This will be my first Christmas as the owner of a fledgling online business. This past spring I began selling used books on Amazon as Hartlove Books. I have learned so much from this process and really have had a lot of fun. Used book stores are some of my favorite places in the world, so creating one in my home was very exciting. I rather quickly ran into a rather big problem, however. I had no time to go to book sales to purchase new inventory. Well, very little time, anyhow.
I adapted. Hartlove Books remains on Amazon, although I feel that I neglect it a bit because I truly don’t have time to replenish stock nearly as much as I’d like to. However, Hartlove Books and Gifts was born as an eBay Store, offering nautical gift and decor merchandise. Finding quality wholesalers selling the sort of things I’m looking for has been a challenge as someone totally new to this market. But I can honestly say I’m proud of what I’ve put together so far. They’re products that I think are good quality, things that I would like to have in my own home. Actually we have used SailorBags products on our boat and we really do love them. Savannah especially loved her sailcloth book cover; she’s still using that for her most special reads – the Harry Potter books.
I don’t know what to expect from this first Christmas season. Will I get more business because it’s a shopping season or will it really die down because we’re so far removed from boating and beach season for most of the country? I’m trying to prepare for what I hope will be a busy time. A couple of the exciting things we’ve gotten in recently are sailcloth Christmas stockings and iPad cases. (Sorry I slip into a “business we” – my own version of the “royal we” – almost without knowing it. Truthfully the business consists of me, myself, and I, but it feels weird to refer it in the singular first person.)
A few more special additions are on the way, including a driftwood wreath that I adore. It would be cute for a beach house anytime of the year, but could even be used to bring a little beach flare into the Christmas decoration even for those of us that live away from the shore.
I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a busy season and, if not, learning how to adapt for next time.