What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Booth - Month #1

Here's the big Booth report everyone has been waiting for.....haha.  I finally got my first check at the Flea Market yesterday.  They pull the tags on the 25th of the month and you get paid on the 1st of the month. 

Every Wednesday, the three of us load up and I take a few more things in to display.  I just gathered up random things to get it going, but now that I have quite a bit in there, I am able to have like thing together so it makes more rhyme and reason.  A couple of shelves full of pottery, a shelf of vintage toys, a Kitchen Kitsch area, books. etc.  It still needs a lot of work to make it feel more like me.

The Flea Market is in an older building (which oddly enough was the Salvation Army when I was a kid and I remember digging in the 10¢ bins for clothes for my Crissy Baby doll there) that has air conditioning ducts and big blower fans that keep it cool.  But, it has been in the highg 90's to 100's lately and you just can't keep it cool.  So, people come through it pretty quickly.  Including me.  Above my spot in the hallway is a row of spotlights and, what I would estimate to be a 5 bazillion watt spotlight shines directly on my booth.  It does help light it up, but holy schmazoly, it will make you think you are being baked alive if you stay there too long.  I looked around at most of the other booths, and a lot of them have unscrewed the spotlights and instead put in a few lamps that turn off and on at night.  It definitely gives a better feeling to their booths - more homey and non heat stroke inducing.  I am on the hunt for a couple lamps that are interesting enough to be in the booth, but not so special that anyone will actually want to buy them. 

I used shelving that I already had in the garage, so it is rather mixy matchy.  I'm on the lookout for something tall and skinny to put in this area to hold things.  The corner is empty due to the catty corned little white shelf.  I want to make room for lots of small, since that is primarily what I buy and sell.  I don't want it so crowded that no one would even want to come in and look around. 
When it cools down a bit, I am going to go in and rework the whole thing and really make it look more organized.  Actually, it already looks better than a lot of the Booths.  Some are just stuff on shelves with no personality.  Then there are some that are so decked out with personality, that I find it a bit off putting.  Lime green walls with black polka dots and lots of girly stuff - just not my sort of thing, so I walk right past it.  My thinking is that with white walls and mostly white shelves, my things will pop out to customers more than the motif of the booth. 
I'd love to have a Booth full of brightly colored dishes, vintage tablecloths hanging on a rustic old ladder, an enamel topped table in the corner with chrome chairs, lots of funky pottery and some other kitschy stuff.  But, in reality, that is what I LOVE and what I want to KEEP.......not sell. 
Even the booth isn't a direct reflection of me, I am able to put things in there that I do like.  For instance, I bought this neat old print at a yard sale last weekend.  I do like it, but it doesn't really go in my house.  So, I put it in the Booth and I can enjoy it when I am there and if it sells, I know someone else can enjoy it. 

I still need to rework that top shelf and put something up on that back wall.  It's about 8 feet tall and this 5 foot tall gal just can't get up there without remembering to take in my stepladder.

I'm going to try to implement some sort of color coded system like one of my favorite thrift stores currently uses.  I'll try to rotate out colors every two months or so.  If it hasn't sold in that amount, of time, it will get donated or come back home to list on Etsy if I think that might be a better venue for it.  I don't know - it's all a learning curve.  I might have this Booth for years, I might not have it in a few months.  I'll just have to see how it continues to go and if business picks up once it cools down a bit. 

I did manage to cover my $50.00 rent, plus 12% commission and make enough to take the family out to eat and to a movie today.  Not a lot, but okay for my first month in the summer heat in a new business.  Hopefully, it will get better and better.  If not, Adios.  I want this to be fun and a way to move some things out of the house.  Not work and not an excuse to go shopping!!!!

I don't need an excuse for that!  ;o)

Speaking of shopping - Big Swap Meet tomorrow in the 100 degree weather.  Will I go?  Will my love of JUNK outweigh my hatred of HEAT?  We'll see........


  1. Wow I think it looks great and you will continue to make it you! $50 booth rent seems really low! I have seen places here that are $250 a month....I don't think I could sell that much.

  2. Which flea market/antique mall is this? AND..is that a Bradely doll I see in your booth (all in pink)?

  3. Hey Shara...thanks for the email...your space is looking good. And you've sold, so that's the name of the game. If stuff doesn't sell eventually, I feel a bit guilty about buying more. Don't ever want to be on an episode of Hoarders, ya know? I bought a poppy print at a yard sale last weekend too...weird? Nah! Mine is more square than rectangle and had soo much dirt on it I thought I was just buying it for the frame. Scraped off a layer or two and realized the poppies are pretty cool. Real bad discoloration & foxing on mine too...they must have printed those on some really cheap-o paper. Good luck with your booth...Steph & I are considering a new space, but can't find 1 that doesn't make us gasp at the rent! :O} *elaine*

  4. Your booth looks great. Congratulations!
    I'm sure you'll do well you have some great things in there. (I've sold at antique and collectable fairs here in the UK and know what hard work it is.)

  5. The booth looks great! I wish I lived closer, I'd probably be one of your biggest customers.

  6. Please make 'THe Booth' a monthly post and keep us updated on how things are going - with both the 'highs' and the 'lows', so some of us 'scaredy cats' can gauge if this is something we might actually want to dip our toes into!! THANKS!

  7. Shara, your booth looks great. I know about the heat thing. A friend and I recently had a booth at a craft mall, but we had to close it because it was so hot in the building. I am very cold-natured and when I think it is hot then it is REALLY HOT. Things should get better when the weather cools down a bit. Keep all of your blog followers posted on your progress.

  8. I would stop and shop your booth. I spy a couple of bowling trophys that are interesting. :)

    FYI- word verification is not working for me, the pic will NOT show the first time I log in. I have to sign in, get kicked out, come back and then it will show me the word.

  9. I feel the same way you do - about the learning curve and figuring out what works and all of that. (And I have the same dilemma about how I want my case to look vs. not wanting to sell stuff I love! Right now I think my case looks better than my house.) It seems like a good way to try something out without a huge investment of time and money.

  10. Anonymous4:29 PM

    Your booth looks so cute! I love all those baskets!

  11. Thanks for the update. Hooray on being in the black on your first month! I agree, $50 is a heck of a good price for that big of a space. I know around here they are significantly more than that. Were you surprised at what sold vs. what is still there?

  12. Congrats on a good first month! And thanks for sharing the pictures of the booth. I hope you'll continue to share with us how the booth is doing. I've wanted to have my own booth for years but I'm not sure I can do it. Until I can decide to just jump in & get started, I wanna live vicariously through you!

  13. It looks great! I know you'll be successful, you have a great eye. :) I'm loving that collection of vintage sewing baskets! I have a few of those in my craft room.

  14. Hey Shara you booth call out to us treasure hunters for sure.
    And just as another friend posted, you have a "good eye" for spotting stuff that screams "I've gotta have that".


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