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Monday, January 30, 2012

Something on my mind...

I started refinishing furniture about two years ago. I started this blog a little over a year ago.

My husband has a good job, but, lets just say our income needs to be "supplemented." I come from an entrepreneurial family (my dad founded SkyMall, the in flight shopping catalog, when I was 10) and I find that my mind is often a-buzz with possibilities.

Furniture, so far, has been the only thing that I have ventured to do, that actually brought a profit.

Let me be clear, however, it is not a lot of profit. There isn't much meat on this bone.

About six months ago I noticed that my sales were slowing down, and that supply was getting harder to find and therefore becoming more expensive.

I kept plugging away, and began watching CL and the local blogs for my "competition."

Last year I counted that the competition increased four or five fold.

I don't have any hard feelings about this, it's just capitalism at work. Someone like me, maybe a mom who doesn't want to leave the home for work, sees other people doing it, thinks they are making good money, thinks she can do it too, and goes after her piece of the pie.

Not to stereotype, because there are a few men who are also doing it.

The only purpose for this post is to make something very clear to anyone who is thinking about starting this kind of business.

It's not good money. The more people that dive in, because of what is known in business terms as "low barriers to entry," the worse the money gets.

To be totally honest, I think we brought in maybe $5,000 last year in profit.

Not to mention, my husband is a big strong dude with a gajillion tools, and is very handy and works four tens at his job, leaving him three days in a weekend to help me. We have 2 work trucks and an accumulated 15 years of experience with carpentry and restoration. We have thrown out or donated more pieces than we have sold, because of the massive trial and error/learning curve of this business. It may not seem difficult, but painting a piece to sell (with paint that sticks and is smooth and durable) is actually challenging. Finding supply, especially now, is harder still.

I do this to have fun, and not spend money on fun. Most hobbies are a huge drain on a family, my hobby makes a little spending cash.

I think anyone who is doing this will agree.

My soap box is collapsing under my weight. Time to call it a day.

2 comments:

chari-o

Jess, bravo for telling it like it is. You're so right.

I do a bit of furniture restoration here and there. The only time I tried to sell something, I priced it too high because I loved it so much. The amount of time and care that goes into each piece for the amount of the sale is hard to justify.

Faded to Fab

Charity i was just browsing through my blog and saw this comment and I haven't seen it before! Sorry it slipped past my notice. Thanks for commenting ... Its nice to know there are a few readers out there in the blogosphere !!:-)

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