Paul and I started out painting furniture as a hobby. Click here if you’d like to read our whole story but the short version is this:
We were both working in stale corporate jobs and painting furniture was our creative outlet.
Like so many other people who find a hobby they just adore, we dreamed that one day doing what we loved could be our full-time job.
Fast forward a few years and here we are, our hobby actually DID turn into our full-time job and now we coach others who want to do the same thing.
So, here are our pointers for getting your business off the ground.
Earlier this week Paul and I were chatting with a friend whose daughter paints and sells her furniture. Our friend told us that her daughter was wondering if painted furniture was on its way out and if the market is oversaturated since she hasn’t sold anything in a week or two.
A week or two without selling a piece isn’t exactly cause for concern. There are seasonal fluctuations in any industry. I took a look at the last 6 years of data for Furniture and Home Decor provided by FRED® Economic Research and I found that the busiest month for furniture sales is December, and the slowest is January. June ranks near the bottom of the list at #9 so it isn't a surprise that her sales were off a little in June.
So, if you’re concerned because your sales are off at some point throughout the year, this list may help ease your mind.
Chairish has made several significant changes in the past few months related to shipping, trade discounts, and the listing algorithm they are using. We are updating our Chairish e-book and will share it with our subscribers as soon as it's available. Please be sure to enter your email so that you receive your free copy.
One night I was scanning the posts on a Facebook Page of which I am a member. It’s a group for people who paint and sell their furniture. I’ve never posted to the page but I find it interesting to see what people in other parts of the country are doing.
A post caught my eye that evening. One of the members posted that they were excited about selling their first piece of painted furniture on Chairish but were disappointed to realize that they had to give up a 20% commission.
This post sparked a flurry of questions over the 2 hours that it was live prior to my seeing it.
Paul and I have been selling on Chairish for over a year now and have learned a lot about the ins-and-outs not only from our personal experience but also through conversations I’ve had with the Chairish buyer who recruited us to the site.
So, I crafted a reply to the post explaining 4 key things you need to know about the commission, pricing, delivery, and how payment is made.
A couple of months ago, I posted an article about setting up and using Instagram for your small business. Since then, I've had numerous discussions with people who are painting to sell and they're using their own personal Facebook profile rather than setting up a business page.
There are many reasons to have a separate page for your business, but let's start out by talking about the three most basic reasons...
There are no two ways about it - you’re in the business of selling furniture, so you need to know how to take a decent photo.
What’s the point of putting all that time and effort into creating a spectacular finish just to have it look like it was photographed in a cave?
There is so much in-depth information that can be written about each element of this topic (and we’re working on it!) but this post is about learning the basics. Great photos don‘t happen by accident, great photos are made through careful planning.
As most people already know, I spent many years working in big pharma. Much of that time I worked directly with the VP of Sales and later, I worked in Marketing. Along the way, I kept my eyes and ears open and learned everything I could from the entire experience.
I never dreamed that so much of what I learned could be applied to my life as the owner of a small business.
So, in no particular order here are the lessons I use every single day.
"Everyone's painting furniture."
We heard this twice in the last week from two separate customers who paint furniture for sale.
Both customers were feeling discouraged because they were starting to feel like the marketplace was becoming too crowded.
Look, if Paul and I felt that was true we would never help and encourage people to start up their own business. We would be holding on to our tips, techniques and marketing knowledge for dear life.
If we felt the market was saturated, we wouldn't want anyone else out there painting furniture for sale.
But here's the truth...
Last week's blog post was all about why your Furniture Painting business needs an Instagram presence.
We suggested that as part of your homework for the week, you set up an account.
This week you're probably thinking...Now what?
A few weeks ago I read a fantastic article on this topic, by far the most comprehensive and current article about using Instagram for small business that I think I've ever read.
So, this week we are sharing the section about strategy, tips and tricks. So, if you're ready, let's dive in...
500 million users.
That’s how many users Instagram has around the globe and it has become the go-to platform for visual storytellers.
Why is this important to you as a furniture painter?
Because, my friend, selling furniture is a visual business.
Interested in learning more?
Well, here we go...