If you follow me on Facebook, then you have already seen my big announcement . . . I have a new partnership as a retailer with Fusion Mineral Paint!
Haven’t heard of Fusion ? Don’t worry, I’m prepared to tell you alllllll about it in the next several days and week.
The basics of this furniture paint (brand new to the market as of Fall 2014) is that it is a highly durable paint made from 100% acrylic resin that sticks to most any surface with little to no prep.
By far the best part about this paint is that it has a built-in topcoat and is non-porous, which means no wax or topcoat required!
I am so excited to tell you more about this wonderful paint and show you a few projects I have in process using Fusion, but what I really want to tell you about in this post is the process I went through when I decided to expand my home-based business in this way.
One of the goals I have of this blog is to share what I have learned along the way about starting and running your own home-based business, specifically as a mom with young children.
In the past 3 years, Lost & Found has grown from a tiny jacuzzi-sized antique booth space to a large, prominent booth space, custom painting business, DIY blog, and now furniture paint retailer.
There have been things I’ve done along the way of growing my business that have helped, and things that have hurt (thankfully a lot less of those).
There was a lot that went into my decision to expand my business into retailing–research, product testing, counsel from others, etc. Here are the questions that I asked myself, and that you should consider asking if you are thinking through an expansion.
1. Does this new venture excite me as much as my current business does?
I am first and foremost a wife and mom. My business comes behind my obligations in those areas, and I only want to continue with it if it is a blessing to my family and if I enjoy what I’m doing.
Thankfully, we are able to live off of my husband’s income, so I don’t have to do something to make additional money (although it does help!).
I have loved the business of picking through flea markets and remaking cast-off furniture. My booth space has been so much fun, and I thoroughly enjoy the process of keeping it up. I also enjoy my custom work projects and the direct contact I get to have with my clients.
To be successful at retailing paint, I am going to need to promote it and teach others how to use it. Do those things excite me? Yes! I love the idea of teaching workshops and showing others how to use a product.
I love painting furniture, so it makes sense that I love furniture paint. But, I also know that I will enjoy the other aspects of the paint business as well.
In short, I’m not selling paint just to make money. I’m selling it because it excites me.
2. Do I have the resources to pull it off?
Money, time, emotional energy . . . all of those things are required investments in any business expansion. I have shared with you before that we operate as a debt-free family, so I had to consider if I had the money in the bank to make the initial investment in Fusion.
I did not want to expand in a way that would require a loan–that’s way too much stress for me!
Also, this is going to require some more storage space in my home–is my husband on board with me taking up more space in the garage with boxes of paint?
I also had to consider the additional time commitment that would be required–workshops, paint stocking, possibly a training seminar, etc. Since my kids are getting older, I felt confident that the added time wouldn’t be a problem.
3. Where Will I Sell?
My space in the mall has plenty of room for me to add a paint display, and the owners of the mall are fully on board with helping me promote and sell the paint.
Basically I don’t want to stretch myself too thin, money-wise, time-wise, or stress-wise. I can’t run a successful business (much less do the others things life requires) if I am a basket case!
4. Does this product/opportunity fit with my personal values and the values of my business?
I’m not very good at pretending to be excited about something when I’m not. Quite honestly, I am a terrible salesperson. If I don’t like a product, I will tell you. If I’m not happy with a process, I will stop being a part of it.
That’s not because I am some super-righteous person, but really just because I don’t have the discipline to work hard at something that doesn’t interest me or that I don’t enjoy.
I really believe in taking old, cast-off furniture and remaking it to be something beautiful and functional. I enjoy helping people furnish their homes with unique items that tell a story and that are affordable.
I feel strongly about doing my very small part to keep extra trash out of the landfills by remaking or repurposing old things nobody wants.
Being able to provide a product and training that can help others do the same fits really well with my personal and business values. Selling furniture paint makes sense as a furniture painter.
But, here’s where it gets tricky–I don’t want to sell just any paint. I don’t want to spend my time and energy on a product that is so-so, or that is just another version of something already out there.
I want to provide a paint that provides a real service and does it’s job well, and that fits into a niche in the furniture paint market that was previously left empty.
I was never interested in selling “just another kind” of chalk paint. The DIY furniture painting world doesn’t need more chalk paint retailers!
What it can benefit from though is a product that is totally different and that takes away a step in the painting process that was problematic for many beginners (I’m talking about the no wax needed :))
Bottom line–if I’m going to take away additional time from my family to give to my business, it has to be for something that I find worth it.
So . . . there you have it. Certainly, that isn’t the complete, unabridged story of how I found and decided to retail Fusion Paint, but it’s the high (and important) points that happened in the process.
And old friend and ministry partner always talked to me about moving from positions of “strength to strength,” i.e. not making one healthy area of your life weak to grow the strength of another.
I fully believe in that principle, especially when it comes to a home-based business.
Do what you love, love what you do, and your business can and will be a blessing to both you and your family.