Having spent decades collecting assorted old treasures, my home is now overflowing. This realization coincided with my husband’s semi-annual angst about the lack of empty space in our basement. Why this is a concern, I fail to fathom, as an undeveloped furnace room is meant to store things, in my opinion. Besides which, I have it quite organized by theme: holiday ornaments, gardening supplies, old toys, and all his stuff. At any rate, this resulted in me searching for a way to pass some of our extra gems along to new homes.
I found a seasonal market in the city, filled out the vendor application, and was accepted. Thus, a new aspect of my life began. In addition to assorted vintage items, I will be selling pillows, scarves, aprons, and sachets, which I am sewing myself. My days have been filled with the hands-on, creative task of design and fabrication. My nights have been taken over by worries about sourcing supplies, marketing product, and worst of all — meeting technological demands.
By now you are aware, Dear Readers, that I am not gifted in the technology department. Part of the application process was creating a website showing an assortment of my products. My teenage son was enlisted to teach me how to use one of the programs already on my rather outdated computer to accomplish this feat. I was quite proud of the result and that I had met the tech requirements of this new business. This would be a snap! However, I was then informed that communication for the market was via Facebook. My heart plummeted — the Dreaded Facebook. sigh. For years I have railed against this social media monster, refusing outright to be sucked into their nefarious network devised to collect personal data about every member of the human race. Now, I was forced to choose: give up my chance to participate in the sale, or be sucked into the Facebook vortex. I decided to participate in the most minimal way and signed up for notices, but have not provided any personal information or clicked on Anything, Anywhere, on their site. Doubtlessly, this has reflected poorly on me in the market media circles.
The irony of my current situation has now dawned on me. I began this venture in an attempt to clear space in our home, while earning extra money on the side. However, stock and raw materials are now overflowing from my home office-turned-studio into the rest of the house, not to mention the funds expended on product and business supplies. Then it occurred to me, during yet another sleepless night, that I will have a surplus of stock after the sale day. What would I do with all that stuff then? If this type of market was an endless circle of household chaos, what was the alternative? I suspect it is online sales — which means, of course, more technological demands. My love of vintage items combined with my entrepreneurial spirit has finally dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. Perhaps I’ll go sit in my new, used car and listen to some more 1940s music on the complimentary satellite radio service…
This article was originally printed in the BERGEN NEWS and is being reprinted with permission.