Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Painting Furniture.......What to do, or not to do......

As i've mentioned in past posts, I did not start out as a furniture painter.
Out of necessity I became one.

The depression era furniture that I had in my antique store wasn't selling.
So I painted it.....
And then it all began...
Or should I say, my path took a sharp turn.
I opened SHV in Boonton and I became one of the few painted furniture shops.
And then it changed.....

Things changed and the painted furniture wasn't selling at a high enough price for it to be worth it to refinish it.
The marketplace was flooded with furniture painters.
They were buying what I was buying.
The prices of unfinished pieces was going up.
The prices of finished pieces was going down.
I chose to close my shop.
And regroup.
(I'll admit I was a bit lost, and a bit terrified)

Then  this happened....
I thought hard about the past.
My mistakes in business...etc.
And realized two things.......

1. location, location, location.
You can't wish a location to be profitable.
You can't throw money at a location (till your bank account is dry) because you really want the location to work.
You can't worry about investing in a great location, because while the monthly $$ is much higher, the success in business is much higher too.

 2.It's highly unlikely that i'm ever not going to like old things.
It's been almost 30 years that I have been buying and selling them.
(sheesh a good 20+ years before I started painting furniture)
Sure my taste changes.
(my basic "loves" stay the same, but my style evolves)
And What"s "hot" constantly changes.
The economy throws some curve balls into the mix.

So with these two hard lessons learned, I have finally embraced the idea (read fact) that no matter what is "hot" today,
It won't be....soon.
location, location, location.

With this in mind I have found a way to continue doing what I love.

Change is really the only thing that is constant.

Recently, I heard someone ask "who is the smartest person?".
His response to the question was interesting.....
"The person who can adapt to their environment".
This makes sense to me.

So as I circle back around from my digression from the original question....To paint, or not to paint furniture?.....I realize that the answer is simple.
If people want it, i will give it.

If you buy it, ill make more.

If you remember me from Main St in the Pink House and decide to visit my two locations
(and perhaps a third in the not so distant future)
Realize that SHV may be a bit different.
It's a combination of 30 years in the antique/vintage business and my refurbishing, recreating and recycling all in one.

I hope you love my new (old) look as much as I love creating it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Hunt (AKA how to be a "picker")

It's always the first question everyone asks.

"So where do you find your things?"
My response has been reduced to one sentence.
"It's a lifestyle".

And it truly is.

Because the truth is... if you counted out the hours spent searching, inspecting, negotiating, purchasing, transporting,cleaning, inventorying ,listing,,storing, wrapping, selling, delivering.....
(i got exhausted just writing that)
Lets just say, it covers quite a bit of time in a week.

"The Hunt" is not for the faint hearted.
(and verrrry verrrry UN glamourous.)
BUT it is an exciting, fun, entertaining (trust me there are quite a few characters), boring, exhausting day.
Yes, there are definitely moments that feel like christmas, or even like you have won the lottery.
And that's really the best of it.
The worst of it requires endless hours waiting, driving and well, waiting.
(only to lose that which you covet to someone with bad hygiene)

If you don't like to get up early (read 4 or 5 am early)....this is not for you.
If you don't like to stay up late (read still out at 11 or 12 or even 1).....this is not for you.
If you like a constant regular schedule.......well this is definitely noooot for you.

So wait....I wanna stop myself here ........
*eh hemmmm

I was thinking I would write a blog about the ins and outs of picking.
(to finally answer some/all of you)
But every time I get to this point I think.....sheesh ive worked so very hard to know what I know.

So I can't really tell you what you are dying to hear.
I will however give you a coupla tips on how to be a successful picker.

Here goes:
1. Figure out what area of vintage you love.
2. Research, research, research and study hard.
3. Disinfectant wipes.

Thats it.
Yup. Yes. Really.
Because its actually quite simple....
 Once you know what you know....
You will know how to take it to the next level.
(and the wipes.... you will thank me when you are finally out "on the hunt".)

Good Luck!!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Grand Opening of SHV "At The Shore"

Have you been "down the shore" lately?
Funny till I met The Bodyguard last year, I hadn't either.
We came together over quintessential joisey music.
(Thank you Bruce and Southside, without you guys our paths would have never crossed.)

So now, i'm blessed to have a place to go.
To sit on the dock, watch the fishing boats go by and breathe.
(I do this as much as I can)

One day while riding bikes thru Asbury Park we detoured into town. 
A former business associate from Boonton
moved  his Interior Design studio to Cookman Ave.
(he too had a shop on Main St and closed it)
We thought we would stop in and visit.
Whoa.....How things have changed.
It seems over night Asbury has hit it's stride and has become so hip, so full of great restaurants, art, music, and design.....
very cool!
(ummm yay)
We got to talking....
He's just soooo darn happy there.
And the area is booming.
Yay for him, he deserves it, Im so happy he's prosperous.

And this got us thinking......
What if......

So I decided to take a baby step.
(cause the truth is, i'm just not sure yet of where i'll/we'll be in the next 5 years)
But, it seems so right.

And sooooooo........
Savannah Hope Vintage will be opening a pilot shop in the Antique Emporium on Cookman Ave in Asbury Park.

Mid September I'm moving in.

There will be a "grand opening" party.
(Ill update on the date.)

