Occasionally a customer will come up during a sale and ask, "How do I become a Good Ju Ju vendor?" They typically want to know what the costs are (square footage, commission, etc.) and to whom do they need to speak? We always direct them to the right person knowing they will get the answers they need. However, there are certain things anyone will need to know should they possess the level of insanity necessary to dive in to 'vendor-dom.' Under the heading entitled "if we knew then what we know now," here are a few must haves necessary in becoming a successful Good Ju Ju vendor.
1. The name and number of a good chiropractor or massage therapist. Selling at Good Ju Ju requires heavy lifting, whether it be boxes of smalls or furniture. And, of course, there is the sale itself. Nineteen hours over 2 days on your feet can take its toll. Muscles and joints aren't getting any younger, and sometimes we need help putting ourselves back together.
2. The willingness to give up having a good manicure. Take a look the next time you're in the store. You can tell the vendors by their short, broken, paint-spattered fingernails. It's almost impossible to have a beautiful set of nails when you are lifting, sanding, painting and staining numerous pieces of heavy wood furniture or creating small, one-of-a-kind pieces. We've all resigned ourselves to having lovely nails when we retire, whenever that will be.
3. A pickup truck or heavy duty van. You'd be surprised how much room a 9-drawer dresser or armoire takes up. Save your Mini Cooper or sedan for trips to the grocery store. When hauling heavy and big loads, the larger the vehicle the better.
4. The name of a good brake specialist. Every vendor at Good Ju Ju has at one time or another been driving along and stood their vehicle on its nose because someone put a beautiful piece of furniture out on the curb for pick-up. Keeping those brakes in tip top shape to catch that fantastic bargain is important. Having good reflexes and excellent peripheral vision doesn't hurt either.
5. Flexibility in scheduling. Remember those wonderful, spur-of-the-moment 3 day weekends or vacations? All family trips, reunions, out-of-town weddings, cruises, etc. will now have to be scheduled in and around both the First Friday sale days and the setup week preceding. A BIG calendar to keep track of everything with those days X'd out will go a long way toward retaining your sanity.
6. A long list of understanding (and strong) friends. Friends willing to assist at a moment's notice will be a big help. If they will work for food and drink (alcoholic or non), consider that a plus. Remembering them with cookies, snacks and the occasional hard-to-find item on their wish list will grease the wheels.
7. Last but not least, having an understanding partner or spouse is a MUST. Receiving late night phone calls from other vendors about that fantastic garage/estate sale, asking for tips on how to finish a piece, or just venting, can create a rift in the best of relationships. If you are lucky enough to be married to someone who will overlook the interruptions, help you solve a particularly sticky problem, or tuck a blanket around you after you fall asleep at the dinner table, then you just might have all you need to succeed as a Good Ju Ju vendor.
But seriously, if you are interested in knowing more about being a dealer at Good Ju Ju, take a look at this page. It answers many questions on how to take the next step in becoming a dealer with us.
By Mary Farley - Glass Cat Vintage