Tag Archives: vintage

Obligated

While I was at Starbucks yesterday updating this blog, my father brought in a pair of JVC speakers, a pair of brass candlesticks, a small table and two sides of a bench.  Not a bench, just the sides. 

Just thought I’d share.

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Conflict of Interest

One of the greatest obstacles one runs into when working with another is conflict itself; differing ideas, goals and ethics can make the workplace heinous at times, even toxic.

It gets so much harder though, when you work with a family member, and especially one with which you still live.

At my shop there’s my Papa and there’s me. I love him and respect him and adore him… but sometimes I want to throw a microphone stand at his head (it’s a good thing I sold my only mic stand yesterday for $20).

I can’t rag on him too much because he built the business from the ground up.  He invested the time, the money, the effort all before I was born.  Matter of Time is his 4th shop incarnation; he decided at some point to just do the vintage/antique thing for a living.

But when your shop ends up looking like this:

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…you’re doing something wrong.

That is why I decided to take it over.  In addition to housework and instead of a social life I am trying to piece this huge puzzle together.

The clothing, the books, the postcards, the jewellery- all that is sorted into a somewhat decent manner.  I’m still working on the tools because he picks something up and doesn’t put it back. I think I may need to create hardware stations throughout the shop and home so he can just dump a tool in the closest bin and I’ll organize it as I go.

But if I find a hammer in the jewellery or a saw in with the picture frames I’ll definitely scream.

There’s just so much STUFF.

This is where we are conflicted:

He brings in stock. All the time. Even if it doesn’t go with the store. He’s a packrat and hates throwing things out. He has a mountain of stuff to be fixed which i know he’ll never get to.

I, on the other hand, have no problem gettings rid of things that are broken. Not to say I throw things in the garbage- no. I set things on the curb for DIYers to get their hands on. But the point is I can get things out without feeling guilty.

I just need him to go away for a week so I can clean up the shop without interference.

Alas, we don’t have the money needed for that.  We don’t have the money because sales aren’t where they should be. Sales aren’t where they should be because people can’t see all the amazing things we have to offer. People can’t see our treasures because he brings in too much stuff that doesn’t belong in our shop.

Oh God… the cycle is driving me insane.

I won’t give up, though.  I’ve helped things progress so much.

My new nickname is Katalogue because all I ever do these days is sort, organize, clean and catalog stock for the shop.

It will pay off, though, because I’m Katrina, the little redhead that could.

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Knowing Your Audience and How To Change It

I was bullied.  In elementary school the cool kids became the cruel kids and I was an easy target.

I was a fat child; 4’10” and 180 lbs is fat. F.A.T.  I ate well and healthy, and was on nearly every sport’s team, and still was obese. I blame my fat genes for my fat jeans.

Being the only redhead in the class made me a freak from the start.  Freckles were fugly and I knew it.

Also, I was a girl without a mother. While not unheard of when I was younger, kids just did not understand that life happens, things change, families come in different forms.  So they speculated and teased and punched their ways into my history.

Whatever.

When I began highschool I bullied myself.  I didn’t want to accept the fact that perhaps the other kids had matured enough to change their ways.

By 10th grade I lost most of my excess weight, made friends with another redhead and grew to love my freckles (connect-the-dots became my favourite distraction from Biology).

But I didn’t realize that perhaps some of the highschoolers came from schools where there was no bullying. I denied people access to my true personality because I didn’t want to be hurt AGAIN.

Also I convinced myself that none of them wanted to be friends with the girl that lived in the junk shop across the street.  To this day I live across the street from my former highschool.

Kids pass by every day with comments about the store, about me and the life they’ve hypothesized for me thinking I can’t hear any of it.

After reading about my woes with the youth in my area, can someone tell me why I’ve signed on as an official vendor for Toronto Youth Day 2013?

By July 21st I need to have a solid plan on how to engage youth and find ways to make my business interesting for them.

I have hope that I can transform these young people into history enthusiasts, treasure seekers, vintage vixens.

If you’re in Toronto on July 21st, come visit me during Toronto Youth Day 2013 and see if I figured out how to effectively engage the group of people I used to fear the most.

I’ll be in the first tent on the left.

http://www.yd-toronto.com/

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Mutable Madness!

So again it has happened!  I disappeared into the insanity that is life beyond the computer.

I lived and cried and sang and tried to make everything work, and, well…I’m still huffing and puffing along-

-and I’m a store richer.

That’s right, I successfully took over the shop!  That being said, these last few harrowing months have been spent tearing the store apart. Not an easy task when the entire place puts all clutter nightmares to shame.

Slowly but surely I’ve been reorganizing.  Imagine your father’s old toolbox, but all he ever did was add to it.  He’d use a wrench here and a staple-gun there, but mostly just tossed in things he knew he’d need or simply like to have.

I have literally (yes, I’m using “literally” correctly here) spent days sorting hex nuts from wing nuts, 3″ wood screws from 2″ drywall screws and bent nails from straight ones.

