Today's blog post is looking a bit at the back-end of the business. I know several of you who read and follow my blog are furniture painters yourselves. So I thought I'd share a little story about how I got this business started and what the shipping portion looks like. Perhaps it will be a bit of encouragement for you in your business - at whatever stage you find yourself in.
When I started Roots & Wings Furniture, I had a 4 year old, 2 year old and 3 month old at home. I had come to realize there would never be a "perfect" time to start a business, so I darn well better just get on with it if I wanted it to happen. So Roots and Wings Furniture was born (I call it my fourth child).
I thought for sure I'd paint a few pieces here or there and find a cute local antique shop to sell in. Well I looked high and low in north Pittsburgh and couldn't find a darn thing. The consignment rates here are usually 50/50 and I just couldn't seem to make that work for what I wanted to do.
A friend mentioned Etsy - so I took a look, and decided to start selling there. I still thought for sure people would use the "local Etsy" feature and just find me here in Pittsburgh. I wasn't sure how I was going to handle local delivery but I thought I'd figure it out as I went. So I loaded up my online Etsy shop with my first few pieces and hit PUBLISH.
Much to my shock, I made a sale in the first week. The first pieces that sold were a pair of nightstands - and the buyer was in TEXAS.
Now what? I was so excited I had my first sale!! But now I had to figure out how to get them to her. Unfortunately nightstands don't fit in a mailbox.
So while my husband started researching shipping options online, I rushed off to Lowe's to see if I could find shipping boxes. They did not have boxes to fit, so I made my own with so much tape and cardboard it would stretch to the moon and back.
Those two pieces looked ridiculous, but they got to my customer and she was happy!
Since then, I've tried lots of options, shipped several more pieces and found what works best with the least amount of stress.
I get asked all the time by furniture flippers - how do you ship it? So I finally took the time to write it all down in an eBook. It's a reference book of sorts to help furniture flippers everywhere have the confidence to list their pieces online.
In the eBook I share the companies I've used, how each of them work and my experience with them. I'm honest about it too. I have a couple of favorite shippers I go back to consistently. They make the process easy and I trust them with a piece I've put blood, sweat and tears into (well, not so much blood or tears but definitely a little elbow grease).
So if the process seems overwhelming, intimidating or you don't know where to start, take a deep breath. I'm here to help.
The eBook is available here! I think it will be so helpful for you!