I'm super excited
("are we there yet" excited)
I've been hard at work buying and fine tuning my inventory so that my booth will be well curated.
I've got some great industrial and modern furniture and home decor.
Some great art, objects, dinnerware and glass.
50s, 60s and 70s
A few minis, maxi dresses and even a couple of leisure suits too.

I hope you will come check it out.
(after all if Asbury gets a write up in Vogue as a destination..well that's gotta count for somethin)

Friday, August 28, 2015

My Today ( And how SHV began)

I'm selling at Outdoor Markets as a pop up now.
It's very hard work, physically taxing in the least.
But I am grateful that I am able to do what I love and I am constantly inspired. (read entertained)

When Savannah started high school I was ready to once again work full time outside of the house.
The economy tanked and I saw this time as an opportunity to really start my own business.
Well, in truth, I had been running my own business (selling on ebay and I built a website and sold dinnerware replacements old and new....but that's a story for another day) from home for years but I needed to get out and be with people again. 

So, I thought for quite some time about "what I wanted to be when I grew up".
If you don't already know, my job, for much of my adult life, was, as a hair stylist.
Yep it's true. for 25 plus years.
From the minute Savannah was born, I wanted out of hayrrr. (again a story for another day).
So excited to "re invent" myself.....I thought, what was it going to be.
2 choices as I saw it. 1. follow my passion to bake, put myself through culinary school to become a pastry chef (it could still happen :0p ) Or 2. Open an Antique shop.
Since I wasn't ready to leave Savannah for all the early hours I would have to put in along with the long nights, I decided to set aside the dream of pastry chef and open an Antique shop minutes from where we lived.
.7 miles...I could run it IFFF I had to.
This gave me comfort, having grown up with a single parent and having been left alone in the house
at a verrrrry early age (and having a few pretty awful things happen during that time) I refused to do the same to my daughter. I  wanted to be close....just in case.

I had been buying and selling Antique and Vintage American Pottery, China and Glass since I was about 24. I knew a bit....
So I actually took all (well most) of my collections, and opened my shop. I had some vintage furniture for my displays that I picked up "around" that I put prices on "just in case" someone wanted to buy it.

The Antique center I was in sadly, was not "happening" and after a year I realized that "just making my shop rent" was not cutting it. 
And so I found Boonton.
A shop on a main road that cost LESS than my space in the Antique center....well... slam dunk right?
Now keep in mind I had a shop full of cool furniture (un refinished) that wasn't selling.

So I started. I got a can of Benjamin Moore white and did ONE piece.

It was the first thing I moved into Boonton....and sold EVEN before I opened my doors.
I sold it online, and It was picked up.

Was I onto something??!
I knew of shops that did this, I had the inventory, so why the heck not.
So, when I first came to Boonton my shop was a mix of vintage and refinished furniture.
As time passed (over 3 years) and a few tweeks to my reinvention....I settled into
"The Art of Refinishing Furniture".
(I've loved every minute of it.)

And so it seems, many others do too..... because it has really caught on and gone mainstream.
With the introduction of Chalk paint.....painting furniture requires little talent. As a result it has become more and more difficult to make a living refinishing furniture.

 While I've since had to close my shop in Boonton,
many of my followers really only know the " painted furniture craftsman" of those days.
I'm so much more. I always was.
So, I've circled back around to my "roots" (American pottery,china and glass),
thrown furniture (as found) back into the mix
and added a bit of design and decor.

So expect more.
And be surprised.
It's my goal to get you excited about " cool vintage"
Vintage is "The Rage".
It's well made.
Well designed.
Well priced.
And above all sustainable.
Let us not forget that we are responsible, period.

My painted pieces are still available at specialty shops around NJ.
As of today you can find them at:
Greensleeves in Flemington
Greensleeves in Barnegat.
I do wholesale ( one piece or many)
So if you are interested in my line contact me.

I am still popping up at various outdoor markets during the warmer months.
I absolutely love the nomadic nature of this.
If you love SHVs style and you want me at your venue, contact me.
( and if you are looking for " where I am" on any given Saturday, contact me)

Come mid September there will be more updates.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wow how time has passed.... (intro to "whats next")

Welllll..... Summer of 2015 is here.
Which means its been 2+ years since I closed SHV boutique.
I'd be a liar if I did not admit that my heart aches.
I miss so much about my little shop.

It was a very verrrrry rough winter.
The worst in a while.
But it's over now.
(huge, deeeep sigh)
and deeeep breath......

As you may or may not know I finally pulled the trigger on a decision that was in the making for quite some time.
Last September I downsized my entire life.
Into 500 square feet.
(no easy task)

A few reasons.
But mostly, to open myself up to the next chapters.
There were many days after closing SHV at 906 Main when I felt like a failure.
Ive been humbled by circumstance and the economy.
And while most might want to give up,  I'm not most.
And the real truth is I've been thru so much worse than this in my lifetime.

What's next has been the unanswered question looming around for a while.
I haven't been sure of where I want to be really.
I mean I do have a vision of what I want SHV to be going forward, Im just not so sure where it's all gonna happen.
So I wait.
"Cause if I haven't learned this lesson in my life i'd be a fool.
And the lesson is....
If I'm not sure of what to do, do nothing.

And then the craziest thing happened.......
Things started to fall into place.

There is more soooooooo much more.
and I'll share, I promise.
More often and in more detail.
But for now, that's it.

Have a super sparkly day.