What's Happening At The Studio

The Scouts share what's inspiring them at the moment, along with what's going on in the studio.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Boing Boing Boing

One of the things I love about the blogs I follow is when I feel like I know the writer. I can hear their voice in my head and I know if we ever met, we'd hit it off immediately! One of these is Jamie from Furbish Studio in Raleigh, NC, and the blog I Suwannee. She recently posted a blog about owning a store and it hit so close to home, I emailed her and asked her if I could share it. I don't know if I could say it any better. So without further ado, but with comments in red from me:
how is it having a store? well. it's wonderful. i am doing WHAT I WANT TO DO. that's pretty remarkable. i have no crazy boss screaming at me and having unprovoked mood swings. Unless you count me or one of the other Scouts i don't have to ask anyone if i need to leave early. i don't have to go on wild goose chases, i'm allowed to tell people if they are being unreasonable, i pick who i want to as co-workers, i determine what i think is fair and i am proud of what i'm offering. i work hard. everyday. i keep working when i get home at night. since what i 'do' is also my biggest hobby now, it never ends. after spending the day looking at fabrics and blogs for inspiration and helping clients and ordering things for the store and painting furniture, i come home and look at magazines and walk around our neighborhood at night time peering in people's windows from the street for inspiration. I am so glad to know someone else does this i search for interesting vintage furniture, i clip out merchandise i want for the store, i meet with design clients at night, i go over numbers again and again to make sure i can pay my taxes and take pictures of what we're eating for dinner so i have something to talk to yal about. and then i paint furniture again. i don't make much money. i'd like to one day. the key is diversifying. retail alone will NOT do it. it's about the store. and the decorating. and the custom furniture. and painting furniture for customers. and the blog. and advertisers. and e-decorating. and selling fabric. and having an online store. and one day, a scent, a china pattern and a line of dog beds. if i had kids, i don't see how i could do this. i also could not do it without a few really important people who i count on each and every day: keila the intern who makes it all happen and buys me kimonos, david the painter/cobbler/lamp maker who thinks he's hamish bowles, my mom who always shows up with a new mirror, my accountant, deanna who brings me lunch and unloads furniture, lauren brings me coffee and funny stories, caroline helps me remember to stay classy, and rowdy who at the very least gets me outside every few hours - but at the very most is dog perfection. and brian meares, who comes in the store every now and then and says, 'wow, furbish is real'. Three of us Scouts have kids and it does make it tricky to balance. However the people we couldn't do it without are each other and the Scout husbands. Hopefully one day, we'll have other staff. it's a risk. every day you have to keep taking them. will people buy this? should i order more? try something different? is this too expensive? is this too cheap? should i paint these chairs blue and cover them in crazy fabric? will people buy them or tell me it's awful? it's not vegas. you can't cash out when you're up. you have to spend money to make money, and that's scary. and then when you make it, you have to pay 37% of it to the gov't. so one day the bank acct is all dolla dolla bill$ and the next day, nada. i get lots of emails from people wanting advice, and for me to share my story. i'm not ignoring you - i just don't physically have the brain power or time to answer every email. i get excited when something sells, or i get a new client, or finish a project i'm proud of, but then you have to go right back to making it all happen. it's a jump. a leap of a faith. every day. boing boing. but it's worth it.
Jamie's store looks so cool, I can't wait to visit it one day. Little does she know, but she's got some Scout stalkers who are inspired by her website and what she offers. Thank you Jamie, for saying what The Scouts and probably many other small design business owners are feeling everyday.

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