Garage Sale Is In The Rearview Mirror

At this moment I am very happy that the garage sale is completed and for now, this will be the last AZ event until we return in the fall. Although the overall results were much better last year, I am not mad at how things went. I ended up moving quite a few items at clearance prices which were taking up space in the garage, like the three large 1950s bar stools and the single bar stool which was really nice but we have had for so long. Mother used it in the store! The gentleman who purchased it said he is going to use it as a side table between two chairs and put some sort of tray on it. He said if that did not work out, he would use it as seating at his own garage sale! We met a lot of very nice people including a couple from Evanston but did not have many visitors from inside the community this time. I did not get the chance to go around and see how many garage sales ended up taking place but the attendance at our sale was very good. One lady drove us all crazy though, she wanted to buy Mother's winter coat which was over $300 originally from Nordstrom's. We were only asking $15 (75% off $60) and she wanted to buy it for $10. She kept saying but the hood is missing! I kept saying I priced the coat taking that into account. Melinda said you do not need a hood here in Phoenix! She said she does too because she is a traveling nurse. After much back and forth and one no after another, she goes to my mother and offers $13. Mother gave in and said yes. Then the lady has the nerve to hand Melinda a $20 bill! It reminded us of estate sale customers. We were able to sell both winter coats plus Kuochun's snow pants. Pretty amazing since the high temperature was in the low 70s both days.

Unfortunately I was not able to get to tidying up the garage for the sale until the two days before, also working around house cleaning day on Friday. On Friday evening I was beyond tired and ready to throw in the towel when Mother came to the rescue with some ice cream and assistance. She did such a great job staging the right side of the wall with the bohemian costume jewelry I found at the Gem Show last year. I found a great wooden necklace form with an embossed floral design at HomeGoods for only $9.99 and a pair of beautiful long woven baskets. Mother used the necklace form and a large natural wood platform which I had originally purchased to shoot jewelry photos with. As beautiful as it is in person, I found that both this large piece and a smaller matching piece I bought were not good for photos. I tried hard to capture their natural colors but in their photos they always look very washed out. I was going to sell them but they look awesome as props on the wall. This area is really coming together!

I extended my sale to Sunday but made the hours 9-3 and thought about doing Monday as well from 9-1 because Mother had a therapy appointment at 1:30 but in the end decided against it. I always push myself so hard but for once I put on the brakes. A small part of the reason was I was approached by the HOA representative on Saturday and was completely caught off guard. There are no rules against having garage sales here but we are not allowed to hire an estate sale company to host a sale for us. This kind of puts me in a grey area because although I do not do estate sale business in AZ, I do so in IL and of course even our simple downsizing sales are going to be done to the best of my ability. I was running on fumes during the sale due to lack of sleep and when she approached me I did not even recognize her as I have not seen her for three years. When she said we need to have a conversation and that I was in potential violation of the rules all I could say was "what have I done?" The issue was with the sign which says Sale By Brie's. If I had my wits about me I would have explained that I was not doing business here but that these are all personal items for Mother, Kuochun and myself. The jewelry I was trying to sell were all pieces that I am looking to liquidate in order to downsize the number of jewelry lines I carry. I just let her know that I will take the sign down right away. The sign was not needed anyway.

Luckily I had the foresight not to put up street signs out of respect of the garage sale signs they had put up for the community. Other reasons for not continuing Monday were that I would have to reduce the 75% off items to 90% off and I ended up not having many photos of the items for sale or photos of the room. It was mostly individual photos of the vintage Native American jewelry along with some Federico photos. I think I will need to take the photos way in advance for next time, like before I leave this spring. I also gave Melinda back the sawhorses we were using for street signs, as it was mentioned that I had used them in the past. However I thought they did not mind what I was doing as before that they allowed someone who was moving away on my street to hire an outside company and have a public sale with street signs posted for at least five days. Well now I am aware and will act accordingly.

