Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Ahhh . . . innocence!
Opening my first antiques shop in south Florida was a dream come true.
 I loved to hunt . . .  and gather pieces of history, and bring them together to tell a story.
 I wanted to immerse myself in the beautiful timeworn patina of the past.
I wanted to present these delightful treasures to others who would love them as much as I did!  
I wanted to open a charming place where people could come and relish a bit of their time, away from the hustle and bustle of the ordinary.
My little dream came true.

There is something to be said for barging blindly into the business world with absolutely no idea of what you're doing . . . 
(When I say I made it through by the
 Grace of God,
picture a kitten deciding to cross the interstate at rush hour.)

Folks who are savvy, educated, experienced 
and certainly better capitalized than I was
 have failed to succeed.  
Stats will tell you 67% - 75% of small businesses fail within 3 years of opening.

I believe it was meant to be.

Enthusiasm and passion and loving what you do can seemingly create an energy of their own.

I signed a lease and decorated my shop and ordered business cards and designed window displays and placed ads in the local shopper newspapers and opened my doors.

My little shop was in a busy strip center at a major intersection of Fort Lauderdale.
It was unique at the time - there were no other shops
 specializing in 'primitives' anywhere in the area.

It was across the street from the brand new Broward Mall
which was the largest grossing mall in the country within 2 years of opening.
I was discovered by the "going to lunch and shopping for the afternoon ladies".
They told their friends.

my little shop was a phenomenon.
My accountant asked questions.
"How have you done this?" he asked?

I shrugged . . ." I guess I don't know" I answered.

"If you can figure it out and tell me, we will bottle it and make a fortune!" he said.

And through all these forty years
 I have studied and noted . . .  recorded and graphed . . .  strategized and experimented.

Forty years of small, retail business have taught me that there are key elements that are necessary
in building a successful venture.

Those elements, (call them rules), are universal and work for retailers anywhere.
They are simple to understand and critical to implement.

There is more to come . . .
Antiques By Joy

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