As you may know, I'm working on a side hustle selling Danish furniture.
I've been "practicing" – buying Danish or midcentury modern style furnishings for cheap up island or online classifieds, running them back to Victoria and/or refinishing, and reselling to local vintage shops. I've yet to make any money, but I'm covering my gas bills at least. There's decent demand this style of furniture here, especially as it tends to be compact and sort of insubstantial, airy – a Danish modern sofa doesn't fill up a small room with a huge, blocky mass.
It's great for condos, in other words. Have you seen all those towers going up? Once you've put in your down payment, you can't afford new furniture anyway.
I hope to bring a container of stuff from Denmark to Victoria in July, and I'm working on finding my customers for it. July is a long way off though, so I've been thinking about ideas to keep the momentum going while I wait.
- Get Sylvia to do a lot of upholstery for me. Find other upholsterers and put them all to work.
- Sylvia bought seven teak chairs off me last week. She reupholsters them in her basement in Fernwood and flips them.
- Good upholsterers are hard to find in Victoria, I'm told.
- Import some new goods. Just a flat instead of a container. Lamps.
- Expensive! How would I sell them? The used shops I've been working with won't want them.
- Staging companies, people furnishing offices and airbnbs.
- Try to find a big wholesaler near Copenhagen like what Lindsey does. Maybe get more stuff, and faster.
- Lindsey works at By Design Modern in Vancouver. They import 3 containers per year to their warehouse on Commercial Drive.
- My guy in Denmark can probably fill up my container, but if I do another run relatively soon, he might not have time to restock.
- Sell my car. Get a van. Make it possible to work with bigger stuff, tables and bureaus etc.
- I really love my car.
- But, it's just a car. And a van would make this a lot more efficient.
- Do runs to the shops in Vancouver.
- $140 round trip plus gas, so I have to make sure I'm bringing back at least $3-400 profit each time to make it worth the effort.
- I'll need a van for sure.
- Write blog posts about Danish design. I've never been able to focus my writing on anything, but if I can, focusing helps build an audience.
- I like this idea because it involves something I'm already good at, writing, and it's free, and I don't have to go anywhere.
- I dislike it for the same reasons; it doesn't challenge me in the areas where I'm still weak, ie. selling stuff.
- It's a meta-activity. I might generate contacts from my blog but I'll never sell anything.
- Get some floor space at Union 22 or the Old Attic and put some stock there.
- This is actually a good idea. Most difficult part is acquiring some goods and holding onto them for a few days until I can get them to the shops.
- Make friends all those people who think they ought to open a new co-working space, and sell them furniture for it.
- Haven't the faintest idea how I would go about this, except that I know one person who has co-founded a co-working space in the past.
- Rent my own shop space. Get the flippers on UsedVic to consign stuff with me.
- There's probably room for one more shop in Victoria, with all these condos going up.
- It'll solve the storage problem, anyway.
- Go to Monterey and Palm Springs, or just the southern mainland, and hit up their version of UsedVictoria.
- No idea if stuff is cheaper there – there's probably a few opportunities though.
- I'll definitely need a van.
With a little luck, I'll get five minutes in a row next week to work on one of these ideas.