As the year winds down, I’m looking back at all that happened at Swoon in 2019. It’s been another huge year for our small shop.
This year we moved from rural eastern Kentucky to metro central Ohio. I took Swoon Rugs out of my home and I opened up the tiniest studio (+ the rug room). This year we added a new team member (hi, Ismail!), met some amazing Columbus locals, and expanded our offering of vintage decor.
All of this is because of you. Y'all make us Swoon! We are truly grateful for you + we’d be nothing without you.
We swoon together over vintage pretties. And you snag special finds in our shop that you cherish in your home. It’s a beautiful thing, and here’s what we’ve been able to do this year thanks to you.
1. We became more than just a rug shop.
One of the biggest surprises of 2019 is that we’re turning into more than a rug-only shop. In 2016, when I was doing freelance online design work with clients from all over the US, I struggled to source beautiful, high-quality vintage rugs that could easily be purchase online. So I opened the shop. As Swoon Rugs continues to grow, that impulse for sourcing hard to find, beautiful, one of a kind pieces that can be purchased online has endured at the heart of the business.
Based on your feedback you can now source artwork, vintage decor and some vintage furniture in our shop. In 2020, I'll be sourcing even more vintage decor and furniture for your home.
2. We opened the tiniest studio! (+ the rug room).
I was really hesitant to move my home-based business into a commercial location. I had spent the first few years running Swoon Rugs, isolated from my clients, on the top of a mountain ridge in Eastern Kentucky. Opening a shop felt like a big expense I just couldn't justify. But it kept coming up. Columbus locals would ask, “Can I come see your rugs?”
Luckily, I met the amazing guys of Urbn Timber at an event. They had some extra space in their warehouse so I made the leap and snatched up the tiniest studio. Soon after, I added in the rug room. So many good things have happened since I made this move: I’m more productive, more organized, more focused and able to house a much larger inventory. Plus we've got extra space to take on some bigger projects like refinishing vintage furniture.
If you are local to Columbus or in the area, you can visit both the tiniest studio + the rug room at 51 Kingston Ave. (43207) in Columbus, M - F 10 - 2:30. Or you can set up an appointment here.
3. Finding all the things.
Sourcing rugs + unique items for the shop will continue to be one of those forever problems. This year I made several huge shifts on when, where, how and why I find items for the shop. It’s really important to me that we have the right pieces at Swoon.
I’ve continued to fight for sustainable + beautiful vintage pieces that fit the overall aesthetic you want to curate in your home. This has been the most nerve-racking part of 2019, but at the end of the day, I’ve been able to bring exactly what I want to the shop. And now I feel much more confident in my ability to continue to source the finds that make us all drool.
4. Getting help.
For 3 years, I operated Swoon Rugs solo (with much appreciated help from my husband). But this year Swoon has outgrown us like some sort of exotic pet that I’m incapable of handling on my own. This has forced me to ask for help in a few different ways.
I outsourced some marketing help that flopped. But where my marketing partnerships failed, I've had great luck building a team locally. I hired someone to help out in the studio and then I realized I don’t know how to be a "boss". So it’s been an interesting learning experience for us both.
I've been forced to grow in unexpected ways. One of my biggest character flaws is that I like to try and control everything. But because I waited so long to hire someone, I haven't always had time to explain in great detail exactly how something should be done. Sometimes I don’t even know exactly how something needs to be done in the first place (for example, adventures in refinishing furniture).
So I’m handing over processes and tasks to someone else and letting him figure out how to do it. Often the results are better than if I was doing it. Often, the solutions surprise and delight me. I’m learning when and how to let things go. I’m learning there’s a lot another person can bring to the table. And that's exciting.
The more we can do here, the better the shop will become and the more we can offer you. I've got loads of ideas for continuing to improve Swoon in 2020.
5. Columbus, Ohio is full of really great people.
The very best part of 2019 has been moving to Columbus and meeting some truly amazing folks face to face. Being online definitely has its perks: you can work with anyone from anywhere at any time. But connecting face-to-face with local clients and business owners has been such a total joy!
I've loved doing pop-up shops. I'll be doing as many as I can in 2020. It has been great to sling rugs for folks in their homes to test out different looks. I've also found sometime to add in a few design projects and hope to continue to do this in 2020.
But no matter what happens locally, I want to help as many people as possible find one of a kind pieces for their homes, so Swoon Rugs will always be online. Check out our rugs and let 2020 be the year you get the home of your dreams.
If you’re not sure what will work for your space or are having trouble finding what you’re looking for, book a complimentary design consultation and we’ll figure it out together.
I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for both of us!
The tiniest studio featuring a MCM vintage table, a set of refinished chapel chairs, framed prints and some vintage rugs.