Here’s why. The life of a consignment shop owner, or thrift store, or even a vintage resale shop, which I consider my shop to be, all the above!
Well, this life, is a life of constant chaos, never-ending laundry, late nights, and early mornings, and lots and lots of self-discovery, ways to pull stuff together like no other, and knowing that I will never become rich (comfortable is fine by me) at my passion. I’m really okay with that, and you should be as well (not for me, I mean yeah for me, but that’s not what I’m talking about, I mean whenever you decide to take the plunge in, it will be an easier transition, knowing that becoming financially wealthy is not completely out of the question, nor unattainable, but it will be a long, hard, (but for sure and totally a rewarding) road…
on why I started 86 UpCycle. Let me explain the name.
You 86 it, and I’ll upcycle it! (One of my many sayings, which came about during one of the very frequent, like a new norm, late-night sorting through clothes at the shop nights)
See I’ve been an on and off bartender/waitress here and there for many years, and if you 86 it, you get rid of it, or you are out of it. “86 those mashed potatoes” is something that you could hear at your restaurant that you might be working at. ‘You’re working right now, reading blogs, on your smoke break? and at this very moment maybe.’
As you hear the cook scream, “86 those taters!” you think, oh great!
Well, in my case, 86, is not such a terrible thing! And, to upcycle means to redo, or make new again, or make it into something completely different, also a good and fun thing for me and my new adventure.
I started 86 UpCycle, a few years ago during the first round of COVID, when I lost both of my jobs, one as a hairdresser (which I already decided for health reasons to slow it down, (not stop though) and my job as a bartender. Well, me being me, I can’t just sit around, I must always be doing something, so hence 86 UpCycle was born, (plus I’m a single mom and must bring in some income to keep my family afloat.)
**Although, I’ve only been at this for only 2 years now, so I’m not completely fluent in the ways of the consignment world or shop owner but, I’ve seen myself become a stronger person, both mentally and physically because of my career change, and I do see riches in the future, maybe not financial riches, but other riches are just as, if not more rewarding, with some of the ideas that I throw around in my head constantly, (sometimes, my thoughts get thrown out of my head and hit the ground with enough force, that it makes you want to slap your momma!) *And can change in a NEW YORK MINUTE. *
You’re so lucky, look at your huge closet, they say… You never have to fight traffic or crowds again, you’re so lucky! Well with the huge closet, comes a huge price, I mean a huge price.
Like, you get to learn who is here to help you, or you can watch as they, each one of them, with their own way of picking through the merchandise, so secretive as if they want to get the first go at the treasures that await, and then there are the ones that are blatant and in the open about all of it, with nothing to hide, as if that is the only reason they have come to your “rescue.” All along, what they are really doing is dodging the true reason you asked for them to come to your place, to begin with, which is to get through the maze of endless piles of clothes. You’ll watch and grit your teeth as they tear through the bags, the bags that to some look disorderly, misplaced, or plain out of place, but to you, they are just where you put them, just where you know where and who’s every bag belongs to.
You will be faced with tough decisions of not wanting to help everyone, it’s a weird feeling that comes over your body. In my case, I have always been a giver, a helper, a lover not a fighter, so this industry was a no brainer for me, and my complete and utter love for vintage sold the idea to me (losing both jobs didn’t hinder the fact either!) But see it’s unexplainable really, as if a “divine intervention,” steps in to make sure that you put yourself and your resources together to help, putting all else aside. This isn’t a “get rich quick” career, so your resources and funds are limited, but that hasn’t strayed me from helping in all ways that I physically and mentally, and yes even financially can (or can’t.)
If other consignment/resale/thrift shop owners know a different or unique way, please let me know, as I’m learning as I go!
