Shop Small Business

Beggarsbanquet_vintage

We have been all over in the last month and met some new store owners “ Hi, The Attic” @theatticonmyrtle in Monrovia and Lloyd & Lane in South Pasadena whose owners name is Bonnie too, for just two ” new to us” stores. All of them are getting their stores ready for Christmas and all the vendors we see are preparing their booths too. It makes us stop and think all that is required to run a junking or vintage or independent business. These people are busy!!! Selling it to you is the last step. All the picking, all the prep work, all the loading and unloading, all the decorating is such a huge job, and then they wait to see if anyone is going to buy it. Last weekend we went to 4 shows. See Instagram for more photos. At each show, and they were all well attended, the vendors were already talking about doing more projects, going out picking again, what they had at home to finish and on and on.

The point is that when you buy from one of them you get something that has been loving picked or repainted or refurbished or handmade or handcrafted. It’s not a manufactured mass market piece. It has meaning and hard work and love behind it. So when you go to a show think about that. When you go to any major store think twice before you buy new and see if you can’t buy from a vendor or an independent store.

We do this blog and our Instagram because we LOVE the shows and stores. A few years ago we could hardly find any independent stores. Now they are all around but lately some have started going out of business again. The experts say most new businesses fail in the first 18 months. Let’s all do our part to keep all the ones we love in business. That means buying from them, attending their events, encouraging individual vendors, and telling others about them on social media. It is almost the only way to advertise now. We have no qualms about promoting stores and dealers we love. It has become more and more a reason to seek out new stores, talk to more vendors, wave around that little pink business card of ours. We want them all to succeed so we can go see them again and again.

So during this holiday season give thanks to your favorite store or vendor. Tell them you appreciate them. You never know when someone’s having a bad day or week and your words pick them back up and keep them going. Help support small business, shop on small business Sat Nov. 25th, but remember them all year. We hate going and finding an out of business sign when we get to our destination. Let’s all do our part to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Thanks for reading…Bonnie and Amy

Thank you, Fall!!!!

Three Speckled Hens truck

At long last it feels like Fall. most days anyway in So. Calif our version of Fall. Cool enough now for us to get to some more stores, meet new vendors and see what’s out there.

We had a busy Sept. even with the heat. Visited Lake Elsinore, Ontario, Rainbow, Thousand Oaks, Yucaipa, Glendora, Riverside, Upland and more. The Fall colors are here!!!  If you check the ig you will see we are trying to post everything we can with flowers, leaves, greenery.

We have some projects in the works, we will be announcing soon. But, this last weekend in Sept, we went to Paso Robles for Three Speckled Hens flea market. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a big one. Over 100 vendors, and spread out over the Paso Robles fair and event center. We were so excited we could hardly take a breath, to see all the vendors we met last year and meet some “new to us” other ones. So fun to get away for a few days and to be going there, it was such a good time!!!

Junque Love

Amy here: Our trip to Paso was so much fun! (with the exception of the ‘death motel off the 101). We made another side trip to Morro Bay so I could gather sand dollars and stop by Junque Love again. This store has brought in so many new and exciting items.

At the ‘Hens’ we were honored to see some of our sweet friends. Junk Style Design, Lilwoods, Countryside Barn and Plaster Paint Company. And to meet a few new ones (some for the second time) Atelier, Rusty Love, Twisselman Trading Co., Farm Girls Market. This is one of the best markets in the lower half of California. The Hens girls do a fabulous job getting it ready and bringing in vendors with fantastic finds.

We will be posting events soon for Oct Nov Dec. If you want us to post yours send an email to weremadabout@gmail.com. No charge, we just want to keep having events and stores to go to, and we assume you want to hear about them. Our ig is getting closer to 5,000 when we will have a giveaway, it’s at 4,715 as of today!!! Hooray!!! Our plans for Oct include @vistavintageandmakersmarket, a Halloween party @Shabbyology and @thecoastvintagemarket so far.

