What does your business do?
Sassafrassity's goal is to save furniture and vintage home goods from the landfills and make them loved again. We fix, paint, re-stain, and do light upholstery to make that happen. We also rewire and fix vintage lighting, repurpose various things into furniture, and have our own line of kitchen towels and pillows.
When and why did you start the biz?
I refinished my dresser when I was in the 5th grade and have always been into making old stuff usable again. We sold refurbished furniture as a side business since 2012. We opened a store in February of 2015 that was focused on retail but didn't leave me much time for being in the workshop. We moved locations in September of 2016 to accommodate our change in focus.
How Many People are in your Company?
Where's your office?
We lease a space in SW Portland, Or. that houses both our workshop and showroom in one large room. We have divided it off into separate yet open spaces for offices, sewing room, workshop, and showroom/retail space. Now I can work on furniture and help customers that come into the shop.
What's the toughest part of running your biz?
The toughest part is also the parts that I love: multitasking, constant brainstorming, and the daily challanges. It's never boring! However the stress of cash flow, paying bills, and bringing in new clients has it's tolls.
What's the most fun part?
I am my happiest when I see some poor piece of outdated furniture and I snatch it up for super cheap because no else can see it's potential, bringing it back to life , and then pass it on to it's new home. We also do a lot of custom work and the joy on people's faces when we rejuvenate a old family piece is priceless! We feel like we are doing our part to reduce waste and help the future.
Anything you would have done differently?
I wish we had not started with a larger retail location. For me it was just too much to juggle and I took me away from doing what I love. Sticking to custom work and furniture is not only more manageable for our size but more profitable.
What's next on the horizon for your biz?
With our recent move and shift of focus our goal is to expand our custom work base. We are also working diligently to solidify our brand by increasing our social media presence and become known as a trend setter in our industry.
What advice do you have for others?
Stay focused on what you love.
Get lots of sleep.
It's ok to have a break down, it's an emotional rollercoaster. But realize it will be ok, take a deep breath, and keep going.
How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I am always looking for new bits of information to help my business. Sometimes I need one small idea to trigger a whole line of new ideas that I hadn't thought of before. It helps keep the mental energy going.
Also it's nice to connect with others in the same boat. Small business owners spend a lot of time by themselves and it's hard to compare notes because we are all so busy!
School (where, still in school, degree)?
Eastern Oregon Univercity: BS Business/Econ
10120 SW Hall Blvd Suite 104
Portland, OR 97223