Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy today!
I had the complete pleasure to do an “official” interview with Susan Goodman, who is the master mind behind the Paris Flea Market! This is where I have sold my furniture and decor for 1 year now! August is my anniversary month. It has been a complete joy to get to know Susan and the other Consignors. Susan has created an environment that is not only a shopping destination and event, it is my “happy place”. I don’t feel like I am going to work, when I work my shifts at PFM, I feel like I am going to commune with other creative types and all the lovely customers that come to shop and have fun.
This Bike welcomes all our lovely customers at each sale:
And in fact, Paris Flea Market opens tonight at 5!! And even better, that parking lot behind that bike? Saturday and Sunday will be filled with even more finds, as we launch our first annual Paris Flea Market Parking Lot Sale!!!
(uh, no, it won’t be as big as the LONGEST YARD SALE) but it will be BIG!
So…..on the with Susan’s story!
GTC: How did you get into the “creative” business? (Susan has had many different careers being creative!)
Susan: When I was first married, I discovered that I loved to cook. Not only did I love to cook and be creative with my food, but I loved serving the food as a piece of “art”. Nothing was served that looked blah. Even leftovers got the 5 star treatment, I discovered I love to create!
Some years later, my husband and I had a baby, I was looking for some kind of work I could “do” from home. I was drawn to the Mary Kay cosmetics company. I love their business model of helping women succeed in business. Little did I know I was ambitious too! Within a short time, I had my own sales team, was training and coaching other sales consultants, and was enjoying a great career and the amazing women I worked with. When my daughter was nearing middle school age, I decided I needed to be more “present” for her, and I was at a level with Mary Kay where I couldn’t just go part time, and my “Home” based business had grown into a HUGE business, but I just happened to have my office at home.
After I left Mary Kay, I became “addicted” to HGTV. I loved the shows that shared with viewers, how to have a beautiful, chic room on a shoe string budget. I was inspired to create, so I started with paint. I loved painting so much that I painted from one end of the house to the other, I even painted the red tile floor in our kitchen (which in hind sight, was probably an experiment that didn’t succeed).
After a time, I decided to change direction again an I tried interior design. I took a continuing education course through a local program. I discovered I really enjoyed staging homes and spaces, but not so much the technicality of design. I interned with a Designer who was the “Designer to the Dead”. Literally! She decorated Mortuaries! Once I finished school, she offered me a job, once you get your name in this industry, the calls come pouring in. This was not where I wanted to head (decorating for the dead), so I decided to try going out on my own.
(uhhh, lovely chandelier, just not where Susan could feel “alive”)
I put a little portfolio together and started with realtors, staging homes that were going up for sale. This proved to be very successful. From here my “staging and decorating” business took a very unexpected turn. A good friend from Mary Kay found herself single again and started dating online through Match.com. Through some of these dates, she met recently divorced men, who were on their own for the first time in years. These men had no idea how to decorate their apartments and homes and were at a loss to make their space more personal. My name became very popular with this market, and I decorated many homes for the newly single bachelors!
(no, not these bachelors)
After we had moved to a new home, I discovered I loved frequenting Garage Sales and transforming my finds into treasures. I used some of these pieces in homes I staged and decorated.
I received a call out of the blue one day from a woman who had an entire business of Shabby Chic furniture and was looking to unload it. I bought all of it for very good prices. I decided to set up “shop” at home again. I converted part of my garage to a little boutique. I would advertise on Craig’s list the pieces I was selling, then when buyers came, furniture would be “staged” and set up in vignettes. I usually ended up selling more than the piece they had originally come to buy. I even had a Chandelier out there!
And, with the new home, came new opportunities to paint! I tried my hand at murals, the first one in my kitchen, I even decided to take a course in Oil Painting so I could learn more advanced techniques. From there, I began doing murals for clients too!
During this time, there was a local business named “Paris Flea Market” that I had frequented. The business was slow for the current owner and she approached me to see if I would be interested in buying it. I bought the name, the client list, and all the furniture. I sold it at a local antiques store and we split the profit. I didn’t have plans to reopen “Paris Flea Market” at this time, but I knew the time would be right some day.
Not long after, I received a call from another store I loved, “Room with a Past”. It was a once a month store, with just 8 consignors. The current owners were looking to pursue other business ventures and looking for a buyer. I was so thrilled at this chance, I bought it! We took the store from 8 consignors to over 30 now and it is still growing!
When I felt like I had learned the ropes enough with Room With A Past, I decided it was time to open “Paris Flea Market“. I had a HUGE interest from consignors and we opened for business two years ago.
Here are some of the treasures from PFM
(I can tell you, this is the event of the month, people LINE UP to get in when we open Thursday nights).
GTC: Paris Flea Market and Room with a Past are becoming huge business successes, what brought you to add CeCe Caldwell’s paints?
Susan: (hee hee, I DID!!!! I was loving the new breed of chalk paints that were on the market, and one day read about CeCe Caldwell’s paints. I did some research, contacted the Western Distributor, Anne Skougard and talked Susan into going to a workshop in Sonoma that Anne was teaching, using CeCe Paints. By the end of the workshop, Susan was hooked, her best friend and Manager Lonae was hooked, and Susan became a retailer for CeCe Caldwell’s paints)
GTC: What color did you start out with?
Susan: Blue Montana Sky was the first color I used. It was a wavy edged shelf that holds the paint, and using this color just reminded me of Ocean Waves. It turned out gorgeous!
GTC: How do you decide which color to use, when there are so many beautiful colors to choose from?
Susan: Usually the furniture tells me what color it wants to be. (I think a lot of people can relate to this, very visual people can sometimes just “see” what a piece needs to look like in its finished state, what a gift!)
GTC: What do you love best about Cece Caldwell’s paints.
Susan: #1 How easy it is to use, I love the colors, I was getting so tired of just all White! I love sharing it with other people that have a joy of painting. I love being on the ground floor of this exciting business. CeCe Caldwell’s has experienced tremendous growth in the short time we have been with them, and it is so exciting to see how much joy it brings to everyone who tries the paint.
This beautiful vanity was done in Memphis Blue
GTC: What gets you up in the morning
Susan: Being creative every day, whether it is painting, creating a new plan for my business or helping other people become successful in their business.
With all the colors CeCe Caldwell’s offers, it is bringing me back to what I really love, back to painting, watching the transformation. I am so inspired to experiment with this paint because it can mix and layer so effortlessly.
( These are pieces I recently completed, I mixed Young Kansas Wheat with Alaska Tundra Green to get this beautiful, very soft vintage color)
Susan: The #1 thing that gets me up in the morning is how much I love helping women to succeed. It gives me so much joy. I feel that here at Paris Flea Market. This is my biggest passion. It has been so gratifying to see the success of Room with a Past, and now Paris Flea Market, and to see the success of the women who work with me. What a joy.
(We all wear fun hats and “Fascinators”, this was taken pre GTC, I am not in the picture with my friends!)
PS Did you know there was a Paris Flea Market Blog??? And did you know, Susan and her lovely manager (and best friend) Lonae, lead tours to France each Spring. You can read all about trips to France and all the fun at PFM here at the Paris Flea Market Blog!
Thank you so much Susan!