…building a business: as good as it gets

Before kids, I used to watch Barefoot Contessa. DH and I used to get a kick out of when she would say “Use good Mayonaise” or “Good heavy cream” or “Good dark chocolate.” But, as snooty as it sounds, there is truth to using “good” ingredients.

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You are only as good as your materials. If you work in water colors or fabrics or wood or clay or food or whatever your craft is, then you know there is a difference between good quality materials and inexpensive materials. It’s worth experimenting with both so that you know yourself the difference between the two. When you are first starting out, you will not want to spend the money on pricey materials, but the quality of your work will certainly suffer. Cheaper materials will always handle differently.

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This is true for the Chalk Paint that I use and it’s also true for the furniture that I resell & repurpose. When I first started out and wanted to build an inventory of furniture I would take on most everything. There were raw pieces that I loved and a few that I just wasn’t crazy about. I remember painting a little side table and thinking I just don’t love this. It was too plain, too simple and there was no character. I made an unconscious decision not to use my paint and time on anything that I did not love or want in my own home. I can seriously say that anything that I sell, if I had the room, I would put in my own house.

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Take a minute to think about what you are working on. Would you want it, wear it, use it, eat it? Would you represent it in your own space? If not, then don’t sell it. Use materials that are of the highest quality if you plan on selling your product. Buyers are smart and will know if you’ve cut corners or are not selling something worth even looking at. If it means selling less because it’s expensive or more time consuming to put out quality, then sell less. Your name & your business are only as good as what you are putting out there.

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Comments

  1. Cassie Jonas says:

    Christen-
    Thank you so much for sharing your advice in building a business!
    It honestly has truly helped me:)
    I’ve been waking up not motivated to paint anymore but little blogs like this
    are motivating me to keep using the same paint, pick out pieces that’s hard for me
    to sell and build the certain clients I attented too in the first place!
    Thanks again
    Cassie Jonas
    Tennessee

  2. Lisa Graham-Garza says:

    Love this!
    We started our business a year and a half ago and it has been such trial and error.
    Agree with this entirely!!
    Thank you.
    The Inspired Nest
    Katy, Tx

  3. Theresa says:

    Oh Christen! You’ve done it again!! Just when I doubt myself and what I’m trying to do, you come along and write a blog post, just for me! (at least its that way in my head.) I was just saying to my own DH last night, I’m not sure I can do this, how do these ladies do it all, I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, etc. etc. and then this morning, this post is on facebook.

    Once again, thank you for being so generous with your expertise and your advice. My own little business will just be little for as long as it … is. And thats ok with me and the DH.

    Theresa

  4. NHill says:

    Is it normal to lust after a mirror?! The one pictured
    above is stunning. I LOVE IT!

  5. Chance Backert says:

    Hi Kristen,
    Thanks so much for the advise. I am trying to build up my inventory of painted furniture so that I can rent space at a used furniture store. I am really discouraged at how difficult I am finding it to be to locate quality pieces for decent prices. Any tips?

    Thanks in advance

  6. Chance Backert says:

    Hi Kristen,
    Thanks so much for the advise. I am trying to build up my inventory of painted furniture so that I can rent space at a used furniture store. I am really discouraged at how difficult I am finding it to be to locate quality pieces for decent prices. Any tips?

    Thanks in advance

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