There are a few of you locals out there who have been coming to my occasional sales for years. My friend Sue and I started hosting sales a long time ago. Funny enough, neither of us really remembers how long we’ve been doing them. I know it’s been more than 15 years. We started out with just a very small ‘garage sale’. Sue always had the most amazing stuff and rock bottom prices. I just did my best to keep up with Sue. Eventually our reputation started to grow. In the early days we had an actual mailing list and would send out flyers via snail mail! Imagine that!
Over time we gave our sale a name, the Carriage House sale, and we added an email notification list. We experimented with adding various other partners, but somehow we always ended up back with just the two of us.
In recent years Sue and I have had so much inventory just between the two of us that we didn’t have room to add any more vendors!
At one point we had as many as three sales a year, then we scaled back to one, then we added one back and had two per year for a while. We even had a Christmas sale a few years back.
For goodness sakes, why in the world did I part with this green scale?
Anyway, that sale was kind of a bust, so we never tried that again.
One problem with hosting a sale at my Carriage House is that there just isn’t enough space inside for all of the inventory, plus the shoppers, plus a check out area. Obviously some stuff is going to be outside, including us. That’s not a problem when it’s a beautiful sunny day.
But many of our customers still talk about the year that the tornado sirens went off and the sky unleashed a torrent of rain just as we were opening our doors. Our flimsy tents helped a little, but when rain is coming down sideways things are bound to get wet. It didn’t seem to discourage any of the shoppers, but some of the help (nnK in particular) were a little freaked out.
We’ve always had lots of great vintage stuff in our inventory.
And plenty of pretty china, although that doesn’t sell nearly as well anymore as it once did.
I ended up selling all of those pieces in a basket for some ridiculously low price. I kind of wish I had kept a couple of those pretty tea cups now.
In addition to fun vintage pieces, both Sue and I also like to take cheap garage sale finds and add our own touches to them.
Sue is also a very talented seamstress. She made these pillow covers using an embroidered table runner (dresser scarf?)
Of course, I’ve always done furniture for the sale.
And Sue does the occasional piece of furniture as well.
But sadly, historically furniture does not sell well (although Sue’s darling chairs did sell quickly). I generally end up having to put most of my furniture on craigslist after the sale is over.
We’ve always had a size-able garden section at our June sale.
Both Sue and I are gardeners, and we often dig up and divide our own perennials before the sale.
Last year we only had the June sale. I found that after working a full time job, refurbishing vintage furniture and writing a blog, something has to give. And after that June sale I was pretty burnt out. I needed a break, so we decided not to have a fall sale last year.
Now this year, here it is the middle of April already and I don’t have any inventory accumulated for a June sale. I have been focusing more on furniture rather than the small pieces that sell well at the Carriage House sale. So, there will be no June sale. We’re thinking about a fall sale though. Maybe in the last half of September. That gives us all summer to find and refurbish some amazing stuff. My sister has agreed to be my garage sale wing man this summer and we’re already penciling in the neighborhood sales that we don’t want to miss.
In the meantime, I hope you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane for throwback thursday. In case you are wondering, yes, every single photo used in this post is from one of our previous sales and shows items that we did indeed sell (including that vintage green scale!)