We noticed that the dealers and store owners feel re-energized now too. They are busy busy busy getting holiday stuff out, rearranging, and clearing out summer goods. It’s a fun time to visit your favorites and make some new ones. On our ig we try to post addresses for these stores so it’s easy to find. Believe us when we tell you we are not highlighting every store we go to, only the ones we think you will like. We will be visiting more vintage clothing stores and adding them, because they are so popular now. Almost every store has added flannels, at the very least, and some are carrying only clothing. Great trend. Lots of dealers are making or tweaking their flannels and the results are great. Ie: @checkeredpastclothing and @repurposedsoul and @sarahs_junkdrawer. Then there is @flea_market_flair too, and @bblessed, one of the first vendors we saw with them. Let us know your favorites. We‘re Mad About them all!

Thanks for reading…Bonnie and Amy

Best Weekend ever!!!!!

Hi, it’s Bonnie.

I waited till tonight, to post for last week because I wanted to talk about our weekend. Amy went to Seahive Marketplace in Oceanside for the first time and she said I need to get over there. It’s a new warehouse type store filled with vendors, notably, Boarding House Broads for one. We love everything they do, and Tracy from the Broads is working there. It is at 1555 S Coast Highway, Oceanside. www.SeahiveMarketplace.com. If the weather would let up I would be there. Maybe next week, 104 is too hot for me, but I will get there.

So for what I did this weekend!! It’s a lot. Friday we went to Costa Mesa for the first @flyingmizdaisy show. Just to let you in on a secret—it was great! The vendors brought their best and we met so many we didn’t know. I love how nice the vendors were. Supporting each other, telling us not to miss seeing other booths, explaining what they do, it is so interesting and they all work so hard. It’s not easy loading, unloading, decorating, redecorating, pricing-everyone we saw were on their feet, talking to customers. We talked to Char, who is the heart and soul of Flying Miz Daisy, she was thrilled with the turnout. The music was wonderful, by the way. It’s a cool place too, in a building called The Hanger. Some great vendors are @vindustrial_supply_co, @junkstyledesign, @love_picking_junk and @rusticandrefinded, @seahousedesign. We met @mala_creations too and love her pieces of furniture. Next one is Dec 1,2 so mark your calendars, don’t miss out.

Sweet Peas Charm at Behind the Picket fence

Sat am we were off to Behind the Picket Fence, again in Costa Mesa. I love this smaller show, it is filled with vendors who really care and love what they do. We knew lots of them and it was fun to say hi and shoot the breeze. Of course every time we go I have to say “get the apple pie ready”. It is the best ever and on a hot day with ice cream and a cold ice tea it made me happy. Among all the vendors, we also ran into Lynn, from @sweet Peas Charm, and I wanted to show the brushes she uses for the plaster paint she reps for Calif. Any stores need a paint line, this is the one. I am using it right now to paint the bottom of my old oak table. It looks good-if I say so.

Woodlyn Road, Behind the Picket Fence

From there we went straight to @topsecretfleamarket. I posted on Ig about this and she just happened to get the building for another one. We saw lots of different pieces from the first time and we’ll let you know when and where the next one will be. If you like France, this is the one to go to. It moves around but in the Orange County area.

On Sunday we saw a post about a warehouse in LA and we made it over there. It is called Vintage Junction at 4436 Worth St, Los Angeles. The owner has an estate sale company and the warehouse is for all she finds. Its HUGE!! So much fun to rummage around. I really need a truck. We could not believe all the good junk. Prices were fair too. It would be a good place to pick and I’m sure lots of vendors know about it. She is only open once in awhile, we’ll post the next one. Also she is planning to have a event where vendors can sell soon. We can’t wait. The more we get out, the more events we find out about and get to go and tell you guys about them. We are posting all the pics we can, #supportvendors!!!