Here’s an interesting story I’ll share, we have a town motel, right down the street from my shop. One day as I was re-organizing (get used to that, I mean seriously used to it) I heard what sounded like thunder, it’s not raining, so what could it be? I look out the door, it’s a lady, a lady that I had met, only the day prior. We just had an hour, or should I say a several hour conversations about her life, and her recent bad luck. She was walking down the sidewalk with five suitcases in total, strapped to all parts of her body, dragging (hence the thunder sounds that I heard) behind her. I’m like ohhhhh no, what happened (in my head, because truly I didn’t have an hour, or better yet several hours to spare again today.) So, I hoped that she would pass me by, but of course not, she walked right in and said, “Can I stay here?” Dumbfounded and bewildered, I looked at her, “Huh?” I spoke. “As if, move in?” I followed with. And guess what? I didn’t say NO! I couldn’t. Mind you, I’m in a “business” center, which I haven’t checked but I don’t believe you can reside there, and I even went as far as trying to get her an apartment down the street. Boom! Several hours once again were spent doing something out of the ordinary, out of sorts, and bypassing my duties for the day. (Honestly, the rest of the day was gone.) *Later my real estate friend, texted and said Tina, next time you are trying to get someone an apartment, they need a job, an ID, and money. * Duh, I knew that, but I tell you, something pressed me to drop everything and help. (Bit me in the butt later, but all’s well.)
Or there will be days that you arrive 2 or 3 hours before opening to “relax,” to walk into a showroom that has no signs of any kind of order (EVEN FOR YOU!) But you see, you stayed 2 to 3 hours after closing to put things in place, in order, so when you arrived in the morning you would be like AWEEEEE. I did sooooo good! But no, it seems the same, in disorder and everywhere. (But it’s okay, it’s what you signed up for, it’s the way you are wired.) But it’s like you want a magical fairy to come in and put all in its place though, just one time. *hadn’t seen mine yet, Haha! *
So, then you scream (first in your head, then aloud, and loud, I mean really loud.) What the hell am I doing? I mean for real, when can I see and feel the progress, when does my brain get to stop, when does all the work I put my body through, all the bruises you now sport like your silver bracelet around your wrist, all the sweat, arduous work, and tears, all that, and nothing to show, as you scurry to “get things ready and open.”
I have found that I ask this daily. Although it sounds as though I’m complaining, I’m not, truly, I AM NOT. I’m merely trying to portray the fact that it is a ton, a ton of work! And I’m not trying to stray anyone from pursuing this, or anything that they can dream for themselves, for that fact.
But the funny part is, you come to find out, you wouldn’t trade it for the world. I mean for real. This is your love, your passion, your heart, “your” blood, sweat, and tears. And you can’t stop. (you’ll soon find that saying NO is a side thought, something that’s for other people.)
So, get ready, as people walk through your front door, (walk into your life;)
First up, we’ll have “Amy the Adventurous Thrifter”, that is like, OMG, this place is amazing (all this is prior to her even looking at anything.) Then walks in, “Nancy Know it All”, she’ll/he’ll say you know if you do this, or this, things will look better, would be better, blah, blah, blah. Finally, in will walk, “Scared to Death Susan” she’ll enter, and the look of horror, and a gasp of being completely overwhelmed. *Most of the time she’ll walk in and walk right out, without passing GO.
MARK MY WORD ON THOSE NEW FRIENDS, that you will soon meet! Yes, you’ll soon meet these people, but don’t get me wrong, NO DON’T, really, the people that come in are quite fascinating, and they all come from different walks of life, different cultures, different sexes, different nationalities, and for the most part, THEY all are looking for that one special piece, and that special piece must, I repeat, must be priced accordingly, or at least have a little wiggle room.
We all know that we love a bargain, all of us do. Your patrons will be no different. My saying when you enter 86 UpCycle, is NO PRICE IS FIRM, THERE’S ALWAYS WIGGLE ROOM, BECAUSE IF YOU WANT IT, I DON’T! Every single person has a chuckle, others completely lose it and laugh aloud, and then there’s those that have no response (always a bit awkward for me.)
But any Hoo, I’ve learned over these past two years that I enjoy, I mean really, really enjoy helping others, so much that I’m neglecting myself and my needs, but so be it. I love it.
Let’s see in the next few weeks, (as I continue my journey, my journey which now includes making myself make time for blogging) if I can get my head wrapped around it all…
Please follow me, as I will forge through all this, and I’m not taking no for an answer, (but, not saying no either, well let’s work on that one, a teensy bit.)
So, follow your dreams and live aloud. Until next time.
to be continued…