hi there! i just popped in here for the first time in 2 years and thought i'd search on primitive ... and your post was the first one i saw! i know what you mean by primitive!! well, if you mean like what "country living" and "country home" magazines used to show (they're so "cottagey" and "citified" lately that i've not renewed my subscriptions!).
i LOVE primitive decorating!!! i've got some wonderful old painted pieces. my newest acquisition is a huge work table for my studio, and even though i live in a tiny apartment (my studio would be anyone else's dining room!), this bigger table (48" long by 24" wide) has actually allowed me to rearrange my studio so that it feels roomier!
also in the studio, are a poplar jelly cupboard with leaded glass doors (i'm guessing the doors aren't original to the cupboard). i had it stripped about 20 years ago, before i started appreciating old paint (i think it was that bright/mint-ish green); i use this cupboard to store my fabric. and i've got an old barn red cupboard that was probably a built-in at one time. the friend i bought it from screwed some 4" wooden balls into the bottom for feet (which unfortunately makes it a little wobbly, but i like having it up off the floor); this cupboard is odds & ends of various craft supplies that would just look too messy if they weren't hidden.
in the living room, i've got a pewter cupboard that's painted in a color i'd call sage, but most other people say it's a shade of old blue. hmmm. it sure doesn't look blue to me! also in the LR is an antique oak table (regular varnish type finish, no paint), and a white peely (sorta chabby chic) table that my TV sits on.
when i moved into this apartment, the movers broke my old iron bed (GRRRR!). it's also a peely white. i think i've finally found someone who does the right kind of welding and may be able to fix it for me. i sure hope so!!!
of course, i also have tons of antique baskets, benches, quilts, cookie cutters, etc. ... all the fun accessories!
anyway, i just wanted to reply so you know there are (occasionally) other primitive lovers & primitive crafters on this site. lol! :-)
oh, and for SkyyAngel, primitive isn't the new anything ... some of us have been decorating this way for well over 20 years!! :-)
they've already been mentioned, but my fav thrift shops are thrifttown on stockton blvd. and the thrift shop at the corner (sort of) of greenback & auburn blvd.
there's supposed to be a thrifttown opening in carmichael sometime soon. i think it's going to be on fair oaks blvd., and i'm guessing it will be somewhere around the 99cent store, but i don't know. if anyone DOES know, please post!!
there's a thrift shop on folsom blvd., near 32nd or so. it's across from the gifty home shop called "the french hen" ... cuz i went in there when i discovered that the thrift shop was closed on mondays!! i've been in this shop before (the thrift shop), but it's been a year or so. prices seemed pretty good (although no thrift shop will EVER beat the prices at the thrift shop on greenback & auburn!!). i went in deseret for the first time a couple months ago; it was ok, i guess, but i only spent a couple bucks. it seems like there's a LOT of thrift shops around, i'm always passing them when i'm out'n'about ... and usually when i don't have time to stop. darn it!
what a year! first i moved (closer to work) ... then i got laid off ... and then i bought a new computer and haven't gotten everything transferred over yet (i've temporarily put that on hold cuz this is my busy season for craftin'!!!). anywayyyyy, i'm now living in east sac, near the recently departed "little al's" (kinda sorta, but that's probably the closest landmark!). i'm closer to selland's market, if anyone's familiar with that.
my first show of the fall season is the woodland stroll on sept. 10th. guess where it's located? after that, i'll be at the lodi street fair (on school street w/ the antiques) on oct. 2nd. in mid-october, i'll be at an antique show in the bay area (los altos); i'm debating about doing back-to-back shows this weekend ... yes, i'm crazy!!
i got some info about a show at the "garden & arts center" in mckinley park, but after talking with the promoter, it seems like they're looking for Fine Art & Fine Crafts. they told me i could go ahead and apply, but it didn't seem promising that they'd accept my folkart. i think their final deadline is sept. 1st if anyone's interested in applying for this show. it's 2 days for $75.
there's a couple of cafes in my 'hood, so if anyone wants to meet up sometime, gimme a shout!
