Wednesday, November 30, 2011

store notes, and I need your help

Those racy potholders were a huge hit. I sold 38 last weekend! (One person bought 10). The Farm Anatomy books have done very well too--one woman told me that she loves it so much she only allows herself to read one page a day! Last weekend was my best ever--and it was a record weekend for most of the stores in town. People really turned out to support local businesses. And let me tell you it was a badly needed boost. We also had a lot going on to get people to town, especially since the supermarket is still closed--caroling, Santa, tree lighting, crafts for children, etc. We Main Street merchants have formed an ad hoc group to make the town more appealing since much of it is still closed down from flood damage.

But i need to get more people in the building where my store is, and upstairs. I'm getting more signs made and need your opinion. 3/4 of what I sell is antique or vintage, but I also carry new nature-related items. Anyway, I'm getting a big sign made to put outside on the front of the building.

The sign will be on the upper level. Some combination of cream, brown and green.

Should it say Country Weekend Antiques or Country Weekend Antiques, etc. or Country Weekend, Antiques & more ? I am going to have something painted on it that will signal nature. Maybe my logo if the sign maker can do it.
Or a pine tree or pinecone or vine.

*(editing to add, in response to the first 3 comments)
I will have to ask the sign maker how many words can go on and still be legible from the street. The building is at a T intersection, at the top of the stem of the T, so there are 3 directions that walkers and drivers will see it from. I agree that the word antiques conjures up a stuffier kind of store than mine. I am trying to come up with a few descriptive words. On my business cards and in ads I have tried these combinations:
rustic ~ whimsical ~ lovely
rustic ~ whimsical ~ useful
nature & history
antique, vintage, and nature-related goods
Inspired by our setting in the Catskills.

In the same building is a store called Home Goods and one called MGerard Country Home, so I am reluctant to use the word home. I've thought about using the words and phrases cottage, cabin, farmhouse. Somewhere I put for you and your cabin, cottage, or farmhouse (real or imaginary).

I guess I'm looking for 2 things. What to put on the outside sign and a short slogan to use on advertisements. The sign is the harder one, since it's permanent. What would make you go in the building and upstairs?


  1. I would go for the '& more' sign. and maybe for a display case in the street - meaning on the sidewalk!? I'm not sure if you are allowed to do this, tho... but this would be something people would see if they drive by, or walk by because it faces them directly. just an idea...

  2. "Antiques" sounds a little rigid, because as far as I see on your posts you sell heart warming "antiques", not only just old. In other word they seem to be " daily use antique".
    "Country Weekend
    daily antique and more", as a title and the subtitle,is one idea.

  3. i agree that antiques sounds stuffy and dusty. the word 'books' has lured me to some pretty crazy places.
    up the stairs to:
    lovely vintage treasures
    fresh fun gifts
    and more....

    the best my tired morning brain can whip up this morning

  4. I've edited the post in response to the 3 comments above, which I agree with. Thank you and keep 'em coming please!

    Petra, I like the idea of putting something on the street. I don't think I can do a display case, but maybe I can put a chair and ? I'm going to think on it.

    Haricot, I love the phrase daily antiques--that is very poetic and true to the store.

    Chasing...Great suggestions--I am going to see how many words I can put on your sign. They will work well in advertisements and flyers.

  5. ooooh.....i think it should be:

    "farmhouse treasures....up the stairs"

    farmhouse is a great descriptor and it's current/trendy without being faddish. and it describes your shop perfectly (see, i feel like i've been there).

    and then a little vignette on the street with one of those pointed finger signs upstairs. exciting! i hope we get there in the summer!

  6. You know what might be cool on the sidewalk, a chair and small side table with a picture on the chair and a couple of books and a candle on the table. I hate it when there is too much stuff--like racks of clothes.

    The same with words, I would rather see just a couple of words on the sign and I like stuff like "Country Cottage" or "Rustic Farmhouse Goods" or there is a place in Duncan Mills, CA called "Pig Alley". Pig Alley makes me want to go in just to see what it is because the name is unique.

    Good luck Jen!

    I also shy away from places with the word "antique", thinking lots of money.

  7. You guys are brilliant!
    CLB: I love "Farmhouse Treasures" it really captures the essence of the store.
    Rubye: Love your idea--I have a couple of chairs that would be perfect and I'm sure I can find a table put a couple of old books on (my store is upstairs and there's noone to keep an eye on things, so I can only put out small things that I don't mind if someone walks away with) and some store flyers. I will try it out this weekend--I have to make sure the sidewalk is wide enough and so forth.

    Please keep your ideas coming--I am having a preliminary meeting with the sign guy tomorrow.

  8. I agree with the others, 'antiques' alone is way too limited... would 'collectibles' be better? Maybe "everyday treasures?" Also, I agree that books are a big draw...Quirky humorous names always draw me into a store.

  9. i like Annette`s suggestion. i would og for it!

  10. My 2 cents...

    COUNTRY WEEKEND - Vintage and Modern Treasures

    Sounds a little less stuffy and more hip/eclectic.
    For the signage, I would stay away from the browns, as the building is so neutral already - Hoabout some orange accents for some *pop*.

  11. After much thought I am considering having the big outside sign read:

    Country Weekend Store

    rustic ~ whimsical ~ lovely

    I want to keep it as broad as possible. I'm afraid if I put farmhouse someone will think "Oh I live in a cabin (apartment, ranch house) it's not for me." The 3 adjectives will appeal to a wide variety of people. Then inside the building at the 2 stairwells getting some signs or poster that are much more detailed and include some of the ideas we're tossing around here. With poster I could really have some fun because they're inexpensive.

    1. My sense is that you tend to pick etsy type items and they would typically sell under the vintage category, or repurposed- both which are nice keywords to try and use. I was thinking of using two different sized metal sign letters spelling CW with new/used as a descriptor- for a hipster modern reads vintage,
      maybe as an adjective;
      a. a contemporary general store
      b. merchantile/purveyor
      c. a lifestyle store

    2. also, it appears you spend a great deal of time and effort into curating your selection and your brand should reflect that, having a descriptor of rustic implies twig furniture and bear carvings;) which you might sell for their camp value. lovely is very seldom a term men use, unless they are appraisers. in my humble opinion. you have a great eye and write well, you'll do fine!

  12. I meant posters (plural)

    Which do you like better:

    rustic ~ whimsical ~ lovely
    home ~ history ~ nature

  13. "whimsical" is nice, I think. And how about to add something suggests homely antiques?

  14. Liking the three words! I vote for rustic -- whimsical --nature