Selling Mid Century Modern Furniture
We initially chose to sell mid-century modern furniture because we had a passion for the design of that era. Over time, we have added several lines of new modern furnishings, because they complement that style.
mid2mod started as a booth in an antique mall, but we quickly knew we wanted a location of our own, so on a shoestring budget of $5000, we rented a 1000 sf storefront (and sold our beautiful mid-century house, partitioning off a tiny apartment in the back, where we lived with an infant and a toddler for about a year) and purchased inventory. We are now in our third location in the Design District of Dallas, TX. The store is approximately 5000 sf.
We first sourced our inventory from estate sales and Craigslist. Today, most of our merchandise comes from auctions or from sellers who seek us out.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We earned our first sales by listing items on our local Craigslist. We now have our own website and social media pages, which generate the majority of our traffic. We also sell some of our merchandise at auction. Also, as our name has become known around town, we have been written up in a number of print and online publications, which is always good for new business.
Many of our sales are local, which we deliver ourselves. However, we have sold nationally and internationally, in which case we arrange for the most efficient and economical shipper possible on an individual basis.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
In addition to Shopify, we use MailChimp email blasts to reach our customers, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. We also publish a daily blog on modern design that receives upwards of 20, 000 page hits a day, which generates a considerable amount of interest in our new products. It also educates people about vintage modern and new modern design.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Sell something you love. Be willing to sacrifice in order to be successful. Don't be afraid to grow, and don't be afraid to compete with more established sellers. Expect some ups and downs, and don't get discouraged. Get your name out in front of potential customers in a variety of ways. We have staged parties, meetings, and upscale grand openings. We have also participated in gallery nights and art festivals and have sponsored home tours. It's not all about traditional advertising anymore. The better you are at thinking outside the box, the more successful you will be.p