 

Get ready, we start the holiday season soon. Sooner than later if the stores have their choice. But my calendar is booking up. This Sat we are heading out to Barn House Chicks in Thousand Oaks. Every place we go we ask if they have more shows planned so we can make sure we don’t miss them, I suggest you do the same. All the new creations come out for the seasons. We’ll be posting all the events we know about in advance. Hope to see you out there, it’s going to be so much fun.

Thanks for reading…Bonnie and Amy

Mission Statement

Hi everyone!

Amy and I have been talking lately about our mission statement. Why we do the Instagram and blog is a question we sometimes get. Well, our mission statement addresses that and basically states why we’re here and why we keep doing this.

“To do our part to keep vintage and repurposed markets, stores and vendors in business by spreading the word to anyone and everyone we can about who they are and where to find them, via our instagram and blog.”

We love all the shows, flea markets, stores because it’s a world of new beginnings. Pieces are rescued, cleaned, repurposed, painted, cut apart and made new or just reused and that’s good for all of us and our planet. It makes our hearts full to see how happy being a junker makes some of you. Creating is an art. We see couples working together, friends sharing a business, and individuals working their butts off to make beautiful pieces. It’s a good wholesome happy place to be in. We have been able to put together some vendors and stores and love seeing success stories.  It breaks our hearts to see someone give up their dream and we have seen several businesses quit lately or vendors leave. Usually there is a lot of reasons why, but it is so sad when someone cannot keep doing what enrichs them.  We love going out and meeting you, talking and making new friends, and learning about what you sell. We don’t want anyone to quit or get discouraged. We don’t want to stop visiting you and sharing what you do.  We hear fascinating stories and funny ones too. The history of some of these pieces is so interesting.

So we’ll keep doing what we do if you keep doing what you do. Let’s work together to help each other. Our plans for the rest of the year include The Vintage Marketplace (twice), Remnants of the Past, Behind the Picket Fence, Three Speckled Hens, Barnhouse Chicks, Vista Vintage & Makers Market and the new Flying Miz Daisy plus our usual The Coast Vintage Market and all our stores and monthly flea markets we regularly visit. It’s going to be very busy through the end of the year!!!  If you think of anywhere else we should go-please let us know!!  And please keep up the good work, we’ll be out to see it!!!

Thanks for reading…Bonnie and Amy

Disclaimer: Any purchases from the advertisers on the right will result in a small percentage for us.

Junk in the Trunk- Liberty Station style

Hi All!!

Junk in the Trunk

Have you been to the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market yet? If not, what are you waiting for? This awesome market is happening next in Scottsdale, AZ in September.

We’ve been to the market twice this year in San Diego and Los Angeles, CA. Lindsey and Coley provide a wonderful venue full of some of the best Vintage Vendors in the SouthWest. The Liberty Station venue has so much to offer besides the market. You can spend a whole day down there at JITT, the Liberty Station Public Market and the various museums.

Mom and I have been to this market a few times, this past weekend, my husband was able to go with me. We were able to visit with Miller Rustic, Boarding House Broads, Countryside Barn and new friends Golden Pineapple, Oak Post & Ivory, Emmy & Avery, SchmaltzLand Creations & Ripe Designs. (Tim & Kim, Winners of Flea Market Flip)

It was great to see so many new (to us) vendors busy selling out to customers. We heard from several that they had sold out of their big pieces early the first day. Miller Rustic sold most of their big pieces and needed to rearrange to keep the shop looking full and interesting. Wish I had the space for some of their designs. Mike and Ivis have great design style and a construction background to boot. My husband Kevin and Mike hit it off, talking shop and furniture building. And of course we got to see the Broads! The girls even let me take a picture with Brad!! (Swoon)


My best advice if you are going to have a booth, put your sign out! There were so many vendors that I had to ask who they were. The map was a little confusing and only a few had business signs out. Plus, grab a big space if you have furniture. It was tough to see what everyone was selling. The booths were a little cramped and with all the customers there, I couldn’t get in to take pictures of all the ones I wanted to.

Thanks for reading…Amy

P.S. If you purchase anything form our affiliates (on the right) we make a small commission. It helps us to continue bringing you all the good news!

