Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
Grandfather of seven who grew up a small town in New England. My Dad ran a Marina in town were we all helped, that is where I first learned the first rule; nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING EVER is throw away.
Everything has a purpose, and the trash pile is not it. I joined the Navy as a kid, seventeen, that is a long story,( second rule; college is a whole lot better, the military will make you go anyway). I learned organization and some skills which served me well over time in the military.
Worked for other Government services and am now retired with achy joints. I keep busy because if you stand still you just might disappear, or grow mold or something equally bad on you. Along the way I learned about antiques, both my wife and I have a deep interest in history, and a long series of classes for a Government Agency left me with too much time on my hands on the weeks so…I learned to repair clocks. Achy joints now and all, I don’t do much of that any more. but I do know how it is supposed to be done. Avoid the WWD oil!
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
The business “evolved” , it started out of a need to keep busy, and too much time on my hands. I had taken a class and during my off time learning to repair clocks, when I got back home I made a mess of a shed and work room learning more about the craft. Which lead to restoring furniture to show the restored clocks on and so on.. shows and antique stores. I found that small items were easier to deal with as time went on and leaned more about them. I love silver and old silverware. It is the patina, the craftsmanship and story behind the piece. I first opened the “Bob’s Olde Clock Shope” in the 1990’s and it has to Silver Fox Antiques today.
Tell us a bit about your products.
I sell a variety of items. Mostly antique silver holloware and flatware, also jewelry, though also some other interesting antiques and handmade items which I have crafted myself. I love working still with clocks and wood as my hands allow, though I am particular about both the materials and the finished product.
What inspires your work?
The past, present, and future. I love design. Be it Art Nouveau, Victorian, or Art Deco or Modern. Design is what gets me going, and of course the materials.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
More, more and more, can I laugh. Everyone dreams.
Like a ship it requires work, checking the ropes, the sails, the winch, the mast, all of it; knowing when and how hard to push, what works. I plan on expanding some areas, and pulling back on others which I feel are not as working as well. I did well over last year even though I took time off, and had to reduce stock for family reasons. It was difficult but the tacking worked out well in the end.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
Contact. I make contact each and ever time with all customers. I tracked each package. They know it is being checked, they don’t have to worry about that. They often pay for shipping. Yes they pay extra. and they get the extra services. If a package sits for 2 day in a facility I deal with it, not them. I communicate that it is now moving or the case number.
I also in most cases hand gift wrap each item. So they get it as a present, whether it is or not. everyone likes that feeling. They also get a special hand written note. These often explain something about the items.
Again it is about care and contact. The personal touch in a very impersonal world.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
Mine is spread around, wish it was in one space and neat but the business has not allowed it. Workroom is one area.. well sort of, I have another for the clocks the shed.
Then the items are stored in a storage room on shelves this appears to work right now easiest.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
That I wish I had taken a class in social media before it all began. I opened some of it and made it up as one name, then linked , not as SilverFoxAntiques.
That caused a problem when Etsy came along and now I can’t change it. It has made some things difficult.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Get your social media and name together. People recognize the logo and name. My wife worked in retail and she thought of that long before I did. No I didn’t listen.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I like boating. Being on the water is relaxing.
What is your favorite quote?
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away. Thoreau
The man understood.
Where can people find out more about your business?
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Anytime you have a question, ask. I try to answer all the questions I get.
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