Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Mysteries Of The Marketplace

Last year there was a Vendor in our Antique Mall that had some Awesome OOAK Halloween Creations... alas, they didn't do so well and closed up Shop... you just never know what Fate even the most Promising of Vendors or Artists will have?!?   I give up trying to figure it out as some of the best have had to call it a day... and some I didn't think would last seem to endure... go figure!!!  I really Miss the well Styled Booths and Showrooms that have gone away... and not just from our Mall, but all over... one by one disappearing.

I'm all about the Presentation and Quality of Inventory... but quite often those are the first to fall by the wayside in an Antique Mall or Brick and Mortar Shop nowadays... I don't exactly know why?   Except perhaps folks are more looking for an Inside Flea Market Experience where it Feels more like a Tag Sale to them than a well Curated expertly Styled Space filled with a wealth of incredible Inventory?  Or perhaps the Big Box Stores have driven down prices with their mass produced Inventory Created in Sweat Shops Overseas to a point that the Value of things is now skewed in the Minds of the average Shopper and buying Cheap now trumps buying Quality Products?   I dunno... I quit trying to figure it out actually.

I can always count on the Special Events and Shows to Deliver... and a few Fab Shops that have endured and I Hope continue to endure.   But it is few and far between now that you can find the year round open daily places you would want to frequent anymore... so many are now gone.   I don't know if it's just around here or if Nationally the same Fate is befalling the best and most Talented Vendors and Small Businesses?

I remember a time when there were so many places I wanted to frequent... and now their numbers are quickly dwindling.   I can't afford to travel the Countryside anymore following the best Shows and Events, though I would certainly like to... and in a Perfect World I would!   But I've noticed that even the Coverage of those Events and Shows here in the Land of Blog have begun to dwindle as well... so I dunno if it's because they're not 'All That' anymore and so Interest is waning... or if fewer peeps are able to make the Pilgrimages?

I think all of us who Enjoy what we do would like to make ours a Destination sort of Experience for whoever frequents our little slices of Heaven.   I'm absolutely certain that many of the Vendors that had to close up Shop had Envisioned doing Well after having put forth so much effort to Create their Retail Spaces.  To fill them with Great Inventory so Beautifully and Creatively Displayed that they Feel certain it should turn a Profit!   When that doesn't happen I'm sure that is a Disappointment and causes a degree of Bewilderment as well!?!   I know I've been Bewildered at many that didn't Make It and I was incredulous that they failed when others thrived that were a Hot Yawnfest Mess of disparate Retail mish mash!!!

How can that be so!?  I have Wondered that Mystery numerous times in fact.  I suppose anything Retail is a Subjective thing to contemplate what is Captivating and what is not... what will draw the Shopper and what will cause them to want to buy?   It's a Science that I Confess I don't know a lot about... I just know what Captivates me and what will draw me and cause me to want to buy.   And I suppose I might be an exception to the Rule judging by what I've been thrilled to see appearing on the Scene... and then didn't last!


See, I'd rather behold something Creative and Inspiring like this mass of Vintage Teacups made into a dangling Chandie and want to buy it... than to be confronted with a boring and hideous used Lamp for Sale in a mish mash of a Booth and that looked to me like it was a Yard Sale cast off at best and you couldn't believe anyone would buy, even if they were drunk?!  You know the ones, a Monstrosity that you couldn't Imagine was ever Popular during any Era and you'd rather sit in the dark than display as ambient lighting in any of your rooms!  *Smiles* 

I try now not to get too Attached to a particular Retail Space lest it go under like so many before them that I totally Delighted in frequenting only to see vanish far too soon.   I mean it's not like walking into a Big Box Store... where it's so predictable and you can find just about anywhere.  These places were as Unique as the Individuals who brought them to Life and had a Vision for them.  Such places are irreplaceable because there are no franchises and duplicates or carbon copies of them.

