We’ve all been there, at our open closet doors with piles of sweaters on the floor and empty hangers swaying like the skeletons of the dresses you only wore once; the bittersweet closet clean out. Yes, de-cluttering does release a sensation of endorphins through your mind but, when you turn around and realize that what has been “cleaned out” now just sits in a pile on your floor, the high quickly fades. So, you ask yourself now what? Do you throw it in an orange garbage bag and drop it at a donation box, hand it down to siblings and friends, or do you hopelessly try to sell it on Facebook pages and Ebay?
Personally, I left my old clothes siting in a white laundry basket in the corner of my room just hoping that a fairy would come one night and replace it with money. When this did not happen however I began to look into consignment. I do believe that there are some amazing consignment stores out there in cities like New York and Portland but sadly this is not the case in Victoria, BC.
I could take piles of clothes worth paycheques on paycheques and the consignment store may take one or two pieces, offering a small percent for them, and I would only get that money if they somehow sold my pieces amongst stuffed racks of other people's clothes. A solid way to make my money back. I thought not.
I don’t always believe if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.
I do believe that, if you want something done to benefit yourself you better be prepared to do it yourself.
I bounced around the idea of opening my own store in my head for a couple months. Do I actually have the ability at nineteen to run business? Have a lease? Get licenses? And would anyone actually come? Or more importantly hand me their credit-card.
It wasn’t until I started to look into spaces available for lease that I realized a pop-up shop was a plausible option. A pop-up shop is a temporary store open for a limited time. Some shops may have a permanent store and just be in a location for a season or be like me and only be open for a week to give the whole thing a test run. Everything I’ve learned about pop-up shops comes from a homemade marshmallow pop-up in the entrance to Holt Renfrew in Vancouver, which are the yummiest things in the world and also, as it turns out , great business inspiration.
I started off my journey by finding a wonderful little place on Waddington Alley, right off two main shopping streets in Victoria. I found the spot through a clever site called, This Open Space. Which is like the Air B&B for business, renting out stores and event spaces for anywhere from a day to months. Once the location was set in place and the lease signed the store started to feel real, and the creating could begin.
In my next blog post I'll be talking about all the pieces I had to put together to create the store in just a short month. Come back soon to check that out in a new category called "Radford House".