i think gloryB was talking about auctions. but when i think of estate sales, i think of something more like a yard sale but where the owner of the merch. has died and their family is selling off everything they don't want. in most large(r) cities, there are people who run estate sales. you could probably google for something like this in your area. most of these professional estate sale people have mailing lists. i know of one estate sale person in the SF bay (peninsula) area and another that works mostly in the east bay. i could get that info for you if you're in this area.
estate sales can vary from the usual yard sale to the type of sale where the shopper needs to get a number (usually at an ungodly hour!) and then return later to do their shopping. the shoppers are allowed to shop in numerical order, so there's a definite benefit to getting up at that ungodly hour!!!
is your business strictly online? or do you set up at craft fairs? or are you looking at having a shop? i'm thinking that you might be able to get the best advice if we knew just a bit more about what you had in mind. :-)
your site looks good, and i see that you sell on ebay; that's a great way to get your name out there! since you have the free time now, maybe you could schedule an appointment with someone at your local SBA or SCORE office? these are both great organizations and have a ton of helpful tips. www.sba.gov and www.score.org
when you're doing a show in another state, the promoter *should* provide sales tax info.
at some of the out-of-state shows i've done, there's an option to sign up for a temporary sales tax permit (good for as long as the show is). sometimes this is done thru the mail ahead of time, and other times there's a representative from the sales tax department present at the show.
you could also go to the state's web page (generally www.ca.gov ... replace "ca" with the 2-letter abbreviation for the state in question) ... find a link to the tax or revenue department and contact them by phone or email.
i've never been a poor college student (or any sort of college student <g>), but i have done my share of shows at schools and churches, etc. ... and i can tell you from experience: THEY SUCK! sure, they're cheap shows to do, often costing just $10 or $20 for a booth ... however, in my experience, you'll be considering yourself lucky if you sell enough to cover those costs!.
school & church shows generally attract those who attend the institution and are there to support it, not you. so i'd recommend trying to find shows that attract a few more shoppers. contact the chamber of commerce in your city, or in nearby cities that you'd like to sell in ... also convention & visitor bureaus can be a good source for event calendars. spring will be here soon, and with that comes farmers markets and the like. especially if you make "natural products" (soap, oils, etc.), farmers markets might be a very good place to sell.
not knowing what you make, nor where you live, i can't offer much info on obtaining supplies for cheap or free. would your mother share some of her craft supply stash with you, at least till you get on your feet?
i've participated in a number of open houses (also known as "home boutiques"), mostly in the SF bay area. while this was mostly 5 and 6 years ago (when times were better there, i.e., when silicon valley was still booming), there was at least one of these every weekend between early october and mid-december. most had 20 or so artists involved, and there was always a wide variety of merchandise. fees were usually in the $30 to $50 range, usually plus 10% commission. each vendor had to work between 4 and 8 hours during the show; this could usually be broken into 2 shifts, if needed. there was *always* a central checkout (merch. would be displayed throughout the home and the exit and checkout were in the garage). the shows were usually friday & saturday (occasionally thursday thru sunday). the "hostess" took care of depositing the checks, etc. and she would then send out payment for sales to each vendor within a week or so, along with their tags or a listing of what they'd sold. some advertised in small local papers and ALL distributed flyers or postcards. i usually sold between $250 and $600. the worst i ever did was $60, but that was because there was someone with VERY similar merchandise ... and selling it for about half the price of mine (which i think is very reasonable for all the work i put into it!).
i've done shows for 25+ years and i've generally used recycled bags. i just shared a booth with a friend at a show in november and she refused to use recycled plastic grocery bags ... so she went out and spent money on basically the same thing (plastic "thank you" bags at sam's club) ... and then she wanted me to go halfsies with her!
the bags i'd *like* to use are the kraft shoppers with the cord handles. i mostly make larger items (dolls & decorative items), and i do some high-end antique & gift shows ... so when i have a customer spending $200 or more on a couple of dolls, i'd like to give them a nice bag too. until this year, i really haven't been able to get far enough ahead financially to buy these bags, but i think i'm justtttt about there. i'll probably order them from papermart (www.papermart.com) [but if you're on the east coast, look around for a local supplier, cuz shipping will be cheaper!]
"smart & final" has several sizes of small brown paper bags by the hundred (500?) at very reasonable prices. if you just need a few small brown paper bags, get "lunch bags" in the grocery or discount store.