- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.p5VL3RkF.dpuf The Old Lucketts Store Blog: Letters to Lucketts....Running a Creative Business

Monday, February 25, 2013

Letters to Lucketts....Running a Creative Business

Hey everyone and Happy Monday!  The Design House is coming along.  We've knocked out several rooms over the weekend to get ready for the Design House this weekend.  We'll be shooting some more pictures to share Monday morning, so look for those later in the day.

Here was some background and advice Suzanne gave a few months ago in a post that appeared in Miss Mustard Seed's blog in September.  We think it was interesting and gives you some more background about the shop and about us, so we thought we'd share it today...

Hi, I’m Suzanne from Lucketts Store in Leesburg VA. I’m happy to help out with a post about my start and my humble thoughts on business.
Suzanne at auction. 'Nuff said!

As a child I never stopped selling all my stuff. While other kids were playing jump rope on the playground, I basically had a roadside stand set up by my book bag selling whatever toys made the cut that day.  My mom could never figure out where all my stuff went and why, as an 8 year old in the 60′s, I always seemed to have money. So it was kind of ironic as I grew up, that I just couldn’t seem to figure out what I would be good enough at to make a living. DAH!

I was a stay at home mom living with my husband and 6 month old son, in a tiny unfurnished apartment in Ashburn, when I discovered Tilletts auction. I was overwhelmed with the cool retro stuff that I thought was amazing and was going for no money. Fortunately I also had no money, so it was a match made in heaven. We eventually moved to an old farmhouse where I would fill the barn with my auction treasures and have epic barn sales, then a tiny booth in an antique mall (yay! I was sure that was it..I hit the big time), then I started working for free, in exchange for space at My Wits End, an antique store outside of Leesburg.

My husband saw great potential in the abandoned building up the road and, since things were going pretty well at My Wits End we decided to give it a go, and The Old Lucketts Store was born.

I could go on from now til next Tuesday with all that goes into owning your own store, but for now I’ll stick to the highlights…
  • Grow one step at a time with in your own comfort zone.  It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and want to become bigger better faster before you really get a grip on what you are doing.
  • I am always in favor of business relationships being based on a win-win.  The more everybody you deal with respects you, and knows you are looking out for their best interest as well as you own, the longer and more solid relationships you will build.
  • Don’t go into debt.  This really goes along with growing one step at a time, its also called don’t get too big for your britches.  I started out with maybe a hundred dollars. I would go to auction, buy up the box lots that were going for a dollar…pick out the the items with some interest, clean them up, display them to the best of my ability, and hopefully turn my hundred into two or three hundred. I have done this thousands of times over the last 20 years.  When you own everything outright, you can’t get into too much trouble.
  • Always sell your inventory….do not keep it for your self…that is not a business, that’s shopping!  This may seem unbelievable, but whatever I want for my house I generally buy from other people, I do not keep my own stuff.
  • There is a great saying “without a goal, you have no direction.”  I always had one clear thought: to have a neat old place on the side of the road, where you hoped you’d have a great find …  and you did! That’s it…my direction was as simple as that.
  • Be ridiculously nice to your customers, they are your best asset.
  • Lastly, it is often difficult to find balance when you are running your own business and have a family.  Do your best, don’t beat yourself up…..an enjoy both as much as you possibly can, you’re lucky
This post was originally featured on Miss Mustard Seed's Blog in September for her feature called Running a Creative Business.

Need decorating advice?  Have a question about running a creative business?  Don't forget to send us your questions (as a comment in this post, on facebook, or email us) and we'll answer them in our "Letters to Lucketts" blog series.

Go Ahead, Ask Us Anything!
{photo credit: Katherine Cobb}
We will be inviting our readers to write in to our blog in the new year and ask us questions.  Suzanne will be leaning upon her 17 years in business as owner of the Lucketts Store to help tackle your questions about what it's like to run your own small creative business.

Amy, our lead designer at the Design House will also be open to readers sending in Design questions you may have regarding your home.  We will ask for you to send in photos of the trouble areas and specific questions for Amy, and she’ll do her best to help you out.

If you have any questions and would like our humble advice, send your questions (and pictures) to luckettstore@gmail.com (please reference “letters to Lucketts” in the subject line & in your note, so we know its intended for the blog column.)


  1. Thanks for all the tips (I'm still at the one booth stage...and lovin' it)! Stop by today, because you have been featured at my Nifty Thrifty Tuesday party. Please feel free to grab my featured button (you can find it under my header) for your blog and thanks a ton for sharing at my party.


    1. Thanks so much Linda for featuring the post in your link party!

  2. That is great advice. I love coming out to your place. You forgot one important detail though....you have a great eye for what to buy, how to polish it up AND how to display.

    I also have small business importing french lavender and making new and creative things with lavender and I totally agree that you don't go into debt, grow a little at a time and foster good relationships with your clients.

    We are so lucky to do what we love. Beth- Essence de Provence

    1. Beth - Thanks so much for your comment! You have beautiful things and we wish you continued success! French lavender is one of my favorites!


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