New Year, New European Container, New Shop Goals and DIY Products

Hello everyone!  Another year has passed, and COVID round 2, and I’m ready to just focus on 2022!  We at the Rust and Refind Artisan Market are so grateful for your support and patronage.  As the times progress, challenges seem to increase for us in the retail world.  From pandemics, to economic conditions (supply chain, price increases), to social media and the online shopping world, to customer expectations, it’s becoming a full-time job to try to stay ahead of the power curve.  I cannot say I am ahead of it, but I am doing my best to improve and challenge myself, to make your shopping experience better, to help the artisans who chose to be part of our team, and to find what I am really passionate about in this business.  With it still being January, and the month to to organize and declutter, I am letting go of the unnecessaries and streamlining the necessaries.

The first necessary and my passion is antiques and vintage, especially European.  And trying to hone in on my true style. I still want to offer a wide variety of products for my customers, but less of “everything” and more of my favorites.  The first of my European containers just arrived this month, after a long break from my last one.  August was a tough month to go to Belgium, but absolutely worth it.  They had just opened up after COVID mandates, and the vendors were finally getting to other countries to bring more product in.  The container took way too long,

 

but IT IS HERE!  Check out some sneak peaks and come visit.  I will continue to bring out to the floor as I get the pieces ready, but there is much available already.  I look forward to another trip, but for now there is plenty of European goodness to offer.  I am holding off putting the product online to allow my B&M customers first dibs.  Which brings me to my second goal.

Brick and Mortar.  In this online shopping world, I still believe that to see in person, touch in person, visit in person is the best. That social and community connection.  Meeting the customers.  Customers learning the stories and seeing things displayed…which is another reason for me to have a B&M.  I love vignettes, staging, styling.  I cannot imagine having a storeroom somewhere and selling solely online.  It is not where my soul wants to be.  Yes, there is more overhead, more “work”, and such….but it is what I enjoy.  Speaking of online….

My 2022 (and 2019, 2020, 2021) goal is to improve my online visibility shop wise.  I have an Etsy shop Rust and Refind on Etsy , but I do realize the economic and customer driven demand for online shops.  I am working on that to allow more of my social media posts “shoppable” for your ease and instant shopping pleasure.  Please give me grace as I try to navigate the technical component of this part of business.  :o)

And, continuing with the B&M space and what we can do to help and improve the customer experience.  We’d love your feedback, of course.  In reviewing our shop hours, we decided to continue with our Wednesday and Thursday opens and two weekends (a first full weekend and another Saturday).  We all have other things in our lives that we need to work on such as custom work, buying, design work, behind the scenes “business” and so on, and we do not have hired help.  And, that other thing….family.  We believe our current hours of operation give plenty of opportunity for our customers to shop in store, and we are always available by appointment.  Please reach out.  Facebook and Google make it difficult to “post” our irregular hours (though Google has allowed us to input our weekend days that we are scheduled to be open), but we are all super at posting events and when we are open.  It may seem repetitive to some of you, but trust me when I say that we get so many inquiries asking when are we open.  We have open flags, signage, Rusty the truck, sandwich boards announcing our opens (working on improving emails, because I hate getting a lot and assume you do as well).  We also will start to work on offering our workshops again.  COVID was tough for in shop workshops, but you have been asking and we will get some out on schedule, BUT also would like to express our workability for offering on-demand workshops based on what you would like to do and when you can do it.  So, workshops by appointment.  We would, of course, need 3-4 minimal attendees. Stay tuned as we work through getting the details and workshop offerings out to you.  And, along with workshops, comes my other favorite aspect of this business. DIY and the diy products!  We have exciting diy news for our customers in that we have expanded our General Finishes lines, Paint Couture lines and Redesign with Prima lines.  All of our artisans will now be offering some component of each of these lines for sale, bringing just about any product you need to you in a one-stop shop.  Our DIY space downstairs has expanded and improved and looks oh so good, too, making it easier to see and find the products.  We all use these products and will be offering you the expertise and products to help with your diy projects!

Finally, the Artisan Mercantile component of the market is expanding as well!  More rentable space downstairs and up, bringing our customers even more local, handcrafted home decor and gifts.  We love supporting other local artisans and offering a wider variety of goods.  Please reach out for more information on getting on the waiting list to rent shelf space, room space, and for our outdoor market set ups this year.

Realistic goals, higher expectations.  :o).   As always, I hope you continue to support us with your purchases, follows, likes, shares, and reviews.  We love feedback.  We love your visits.  Happy 2022, best of health, prosperity and happiness….and,

 

Smile and Make Life Fun

Brenda

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