This post is dedicated to all the hard working small business owners - whether you source and curate vintage, make and sell homemade goods, or run an online shop. We know how hard it is to do what you do - and this list is a small behind-the-scenes look into just a fraction of the work spent to run a successful shop!
Sourcing : This is the time spent physically sorting through goods at estate sales, thrift shops, wholesale warehouses, your grandmas closet and beyond! Not to mention the time researching where to go, driving there and gas money!
Cleaning & Repair : Now the fun part! Once we've sourced and purchased - it's time to check each item over carefully. It's important to look over each garment for any stains, holes , missing buttons and broken zippers. Then we treat for stains, wash and/or dry clean. Some items need specialized repairs like leather cleaning, or shoes need to be re-soled. Just getting the items ready to photograph and list is a time-extensive and costly process (between laundry detergent, added water bills to your home and/or dry cleaning costs, etc.).
Up-cycling and Modifications : Additional and unique modifications leads to even higher resell cost. Supplies (such as dye), alterations (paying a seamstress) and expertise and creativity when giving items a one-of-a kind look are an added factor to the re-sale cost.
Photographing and listing : creating product photos takes time! The cost that goes into your setup, gear (camera!), models (you may hire if you cannot model yourself) etc. Then each photo must be edited, cropped and uploaded to your website (or multiple re-sale platforms). Let's not forget the product description and garment measurements. It usually takes an entire day to photo and list a small collection of 10-30 items.
Marketing : This covers anything and everything between posting on your social media, paying for ads, and all the DMs or emails with your customers answering questions! Plus, let's not forget any of the marketing materials you created and had printed - like those cute postcards that ship with each order!
Shipping : Last step and usually the most pricey is the cost of shipping supplies, shipping labels, and the time spent packing and shipping orders - and dropping off at the post office - phew!
It's a lot of work - but honestly I love every minute of it. Next time you shop a small business or online shop - remember you are supporting more than just the price you are paying, you are helping out with each step of the process. Much love!