My Vintage Booths in July

Wow, I can’t believe we’re already in August. Kids are already going back to school and Summer feels like it’s slowing down. Despite customers being on vacation and buying school supplies, July was a good month for Classic Cottage Co. Let me give you a little recap on the whole month!

Side Tables Sold

Possibly because we live in a college town and students are gathering dorm items, side tables/nightstands didn’t last longer than a day after dropping them off. Woohoo!! I was glad to see them go!

Chandelier Shock

Total shocker. I found two BEAUTIFUL chandeliers (priced low enough) while picking this month. Woah! This never happens. Like seriously never. Chandeliers are among the hardest items for me to find while picking. Finding two within 30 days has never happened to me before. July was the month of chandeliers.

Favorite Item of the Month

My favorite item of the month had to be these black metal lockers. I’ve had many metal lockers come and go but these were really something. For starters they were huge!!! The doors were mega! Also, after purchasing these (note – without properly seeing them) Aaron noticed they were actually old military lockers from a military base a few hours away. Cooooool!! Needless to say, these didn’t last longer than the weekend.

Now we’re on to August! We’ve already taken a quick vacation and we’re ready so bring on the sales!

Beautiful Antique Set

Does anyone else love gorgeous antiques with stunning detail? This. Girl. Does.

I found the most beautiful dresser and chest set. I bought this set for my vintage Business Classic Cottage Co. It was one of the most challenging Classic Cottage projects yet but totally worth it.

This set was gorgeous when we found it but needed a little TLC to make it usable again. Aaron spent hours fixing drawers and other little details on each piece. I bought this set in such excitement I didn’t even realize some of the drawers didn’t work properly. Yikes!! Thank goodness Aaron knows a little woodworking!

Time for the big transformation. The white paint!! I went with a clean crisp bright white paint to make this set pop. Since it has a lighter color, you can see each little detail. Sometimes I feel bad about painting antiques but this was a good decision.

Before I wrap this up, let’s talk about the mirror. It’s amazing! In fact, I believe the mirror makes the entire set. It’s a large three panel mirror with original glass. Sweet detail is all around the glass itself. Beautiful! (You can tell this piece totally excites me)

Aaron and I both agreed this set deserved the very best. We spent extra time and you can totally see that it was time well spent. I’m so glad I went into a thrift store and spotted it a few weeks ago. Hope this post inspires you!!

PS – This set is located in Classic Cottage Co. at The French Flamingo in Opelika. 

Comparing Springs… Ups & Downs

I mentioned in a post published on New Years that my business struggled last Spring. Now that it’s the first of June, I think it’s safe to compare Spring of 2017 to Spring of 2018. I truly hope this post brings you encouragement.

(Throughout this post you’ll see pictures from the early days)

Last Spring I nearly gave up on my business. I built this business from $0.25 items at yard sales. Truthfully, it was a steady build. Then Spring of 2017 came and my sales STOPPED.

(Classic’s Opening Day. Not the best quality pic, sorry) 

Oh no! Nothing was selling. Looking back, I had made some bad buys and lost money. Not to mention, it felt like the antique mall was slow. I didn’t have much money at all to reinvest for the months to come.

I remember telling Aaron I was going to have to call my former boss and get my job at the hair salon back. After investing everything (not that I had much to invest), I had failed. But this mindset only lasted so long.

Aaron told me you can never judge a success within one year. Long story short, thankfully he bailed me out. (I still owe you, babe)

I was determined. During that time Classic Cottage only had one location and was in a smaller booth. I remember rearranging the space nearly everyday. I looked around my house for items to sell (Maybe I’ll tell you more about that later). We didn’t give up.

Things began to turn around. Shortly after, during the Summer of 2017, we expanded again and then we added another location.

Fast forward a year later, May 1st we expanded yet again and it takes both Aaron and I to keep Classic Cottage stocked. If you had told me this a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. Will there be more lows? Yes. Will I push through as I have before? Yes. There will always be lower/slower months. You just have to plan and push.

(The first time I stepped back for a look after one of our expansions)

I truly hope this encourages you to chase your dreams and never give up.

xoxo,

Karlee Bowman

Week Vibes

We had such a wonderful week. My little sister Kelbee came to Auburn to spend a few days at our house. We very much enjoy when she’s at our house because she brings a balance to our crazy schedule. For example, 9pm dinners are no longer acceptable when a 10 year old is around.

To read a more about Kelbee’s visit click here to check out Nighttime Prayers.

Other small highlights this week 

• I’ve been reading the Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon since January. I finished book #4 this week and it was Ahhhhmazing!

• I took Tuesday off! It’s extremely rare for me to take a day off.. other than an occasional Sunday. I wanted to spend time with Kelbee so I took the whole day off on Tuesday.

• I realized my 10 year old little sister knows more about make up than me! Ever heard of Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lips?? Kelbee got me to try this awesome new lipstick and it stays on for hours. Love it!! Click here to learn more.

• We bought plants! Last weekend Aaron and I bought some plants for our side porch off the kitchen. We got lots of herbs, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and a hanging basket of strawberries.

• As far as the booth business goes, we had a few slower days this week. However, on Friday night it picked up. I was working in my booth and was able to make the sale of 6 larger pieces within a 2 hour span.

• Favorite casual black slides sandals are on sell for $11.21 right now. So time to grab some!!

I have another special post about decorating with pots coming up soon so stay tuned & have a happy 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

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