 

More of us…

Bonnie & Amy

Hi, we are Amy and Bonnie, mother and daughter that make up We’re Mad About. How are you guys doing?

We have met a lot of you, vendors, store owners, shoppers, pickers, all now friends! We started the Instagram and blog a little over a year ago (and now we have over 4,200 followers on the ig). The reason we started them was because we noticed more fleamarkets and stores opening up. For awhile it was sparse. We love love love going out and meeting everyone and we don’t want these places to disappear again.  So it’s personal to us that customers find out about you dealers and keep you in business.  Bonnie gets out there more than Amy, since Amy still works a full time job and is married, but we both try to search out new businesses.  We have made new friends, learned about junking and picking, gone to classes, and bought more than we should have, and it has been rewarding and we are grateful to you all. And we are attempting to do our part to keep you going!!

Of course, a blog is a much harder nut to crack than Instagram. It grows slower and people don’t follow you as fast. We have had store owners and vendors tell us they tried one and gave up. We, of course, had ours hacked (no, we don’t know why people do that!!) and had to restart. $$$.  What a pain! But we did it and are still hanging in there. Eventually it will get some decent numbers.  Instagram, with some care and attention, grows rapidly, and provides instant gratification so it is easier to deal with. If you are not signed up, please do so.

So meanwhile, this is our plea. Help us help you!!! If you know of new markets, vendors, stores that you want to see more of…let us know about them. Or if you are one yourself, feel free to self-promote! We love that!! We would love to visit more fleamarkets and  stores and events that showcase vintage, repurposed, repainted, reloved junk in Southern California.  Not so much for commercial items please. Drop a comment if you love a store and want us to highlight them on our Instagram or blog.  We know for a fact that some of the vendors we previously talked about have added to their Instagram numbers after we put up a few pictures. And most of the stores and venues have received new visitors and business since we posted about them. We are happy to do so. If you are a vendor and want us to post a picture of a piece you are especially proud of,  we can do that too. If you want us to write a blog about how you got started and what you carry contact us.  If you are a store we haven’t been to lately, remind us and we’ll drop by again. If you are a customer and want us to highlight your favorite shop, tell us about it.  If you are having a pop-up or sidewalk sale, we are happy to promote it for you. Small business is hard, take advantage of us to help. It’s free advertising, people!!!!  We want you to succeed and we don’t want to get stale. We want to keep finding and sharing new venues and vendors, as well keep showing you our favorites too. We have a few ideas to turn this  into a money-making business for us in the future  but for now it isn’t and that’s ok.  It’s a labor of  love now and always. We would love to help you so let us know how.

Thanks for reading…Bonnie and Amy

 

It isn’t JUNK!!!!

Hi, this is Bonnie, home from my trip to Utah.

It’s nice to go on vacation but nicest to come home. Honestly Utah is clean, clear, beautiful, no graffiti, no visible homeless, perfect place for outdoor sports but my outdoor (and indoor) sport is flea markets. And there isn’t any there, that we could find around St. George anyway. So I started thinking about why I love junking and thrifting and flea markets and stores and pop-up markets.  I think for me it’s the thrill of the hunt. It’s exciting to have an idea and search for the perfect item to complete it. Granted, I am trying not to buy much because my house is full, but still…there’s always one area to fix up, redo, repaint, or switch around. Adding a flea market find makes me happy. Just a rusty old metal piece or two or three. 

What does it for you? Is it the rusty piece no one else wants? Or the shabby wood cabinet? Or the last piece of your grandma’s china that your kid broke and you thought you’d never see it again? Or?????

For us, of course,  it has been so cool to meet vendors that love this stuff and want to talk about it. Where you found that piece and how you got it home, and how you repainted it are all things customers and we want to know. It adds to the value and the fun and the memories. We came across these and put them on our Pinterest account you can look at also under We’re Mad About.  But for just now enjoy these quotes from other addicts, there are more of us than we ever knew.

