15 December 2008

first, the big three, now the big me...

the economic downturn claims another victim, as during a solemn press conference held this weekend, decorator extraordinaire, maison21, announced his agonizing decision to shutter his ebay store, and layoff his entire staff.

ok, so as usual, m21 is being a lil dramatic- there was no press conference, and the only person laid off was moi-self... but the economy did play a part, and we really did make the decision to close our ebay store with a heavy heart. after all, the name "maison21" originally came from our ebay seller name- picked many moons ago- so our identity is more than a little wrapped up with our ebay store...
a selection of maison21 "greatest hits" sold thru his ebay store - more at our flicker page.

we've sold our chic selections on ebay for almost a decade now, and though it's been great fun to have had an outlet for our vintage decorating obsession and compulsive collecting- especially in the lulls between interior design projects- it's become clear it's time to move on. we've been honored to have sold our tchotchkes to some of the best stores and most talented designers in the world, and most importantly, we've been honored to have our selections purchased by people who just want to make their lives a little more beautiful. alas, all good things must come to an end, and after contemplating our exit from ebay for quite a while now, that time has finally come.

in our opinion, ebay wants to be more of a mass discounter (without the expense of mass discounter inventory- or customer service, for that matter), rather than an outlet for individual antiques and collectibles dealers as it was originally conceived (remember, it was founded by a man looking for a way to sell his pez dispenser collection). as a small scale dealer, we haven't felt supported by ebay for a long while (not that we blame them so much- they just want to maximize their profits). these things, coupled with rising shipping costs, and this hideous, no good, very bad economy, finally forced maison21 to face the facts: he was losing money keeping his ebay store open, and more importantly, he was simply no longer enjoying himself in the process- really not enjoying himself when it came to packing and shipping! we are positively thrilled at the prospect of never having to step foot in a post office again! (we sure sold some pretty things, but god, we really sucked at getting them in the mail in a timely fashion).
more "greatest hits" from our flicker page- we're even impressing ourselves with the gorgeousness that has passed through our doors!

the only problem with our decision to shutter our ebay store, is that our inner junque whisperer™ will still be whispering as loud as ever, and we will undoubtedly continue to pick up stray credenzas in need of good homes... so since we'll still be buying, we'll probably still need an outlet for our finds, lest the health department declares our home unfit to live in because of the furniture stacked to the ceiling and the fire dept. gets involved because we have so many chandeliers blazing that the entire neighborhood is in danger of being torched.

so for now, we're gonna take a some time to figure out the direction of the vintage resale arm of the maison21 interior decoration empire, and weigh all of our options...

is it finally time to open the maison21 brick and mortar boutique to showcase our finds? maybe not just this minute, with the economy the way it is- it would really be a gamble; but then again, maybe this is the right time... we keep saying somebody has to make money in troubled economic times, right? no reason it can't be us! perhaps we'll consider selling at a local antique mall, or opening up our own e-commerce website- anyone know any cheap web designers? the possibilities are endless, and we're going to enjoy the process of planning our new resale direction for however long it takes. in the meantime, our showroom "le garage", remains stocked with our secondhand delights, and local los angeles buyers can always spot our finds on craigslist (search under "m21" in the furniture for sale category). we might even post some of our more exceptional scores on ye olde blog every now and again (don't worry, we'll try to avoid becoming a maison21 infomercial- well, at least, no more than we are already!)
le garage- the m21 showroom, as of last night.

the upside of of our store closing and lay off? more time to decorate people's homes (our true love), and yes, more time for blogging! so expect more posts, more silliness, and more glamor from m21 in the months ahead! who knows- maybe we'll even have time to finish painting the kitchen and to do something about our f*cked up hardwood floors. (yeah, you're right- probably not).

last, to everyone who ever bought anything from maison21 on ebay, or just browsed our store, and to all the wonderful people we've met, and the great friends we've made along the way, we would like to offer an extremely heartfelt "thank you"! it's been a pretty fun ride, so thanks for sharing it with me!

14 comments:

Mrs. Blandings said...

The whatever that comes next will be even better. Pop a few things in your margin and see what happens.

maison21 said...

thanks mrs. b! i agree- what's next will be better! this was a decision i should have made several years ago, so i'm more than ready to move on to the next challenge!

excellent idea about utilizing my side bar- i might just do that!

