Vintage gems, cashflow problems and shipping to Australia

Awoke this morning worried about cashflow.  With samples to order packaging to pay for and several products to develop I need my house to sell so I can focus on my business.  Spent a therapeutic evening making vintage chandeliers with friend and owner of eclectic interiors store Casa Morada for my daughter’s room in preparation for tomorrow’s photoshoot.  We both have school age children and running businesses and busy households is a juggling act. We made a bold decision to become businesswoman and neither of us wants to join the circus.  We lift our flagging spirits with fireside chats of other inspirational women who run businesses from home so they too could see their children: L K Bennet, Tory Burch, Rachel Ashwell.  It’s not lost on us these women also had husbands to encourage and advise them but we gloss over that.

Business, like life is a challenge.  One we both intend to pull off.  You can’t have everything in business and we must make the best of what we have.  So we refocus our ambitions, mentally update business plans and tell ourselves if they can do it so can we.  Just how tough can running a successful business get in this economy?  Watch this space and you’ll soon see.

In times of stress or uncertainty it’s important to focus, create a plan (or revise existing ones) and devise an exit strategy.  Running a business should not be a suicide mission.  If it feels like a cruise on the Titanic there’s something crucial you’re not facing up to and need to address.  It’s good to have concerns.  It means you’re focused on the risks as well as the opportunities.  The important thing is how each risk, opportunity or threat to your business is managed.  Manage risk and you’ll have plenty of time to savour your success.

I’m worried lack of cash in the run up to Christmas will prevent me capitalising on good press and potential opportunities so decide to redouble my efforts on product development (sourcing and manufacturing high quality black products to die for) by vetting suppliers, crunching numbers and concentrating on my website.  To keep me focused on my goal I’ve ordered postcards (Vistaprint) of the most inspiring room in my house to give to friends and family as presents.  I’ve also ordered black pencils with white swaroski crystal tips with Nordic Black emblazoned on them.  It’s important to visualise your goals, remind yourself of your achievements with one eye on the future.

An Australian upholsterer friend of mine (Holster) had a successful business in Sydney before moving here 3 years ago.  He  often talked about loading a container of antiques and vintage items to sell back in Sydney, Australia.  My business may be Nordic Black but one day I’ll have customers in Australia.  I’m delighted at the handful of Australians that take the time to read my posts.  Australia’s not in recession and it’s important to court publicity and spark interest in your venture in growing economies.  My best friend used to live in Melbourne and I regret that pregnancy and young children prevented me from visiting.  I would love to see that continent.

When I first moved to a modern house I used to yearn for old things.  I’d visit certain junk, vintage and antique shops frequently and wait and see what pieces grabbed my attention.  Which reclaimed fireplaces or footstools I’d like awake thinking about.  The vintage sofa I bought form Acanthus was one such piece.  Originally upholstered in red damask it’s sleek shape softly gilted reminded me of elegant sofas in my grandmother’s farmhouse.  I’m not a fan of patterned fabric though, preferring dark velvets or rich blues that compliment the green hues of my walls and grounds surrounding Woodlands.  So I was delighted when one day I strolled past Acanthus to find my sofa sitting in the window reupholstered in the vintage grey Zoffany fabric we’d all been cooing over 3 months earlier.  I couldn’t wait to add this vintage gem to my home.

When it finally arrived it went with everything. The fossil walls (Zoffany) in the hall, the downpipe feature wall in the kitchen (Farrow & Ball).  When I light the fire the flames appear to dance on the sofa arm thanks to the trickery of the fire’s reflection in the glass door divider.  A year to discover, 2 months to save up for and a moment to fall in love forever. Vintage is hard to get right, so don’t try to.  Find something you love, flirt with it a little and if several months later it still  makes your mouth go dry and your heart pound you know it’s time to take the plunge and go for it.

Vintage gilt sofa upholstered in distressed charcoal Zoffany fabric

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