Thanks for reading…Bonnie and Amy

**Disclaimer: some of these photos we found on Pinterest. We were unable to track down the original owner/Pinner. All credit goes to them. These are not our photos.

Outstanding Stores, do you know one??

Raffle by Atomic Loft at Needful Things Addiction

We love all the stores we go to, but must admit there are certain ones that stick with us. It’s not just their merchandise, it’s also the way they arrange and decorate, the way the store is run, and most important, the way they interact with customers. That seems to be a main reason customers return. First impressions and all that, right? If we go in a store and no-one says” hi, call out if you need help, welcome or hey”, we sometimes feel like” whoops, they’re not open yet” or “did we go in the wrong door  I?” It’s nice to notice and be noticed. Even in the Dollar Tree they yell out “welcome” 4000 times a day, it still feels like they are glad you came. And that’s what you want, right?

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Soooo,  still and always one of our favorites,  is  Shabbyology,  534 E. Edna,  Covina. Every person who works there says hi to us, even before they knew us. The owner, Jackie, is one of the most enthusiastic and hard working person we know, simply because she loves loves loves what she does. How can you beat that? The time spent in the store, rearranging and putting up new displays and finding new products, continuously pays off with a store that is welcoming and fun. It also has such an assortment of pieces that you know you’ll find something to take home. A store that stays the same gets boring and Shabbyology never does, just now opening a new section.  And classes keep popping up that bring in customers because they are so different, check her facebook for a schedule. Open Fri Sat Sundays.

Salvaged Treasures at Vintique Alley

Also on the list, Vintique Alley, Riverside. Once you go you will be like us, wanting to move in. Really!! Many different vendors but a continuity of style keeps this shop very popular. The Sip n Shop we just went too was a lot of fun, with the patio filled with vendors for the night, and did we say “free wine?”  Old White Shabby and just that perfect touch of color to set up the displays,  they all look like rooms in a house, ready for us to spend the night!  And they also are very good about welcoming you, and if you need help with a idea or a display they make it clear they can and will go all the way to make sure a piece is right for you. We have seen them sketch out possible layouts for customers.  Great owner and hand picked vendors.  Open Tues-Sun at 3758 Elizabeth St, they are waiting for you-hurry up!!

The Nest

Next, in no particular order, is The Nest in Yucaipa. It’s worth the trip where ever you live. One room, so not too large, but every inch is filled, but not overcrowded. These ladies have the touch. Repainted furniture and innovative displays steal our hearts. Nice and friendly is the atmosphere. When we got there at opening time, people were outside looking in the window waiting. And we have posted their gorgeous bicycle with flowers  out front that tells you you have arrived, check back on our Instagram a picture of it. Shutters and old windows make up some of their shelves and they are so original, it’s on the don’t miss list. 12131 California, lots of antique stores on the same street also. Open Fri and Sat.

The Romantic Home

Another we love and don’t get to enough is The Romantic Home in Long Beach. This smaller store is packed with stuff we want!! How come we can’t bring it all home?? Romantic is the correct word for it too, some clothes, some furniture, some just decorative pieces, some dish towels, some jewelry–all arranged so well. Allow some time because you have to really look to see everything. Never cluttered or messy, we love browsing here. We will be back there soon! 1204 E Wardlow.

The last on this list, and it is hard to narrow it because we love all the stores, that’s why we keep going back, is a new one. We did a few posts on it already because we are drawn in by the history of the building and the happy attitude of the owner and vendors. This one would be Needful Things Addiction in Lake Elsinore. 115 W. Franklin, open Wed-Sun. Get over there for their Grand Opening on Sat the 24 th. Raffle tickets available and you won’t believe the prize by Atomic Loft, a vendor there. This #marketshoppe is going to be constantly evolving and since it’s amazing already, we can’t wait.

