• Debra Palmen

Aaah, this is the life

Did you know I retired when I was 34?

Well that’s the story. I did officially stop being a wage-slave for someone else at that age, and started being a Free Woman.

Get up when I want, wear my jammies all day if I want (except, oops I don’t wear jammies so that didn’t work), hang about looking like a wild mountain woman with no-one the wiser, if I want. Or indeed go out in public looking like a wild mountain woman and be answerable to no-one. Except animal control officers. Yes, a life of doing whatever I jolly well pleased, whenever I jolly well pleased, lay before me.

So what happened???

What numpty thought that buying 1.5 tonnes of stock on our last buying trip was a good idea? And then selling it through a pop-up shop? And markets? And fairs? And online?

Getting up at 5am has never featured high on my List of Things To Do, but guess what I’ve done (most days) since we’ve had the pop-up shop? Unpack, clean, wax, paint – and that’s just to get me ready! The stock has taken a fair bit of work to get into display state, mostly because there’s been just so much of it and we rarely buy things that have had the value-added component done by someone else – that’s why we get bargains.

So we’ve been pretty busy for the last two months. Fortunately there are a few good things to report about this enormous sacrifice of my sleeping-in time:

1. The pop-up shop has gone really well.

While it’s true I still haven’t finished unpacking, I have unearthed enough to make the shop look good, and to offer a nice selection of stuff. And the response has been lovely, so thanks for that everyone.

2. It’s almost over.

We’re shutting down this year’s operation on 28 February and moving on to a more leisurely approach to selling. There’s nothing like a pop-up shop for selling big quantities quickly, so they definitely have their place. For example, of the 85 pieces of French vintage and antique copper we've offered in the shop since January, 12 pieces remain. And that’s before the big antiques fairs start for the year, so I expect we’ll completely run out of copper pretty soon.

But it’s a tough gig when it’s horribly hot and humid and your pop-up shop doesn’t have air-conditioning, so you spend hours every day in a sauna. It was so bad at one point I had to give Calypso an entire week off. It was horrible enough for me, let alone sitting here in a fur coat. The summer has been exceptionally hot and humid in this neck of the woods, and I shall look forward to sitting about at home in my lack-of-jammies while I work on getting the website looking spiffy.

We’ve decided to open the shop every day until we close. We’re going hard for the last week, so if you have the chance do come in and say hello (and goodbye). I’ve included a few photos of the shop here, but I’ve put a bigger selection on our FB page to give you an idea of what we’re offering this time.

Meanwhile, the first Collectorama antiques fair for 2018 is being held on Saturday, 3 March at the Nambour Showgrounds on the Sunshine Coast. Collectorama is the biggest antiques fair in Queensland and we always do well there, so it’s worth the effort.

But it means:

- we’ll finish the shop on Wednesday,

- pack up the shop on Thursday,

- unpack a goodly proportion to set up for Collectorama on Friday,

- do Collectorama on Saturday,

- repack hopefully a lot less stock late on Saturday afternoon,

- unpack a smaller selection for Peregian Beach Market very early on Sunday morning,

- repack yet again on Sunday afternoon, and

- fall into a giant heap on Sunday evening.

That’s my week coming up, how about yours?

Ah, the pleasures of being retired.

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