Monday, June 28, 2010

I'd like to thank the Academy

Chicago Reader's Best of Chicago 2010 lists Jubilee Furniture under the category of Best Thrift Store! On their website after you click on the 2010 Best Of Chicago title, go to Goods and Services and then The Reader's Picks and finally Best Thrift Store and you'll find the write-up about Jubilee Furniture! How cool is that?!

Though the Friday hours listed in the article are incorrect (we open at 1:00 p.m. not 11:00 a.m.) and technically the store isn't in a mini-mall (just one building sitting there all alone - though there are other buildings close by) and I'm not sure I'd call the building "desolate-looking" (drab? dreary? ugly? okay maybe it is desolate!) - otherwise Katherine Raz has a really nice write up (thank you, Katherine!). And in case you didn't realize it, Katherine writes that my blog entries are "sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes unexpected or hilarious." Huge smile over that one.

Katherine hit the nail on the head when she writes "the employees - many of them volunteers - not only love furniture but are deeply committed to the idea of helping others...". It's true - we do love both, but I know my volunteers would say helping others is the real driver.

So, for the wonderful recognition and fabulous honor and on behalf of my whole team, I say a simple yet sincere - THANK YOU!

Peace to you, dear reader!

Oh and have a nice day!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Jubilee Furniture a modern day Brigadoon!

Have you seen that movie? It tells the story of a Scottish village which appears out of the mist for one day every 100 years. Well, Jubilee Furniture is exactly like that - except for all the singing and running around in the gloamin' and we aren't enchanted (though some would say we're enchanting!) and we reappear twice a week. *Smile*

Because of our weekly disappearing act, it's not unusual to receive a call or two each week asking where we're located. Our address is 610 E. North Ave. Carol Stream, IL 60188. We're located in the Wheaton Christian Center Church building which is on the southeast corner of North Ave. and Schmale Road. The church purchased an old K-Mart - so you're looking for a large flat roofed building which is set back from North Ave. by a huge parking lot (which is filled with potholes - so drive carefully). All helpful information but if you were driving by on any day other than Friday or Saturday - there are no signs for Jubilee Furniture. None, except for the white lettering on our front doors. "But Susan," you're thinking, "I may not be a marketing expert, but everyone knows signs are key to helping people know about you." And you're absolutely correct. However, Carol Stream has an extremely strict sign law which only allows us to put signs out on day-of-sale. Being the law abiding citizens we are - we carefully put out three yellow signs along North Ave. Friday when we open at 1:00 p.m. , take them down Friday when we close at 8:00 p.m., put them up again on Saturday when we open at 9:00 a.m. and take them down again on Saturday when we close at 4:00 p.m. Did you track with all that put up/take down? Whew. We also have a sign which we attach to a column by our front doors trying to steer you to the correct entrance.

Jubileeeee, Jubileeeee, Blooming under sable skies. Jubileeeee, Jubileeeee, There my heart forever lies!

the heap of yellow on the floor are the three signs which we put out along North Ave. and the white sign is the one we put by the front doors

you know how we often say - you never know what you might find at Jubilee Furniture? - well it's never been truer. As people are moving and downsizing and all that - we often receive donations of some unique things like this gorgeous tapestry. Ginger thinks it's French and she marked it $125.

this beautiful carved table with inlaid wood on the top is another example of some of the unusual pieces we get in and it's priced $100

these two retro pieces have curved front and I love the hardware - the dresser (long, low piece) is priced $75 and the chest of drawers $95

maple dresser for $65

I love, love, love this three piece vintage sectional which is in perfect condition. See the clean, low lines and the muted floral of browns and tans? Price? $145

upholstered side chair for $60

This End Up sofa for $65 (and there's another one which looks just like it - some of the cushions are faded)

here's a photo as you look over dining room land. Remember when there wasn't much of a selection? Well not no more! What's interesting though is there aren't a lot of sets in the store (table with chairs that match exactly) - but lots of tables and lots of chairs to choose from - know what I mean?

here's a beautiful set though - table, one leaf and four chairs for $185

this table needs a good cleaning and it comes only with three chairs but it's a good deal at $75 for all four pieces

this is a gorgeous set with a slate top which is very similar to another piece we had in about 4 or 5 weeks ago. This table comes with six chairs and is priced $395 (warning - the table top is heavy)

wonderful desk for $75

plaid sleeper sofa for $40

quality side chair for $35 (can't remember why I priced it so low - needs to be reupholstered?)

GORGEOUS Mastercraft china cabinet for $225

beautiful love seat for $125

another beautiful love seat in perfect condition for $135 (it's green and black)

I love the square design on the side of these two pieces - sofa table is priced $45 (or is it some type of cart - because it's on wheels?); coffee table for $40

cool wicker desk for $95

here's an example of a table and chairs which did not come in together and technically do not "match" - but don't they look great together? For all four chairs the price is $80 and the table is $50

And that, dear reader, is all I have for you today! If you stop in the store tomorrow and wonder where I am - wonder no more! - I'll be at my husband's graduation where he's receiving his masters in human services counseling! How cool is that?! Yay Michael!

