I’m so excited to announce that Stella Home Staging has added resale. Ya know like the coolest furniture, decor, architectural salvage, Vintage, chotchki store ever. Only it’s not a brick and mortar store…yet. Some of the furniture, artwork, and decor that is displayed in my staging will be available for sale (some restrictions may apply). I will continue to acquire fabulous furniture, artwork and home decor that will be for sale, and source specific pieces of furniture for clients that need just that perfect piece for a space and/or purpose. I am excited and feeling good but this decision didn’t come easily. In fact, I would love to share my journey with this resale thing and why it was a little tricky.
Are the furnishings for sale?
Almost the minute I finished staging my first property I got the question: “So what’s for sale?” As a new stager, I wasn’t prepared for this question. The first few years I was buying, amassing and building my inventory. Every lamp, book, chair, couch was precious and new and expensive. In full disclosure, the first four years of my business I was in the red. I spent more on building my inventory than I got paid for staging. It’s ok. I expected it. But this meant having and using my new furniture and decor inventory was way more valuable than selling it. So the answer was easy, “nothing” or “no” . ” I’m sorry, I’m not selling the couch, lamps or side chair.”
Every time someone asked me if my items were for sale, I had an emotional response. For one, I was flattered and grateful. I mean, if potential buyers, or more importantly the buyer of a property I staged wanted my items, it seems like I did a good job, and the staging helped attract the buyer right? I love it when people ask to purchase my staging furniture. My follow-up emotional response was panic. That seems a little performative; Why panic? It has a lot to do with my innate personality trait of being a pleaser. I don’t want to say no, but that’s for my next counseling session. From the business end of things, I saw the huge economic value of adding a retail aspect to my business but there are many things to consider if I sell my staging inventory. First and foremost, I need this furniture for my next stage and the one after that. If I sell it. I will need to replace it.
The shift from “no” to “maybe”
In my fifth year of business I began to turn a profit. I had built up my inventory enough that I could shop from my own warehouse instead of Slate or Atomic Furnishings or Sleepy Poet or Etsy or The Screen Door …I could go on and on. I have gotten very good at shopping or like we call it in the biz “sourcing” but it was the most fun shopping from my own stash. My cost for each stage came down and my profit margin started to go up. Now that question of “Is the dining set for sale?” was still happening but now my reaction started to shift. Still happy, yes, but panic subsided and curiosity took its place.
It’s hard to let go
There are a couple of things I need to admit about myself. I’m not good at haggling or being thrifty. When I see something that I love, that inspires me or is absolutely perfect for a particular stage, I buy it. I also like things that are heavy, or delicate or special and unique in some irreplaceable way. I’m bringing this up now because I started to very quickly realize the treasures I had amassed were getting a lot of wear and tear each time they were moved in and back out of a stage. My movers are wonderful, shout-out to my long time moving team from Metropolitan Moving LLC! Even with careful handling, moving is just tough on furniture. It occurred to me that I would rather sell my treasures while they were still beautiful and in good shape then beat them to death and have no one be able to enjoy them. I also started to realize that I needed to keep my look fresh, updated and not predictable. The individuality and distinct look of each stage has always been a signature of Stella Home. To keep a new look going for each stage I have to rotate my inventory constantly.
The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one
What really tipped me over the edge into the resale arena is when I realized I had a problem. I have an addiction to finding treasures and purchasing them. Or rescuing from the side of the road. I am an equal opportunity furniture rescuer. Staging has always given me a fantastic excuse for collecting treasures, but there’s a thin line between running a business and being a hoarder. When my husband gets irritated with me for wrangling him into moving yet another newly purchased piece of furniture or pulling up to someone’s dumpster he whispers “hoarder” under his breath, also a note for my next therapy session. Plus, storage is expensive and hard to find. I simply can’t afford to store my treasures (AKA hoard). As I began to stretch my buying internationally to London and Morocco to name a couple spots. The resale idea came clearly into focus. Resale is a wonderful way to circulate and curate all of the beautiful things that I am lucky enough to come across and let them go to a perfect home.
Stella is officially in the resale biz
So, here I am at the beginning of 2023 with my resale license and ready for this evolution of Stella Home. I’m starting slowly. I haven’t done a huge announcement or any marketing. In fact, this post is my first really long plug for the resale biz. I wanted to create a resale biz that would be somewhere that would inspire and excite me as a designer, stager, hoarder. From Stella, you will find absolutely cool, unique usable varied pieces from all price points. And don’t forget, if you are looking for something particular for a purpose and/or place in your home, let me know. I’m out there searching all of the time.