Covid-19, Becoming A Full-Time Antiques Dealer & Running A Small Business - Six Months On

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Hello and happy Monday one and all! I hope you've all had a pleasant week and you've been buying plenty of antiques!

This week, I thought it might be nice to give you an update on how Source Vintage and self employment has been going for me, six months on.  I hope to reassure some of you that there will always be light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how bad it gets. Never lose hope. Follow your passion, hustle and most importantly, believe. 

So, you know what to do. Get that kettle on and settle in for this week's instalment of my blog...

As you may already know, the Covid pandemic has had quite a dramatic impact on my life. I think, like many people, I had to re-evaluate life.  I had been dealing antiques for a few years alongside a job at an antiques centre, however, I knew that once Covid struck, the high street would suffer and jobs would be on the line, mine included. 

 

Photo courtesy of Yorkmix

 

I decided to put all of my energy into starting out in full-time self employment and began building a small business of my own. I knew it was a risk and I knew I'd have to hustle, but antiques are my life and I wanted to make it work... Well, I HAD to make it work...! I knew a bit about selling online, but not so much about building a website or of those three magic words - Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I researched, read, built, researched, built, deleted, re-built, researched and read some more... I had to find my own online identity, not only through a website, but on social media as well. I also had to move fast if I was still going to be able to eat and pay my bills.

 

 

The UK was put in lockdown on 23rd March 2020 and it took a week or so for the reality to hit home. It was on or around 12th April that I decided that full-time self-employment was probably going to be the best option for me in the long run. So, with very limited funds, I managed to get a very talented friend to do some branding for me, I designed and built a website, photographed my stock, listed it all and had a business up and running by 10th May.

 

 

 

Choosing to go full-time self-employed is scary, I won't lie. It's the fear of the unknown. You question everything. Will people like my product? What if they don't like my product? What if it fails? I certainly battled with my head. But I went for it, determined that it would work. Thankfully, so far, "touch wood", things have been very strong. I have also experienced a lot of love and support from my customers and fellow antiques dealers, which has helped me on my journey.  And for that, I will always feel blessed.

 

 

Sales have been heading in the right direction month after month. This is just the beginning, I know, and I must continue to evolve and grow. My word, I have a long way to go. After all, they say the first year is the hardest! But nevertheless, the greatest feeling is that I'm doing something that I absolutely adore and I'm doing it for myself! I think the timing has been perfect. So, I guess that old saying; "when one door closes, another one opens...", has rung true in this case. 

 

 

If I have some words of advice for people whose circumstances have also changed because of this pandemic, they would be...  If you have a passion, focus on it. It's going to be tougher than ever to get a job and who knows for how long in the future. We need to hustle, we need to work hard and most of all, we need to believe! Things can be started on a shoestring budget. Don't write off your future just yet. Channel your energy, follow your passion and you might surprise yourself... I did...!

 

 

So, I suppose this is as a good a time as any to remind everyone about Christmas shopping this year. There are many small independent businesses out there who are literally teetering on a knifes edge. This Christmas could either be their saving grace or their last. I want everyone, myself included, to think long and hard about where they shop. Support your local independents and the small independents online. I can guarantee you that every purchase you make from them will have a direct impact on their life. Alternatively, you can add to Jeff Bezos' (owner of Amazon) $200 billion personal wealth. I'll leave it up to you.

 

 

Well, that's it for this week folks! I hope you've enjoyed this little update on how Source Vintage is going, six months on, and I hope I've managed to encourage a few more of you to follow your passions.

Until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!

 

Stephen

Owner Source Vintage

Shop from Source Vintage here


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  • Natasha on

    Stephen! It’s taken me months to get round to reading this but I had bookmarked it and I’ve finally had a moment to read it- such a great blog and such a great message to all out there! I recently went self employed and started my Nutritional Therapy business up and I agree with everything you’ve said. If you have the passion, don’t let anything get in the way!
    So great to see you thriving in this field – such a special thing – antiques- because what is life without stories? All the best, Natasha

  • Stephen - Source Vintage on

    Hi Marian,
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I hope you are well. I do miss you! Maybe I’ll have to do a special feature blog on you in the future, so many classic stories to tell!! :)
    Thanks so much for following my blog. I hope our paths cross again in the future.
    All the best to you!

  • Marian on

    Have been following what your up to Stephen and absolutely delighted it’s going so well. I couldn’t be more thrilled that’s is working out for you. Love reading your weekly blog and what your getting up to. It’s keeping me entertained. Keep it up
    Regards Marian


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