2nd Hand Flip – By G. Allen Clark is On Sale now for readers of this site, for the introductory price of $4.95
Have you ever wanted to be in business for yourself, or turn your love of flea market and thrift store shopping into a profitable business? If you have ever had this idea, now is the time. Why get into the business of reselling? According to National Association of Retail Trades, (NARTS) (https://www. narts. org,) a consumer research firm, an average of 15 percent of Americans shop at resale stores in a given year.
The industry has experienced an average growth of seven percent a year for the past two years, and, according to IBISWorld, reselling is expected to increase at an annualized rate of nearly three percent until the year 2021. The number is higher if you add in Flea Markets or sales through online thrift stores.
For consignment/resale shops, it is higher, hitting in the area of 12 – 15%. To keep these figures in perspective, consider that during the same time frame; 11 percent of shoppers shopped at outlet malls, less than 20 percent in apparel stores, and just over 21 percent at major department stores.
For those who are Rich, Poor, or Middle class, the art of the deal is inherent in all of us. The American Dream is built on the adage, Buy Low and Flip It. While many major chain operated businesses close their doors every day, vintage stores, including the small Mom and Pop booths in Resale malls, remain healthy and continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the retail market.
If you are new to the world of #antique or #EarlyAmerican furniture, choosing the right piece in a store full of antique #furniture can be daunting. More so, if you are looking for unusual or out of the ordinary antique furniture pieces. Might I suggest that you start looking for Pine furniture? Why Pine you ask? Antique pine pieces are scarce, so when you do find antique pine, you usually will be finding something that fits the bill of #unique and unusual.
There are many kinds of finishes that were applied to pine. The objective was to enhance the wood grain patterns that were and still are very appealing in antique and early American decorations. In many cases, that pine cupboard you find can be #refinished in another color quite easily to meet the #decor of any setting.
In general, early #furniture makers used pine to build #bedroom sets, #bookshelves, #cabinets and #dining #tables. Because of this, the use of pine has been coveted, making antique pine furniture scarce. Consider these tips to help you select the best pieces.
First, a short tutorial about the wood itself. Wood for furniture is either #softwood or #hardwood. These descriptions vary on the foliage of the tree, not on the wood’s strength. Hardwood trees (Oaks, Cherry, Maple, and Ash) drop their foliage’s seasonally. Trees in softwood category (Pines, Douglas fir, and Cedar) sustain their leaves all throughout the year. Pines are part of the softwood family and they are grown and utilized all over the world. The grain patterns in Pines vary with the climate in the region grown. Wide grain patterns reflect an abundance of moisture, giving to a faster growth and wider grains. Tight grains are reflective of a slower growth typical to drier climates.
Pine was historically used to build furniture in the #UnitedStates and #England. When you find Antique furniture made of pine, you will have found furniture that was made for the lower socioeconomic classes of their society. This was due in large part because when early settlers came over to the new world; pine was plentiful, thus less expensive compared to scarcer hardwoods like oak and walnut. Scarcity commands higher prices that the wealthy were willing to pay.
Ironically, today pine furniture is embracing a lot of popularity and in fact; antique pine furniture is in high demand. Even #millennial’s realize that the value of a vintage pine bookshelf or chest-of-drawers, because furniture made today is made from cheaply made pressed wood, falls apart before its return on investment can be realized.
Old world furniture manufacturers preferred the use of pine to hardwoods because of its versatility and easy-to-work-with features. Usually, pine is light colored and its knots and grains are prominent and desirable. The more knots and dark grain, the better. I had two Antique Pine Cabinets in my store at the #WildernessTreasure location. I barely got the one in the door and set up, when it sold. I anticipate that the other one (see picture in the following article) will go as quick.
So why consider antique pine furniture over the hardwood variety? Generally, Pine is less costly than other pieces of wood and easier to maintain. A full antique chimney cabinet in solid oak or cherry, similar to the solid pine cabinet I just sold, would cost you five times more. Pine furniture in today’s marketplace however, is also very rustic and perfect for today’s modern country look.
Pine is lighter and easier to move, than modern furniture made from veneer over presswood. Antique oak or cherry pieces are heavy in comparison to the same piece in pine. Why is that important? Ask a millennial who, while wanting value, needs to remain flexible in his or her living location, due to their career choice.
Pine is versatile and fits in with any decor, even ultra-modern. You can change the look with different finishes such as a clear varnish-finish, or stained, or even a washed paint. With the trend towards shabby chic, pine is a perfect choice for the #DIY’er trying their hand at this type of furniture painting.
Antique pine furniture will stand out as unique and interesting because of its prominent knots and grain throughout. This is also a good option since it can harmoniously blend with other wood types, allowing you to mix it with other furnishings in your home.
