The burning questions...
We’ve been open almost TEN months now *obligatory back pat* so I’ve decided it’s time for some official Frequently Asked Questions. I will do my best not to be too snarky but keep in mind, these questions are asked FREQUENTLY. As in, on the regular. As in, every damn day. Luckily, I am the proud owner of a sense of humor.
1. “Is this a consignment store?”
Answer: NO. Not that there’s anything wrong with consignment stores; we love them. We even took a few things on consignment when we were starting out, to minimize our startup costs but it isn’t a practice we enjoyed. Why? We’re entirely too picky, for one. And, we (I) like having ultimate control over what we sell. I figure most entrepreneurs are such because they don’t like people telling them what to do and entering contracts with random people you don’t know is a good way to receive unsolicited advice from virtual strangers. So, no thank you. We hand select our merchandise and believe it shows.
2. “These things are new and USED?”
Answer: Umm…yes! That is our concept! We definitely prefer the terms “old” or “vintage” to used, however. And, we certainly aren’t the first place to do this, we just say it right out loud rather than being sneaky about it. We work hard to stay true to our name meaning - roughly 50% of our stock is new and 50% is old. If you can’t tell the difference, THAT’S OUR ENTIRE POINT! If it’s good design, it shouldn’t matter. What we’ve tried to do from the start of this business, is show people how charming and comforting a blended space can be.
3. “Are all these things LOCAL?”
Answer: No but we have many things that are. We have a lot of inventory and it’s not realistic that all of it would be local and here’s why: a lot of locally made goods are sold direct to the public by the makers as well as in retail establishments. While we applaud their efforts, we don’t want to be selling the same thing as someone just down the street at a local “makers market”. We DO however, buy our new products almost exclusively from small businesses and we are very proud of that!
4. (Less of a question and more of a statement) “You’re never open when I come by!”
Answer: Hmm…let’s unpack that a bit. Are you coming by on our one designated closed day, Monday? Are you coming by in the evenings? Because I personally am here, give or take, 51 HOURS a week. And, that may increase as “the season” comes into bloom. So please be patient with us and if it’s a quarter til 5pm on a blustery day and we’ve ducked out a little early, know it was for a good reason.
5. “Is this your best price?”
Answer: It can always go UP! (LOL) Seriously, we price things to sell. And, our prices are LOW for our area. Yes, sometimes, we get a good profit margin on our vintage stuff but we deserve it. As I’ve detailed in previous posts, ours can be a very laborious line of work. We travel to find a lot of our treasures which isn’t cheap or easy but it’s important to us to have pieces that don’t look so typically “Santa Fe”.
Which leads me to…
6. “Where do you find this stuff?”
Answer: I’ve rambled on about various flea markets we love in previous posts but in case you haven’t read them, we shop at flea markets, estate sales and have wholesale contacts from our previous years in business as well as our time in L.A. Like most retailers, we also go to Market at least once a year, to keep up with trends and hopefully find something we haven’t seen before.
7. “What was your space originally?”
Answer: Good question. The furthest back we know, it was the Copy Shack for many years. It’s rumored that the landlord (a real estate developer) built the building but we’ve never had an opportunity to ask him. It does NOT appear to have ever been a car showroom or anything auto-related. People assume that because of the garage door but I believe the garage doors, ours and the one next door, were added as design elements, not to drive cars through. I CAN tell you that I used to patronize the Copy Shack a lot when I worked in real estate and while I was waiting for my blue prints, I would gaze around the space full of seemingly endless stacks and rolls of paper and big, cumbersome equipment and think, “Wow…what a waste of a really cool space”.
8. “Do you ship?”
Answer: Thank you for asking…YES! (within reason) We use USPS Flat Rate shipping. What that means is that you can cram anything you want into their Small, Medium or Large Flat Rate boxes for a fee of $10, $15 or $20. We do not have a mark-up on shipping, so those prices are firm. IF your package for some reason exceeds those prices, we will cover it but we DO NOT under any circumstances offer “free shipping” because, well… we are not Amazon. We hope you love that about us! We also do not ship furniture. We DO however have a relationship with PakMail, right around the corner, that will ship anything, anywhere.
So, that’s about it! I hope we’ve hit on at least one thing you were wondering. I’m sure we’ll need to add to it in the future. Until next time…