Adored Vintage / The Shopkeeper's Journal

Can I be real with you for a minute? Of course I can, we're friends right? I'm not even sure to begin so I am going to set a timer on my phone and just write for a solid 10 minutes. Maybe.

*sets timer*

*sigh* Ok...as you may or may not know, I closed down a brick and mortar in January. Well, I suppose February was when we moved out. January I spent most of the time packing up an entire shop on my own. 

For over 3 years I have been so used to running my shop and then co-running the shop I just closed, then taking it over. So for the past 2 years I've basically been running two full on stores with little assistance.

Once the shop was closed...the brick & mortar, I felt this immense relief, Like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Suddenly I felt like I had so much time on my hands. I could DO things outside of work again. I could have WEEKENDS again. 

On a particularly beautiful weekend, I browsed through some shops and felt a little smug about being able to enjoy the fine weather and not have to sit behind a cash register or small talk with potential customers. 

Then I got into gardening a bit. Started having a social life again. Got active in several small business groups I am a part of here in Portland. I redid parts of my website. Revamped the studio. 

Life was great. Life is great.

And yet...lately... I've been feeling a bit buh humbug. I know part of it is because of the weather. It has been a very long rainy, cold, windy Spring. And I hate the combination of all three. I especially hate windy weather. 

Another huge factor is I've had really terrible back pains lately. It's chronic and on going, but the past month or so it has been a bit debilitating. There have been several days where I just can't work because it hurts to sit for too long or even walk around. THIS has been the most frustrating thing. WANTING to do things but not ABLE to do things.

Now... because I've had to basically do NOTHING and just lay around with painkillers, I've been able to do some thinking.

And it dawned in me. And I don't want to admit it. It's been this weird lump in my throat that I know has been there, but just felt like it would go away eventually. 

And it's NOT going away. 

I just sighed really big in real life because admitting this is kind of bittersweet. 

But truthfully you guys, I'm bored with selling vintage. 

There I said it. 

I'm not inspired by it anymore. I'm not passionate about it. The selling of it anyway. Or rather the mending, cleaning, sourcing everything one by one... I don't know what happened. *edited to add* I've been selling vintage online since 2004 (on eBay). That was 14 YEARS AGO.

Somewhere along the lines of operating two stores... the magic got lost. I think it's been ebbing away for quite some time now, and like I said before... I just thought it would go away. I ignored it. 

Kind of like my back problems. 

*10 minute timer done*

I don't really feel better about admitting it and putting it out there. I'm just being honest and transparent. Don't get me wrong, I love owning my own business. I love finding pretty and beautiful things, I still adore vintage... I just know, for right now, I'm not inspired by selling vintage clothing. I'm on auto pilot for it. I'm bored by it. I've seen so many beautiful exquisite vintage things, that even when I see something I would have cried over 5 years ago, I kind of just glaze over it now. 

And I don't think THAT is a good thing. 

So I think I'm going to take a break from selling vintage for a bit. I'll still have it in my shop of course, but I want to focus on selling the vintage modern clothing. I find it so much fun choosing new styles and referencing styles from the past. 

It is GREAT not having to clean anything. Or mend anything. Or try to get questionable stains out of clothes that have been stored in an attic for 50 years. 

There is a different sort of magic with selling vintage inspired clothing. I feel like I'm out there looking for the dresses that will become part of someone's wardrobe for a very long time and eventually in 50 years, maybe some gal will start selling "vintage from 2018" and it will be a modern dress from my shop. 

I just laughed. I'm so tickled by that idea. 

Wow, this was a really long post. I do feel mildly better. My back, not so much. Yesterday I just constantly cried because it hurt so bad and I was frustrated that walking hurt and sitting up hurt and taking a shower hurt. (I also didn't take pain meds yesterday...)

Anyhow, if you made it down this far...thank you for reading (i.e. internet listening). I started this Shopkeeper's Journal as a way for me to really share what goes through my head sometimes owning a shop and sometimes it's not all pretty white dresses, straw hats, and flowers.

Reviews (2 comments)

  • Ishy On

    I’ve been loving reading your Shopkeeper’ Journal. Thank you so much for sharing the trials and tribulations and joys of being a small business owner. I didn’t actually know business owner groups were a thing!I’m going to look for one in my area, once I get over my fear of humans IRL 😆

  • Robyn On

    Though I just discovered you a few months ago and ‘adore’ everything you do, I completely understand and respect your feelings. I’ve been a vintage jewelry assemblage artist for the past 8 years, but all along I knew it wasn’t a sustainable business model… the time and energy spent researching, sourcing, restoring, etc. vintage jewelry – not to mention the increasing expense! – took the fun and spontaneity out of it for me. I now work mostly with new jewelry materials that have a vintage / romantic feel and my life has become so much simpler and creating doesn’t feel as forced. I just know this new path of selling modern clothing will lead you to even greater heights and more freedom. Best wishes! Robyn x o

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