The Federico jewelry did attract three big buyers - I had one (who had visited us before) purchase the butterfly necklace above along with all of the other matching pieces to complete the set. I had a cuff bracelet, clip earrings and an adjustable ring as well. Federico uses all natural stones in his jewelry and there is a crack in one of the stones he used on the upper left wing of the center butterfly. I explained that this was a part of the natural stone and that the piece was not broken. Luckily there was a very cool couple visiting us at the same time - they had amazing jewelry on that he had made by painstakingly cutting out the buffalo portion of coins. He had little buffalo made from nickels circling his hat band and his wife had a very cool necklace and belt buckle made from larger pieces. They were such nice and down to earth people - everyone calls him Cowboy. Mother asked her name and she said it was Clarissa but she tells everyone to call her Cowgirl since she is always with Cowboy. He gave the customer the confidence to go ahead and purchase the set, backing up what I had said about the stones. It was not a big moneymaker as I was offering 50% off plus I gave her a bundle deal on the fly but I have had the necklace for three years and was OK with letting it go. I will put the money towards this year's Gem Show bills.

On Sunday two women stopped by and one of them was looking for these earrings. I did not have the chance to put the Federico jewelry out and was just taking it out of the storage box for people. I was in a bit of a panic because I could not find the earrings but then I realized that they were probably mixed in with the Federico I just purchased from the Gem Show this year. They are clips and I had brought the three pair of clip earrings I bought last year wanting to exchange them. I brought them to Tucson but forgot to bring them to the show. She was not worried that they were clips and when she tried them on, they were absolutely stunning on her. She is tall with a nice long neck which supports their length and wears a lot of black. Her friend did not really want to come but decided to at the last minute and she found pieces for herself and for gifts. She said she was so glad that she came.

I showed her this necklace which is the last high-end Federico piece I have. She adored it and said she loved it more than another necklace she has which sounded very interesting. She said it was Native American and reversible with pink conch shell on one side and turquoise on the other. I offered a possible trade and she is thinking about it. Too bad Mother was not downstairs at the time, she would have really enjoyed them.

The very last thing we sold was the ceiling fan which was taken down from our dining area. I let it go for only $10 because it has been completely in my way for two years and I was over it. I tried to get $40 on Facebook Marketplace but no luck. I was not sure if it would even fit in the car to take to Goodwill.

I feel like I have a lot more breathing room but this will not last long because the plan next week will be to finally unpack the walking pad and start using it. I will need to work on how to arrange everything in the garage so the car, walking pad, mini refrigerator and mini freezer along with all of the jewelry and supplies will nicely fit. It would be nice to shoot photos down there until it becomes too hot. We sold some of the Christmas items but understandably not a lot given the time of year. There are bins filled with silk flowers, Christmas sprigs and garlands and although it is not a priority with so much stuff to put online I may spend a little time on it to see if I can find anyone interested through Facebook Marketplace.

I would also like to contact a Phoenix consignment store to see if they would like to sell all my powder coated furniture and extra railings. They seem to do really well with wrought iron furniture, they display it in front of their store and every time we have been by the furniture is different. We toured the store once and the pricing is pretty hefty because it is in a trendy area of town. This would leave us with no furniture in the backyard but no one is using it and I do not want it to sit outside for a third summer and continue to chip and peel. The hope is to get something new and more comfortable next year.

As a side note, the tree in the background in the above photo is currently totally covered in white blossoms, even Kuochun was impressed by it!

Mother would like me to send some of her unsold items home such as her hats and scarves as she feels they will do better there. We do have the sale coming up in Wayne so it seems like a good opportunity and there is plenty of value to offset the shipping cost. There is still so much to do as she has two bins filled with beautiful vintage beaded flowers which I think the Etsy folks would really love. I do not think I will be able to post everything online but I will do my best to get through as much as I can while I am here. I look forward to the day when there will only be our jewelry and clothing to sell.

I was not feeling quite as tired Sunday but tired enough not to post a jewelry purge. I will be back next Sunday with more amazing items. New pieces are on the way as well so now I would say I will have enough to do three purges by then. There are lots of great items to come in the near future as I will start to work on this year's Gem Show finds as well.

Well now is the time to work on the weekly newsletter, see you soon!