Let's talk about time this week. It's been on my mind all day and, huh, it's my blog. So, time it is. ;)
I was so happy to have a chance this afternoon to spend time with one of my dearest friends strolling through a local market/vintage shop. One of the reasons we are friends is that we will stop at intervals and have the most ridiculous conversations about a random thought one of us just had upon seeing something like a percolator coffee pot. And we'll laugh and then we'll wander silently until something else strikes one one us.
During the silent times, as a person who paints furniture, I check out furniture done by others and listen in on other shoppers' conversations. (I eavesdrop everywhere - it's a writing thing, I guess.) I'm always amazed at these types of locations at people who look and scoff at the price (which were kind of low for the level of work, imo) and say, "I could totally do that myself." There were some pieces I saw today that any one of my boys could have made. Okay. Not great. There were just as many pieces that were beautifully thought out and executed. For the rest of this, I'm talking about the second set of pieces.
You CAN do this at home! It's not rocket surgery. Thing is, it usually takes multiple tries to get it right. In the end, unless it's something you LOVE doing, it would most likely be cheaper just to buy whatever it is you liked at that market. Not always - but more often than not.
The thing is, the people creating the beautiful pieces of furniture and decor that you see have done the testing, the trying, the redoing and redoing and redoing for you. And, while it's no secret that these furniture artists are working with pieces found on the curb, at thrift stores and at estate sales, a lot goes into what you are seeing in a market booth.
How much of your own time are you willing to spend?
- Locating the furniture. Moving the furniture.
- Cleaning and repairing the furniture.
- Prepping the furniture.
- Painting the furniture.
- Treating the furniture with extra touches - wax, metallic finishes, decoupage, etc.
- Staging and photographing the furniture for online selling opportunities.
- Moving the furniture to the booth.
- Coming in after weekends and cleaning the furniture after people place wet drinks and other assorted detrious ON their piece.
A LOT of work goes into each and every thing you see in a market. You may not care for some or even all of it. OR you may want to try your hand at doing it yourself. (And, if this is the case, take a card or flyer from one of the booths - most furniture artists are more than happy to share tips and help you get started.) But, before you complain about the price or try to make a low offer, stop and consider the time and thought that went into a piece of furniture. Also stop and consider how much of your time, money and effort you are seriously willing to put into a similar piece.
Everyone will have a different answer. Personally, I try to set my prices fairly. I'm not a charity, though. I have to place value on my time. I am also happy to answer questions or help anyone who wants to try painting their own piece of furniture. I'm not currently affiliated with any paint brand or other product brand so I'm not looking to sell you something. I think it's relaxing and fun to redo your own furniture and encourage others to try it.
If you're like my shopping friend, you might be decidedly opposed to anything remotely "crafty." In that case, bring me your sad dresser, trunk, buffet, bookshelf or any other piece of furniture and we can work within your budget to make it new. Don't have a piece but need one? Let me know. I spend a lot of time shopping for furniture, I'd be happy to add your needs to my list! Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org