Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Dresser's Journey: From Lost to Found

This post is all about the journey a piece of furniture goes through from lost and discarded, to found and transformed. 

Meet one of my favorite dresser projects I worked on a few months back.  Lets call her Isabella. 

Beautiful, isn't she? 

Lets break her down by hours worked and supplies invested. 

Original purchase price: 100 dollars. 
Paint: 38
Wax: 35
Knobs: 40
Chalkboard paint: 12
Gas: 20
Total: 245 dollars

Finding: 1 hour
Driving Time: 2 hours
Sanding, cleaning, and other prep: 1 hour
Painting: 5 hours
Waxing: 2 hours
Distressing & Buffing: 1 hour
Total: 12  

Labor cost 25 dollars per hour x 12 hours =  300 

Wholesale price: 545

Wholesale prices are typically worked out by adding together labor plus supplies.  Retail price is usually twice the wholesale price. 

How much did I sell this baby for? For under 275.  She was sold for under the wholesale price! 

So please know that when we say Poppy & Co is committed to keeping our prices low, we really mean it.  We are selling at under wholesale prices. You would be hard pressed to find even an unpainted piece of furniture for that price.  Think of the time, labor, money, and love that goes into each of these creations.  We are so proud to offer something at incredible value, something beautiful and well made, with history, with soul, and with our own artistic influence. Furniture is our canvas, and paint is our medium (why we paint furniture instead of leaving the wood alone deserves another blog post!)   

It is really hard when our prices are already so low, to know how to handle it when customers ask for a better price. Truly, the prices marked on our items are our very best price.  If I go lower on my own items, I often sell them for a loss- and that's not good business, right?  The argument could be made we should be raising our prices, not lowering them. And believe me, that conversation has gone on in the shop more times than I care to count.  But for now, take advantage of the great value we pass on to our customers! 

To read more about Isabella, click on the link to the original post,  here


  1. your prices are incredible. of course i hope you don't raise them, but i appreciate that you need to make a profit to stay in business. it must be very hard when people ask for a "better" price. You should print this and post it by the front desk. :)

  2. Love this post and can relate completely! Keep up the great work :)

  3. You invested $245 and is selling it for less than $275?!?! You're working for free!!!

    Sometimes I think it's ourselves that hold us back from our true earning potential. I appreciate your post and I totally understand where you're coming. I've been there a few times. I learned quickly though, the people who respect the business, will pay the prices.

  4. The question I have is about your wax price of $35. Surely you don't use an entire can of wax on one piece? And maybe not a full gallon of paint? So technically you're money break down isn't quite accurate. However, you're still selling this piece for a steal!! All of the pieces at Poppy and Co. are beautiful and well worth the asking price, or more!

  5. This is Alison from MCC {and Poppy} putting my two cents in. I have to really thank Crystal for this post. It is sort of a taboo subject and she explained it well. Yes, we probably don't use a whole can of wax on a piece but she might have had to go buy a whole can {if she was out} just to finish this piece. For the next few pieces it wouldn't come off as a supply specifically for this piece when we actually do our accounting it goes in a separate section as "general supplies" or something similar.
    What she didn't talk about {trying to keep it mostly positive} was how much time we spend at marketing an individual piece {staging, photographing, going back and forth with client via email or phone, posting on our blogs, and posting on FB}. We spend hours a week doing this.
    Also we haul this furniture around ourselves. Sometimes we have to park blocks away and carry them into the store ourselves, at night when we should be with our family. But we love our job and I can't tell you how excited I get to bring a big piece in when I am proud of it. It is kind of like being a parent, it is hard job but we love it and until you do it yourself it is hard to explain.
    My two cents. We love love love our job though.