I have learned through experience that I can often find unusual and exotic things that I want by thinking consciously about them ~ sending a certain kind of energy out into the world to locate them and draw them toward me. When I do this I eventually find these rare and interesting items I want. That is how I found this pair of red patent pumps. I began thinking about such a pair of shoes about a month ago when I decided to write about the red shoes in my personal ballet dancer’s collection! I had a lot of red vintage shoes. I didn’t have an example of one of the latest styles ~ the sky high red patent high heel platforms that have been so popular on the red carpet of late. I would need to get one!
I’m an artist, working on a tight budget, too. Of late I am photographing and writing a lot and designing a line of clothing. I do not have the budget to go out and buy a $795 pair of shoes. In fact, I am even staying out of both regular shops and thrift stores so that I don’t find goodies I feel I must have to expand my collections! I haven’t been in a TS for a month! (TS is thrift store.) I have however, been cleaning out my closets to free up space and making donations to thrift stores and charity groups. I am very proud of the fact that I have been donating five to seven shopping bags full of clothes and household items to charity organizations every week this summer. I am trying hard to do my part to recycle things I am no longer using. I also want to free up my space. It is easy to fill up your house with too many things. I made a rule for myself, for every bag of new stuff I bring into the house, a bag of equal size must be taken out of the house, in order to maintain a balance of stuff.
This summer I have also taken a load of appropriate upscale newer designer items to a nice Seattle consignment shop where I hope to sell them and I have put about 60 choice vintage items up for sale on my Etsy store Ladyviolettedecourcy and another 25 on my Bonanza store Ladyviolettedecourcy. The rules of what you can put up for sale are different for each store. For example: In the consignment shop nothing can be more than 2 years old! On Etsy everything vintage has to be at least 20 years old. On Bonanza you can sell anything of any age providing the quality is high. Doing all this is a lot of hard work! You have to take the pictures, write good descriptions, post everything on the computers then follow up on questions and responses from potential buyers every single day! When you finally get a sale you have to box and wrap it and ship it off to the buyer. If international buyers are interested in an item you have to go to the PO or UPS offices to get accurate packing, shipping and insurance rates. Every case is different, because every item is a different shape, size and weight and every buyer lives in a different country and has unique requirements. I have also sold several things on eBay over the last few years! I had no idea until I did it myself that it would be as hard as it is to sell things online! It is hard work!
So far I feel I have mostly done set up! I have also been writing and posting on my blog Ladyviolette.com every day. This has been going on for four months. Sales are sporadic. Everyone on Etsy, Bonanza and eBay says that. The economy is in a slump and this is what everyone I know who is selling says is happening. I have to be philosophical about it. Therefore, I have just decided to continue to plod along ( and blog along!) and keep posting things to my blog and putting items on my store sites! I am very happy with the amount of response of a positive nature I am getting to my photographs and descriptive writing on a daily basis. It is encouraging to know that intelligent people with good taste like it. I like hearing from them even if they cannot afford to buy something right now. The interaction is valuable in its own way! The people participating on these sites are the most interesting thing about them! And ultimately that is more interesting than making sales, but, it would also be very nice to be selling briskly!
Last week, when I took my clothes to the consignment shop I had to wait while the owner looked through them and made her selection. So I walked around the store looking at the other items she had for sale. In the back of the store, on the floor, by a full length mirror, I caught sight of these beautiful shining red patent pumps. I edged closer! They looked as if they might just be my size! I couldn’t resist. I had to pick one up and check out the size! The bottom was marked 8B! I wear a 7.5B usually, but 8 was close enough. I stepped out of my shoes and tried them on. Of course they fit quite nicely. The super high heels allow me to go up a half size! So I had to check out the price. It was $49. They were unworn. They still had the original price sticker on them for $99.99.
I carried the shiny red shoes up to the front desk with me as I went back to see what the owner was selecting from the items I had brought in to consign. She was taking almost all of them. There were about 20 items which is the limit on what they will look at in one day. She saw the red shoes. She said, “I just got those in.” I said, :”I think I want them, But what are you going to take here?” She told me she would take all but three items which duplicated items she already had. She said she would consign them through November. After that I can choose to pick up things that don’t sell or donate them to The Children’s Orthopedic Hospital. I opted for the later. She said, “The stuff is nice and I know I can sell most of it. Do you want cash or store credit on the items that sell? ” You get more if you take store credit so I chose that.
I know the owner of this store very well. I consign and shop there regularly. She then said, “Do you want the red shoes?” I said, “Well, that depends, on how I can arrange to pay for them. I am trying not to spend money. ” She said, “How about $9.99 cash and I’ll take the balance in credit off the things you will undoubtedly sell that you brought in today?” I said , ” Okay! That sounds good to me!”
Here is how it works if you want to know. She had obviously paid $9.99 or $10 cash for the never worn red shoes. She was hoping to sell them for $49.99. but, here I was, a good customer whom she knows well, She decided to take $9.99 cash from me to cover her initial financial outlay for the red shoes and take the remaining $40 in credit off of the sales of the items I had just brought in. This was a good deal all the way around because she was guaranteed to get rid of the red shoes, and she knew she would be able to get the remainder of her money soon from the sales of the items I just consigned with her. Normally consignment stores do not do things like this, but I know her and shop and trade with her on a regular basis. Had she not done this with me she might have had this pair of red shoes for months. In NYC or LA they would sell right away, but in Seattle few people actually wear shoes like this! She was lucky that I had come in.
For me, the arrangement was good. I had just gotten rid of a huge pile of clothes freeing up usable space in my house and I had acquired a great pair of shiny modern red high heels in my size for my shoe collection! My financial outlay was only $9.99 for a pair of brand new $100 shoes. I could justify spending that much ($9.99) on this pair as I had been wanting some for quite a while! A gap in my red shoe collection was filled! And I had just gotten rid of a big pile of unused items so I could justify bringing home just one pair of pretty new shoes I would actually use!
I know I will also get usable credit for future clothing or shoe trades at this store, and I know she will have have things I will want in the future. I think I should explain that this is the only store in Seattle where I will trade or buy on a reliable basis. Most of the vintage clothing and designer clothing consignment stores in this town are not dealing with sophisticated enough items or high level enough merchandise for me to bother with. I was lucky to find this pair of red patent shoes in this particular situation. And they are just what I had been wanting. Just what I had been hoping I would find, as I explained in the beginning of this post, and I did! This is why I think my theory works!
Photos by Fredric Lehrman.
Styled by Violette de Courcy.
Shoes from the Lady Violette Shoe Collection.