It has been 17 years since I opened Mossy Cottage. I decided to specialize in vintage linens and costume jewelry with other items to “fill in”. I have been known as the “linen lady” in Fredericksburg for years. As I watched my sales decline over the last couple years I realized that the younger women today do not care about setting a nice table with linens. Most don’t even know how to cook a meal without using prepared foods or eat out for most of their meals. And although I am a staunch user of vintage linens I decided to make a change at Mossy Cottage.
I had a huge sale on the linens and sold most of them off. Then I refilled the booth with vintage and retro kitchenware, office supplies and industrial items, sewing and crafting items, clothing accessories and flower and garden items. Happily my sales have started to improve and I even get men into my booth now!
Here are a couple pictures of the new and improved Mossy Cottage!
DIY wedding and party items.
Vintage office supplies and industrial items.
Retro kitchenware and kitsch.
Vintage sewing and crafting items.
Vintage purses, gloves and some small linens.
Kitschy planters and garden items.
I’m excited about this change after 17 years and really enjoy my new merchandise (and hunting for it)! But one thing that will not change is my own love of vintage linens!
I have been very busy this year rearranging the shop and giving it a new look. I am doing this partly because I am carrying some different merchandise than before and partly to keep like merchandise together. I think the shop was somewhat “confused” before with retro and Shabby and industrial all mixed together. Now I have grouped similar items for more cohesiveness. I’m really starting to like the way it is coming together and enjoy going to the shop again instead of dreading it! Martin has come in twice to help me with bigger changes that I couldn’t do by myself. What a sweetheart. Anyway, here are some pictures I took today from the shop in Fredericksburg.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures. If you are ever in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area be sure to stop by. Thank you for looking and I’ll leave you with one last picture.
P.S. I did vacuum before I left!
We’ve all heard the saying, “When one door closes, another opens.” This has been so true for my shop Mossy Cottage.
As business expanded at my William Street location I was able to get a second smaller space upstairs. I called this space Mossy Cottage Too and it had more retro and industrial merchandise. For the last couple years, however, sales upstairs have not been so great, mostly because only about 1/4 of the people who come into the mall actually go upstairs.
To boost sales I started an Etsy shop several years ago but really didn’t put much effort into it. Earlier this year I decided to work harder at my Etsy shop and run it like the real business it is. Well, once I started to put some time and effort into it, my Etsy shop finally took off. I love that I can list items and run the shop
in my pajamas from home.
That being said, I decided to give up my Mossy Cottage Too space upstairs at the mall, and concentrate on my larger downstairs space and my Etsy shop.
Here are some
blurry quick pictures of my new business plan. Please notice that if I had one more item to squeeze into my booth downstairs I literally would have needed a shoe horn!
So there is a quick tour of Mossy Cottage as it is now. I love having the retro mixed with the shabby chic mixed with the industrial. It all can coexist nicely.
I feel a sense of peace having just one booth again. Having an active Etsy shop helps with the sales, but doesn’t require another rent nor schlepping anything upstairs (which gives my knees a sense of peace)! If you would like to visit my Etsy shop here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MossyCottage
I’m back from participating in the Virginia Beach Antiques Show and I can happily call it a success. Some people think a show is successful only if they make a large profit. Large profits are always nice, but there are other ways to measure whether a show was successful or not.
Every time I do a show, my booth looks different because my merchandise is always different. So if I can set up my booth so it looks good and showcases my merchandise I consider that a success. Here are a few pictures of my booth.
Another way I gauge a shows success is by the people I meet. You can have crabby, demanding customers or you can have delightful, happy customers. This show was filled with the latter. The same holds true for the other vendors, particularly those who are right around your booth. I definitely had a successful show in this area. Three dealers in particular helped to make this show fun and friendly. First is Libbie Hiner from Rusticity Decor. I have participated in a previous show with Libby, but never really got a chance to talk to her because our booths were not close to each other. Thankfully we had some time to talk and get to know each other better this time. Her booth was absolutely the cutest one there. She certainly has a knack for design. You can find out more about Libbie and her designs by visiting her web page at http://www.rusticitydecor.com.
Right across from me was Mike Prieto from Barrel-Art. Mike is super talented and creates the most beautiful and amazing items from old wine barrels. He makes everything from chairs and pet beds to lazy susans and wine racks. The list of what he can create seems to be endless. Please excuse my blurry picture and check out his web page at http://www.Barrel-Art.com to see his impressive creations.
Then there is Liea Spano-Baily from Rusty Cottage Antiques and Vintage. Liea and I have done several shows together and are plotting to do some more. She has the most fun and cool stuff in her booths. She sells antique and vintage jewelry as well as other antiques. Her vintage offerings are also to die for! You can check out Liea on eBay as vendor liea2004. You can also follow her on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LSRepurposedChic.
So to me this show was successful because I was able to set up a pretty booth, the customers were friendly and the dealers around me were super talented and friendly. Of course, the profit was nice too!
I don’t say I’m tired of the snow anymore because everyone is tired of the snow this winter. This has been the winter that just won’t end. The kids have missed over 2 weeks of school so far and even Martin has had a couple of days off work due to the weather. Don’t get me wrong, there are good things about snow days such as sleeping in, spending time with the family, hot chocolate, etc.
A week and a half ago I hurt my back pretty badly and it has kept me home bound most of this time. Now I am ready to get out! I have slept way too much, I have eaten way to much, I have watched YouTube way too much and I have finished the projects that were bugging me the most. This is what I got done during my snow days and back recovery days….
Do you remember this hideously messy box of lace from one of my recent posts?
Some of the lace was wound on vintage clothes pegs and stored in a jar so I can see it.
Bigger laces were wound on old spools neatly so they can be found quickly.
And the largest lace pieces were folded or wrapped nicely and placed back in the box. (Just a hint, you can look for projects with lace coming from Mossy Cottage soon!)
This table was supposed to be my over flow table for mixed media projects that are drying. Instead it became a heinous stack of paper and old books.
Now that disaster has been made into 11 junk journals that I will be selling at the Vintage Home Market in Richmond.
This cabinet got a complete makeover, inside and out. The inside shelves were organized by holiday. The display shelf now holds a lot of my vintage jewelry, small lace spools, buttons, embellishments and other assorted bling. I put them out like this so I will use them instead of just hoarding them.
Here’s a close up of some of my bling.
Some more bling and some laces.
Here are the cans I use to hold my supplies on my desk. Yeah, you would think someone who loves to craft could do better than this right?
So they all got covered with old book pages.
Then they got dressed up with some pretty rosy die cuts.
And now they sit on my newly organized desk.
So you see, there are benefits to being forced to stay home. Lots of projects got finished. I had time with my boys. I drank hot chocolate. But I still have to admit that now that my back is feeling better, and the snow has melted, I am SO READY TO GET OUT!