Wednesday, November 08, 2006

what to buy

It is always a bit of a quandry, what to buy for the store? We sell mostly beads and all the associated stringing material and books and tools, but then we have other things as well. When we first started the store I would just order things I personally wanted when I was at gift shows or apparel shows and then figure out how to sell them. Sometimes I would order a 'hot' trend item at the show just to see if I could sell it. For instance, we sell this French soap, Pre de Provence, that I really like. It's my favorite soap and you couldn't get it in Raleigh until we sold it. Now, it's not the top seller, but we do have folks that come in specifically for the soap and we do have folks that buy it as an extra after they got their beads. I often used to order odd or funky tote bags as I have a bit of a tote bag addiction and would see them at shows and think 'hmm, gotta have that.' We've had Mexican oilcloth bags, Brazilian bags with sun-tan lotion ads on them, French vinyl shopping bags, some giant totes with fake funny ads and pictures of doll heads and recycled drink containers turned into bags. I am trying to be good about that because although they used to sell like crazy they don't anymore. I guess maybe weird tote bags from Viet Nam with chickens or guavas on them aren't in fashion right now.
We've also sold lighting of all kinds including lovely hanging lamps from Mexican glass blowers (I have one in the entry of my house!), some HEAVY metal animals like horses and pigs, flat Chinese mary jane shoes, all kinds of decorative hooks and chocolate bars. I sort of think, well, we need display items anyway so why not sell them? And the chocolate, do I need to explain that?