Friday, February 7, 2014
There is so much repetition online isn't there? the same cute cottages, carefully disheveled interiors, artfully shot street style....sometimes the on-going imagery online is just too much for me. I joined pinterest ages ago and then never used it, I don't get it. I love collecting and digging through old photos but I pretty much never do this online, I love visiting friend's lovely apartments but would rather do laundry than scroll through the web looking at other people's interiors....I sometimes struggle with the need to promote my business through images but also the need to stay authentic to what kind of person/business owner I am, is this lace really "killing me"? maybe it is, maybe I really love it and that's what I should show today on my feed, but to force expression and to go just that little bit "over the top" in my excitement....sometimes that doesn't feel real to me, there is so much swooning and desire online it makes me giggle! Coming up to such a long vacation from my computer and iphone may be driving this reflective post about imagery and social media and I don't really know what my point exactly is. But the thing I will say is that this promotion really sucks us in to a vortex of desiring "likes" and "hearts", once again my husband trumps me at being able to ditch his phone at night and never check Facebook unless he's uploading pictures. He reluctantly checks instagram only to grumble "he hates this s**t" and doesn't really want to do it all but knows he has to. Maybe the truth is that I am a GIANT cynic and would rather have a belly laugh at myself than take anything I post too seriously, sometimes the endless promotion is just a little tiring and starts to ring a little false when forced. I actually used to work in PR before this vintage biz and never had a problem promoting someone else's product, there's just no distance whatsoever when you are a one-woman-show though, you are ON all the time...there is no OFF. If you got this far in the post you might just be as confused as me or you might slightly understand my predicament. Is the question how to be "real" in an increasingly murky online 'reality'? huh. Dunno. But your thoughts on the subject of social media are very appreciated!
Posted by Wildfell Hall Vintage at 11:51 AM
Thursday, January 16, 2014
I'm closing the shops soon for around 5 weeks while we head home to New Zealand. So many people have said "Are you closing the shops?".....I am a little perplexed by this question and being a little sensitive it makes me think "what the hell do people think I do all day??".....it also makes me very aware how similar running a growing, busy, active online shop is to running a brick and mortar shop. Imagine leaving a physical shop open for 5 weeks with an occasional friend dropping in to make sure things are ok, no new stock, no "cleaning", no changing the space, just "open". I think the sales would drop off rather dramatically and it would feel neglected pretty quickly. This is exactly how I feel about my online shop. I think it works (as much as it can given circumstances etc) because I tend to it as much as if I was physically *in* it. When I am not adding inventory I am changing photographs, updating listings, adjusting prices, adding sale items, getting rid of things I no longer want to sell, answering convos, prepping pics for social media, cleaning inventory....making sure it always looks well tended to. Much the same as you do with a brick and mortar. I do not believe that an online business can be successful or at least "regular" without a constant presence by the owner. There is so much incredible vintage out there that an online shop will get lost in the mix if it isn't tended to, it's what keeps regulars returning and your inventory turning over. When people say "oh couldn't someone ship for you?", I want to say quite loudly "I do not have an ebay account where I am getting rid of my closet!"......it disturbs me to the point where I think people see my business as some kind of weird hobby. Selling some old clothes, how quaint! Nope. This is a chunk of our family's livelihood and closing for 5 weeks is the ONLY option I have, no part of me wants an empty, static, untended yard of a shop.....now if I was going away for 1 week or even 2 I might understand but......sheesh....I have to treat this like I have a brick and mortar. It has to be that way or it won't work....interested to hear if fellow sellers agree!