Olivia said...

Hi M21, as a long time lover, peruser and user of Ebay, I have to tell you that your store and finds were always among my favorites. Invariably I would click on the most beautiful thing I had seen on Ebay that day and it would be something of yours! I'm sad to see you bid adieu to good ol' Ebay, but from the gripes I've heard from other vendors, it sounds like the right decision. I wish you continued success in what comes next!

P.S.: I don't know if they are cheap or not, but two website creators I really like: http://www.livetocreate.com/ and http://www.coleenandcompany.com/. Both offer looks that seem to be in line with your aesthetic.

Topsy Turvy said...

Christian - Sounds like it was time for a change. I'm sure new doors will open for you and something even better will come along.

-Lana

Visual Vamp said...

I agree with Mrs. B!
eBay has been losing it's original intent for sometime now.
I list a few odds and ends for sale on my blog side bar.
And Craigslist is the best place since the downturn on eBay.
A big ol' tag sale would be fun too.
xo xo

maison21 said...

olivia-

thank you so much for your kind words- they mean a lot to me. and thanks for the tip- i had no clue colleen and co did stie design- she's right down the hill from me, so maybe i'll stop in one day and chat her up!

lana-

thank you- it really was time to let it go as i have been thinking about stopping for several years actually, but just couldn't bring myself to cut the cord. and yes, now that door is shut, i can't wait to see what doors open!

valorie-

i tend to have a big blowout tag sale every summer for unsold goods, so i'm with you there! and love the craigs- free and easy, and best of all- NO SHIPPING! yippee!

Emily Johnston | EJ Interiors said...

Very sorry to hear about your Ebay store closing...my business has been so slow as well...I really hope things start to turn around! But just think, when one door closes, another opens and it is now your chance to just excel in something else! :)

Paris Hotel Boutique said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. You have a great eye and always enjoyed your items on eBay. I started as an eBay seller 11 years ago and 6 years ago I launched my own website. Still the same work of taking the photos and shipping, but not the crazy eBay fees they are charging now. Perhaps you can start a website OR try listing on Bond & Bowery. Just a thought. You can be sure I'll be checking your items on Craigslist. All the best, Lynn

Anonymous said...

Dear M21 -- in spite of your comment about shipping, I just want you to know that before I discovered your blog I was one of your Ebay customers! I could never afford your most beautiful items and I was soundly trounced in my attempts on a couple of them. But I did successfully bid on one on Ebay. I live nowhere near California, but your willingness to ship my charming purchase to me brought me much pleasure. I'm sorry to have you leave Ebay, but I am very glad to hear that you will be writing more posts. I check your blog on a regular basis because you always make me laugh. (I'm also glad to hear that Mona and Richard have unemployment insurance). MFR

Suzy said...

Yay, more posts and silliness and glamour from M21 is a good thing! I hope you do set up shop...it might be just the motivation I need to come visit!

Ivy Lane said...

Yes, Mrs. B comes to the rescue, try her idea re: the margin..maybe a weekly item .... Ya never know what may happen!

I wish you all the BEST in the upcoming new year!

maison21 said...

emily, lynn, MFR, suzy and ivy-

thank you SO much for your words of encouragement- even though i knew it was past time to stop with the darn ebay, my decision to move on was still a little bittersweet- so hearing all the nice things everyone has had to say has sure helped with the "bitter".

the "sweet" part is, i'm SO energized about the possibilities to come- i've got all sorts of ideas, that literally weren't there 'til i ushered ebay out the door to make room for them!

thanks again to all!

Habitually Chic said...

If you lay yourself off, do you get to collect unemployment?! I'm sorry to hear you are closing the ebay business but I have a million other ideas for you about what you can do with your finds and will talk about those with you later but just remember what everyone told me...when one door closes, another one opens! Bonne Chance!

maison21 said...

no unemployment, chic, but luckily, i was able to land a position as an interior designer with our sister company, maison21 decorative arts. it's poor mona and richard who will have to find new jobs, and that will be tough as the affection and destruction fields (respectively) are really hurting right now.

and yes- we can't wait for that other door to open! that's why we had to get rid of ebay- it was a 500 pound box blocking the door, and preventing anything else coming through!