By no means are these all our favorites. If we keep showing up at the door, you know we love your store. A bad impression leaves us not going back and we don’t want to give bad reviews. There are too many stores that are working hard to create a good image, and those are the ones we talk about, and ignore the others. One of the things we noticed about most of these stores is the vendors are required to work a few hours a week. We think that’s a great idea, not only because their booths or spaces are always fresh and neat, but also because they keep the stores that way too. No use having a great booth if the store is a mess, and none of these are.  Owners and vendors that care and encourage others are among the best. There is more than enough room for all and small business flourishes with that attitude. That seems to be a constant with these 5 businesses that contributes to their success. The other thing that will help is telling others about them so they also get out there. Let’s not lose any more of these independent {mostly} woman-owned shops. We’re doing our part by posting about them-are you doing yours by visiting and buying???  We want to visit more stores, run by anyone, anywhere,  and keep them in business. Be sure and check times and days open before you go, they do change from time to time.  Let us know if we haven’t made it out to your favorite store.

Thanks for reading…Bonnie and Amy

Disclaimer: There are some ads on the right side of this blog, if any purchases are made we will receive a small percentage from them.

The Vintage Marketplace, Rainbow Calif.

The Vintage Marketplace photo booth

We love The Vintage Marketplace. @thevintagemarketplaceca. There is no question, no doubt, we just flat out l0ve it. We have met so many vendors there, some we see only there, others we seem to follow wherever they go. It turned into a great way for us to get to know customers too.

Many times we are waiting to say hi to a seller and get into conversations with customers and a whole lot of those customers are also junkers or crafters or “pick up stuff curbside” type of people.  They end up telling us about other venues, or sales, or good stores. We love the atmosphere that promotes friendliness. And we love following everyone! So many ideas brought to life.   Can’t wait till Sept.!!!!!!

Signs Signs and more Signs

Seahouse Design

Hi, it’s Bonnie,

We had such a good response to our tips blog, thanks guys. We thought maybe a few more ideas and signs would be nice.  One of the first signs we noticed was from Lilwoods and we have never seen another like it. Clever isn’t it? We remembered her booth long before we actually met  her, and her sweet personality and great picks, which keep us going back to see her and her booth.

Lilwoods Vintage

One key thing to think about is keeping all your social media the same as the name of your company. Names are so important. I remember the name of your booth first, then I think of yours-because I’m on Instagram so much. Having a good catchy name helps you to gain followers, customers and friends! We brainstormed for months before we hit on Weremadabout, and it took us another two weeks to agree on it! Remember mother/ daughter duo!!!  We have had trouble following vendors when the names don’t match up. I love when a vendor puts up a great sign. Tell us your name, tell us to follow you, tell us where you are selling next, put up a sign that customers remember and show them you are active on social media. Lots and lots of times we have found a vendor or a venue because of a Instagram photo. When we ask “do you have a business card?” or “are you on Instagram?” it is because we want to find you again and follow what you do. When a vendor doesn’t have either, I always ask “are you on Facebook?”  Please be active somewhere if you want to be a more successful dealer. It is a great tool for sales and encouragement too, which we all need. Girl power, man power, people power, whomever, praise and acceptance are so valuable.

I am always surprised, happily, at how most of the vendors we meet are so generous with their information and referrals. Lots of times we have been told, “I sold all mine but so and so has some”.  Absolutely love that! There is room for all of you, look at how many vendors do similar items already. It’s all how you arrange and decorate your booth and how you present yourself. If you never stand up and talk to customers you won’t get sales. Sales are hard, no one wants to be rebuffed, but it’s necessary. Pushing yourself to be friendly, generous with your ideas, and open makes you one of my favorite dealers. I’m not coming back if you aren’t nice, who would? Luckily that doesn’t happen often. Most of the dealers we know are professional, happy and they love their pieces as much as we do.So think about your overall impression on customers, we notice it all. It makes a difference.

Thanks for reading, Bonnie and Amy…

P.S. You may notice the ads on the right side of our blogs, if any purchases are made from these companies, we will receive a small amount of compensation to help with our expenses in creating the blog and Instagram.