The hobby and craft store I opened is a bust. There’s lots of people into crafts here, lots of arty types, lots of hobbyists among our total of perhaps 16,000 or so residents scattered far and wide among our interconnected valleys in hamlets small and smaller. Prices in the store were very competitive and the nearest outlets selling the same goods are 50 miles away on a mountain road designated the second most dangerous road in California, because of the deaths on it.

So the half-price sale is in full swing and boy oh boy, if business had only been this good before. The stuff is selling out at a rate so far of around $600 a day, which is my cost, of course. So there’s no profit, in fact the loss goes on as long as the electricity and water bills stay in my name.

But I have someone who wants to buy my cash register/credit card system, someone else who wants the showcases, all deeply discounted of course but I’ll have no further need of them soon and I’ll be glad to be rid of them.

What doesn’t sell will go up on ebay, some of it, and most of the rest will go to the local school.

When people started coming in less and less, and I found myself sitting there for hours on end with nothing to do except crossword puzzles, when sales for the month were hundreds of dollars short of even paying for the basic overhead, it was time to accept the obvious. Besides, I was getting pretty burned out on all that sitting and waiting.

So another experiment comes to an end, and my first failed business. I’ve had several head shops, a gift shop, an antique store and 3 autobody/paint shops, one of which was a custom paint shop, and all were highly successful. I never spent a single dime on advertising for any of them, either.

This store, I advertised on the radio, on 3 different stations, constantly, as well as posting a Facebook page on it for the area and making a big effort to put the word out all over the area, personally. And it fell flat, even though almost everyone who came in said how glad they were that the shop was there, and how much the area needed one. So go figure.

But a lot of it was fun, and I met a few interesting people. I won’t miss the old women who reek of piss from unchanged diapers, the meth freaks and Mexicans looking to steal something or the garrulous, lonely old men who never spend a dime and just want someone to talk to. I won’t miss any of them, to be honest. With a handful of exceptions, they’re the cheapest, stingiest people I ever met. I thought the antique store customers were bad until this. It gave me something different to do, though I now wish I’d kept the money in the bank, or bought a new car or gone on a cruise to the Galapagos. Live and learn.

2 Responses to “SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP”

  1. x says:

    Sorry to hear it didn’t work out but the good thing is that you’ve still got a lot more drive than many retired people to even give it a go.

  2. Black Sheep says:

    Yup. I do.
    Good to hear from you. I hope you’re doing well and keeping the Muslimes from your door. It just kills me the way all those scum have been welcomed into Europe, talk about holding a viper to one’s breast.

    Well, it’s back to growing pot in the back yard. Fortunately I have a big back yard and the chickens and ducks don’t really need all that space. I’ve got 10 nice big pot plants growing in my garden area now, and I could put at least another 30 in the chicken yard, well fenced of course from the birds, and generate a nice bit of income from all that. So that’s the plan for next year.
    Annnnnd, there’s this really brilliant old fart, tho younger than I by at about 8 years, who’s into geology and hikes around the hills, and once I’m free of the shop we’ll go hiking together. Met him at the shop, in fact. Never shuts up, just talks incessantly but I understand. He is brilliant and had no one to speak to as an equal until he met me. I don’t know everything about anything, but I do know something about everything. Pretty much, and I’m fortunate to have been born a genius, by human standards anyway, which may or may not mean anything in the grand scheme. Not bragging anyhow, just lucky. We are what we are.
    Anyway, it will be nice to hike the hills, I love doing that stuff, that was the biggest part of when I lived alone in the remote No. Calif. mountains for so many years, just wandering the land, discovering the plants, rocks, bugs, critters, and getting great exercise doing it. It’s a big reason why I’m still so healthy and I need to get back to it.