November: State of the Shop

Today I woke up feeling worn-out and pretty grumbly. It's that bone-chill, rain-thick, wet, icy, no-snow time of year and the never-ending grey outside was, I guess, enough to jump-start the realization that winter has set in for good.

I decided not to try to work on anything in this frame of mind and so Bonnie and I cleaned-out the Fall-era decorations from the shop, tidied-up, and began thinking about Xmas decorations. The glorious (horrible?), 1960s, glowing, hanging Santa and Reindeer display in the above picture has been in the barn for 6 or more years and I finally got around to renovating it a bit and putting it up -- to be rewarded with its headlight-bright light-from-retro-heaven burning in a smile on my face after the sun went down.

This act of silliness turned my day around and by the time we closed shop today I'd made all my required parts orders to finish off the next round of customer repairs, tied up some loose bookwork, and put a good dent in cleaning up my workshop which has become absolutely full to the brim with cases and debris from projects. Tomorrow will look a lot better when I open the door for work!

In other news, I have stopped accepting any repairwork (even the simplest) for a while. This will change in a few months but I am so absurdly behind and I need to put things in order before my head caves in. Having Thanksgiving week off gave me a bit of a breath to catch-up with myself and start to figure out what it is I do and do not like about the current way I'm running the business.

One of the hardest parts of this year has been on the sales side of things, though -- figuring out how to juggle consignment repairs and sales and my own repairs and sales -- both of which are enjoyable but in different ways. I've decided that starting next year there will be a pretty major shift in consignment policy and rates and it will start with consignment items starting with a minimum sale price of $1000. 

I'm finding that I've been spending an inordinate amount of time and effort sprucing-up gear that I'm simply not making enough money on, unfortunately. It's a little different if I own something in a lower price bracket as it gives me more freedom to make a good deal for the buyer and for myself, too. This, of course, won't apply to the many, many, many consignment instruments already in the repair racks, as they and their owners are grandfathered into the lineup.

So, that's that! There are things to look forward to before holiday time, by the way! Aside from the many repair projects finishing-up, there will be a brace of flattop Gibsons and Kalamazoos as well as a couple of old Epiphones getting ready for sale mid-month. Stay tuned!