Many people are becoming more eco-friendly and are actively searching for ways of reducing waste. Waste has a huge impact on our world and landfill sites are overflowing. We are emerging from the days of living in a disposable society and people are becoming aware of how plastic has had a massive effect on our earth and oceans. One way of lowering waste is by recycling and restoring antique items of furniture. If you have a love of antique furniture and you possess a few carpentry skills you could make a lucrative business restoring antique furniture to its former glory.
To run a successful antique restoration business, you need to have a good knowledge of the period in history you are working on. You also need good practical skills relating to stripping, staining and varnishing wood as well as upholstery skills, or a contact you can outsource to. You also need a fair amount of space and a reliable furniture transportation option, for the safe delivery of large items.
Many people first start furniture restoration as a hobby and it progresses from there. Here are some tips on how to take your hobby to the next level.
You could solely work from your workshop and advertise your furniture online or take to auction, or you could consider having a showroom within your workshop. You ideally need outdoor space with plenty of ventilation for the work to take place and a storage area. Situate your showroom at the front, to provide easy access to potential buyers. Ideally consider renting a space with good footfall and within an area noted for antiques.
You need to form contacts with local auctioneers, they will be able to keep you in the loop when suitable furniture goes to auction. They will know the kind of projects you are looking for and can contact you prior to the auction taking place. House clearances, junk shops, car boot sales and Facebook Groups are also potential sources.
You need to develop a trusted brand within the field of antique restoration. This starts with your choice of business name. You then need to market your business, so that it is “seen”. Communicate with everyone within the field and ensure you offer a friendly reliable service. Ask for reviews from happy customers on previously restored furniture and put the reviews on your website and other marketing literature such as catalogues and social media sites.
Display your stock at flea markets, antique markets and trade fairs. Advertise your furniture and consider having an “open house” event for people to view your stock in a relaxed environment. Make contact with local antique dealers, so that they know the kind of furniture you restore, they can refer potential clients to you.
Take excellent photographs, clearly showing before and after pictures of the restoration project. Always provide a reliable service with accurate delivery times.
Once your reputation grows you will become a trusted antique restorer and your skills will be in demand.