It’s been a while now that everything has looked about the same from the parking lot in the strip mall where Vintage Sunshine Clothing is situated, and I decided it was time for a change. I stood in the shop looking around, trying to decide what I could do to dress the display windows up a bit and maybe even make the shop look a bit more attractive.
After a quiet morning (read: not one customer), I went back outside and admired my new display. I had placed a giant teddy bear to one side of the window, and a child’s table and chairs with a toy tea set. Next to that I placed a toy rocking chair with a large doll in an old-fashioned dress with long dark hair and on the very right side of the window, a little red wagon with some blocks in it. I thought it looked quite attractive and well balanced too.
Aside from that, the day remained disturbingly quiet until during the afternoon three young women came in and began rummaging around on the “as-is” table and then one began going over some of the racks that I have around the walls as well as in the center of the room too.
The upshot was that, between them, they spend over fifty bucks and made my day! Generally, this isn’t the exciting moneymaking machine I had envisioned, but I enjoy it, and as long as the business pays the rent, I can live with that.
Business had begun picking up and sometimes I hate to lock up to go across the street for lunch. Every time I do, I look back across the street and see someone walking away from my closed shop. And overall, during the past few months, business has been doing very well actually.
Mr. Park, the Korean gentleman and his wife Heyja (I’m not sure about the spelling), are very nice and I usually run across the street for half an hour for lunch at their little café. From there I can keep an eye on the Vintage Sunshine Clothing Shop.
The Parks’ daughter, home from city college for the summer, was helping although they didn’t really need her help, so after a short discussion, she agreed to come over and take care of the store four hours a day. That would give me time to get out sometimes and do some of the things I had to do plus have my lunch too without having to keep one eye on the shop just in case of an impatient customer with a lot of good merchandise.
At first it seemed a bit complicated, trying to teach Jean, the Parks’ daughter, the ropes. Jean’s very intelligent and a cute girl too, with straight black hair and huge black eyes. The work isn’t difficult of course, but there was the matter of using credit cards (at the café mom always works the register), and a few details like that. As to accepting merchandise, I told Jean that all she had to do was explain to a potential “partner” that the store kept fortypercent of the price received while sixty percent went to the owner of the merchandise. Normally I let the owner decide on the price she would be willing to accept. Sometimes when an owner appeared to have an inflated idea of the value of an item, I’d have to “talk her down” a bit until we hit upon a more realistic price point.