After countless markets, craft fairs, networking events, and “popping up” the pop up tent I sat in tears with my mom – “what am I doing wrong?”
She of course patiently (and without hesitation) said, “well I think you know what isn’t working, and that’s a blessing.”
Okay, so realizing what wasn’t working? Markets are not cash flow. I now know markets are marketing. What is going to be cash flow? While I wait for Ellen and Oprah to respond to my emails, I need to move these amazing products we have so I can help my partners. We have babies to feed, women to keep employed, and jobs to inspire new generations of youth in South Africa.
While I was despairing I hear an email alert on my computer – Paypal has sent you money. We had a couple items on consignment and they had sold! It wasn’t a light bulb moment, but in today’s world, the email chime was just as symbolic. This was a different approach and not something I had set out to do intentionally, but it was definitely more effective than having to be personally involved in every sale. We needed to be in retail, when people see how beautiful things are – we have a better chance! … hold on, I can’t overnight open a store! Oh my.
In San Diego (where we are based) we have a few shops of shops. These were all on my hit list. I looked at all our options and eliminated a couple, then applied and followed up with the owners! Finally, after what seemed like an extra-long test of my patience, we got the call to check out Lotus on Cedros in Solana Beach. I walked through the options and product ideas with Lotus and we picked a date to start…I had two weeks until we launched! I catalogued, tagged, and ran around town getting discount bookshelves! After 3 trips to the store to set up the “booth” I can now say we are in retail!
My constant struggle is telling the story of each item and still displaying them as beautiful pieces individually. You don’t “need” to know the story to appreciate the items, but if you also know the story I think it adds so much to their value. I hope we have done our partners justice by displaying their items in one of the top consignment stores in the city while also showing their photos with the product so you know the “who” behind the “what” which is exactly my “why”!
Come check out our booth at Lotus on Cedros
240 S. Cedros Ave #100, Solana Beach, CA
- Business hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Thursday – Saturday: 10 AM – 6 PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 6 PM