Posted by Wildfell Hall Vintage at 10:14 AM
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Ah January 9th.....a year ago today was a most interesting day. I was 5 days away from my due date. Huge tummy, wearing tights and a stretchy old tee shirt and almost too out of breath to walk upstairs. I remember waking up that day and thinking yikes I better get a bikini wax, my thinking was that there would be a whole lot of people hanging out "down there" fairly soon and also I had no idea after the babe was born when I would ever get a chance or FEEL LIKE a wax....so off I went. The day tootled on like any other then that night I went out for dinner with a friend....during the dinner I was suddenly struck with waves of claustrophobia, a little nausea and a desperate need to get outside.....my friend suggested I might be going into labour but I laughed it off a little nervously and hurried home. By the time I reached home I thought "oh dear better close the shops" so I jumped online and put both shops on vacation.....by then I was vomiting and everything else rather violently....crap I thought I can't believe I have food poisoning now!! A quick "google" by my husband however revealed my symptoms to be...dum dum dum....labour! anyhoo.....it all happened really fast and a mere 10 hours later in the early hours of the 10th, our Wolf was born. I can remember most of it clearly, the nurse holding me by both arms while I got the epidural, the 4 doctors holding my legs and trying to tell me the right way to push, my husband declaring he could see "hair"......(not mine because I had the wax remember)....and then the joy of it all being over and a baby with all his limbs intact plopped on my chest. As luck would have it I do not need a bikini wax today so I can remember, rejoice and enjoy some cake, memories and hugs from my little one year old man. He's so much bigger than in this picture now, but I love it with my measuring tape entwined on his little legs. Love him.
Posted by Wildfell Hall Vintage at 10:36 AM
Saturday, January 4, 2014
|back when he was tiny.|
It's been a while, how was your holiday season? I hope it was filled with family, great food and some relaxation....we had a lovely time in our house but were struck down with terrible colds and cough which has made the past couple weeks very hard, I am however aware that it's bearable and am keeping the moaning to a minimum (mostly). Do you guys do resolutions? I never do but this year there are a few things I have learned and would like to make minor changes to if possible in 2014. Having a baby is quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever experienced, I cried pretty much every day for 6 months, sometimes with happiness but most often from exhaustion and frustration, sad but true! I was expecting the vintage shops to be very quiet this past year while I did battle with my new role as a mother but weirdly the part time hours coincided with a very busy selling year.....a truly wonderful thing indeed and I am thankful for all the ladies and gents who ordered from me, working on the shops gave my upturned life some perspective, I was able to take some time away from my lovely little babe and enjoy fussing about with clothes, bliss! My mother thinks I had a hard time adjusting to motherhood because I waited till I was 40, maybe she's right, we become so set in our ways! BUT truth be told, I was due for a shake up and this little Wolf has firmly planted himself in my heart, even with the tears, the tantrums, the no-sleep and the drool....bless him, I could not love him more. So anyway, here's a little of what a learned this year....some more deep than others, cheers to the new year everyone, hoping 2014 is a little more restful, a barrel of family fun and full of fabulous vintage!
It's possible to be really, really busy and really really lonely simultaneously.
If things don't go according to plan you better accept the way they are going, and really fast.
If your shipping is delayed by a day or two it's quite possible the customer won't even blink an eye.
Toast is a great dinner but not for a whole month.
Formulate a heavily sarcastic reply in your head by all means but refrain from typing it for at least 24 hours.
Your friends can be your family.
Making a "date night" schedule is not actually lame, it is a necessity.
Tomorrow might be harder than today, so just enjoy today.
Don't underestimate working for yourself, it's hard but can be a great achievement.
Ask for help but if you don't get it try not to think evil thoughts about the person you asked.
Fathers *generally* sleep more than mothers but they carry the same amount of stress (ish).
No, the underarm stain won't come out.
Vinegar removes/fades dye run, amazing.
It's ok to unfollow anyone who takes too many photos of their coffee, animal, child or feet.
Your business will survive without ever using hashtags.
It's ok to unfollow someone who lists hashtags like nobody's business.
Online friends can actually be very valuable friends.
Not everyone is great at social media. so many awkward captions and photos out there, if you force it, it shows.
What works for another seller doesn't necessarily work for you, in fact it probably won't, so probably best to rethink the mimic.
A long shower, a cup of tea, applying moisturizer, 10 minutes of a good programme, or a boozy hot chocolate before your baby comes back home are all a good idea.
Don't sweat the small stuff, just curse it and move on.
Posted by Wildfell Hall Vintage at 6:18 PM