sold a wide variety in color. For example – white, silver, gray, pink and green. Again, I assume side tables were a purchase of many college students.

Furniture was all the rage during August. 🤗 Many local small shop owners are so thankful for the business of students for Auburn University!