The quality of antique pine furniture varies widely. If the piece is designed well, tightly constructed, it will not display any signs of irregularities like missing parts, inconsistent outlines or holes where the knots once were. If the wood is old enough, they will be scratched and dented. This is good, because it gives the antique piece the warmth (patina) that is desired in antiques. Be careful however. Solid Pine furniture will warp if subjected to constant moisture and humidity. However, it does well in air-conditioned homes.
Like all solid wood furniture, you must supply some maintenance of your pine furniture. Wood need to be oiled regularly in drier climates. As an antique furniture restorer, I use #Howards #Restore-a-finish in Maple/Pine first, and then apply a coating of Howards Feed N Wax over the life of the piece. You will soon be able to get these products at my Wilderness Treasure location. (5975 N. Academy #ColoradoSprings, CO. 80918.) Ask the front desk for Mom & Me Vintage Linens, Lace & Antiques.
Let’s talk certainties. Let’s talk about self-sufficiency and dependency. Let’s talk about
small business and Colorado Springs. Specifically, let’s talk about the certainty of supporting the individual antique dealers who run small shops in all the local antique malls here in town.
When the average antique shopper walks into one of the Antique Malls here in town, they tend to think of that mall as being “the antique store.” In fact, that mall is a retail site that houses many antique stores or small businesses, each responsible for their own inventory, their own displays and their own advertising. Your support of the mall equates to you supporting hundreds of small business owners. This is a good, because that owner is the same small business owner who buys their groceries from where you work, pays for gas from your service station, which powers the cars and trucks that your son or uncle may have worked on. The same owner who collectively employs the staff that works behind the counter when you check out, who helps you load your antique purchase into your car, who later that night, will take their spouse and family out to eat in the local restaurant you own or work in.
The antique mall you walk in to, be it The Antique Gallery, The Treasure Shoppe, AmericanClassics, the American Indoor Flea Market, the Garage Sale or Willowstone, house over 800+ independent businesses combined. That is a lot of small businesses, but that’s not counting the hundreds of other individual dealer’s countywide that make up this unique group of retailers. 800+ businesses that supply jobs to the local community. All they ask is that you support them by purchasing your favorite antique or collectible from them, instead of only ordering from the Internet.
From the income derived from your purchases, they will pay their taxes that will keep the roads clear and the schools open, they will educate their children in the schools where your son, daughter or granddaughter teaches, and all without extra shipping costs. These owners buy the homes your family and friends worked hard to build and in doing so, they keep their dollars local. They are not some outside multi-million dollar conglomerate with virtual offices, where income is a matter of international trade. They are not the antiques that when you buy from their internet site, some person in India, Germany, Britain or China gets a little richer. They believe in sharing the wealth and they believe it starts at home first. Support them and they will support you.
As my wife and I are proud members of this independent small business community of antique dealers, we thank you all for your continued support and your patronage. The next time you come in to one of our Mom & Me Vintage Linens & Lace stores; as our way of saying Thank You, pick up one of our permanent discount cards either at the Treasure Shoppe (space B4), American Classics (space B30 & B26) or American Indoor Flea Market (“Found Treasures” in space 301). If you see us there, say hello. Let us know how we’re doing. We’d love to meet you.
Even though we deal in vintage linen and lace and stock a myriad of colors, we still try to coördinate our offerings with the seasons. Our buyers are often craft or decorating people with upcoming special projects they are building months in advance. Still, color and fabric type are important.
It’s winter as I write this and we find a lot of our wool and embroidered products going fast. Anything blended that has wool goes quick as well. Silk is popular with us and proper year round but the lighter silks for dresses and skirts are more summer wear while the heavier, multi-layered silks are right during the winter. Summer is for lightweight cotton, light weight silk and linen. Fabrics that have a loose weave and are made of a breathable fabric are great for summer. Fall is the season for wool. Heavy weight cotton is also appropriate. Spring is similar in terms of fabrics but you can also wear summer weights during spring. Here in Colorado we tend to “layer” ourselves in both summer and fall weights.
We also look at colors of the season. Traditionally winter colors are the darkest and much of our displays today have dark colors showing. Starting with the blacks, winter colors go to charcoal, grey, browns, olives, golden’s, navy, burgundy, so on. ) Summer is the greatest pastel season (pale pink, butter yellow, baby blue, light mint, crisp white, etc) Again, fall is often full of rusts, olives, camels, beige, light browns and so on. Spring is light blues, roses, aqua’s, beige, and so on. We are getting ready to rotate our stock from winter to spring. (We do this months in advance because people are already starting to think of their spring projects.)
Don’t rely on color for what to wear. Designers are using all colors in all seasons and craft people should follow suit. Winter white is very popular and black is still a year round color.
The other day for example, a woman walked in and asked if we had any Hawaiian prints. We had one or two, but a large selection is hard to find. Here it is – dead of winter and she wants Hawaiian prints. She said if we were vintage we should stock more Hawaiian. After all it was very popular in the 70’s. Go figure.