This is, in fact, how I spent my Christmas holiday.

I gave my father a bouquet of Robertson screwdrivers; he didn’t realize he had 14 of the darn things.  

Anyways, I’ve also been sorting postcards, jewellery, clothing, more tools, and all sorts of odds and ends.  Little by little I purge what just can’t work with me. 

My best friend, Tupperware, told me the other day how she appreciates my including her in the revamp of the shop. I got all teary-eyed when I tried to reciprocate the kind words.  Truth is, there are no words fantastic enough to tell Tupperware just how handy, in fact, life- and space-saving she has been to me.

Space is such a precious commodity around here, so I always get persnickety with Dad when he brings in something big.

History was made a few weeks ago when a friend of mine called and told me Nathalie-Roze would be closing the brick-and mortar location and was THROWING OUT a display cabinet.

I jumped at the opportunity, and now it sits unused, dividing my store in half.  I need to sell that wardrobe.  Or maybe Matt from Unit will pick up the bar he bought 2 years ago.

*sigh*

I really am turning out to be my father’s daughter.

More to come, I’m sure.

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I knew this would happen:

A mere four posts in and I’ve let the store life take over once again. I hate to see myself becoming one of the time-hungry zombies that seem to plague the larger cities these days, but how can I get anything done, ever?

Okay, I’m not a mother. I don’t have screaming kids to take care of. No diapers to change, mouths to feed, I don’t cook or drive children to school.

I’m not a part of any groups; as much as I’d love to join a book club, take up kickboxing, actually attend my OoE meetings and network with other entrepeneurs, I just can’t afford to.

I’m always cleaning. Even when I’m working, I’m cleaning. The fact that I don’t have a far commute between work and home (3 feet, perhaps 2 seconds), simply means I have even MORE time to clean.

The problem itself is the very same reason I write this blog: I live where I work. While I clean dishes (by hand) and vacuum the floors (with a machine as old as I am) and lug laundry to the laundromat (a block away), the father of the shop buys more stock.

While I’m organizing watch parts and filing magazines and creating new displays for the camera gear, he’s buying new stock.

While I’m mopping the kitchen floor (and getting stuck in the corner because I ALWAYS make the same mistake) or cleaning the toilet or just taking up the eternal job of dusting, he’s is bring in more stock.

I think I’ve complained about this in a previous post: the boundary between work and home is non-existant. When I’m the only one cleaning and he takes in items at a faster rate than I can find spots for, we basically disprove the whole ‘tectonic shift’ theory and create our own mountains.

Now a meeting at Starbucks with someone who would love to work for me. She’s a class-act, and I can’t afford to hire her.

Please, someone, buy my mountains!

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Will all the real neat-freaks please clean up?

The UTTERMOST problem I’ve encountered during the… 17 years (WOW!) of in-store living that I’ve had to contend with is the boundary between store and home.

When I say I live in a shop, I really mean I have a small apartment attached to the rear of the storefront.  Because I have SO MUCH STUFF, however, I find it hard to keep up with organization.  I can’t go 5 seconds without laying eyes on something that doesn’t belong.

Mary Poppins, Mrs. Doubtfire and Lunette the Clown would all suffer heart pains should they step into the inexorable chaos that is my store and home.  Right now I have jewellery, 2 radios, stained-glass art and some vintage leather shoes all sitting in my kitchen.

Also, I’m a Gemini.  We’re indecisive, scatterbrained creatures.  How can I possibly get anything done if those are two of my dominant characteristics?  Well, Lifehacker is helping, for sure:

 

http://lifehacker.com/5940096/wall-mount-baskets-to-store-bathroom-linens?tag=organization

 

You see, we all need help every so often in rethinking the items we have- we’re not all creative enough to think of mounting baskets sideways and using them as shelves.  This helps me in TWO ways.

1:   I use the idea in the home.

Perhaps not with towels as I already have a handy-dandy towel holder, but I’m always struggling to find ways of displaying my gadgets or trinkets in my bedroom.  Once I mount some baskets on the wall next to the TV, I can display some of my favourite DVDs and other film-related collectibles.

2:  Selling stock.

How?  Well, perhaps you’ve heard about the “distressed look.”  This is not for fashion;  please don’t walk around Toronto (or anywhere for that matter) with distress on your face thinking it’s the latest trend.  No, we’re talking furniture and decor, here.

And the coolest item you can find with the distressed look is the much-beloved Coca-Cola crate.   While baskets might be sturdy enough to hold bathroom linens, Coke boxes can hold books, paperweights, even a baby (please don’t put your baby on the crate), so long as you mount it properly.  Any handy DIYer can help.

Anyways, here’s my favourite picture of the Coke shelf:

 

This is by no means my picture, nor is it my idea.  BUT I do sell these at my store;  sites like Lifehacker introduce me to the ideas I can apply to stock.  When I pass the idea along to my customers, they remember not only where they found the idea, but also where they can go to see it through!

Maybe I’ll start thinking outside the Coca-Cola box now.  🙂

 

-Kat

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