Let the world grow cold around us, Let the heavens cry above! Jubileeeee, Jubileeeee, In thy valley there'll be love!

God's grace and peace to you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Holy cow! Have-to-see-'em-to-believe-'em prices at Jubilee Furniture this week!

Greetings and how nice of you to stop by the Jubilee Furniture blog!

As you know (or maybe you don't) Jubilee Furniture is only open two days each week - Fridays from 1 to 8 and Saturdays from 9 to 4. Last Saturday it was ANOTHER hot and humid day with rain off and on (just to add to the loveliness) and there was no one in the store for most of the morning. Though part of me was extremely tempted to sit in front of the fan that's running by the cash register - I didn't - and instead went throughout the store repricing stuff. The following photo is a small representation of the number of things I repriced.

Over the 3 1/2 years I've been working at Jubilee Furniture, I've kicked around a number of ways of marking furniture down. Most resale stores will list the mark-downs on the same tag so you can see the progression - but most resale stores have a system of marking things down (after 2 weeks an additional 25% off; after 4 weeks 50%...) but I don't. Why not? Because ideally I've priced the piece correctly to start with and I don't need to mark it down because it's already been purchased. However that's not always the case - but I still don't want a rigid system of when I reprice furniture because there are certain items which are priced fairly and are a great deal - but they're unique and a special buyer is needed (an example is the arc lamp we have in right now - which we've had for several months now - which is priced $75 and worth every penny). So what I've found works best - but which I dislike doing just because it's tedious - is going around and rewriting each price tag on the furniture I want to mark down, removing the old tag and affixing the new. And this - dear reader - is what I spent a lot of time doing last Saturday morning (and it should be noted that when I reprice something I REALLY mark it down). Whew - you still with me? Hope so, because in addition to repricing a ton of stuff so low a snake would have a hard time wiggling under 'em - there's lots of "new" things to show you too! So let's not tarry!

beautiful oak lighted china cabinet for $165

gorgeous end table for $85

sweet writing desk for $45 (we had this last week but I forgot to take a photo and I thought it was so cute!)

nice size chest of drawers for $40

love the shape of this wrought iron queen size headboard (with frame) priced $125 (wouldn't it look wonderful painted black?); bench for $50 and glass topped side table for $35

one of my volunteers donated these beautiful pieces by Hitchcock - armoire is priced $175 and the matching dresser is $150

this queen size sleigh bed (head board, foot board and side rails) is priced $85 simply because it needs someone to refinish it

retro two door cabinet - which also needs some work - is priced $35

vintage drum table for $45

drop leaf table and two chairs for $65

oak pedestal table for $75 (the two chairs don't match the table and I forgot to note the price of 'em - sorry - we've had them in the store for a while)

one of my best friends has been cleaning out her family room and she brought me tons of books - a lot of them kid's books - which she kindly arranged on a couple of the bookcases along the east side of the showroom. All children's books are 10 cents each, adult paper backs 50 cents and adult hard cover books $1

another volunteer donated these two pieces - beautiful Walter E. Smithe green leather love seat for $145 and the matching sofa for $195 (there's some fraying along the piping)

super nice Plunkett love seat the only problem is some threads are broken along the top - almost like a cat clawed the piece - but there is no cat hair (and I screen for pets when talking to donors about donating) - still I priced it a low, low $45. Connie thought you could throw something across the back and no one would be the wiser!

these are two really nice pieces labeled F. J. Furniture, Inc and custom upholstered by Upholstery World. The love seat has a pattern to it which - unfortunately - doesn't show up well in my photo and I've priced it $135; the gorgeous sofa is $195

this wicker chaise lounge has not one but TWO different cushions which you can change depending on your mood (second cushion is leaning on the back of the chaise) and is priced $125

this antique piece is too sweet not to show you - the only problem is I haven't priced it yet. I have one volunteer, Ginger, who prices my antiques and she'll be in today - but not until 1:30 p.m. - to take a look at this and a couple of other things I want her input on before pricing. I don't mean to tease you - but did want you to see this piece.

And that, dear reader, is a peek at some of the things which were donated this week to Jubilee Furniture.

I have a classic parents-divorced-when-I-was-13-father-MIA-for-most-of-my-life story so though I sent my dad a father's day card (Wishing you a Happy Father's Day.) I often remember a wonderful uncle - who filled in at all the awkward father-daughter things throughout high school - and my own dear mother on Father's Day. So, Uncle Gene and Mom - Happy Father's Day - I love you both!

And to you - blessings, grace, love and peace - in abundance! (I love the word abundance - don't you?).