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Interview with Anna Martinez, owner of The Vintage Collectibles Antique Store based in Portland, Oregon
1. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started in the antique business?
My love for antiques started when I was a little girl. My grandparents would always take me on garage sale hunts and antique fairs. As I grew up, I became more interested in the stories behind each antique and how they came to be. That passion never left me and eventually, I decided to open my own antique store.
2. What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your business?
One of the biggest challenges was getting people to see the value in antiques. Many people believe newer things are better, but it takes a certain eye to appreciate the beauty and history behind an antique piece. Additionally, finding the right location at an affordable price was a tough task. I was lucky to find a great spot in the heart of Portland, but it took some searching to get there.
3. How have you overcome those challenges?
I started running ads on social media and in the local papers to educate people about the value of antiques. I also started offering workshops and events to teach people about the history behind different pieces. As for the location, I was able to negotiate a better lease agreement and now our store is in a prime spot with lots of foot traffic.
4. What prompted you to start selling your items online?
One day, a customer asked if we had an online store because they wanted to buy a piece that they saw in the shop but couldn't take it back with them on their travels. That was when I realized the potential of selling online. We started with very basic selling pages but eventually moved to Shopify where we were able to better showcase our items.
5. How has your business changed since selling on Shopify?
Shopify has helped us reach a larger audience and has allowed us to sell more items with minimal effort on our part. We used to only sell to locals who came into our store, but now we have customers from all over the country who purchase from our online store.
6. Can you share a success story you've had since starting the business?
One of our biggest successes has been partnering with a local interior designer to add antique pieces to their projects. They love the unique touch our items give to their designs and we love the exposure we get from their projects. It's been a great partnership that has allowed us to expand our business even further.
7. How do you plan to continue growing your business in the future?
We plan on expanding our online presence and participating in more antique fairs and events to get our name out there. We're also considering opening a second location in another part of the city, but these plans are still in the works. Our ultimate goal is to continue sharing the beauty and history of antiques with as many people as possible.
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