Maison Fleur de Lis

Maison Fleur de Lis
French at Heart ...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Creating an Elegant Barn Sale ... In 2009

It all started in late 2009;
"an inspiring article in a home décor magazine". 
I was interested SMITTEN ! What an interesting concept; unique & exciting.
As Owner of Maison Fleur de Lis,
a Vintage Style Home Décor Boutique,
I had been selling my hand painted furniture,
mostly hit & miss MISS:
ebay, craigslist, etsy et cetera. 
They all had their advantages ... & disadvantages.
In 2009, there was a new trend that was brewing in the Midwest, called Occasional Sales. They were generally held a few times a year; creating the urgency & desire to buy quickly as they will not be there next week, and neither will that unique vintage treasure you have been lusting after.
I had to learn more,  this led to further searching in 2009,
turning up inspiring blogs
from Cottage Elements & The French Flea.
A light bulb lightening bolt went off,
NO sale like this had ever been done in upstate New York before.
 So for a year I read, brainstormed
and honed my version of the idea.
But a sale of this magnitude & WOW factor
needed a great location & more muscle .
So in late 2010, I made
"some excited phone calls ".
I cautiously presented my concept to a few guest artisans about the possibility of launching my occasional sale idea in our area,
 the absolute first of many copycat sales to come.
But I first needed to find a name ... AND a location.
The search for the location took alot 
ALOT longer than anticipated.
In the meantime, I wanted a Venue Name
that was easy to identify my original vision,
but unique enough for people to remember its innovation.
I wanted the name to reflect the humbleness & the ornateness  
of the vintage treasures for sale.
Words & word combinations
were tossed around and narrowed down.
 In a final post-meeting brainstorm,
I listed 30 new words on a paper 
 looking for inspiration...
TADA , there it was, as it jumped off the page ...
City Chic Country Charm.

The hardest part was to find a location, preferably a barn ;
something unique, fun &inspiring.
The HUNT was on...
but it took almost 6 months for me to find a Barn
that would welcome my innovative idea within all my criteria.
So it took 
"months of planning "....
After back & forth questions with the barn owner for a month,
I was able to report to my guests artisans that indeed,
I had found a barn !

       And so ... My Idea,  of the first Occasional Sale in Upstate New York,
" City Chic Country Charm, the Elegant Barn Sale
Was born 7 years ago ..." 
A article appeared in the local paper in the Spring of 2011,
just weeks before my first sale highlighting me as the originator
of this local innovative idea.
Sales were held in the Autumn 2011,
Spring 2012 and Spring 2013.
Each of the sales was tweaked and perfected.
I proudly posed for a picture at my  Autumn Barn Sale.
Unfortunately, behind the scenes, issues were not so perfect, nor transparent. In the middle of the Spring Sale 2013, I discovered a major business ethics flaw by one of the guest artisans. Despite the sale being in full force,
having just discovered the deception,
 I wanted to remedy it quickly. 
Within a day, my idea, the one that I had spent a year planning
before I even invited guest artisans,
had been dashed on the rocks.
I had come to a decision tree;
based on personal and business principles.
Do I continue to present this sale
knowing that there is a ethics problem with a guest artisan
 and have it potentially ruin the reputation of my concept idea,
 the sale itself, my personal business & myself ?
Do I cut my losses,
distance myself from the ethics issue with the other guest artisans 
and give up my original idea , to start anew later ? 
I choose the latter.
I choose to start anew.
I quickly closed the venue called
City Chic Country Charm,
The Elegant Barn Sale.
In subsequent years, a advertisement has appeared
 by those same guest artisans with the ethics issues,
implying This City Chic Country Charm Sale was their own idea,
with this tag line...
"An Inspiring article in a magazine,
 some excited phone calls,
months of planning and
City Chic Country Charm, The Elegant Barn Sale
was born 7 years ago..."
BUT... The tag line by those writers has a major  flaw.
It's best that the truth be known...
 Seven years ago, in 2009,
 I found the inspiring magazine article...
 I made the exciting phone calls ...
 I initiated the months planning ...
created the idea of City Chic Country Charm...
I was the "midwife" that gave it birth. 

No comments:

Post a Comment