Some did endure for a very long time and that makes it all the more of a profound Loss once they're gone.   I can't even begin to tell you the range of Emotions I have when I pass by an empty shell of a building that once held some of my Favorite Shopping Haunts for so many years.  It's like when a Good Friend moves away and you just know you'll never see them again and there isn't anything comparable to fill the void they left behind.

I always try to Support the Small Businesses and Vendors that I have a particular Affinity for... and I Hope you do too my Friends because that is what keeps them going.    I also spread Word of Mouth and try to Promote all of my Personal Favorites within my limited Sphere of Influence.   If we all did that perhaps more would Survive and even thrive?   Even when the Economy isn't doing so good... which it's still not and we all know that... though I always keep the Faith that the Market will Correct itself and Stabilize in it's Cycle eventually, as it always has in the Past.

It is however hard to hang in there waiting on a Self Correction of the Market though... so I do understand why so many just call it a day when they cannot continue to sustain losses or just break even.    I'm fortunate that for me my little Spaces are just my Hobby because if it had to be Making a Living we wouldn't be!!!   So for those Making a Living at it, I Applaud you for your tenacity and resourcefulness to make a go of it and last!!!

The Mysteries of the Marketplace are still something I try to figure out... but I'm not certain I ever will really?   People are diverse and so is what they consider an Ideal Shopping Experience and enticing Product.   I know that some things have their Day... I just really Hope that the Small Business and Individual Entrepreneurs haven't had their day and won't be a vital part of the Future?

I just know that I'd very much Miss them... and Feel quite sad that Future Generations wouldn't get to Experience them or be one of them.   But I do know that many are Struggling right now... and it's a difficult Struggle with a lot of casualties.   And I'm not quite sure I'd know what to suggest in the way of running damage control to ensure there won't be an Extinction of sorts if things continue along the way that I've been Observing in recent years?   There is a dialogue going on and discussions about it, but no real Solutions emerging... and I Wonder how many Care like I do about what seems to be happening?


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Sad! But there are still more than enough here in the middle west to tempt me!

  2. I do understand what you are saying Dawn, as I have been on both ==well three sides of the issue. I did art shows with hand thrown potter for over 30 years, and went from the 'earthwoman/overall wearing hippy', to the serious country potter complete with duckies and hearts, to an art potter, where the bulk of my items were 'art', well functional art, to freehand painting underglazes on cast earthenware--oops I forgot a very lucrative period of chunky porcelain jewelry in the late 80s-early 90's. Then I did wholesale---mass production, here and there, taught classes, went to work for two Mass retailers in arts/crafts, and then opened and arts/crafts/antiques store for 10 years.
    Now I do Etsy, with inherited items, and some of my own. And this blog thing?
    YES, the market changes, and yes, the owners: change, move on---morph. You can't pour your heart into something forever without any payback. My stint with national craft retailers was for 'tuition for college for my kids. Sadly my shop was for retirement---and after 10 years, I really saw my 42 American vendors drain to about 5, and profits dwindle to less than 10%.

    I still get the urge to create, but it is limited now to what I have stashed in my basement and some things I can fix-up and redo. I think the baby-boomer generation has filled their homes with so many things…their kids/grandkids have rejected the 'clutter' mentality, some of us still have.

    BUT, I feel there will always be a market for genuine creativity-and true art. We just need to foster the appreciation for the arts on all levels. And hopefully blogs, like yours will continue to do so! Smiles, cause I love all your stuff, even though I can no longer absorb any more stuff into my life. Been all around the block on this one, Sandi.

    1. Yes, I do agree that subsequent generations have a totally different mentality and Lifestyle, as each generation always tends to forge their own paths. Most of my Adult Children and Older Grandchildren embrace more of a Minimalist Philosophy. I have met many Young people though that still do wholeheartedly appreciate the Arts so I agree that it will probably never go away, just morph into a Fresh Art Form for a new Era. Thanks for Sharing your Journey, Wow, what an Exciting and Creative one it has been! Standing Ovation! My Grandson loves to work with Clay and Create Sculpture, he has a Natural Talent for it and I'm always Amazed at what he can turn a clump of clay into within moments! Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl