Prefer to listen? Here you go! And be sure to subscribe and leave a review on Apple here.
Vintage lovers, hobbyists, retailers… Listen in!
Kelly Gunn is the owner of Part-Time Pickers, an online vintage retailer! What started out as a fun hobby transformed into a 6 figure business.
Kelly’s success didn’t happen by accident; she has a course teaching exactly how she did it, and in today’s episode, she is dropping some of her secrets!
You know I am all about the power of social media, and that is exactly where Part-Time Pickers grew into what it is. Kelly shares how to get off the content creation struggle bus and start engaging with your community!
She is best known for her “Pick or Pass?” or “Would YOU pay that?” videos that utilize her active search for vintage finds for content and growth. But that’s just ONE tip; she has so many more when it comes to consistency, commitment, and patience.
No matter where you’re at in your retail journey, Kelly’s motivation and craving for success are contagious!
I’m rooting for your success.
- How to turn a hobby into a business.
- How to survive content creation.
- Creating a consistent and growing online presence.
- The mindset shift for a successful business.
Mentioned in the Episode
- Vintage Thrift Retro Home Decor (@part.time.pickers) on Instagram
- Part-Time Pickers
- What Happens When You Follow Your Passion: A Story of Never Giving Up with Kelly Gunn
- Meta Business Suite
- EVOLVE 2024 in Denver, CO – Crystal Media
- Social Media Hooks and Hacks – Crystal Media
- Crystal Media Insiders
- Crystal Media
- Crystal on Instagram
- Crystal Media on Instagram
- Crystal Media Co – YouTube
Best Business Book
- Various industry articles
Crystal Vilkaitis: In this episode of Rooted in Retail, I’m welcoming my dear friend Kelly Gunn, who is the owner and creator of Part Time Pickers, where she sells premium vintage products. If you’re into vintage, you definitely gotta follow Kelly on Facebook and or Instagram, we’ll link to it all. Because she’s got such great products that she’s showcasing and social is one of the ways that she has built her business. And in today’s episode, Kelly is really pulling back the curtain and sharing a very honest and authentic story about how she built this business, how she went from a hobby business, to just kind of having fun to really taking her passion, getting serious about it and creating something pretty magical. She’s had some awesome ripples out of creating this business because she’s grown so much on social media. And she has created a course which I love the name, how I turned my hobby into a six figure income, teaching other people to do what she does, because she saw demand in the marketplace that she evolved. And she’s just so crushing it. And I’m so proud of her because I have been her friend for so many years and have just seen her really thrive and grow and do some incredible things with this business. I mean, she has a combined over 170,000 social media followers and she is sharing how she built that. And like I said, she’s very authentic and honest and her answers. I think it’s gonna be very relatable to a lot of people listening on how we feel about videos and social media. But she’s got some really great tips to help you survive to help you put out and survive creating that content to help you do it afraid and really show up for your business. You can find Kelly at facebook.com/parttimepickers or instagram.com/parts-time-pickers. We will link to all this as well. And let’s dive in to this awesome episode. Welcome to Rooted in Retail, the show that’s dedicated to helping independent retailers thrive in today’s ever evolving retail landscape. I’m your host Crystal Vilkaitis and I’m thrilled to have you join me weekly as we explore topics that are vital to the success of your store. from marketing to mindset, money to merchandising, sales to leadership, we’ll cover it all. Each episode features interviews with industry experts and accomplished retailers who share their real life insights and actionable advice. Get ready for a great conversation on how to build your dream business with Rooted in Retail. Kelly, welcome to rooted retail. I am thrilled you’re here.
Kelly Gunn: Well, thanks, Crystal, happy to be here. Thanks for inviting me.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, we’re gonna have a great conversation. You are super Rooted in Retail. I met you like 13, 14 years ago, maybe when we both were at snap retail. How is that possible? It’s crazy. And you were in the retail world even before I met you. So will you take a couple of minutes and share your retail journey and how you got where you are today?
Kelly Gunn: Well, sure. Well definitely been in it actually since my 30s. My very first job when my husband got stationed up in Hanscom, Air Force Base outside of Boston Mass was as a retail manager at the paper store, which is a big chain in the New England area. And from there, I heard about being a sales rep because I would have all the sales reps come in all the time and visit me and I’m like, Wow, this seems like a really good gig. How do I get in on this? So luckily enough, they had a regional marketplace. They used to have one right in Bedford Mass, and the founder group that was looking for a rep and the gentleman who gave me my first opportunity back in 1996. He said he hired me because my butt didn’t touch the chair for two hours. He loved my energy, he loved my enthusiasm, and he gave me a shot. And it was a life-changing opportunity. I went from making 10 bucks an hour to my first year 80,000 a year. So it was life changing. I found out hey, I think I’ve found something maybe that I’m good at. After about five years, of course, just having the personality that I do. I’m like okay, I figured this out now. Now what? Now what’s the next step? So, we, again being a military family, we got stationed in Virginia, and I decided to create my own sales agency called the Power Group proud outstanding women energising retail, and we took over the Mid Atlantic region. Very, very successful. We had eight gals just go into retailers every day writing orders. We had about 25 different garden lines. So It was so successful that a national competitor actually approached me within three years wanting to buy my business. So that was very exciting. So that’s what got me into actually, the other side of the wholesale world. I started getting offers for VP of sales or national sales manager. So I crossed that fence from being the rep to being the vendor. So I spent, you know, several years, being in that VP of sales role. And ultimately, to speed this story up. I’m so sorry. I’m old, it’s a long story, what can I say? So I’m right about my 25 year point, not quite, but I, you know, retail was changing. The higher your, the bigger your role, the more travel, the more responsibility you have. So gone are the days of owning my own business and kind of having that entrepreneurial control, which is kind of critical for me to be happy. So in 2014, I’m gonna step back a bit, in 2014. Kevin, and I really, you know, started going to estate sales every weekend and thrift stores, and it was just fun with all the stress of all my travelling and all my high level stuff that I was doing. This just kind of made me happy. So I created a Facebook page called Part Time Pickers that was 2014. And it was super part time, it was a very literal name. So that I’d go out on the weekends, I might find something cute, I’d throw it out, try to sell it. And I just kind of had fun with it. It was a hobby, which is very important to understand the difference. It was a hobby, and 2018 came along, and I’m just having fun with that. But I’m mainly doing my regular job. And I’m just my, my youngest daughter now is getting married, she’s you know, going to be having kids soon. My job was starting to do some, like restructuring that was going to require even more travel for me. So I was just at a point where, okay, we’re talking 80% travel. Now, I’m never home. I know, I just was at the point in my life where I didn’t want to do it anymore. And I wasn’t happy. And I just wanted having control. I have no control in my life whatsoever. So I said, Well, gosh, what if I’ve always been good at sales and marketing and you know, these are kind of my things, What if I took all of that energy, all of that talent? And put it towards part time pickers, you know, could I possibly replace my income? God I don’t know, you know, with this little thing. And to be honest with you, I didn’t know the answer to that question. But I was so kind of desperate, I was like, I don’t have a choice. So I’m going to just treat this, I’m going to make the transition from hobby to job, and put all of my energy and time into it and see what I can do with it. So that’s where I started in 2018 with the end of 2018. And, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know, you know, I wouldn’t consider myself particularly social media savvy. You know, just to give you context, I’ll be 60 next year. So you know, not from the, Even though we did work for a social marketing company. It sounds like oh, yeah, she must be so good at it. Not necessarily. You learn how to work a piece of software, but that doesn’t mean that you know, the ways of the world. So, but I’ve never been afraid to try to figure something out. So in 2018, I started doing it. 2019 You’re just really paying attention to, okay, what’s working, what’s not working? How do I tweak it or whatever. And then the pandemic came, the pandemic was game changing for me. In 2019, I think we had like, I might have made $25,000 in income 2019 By incorporating a few changes. I completely you know, redefined or whatever, whatever the word is, I’m looking for I changed my business entirely. So first of all, I edit. All of a sudden I’m like, Okay, how do I separate myself from every part time picker out there? from every vendor out there? How do I make myself stand out? And I knew just the basics, okay, you got to have really good product, you got to you know, be consistent. You got to have great follow through. So I understood all of these important essentials that I had to have. But then I started paying attention to well, is anybody offering free layaway? Is anybody finding for me, my niche became new inbox. So I became known as the girl who could find 1950s product brand new inbox never touched. And it was just by listening and paying attention to engagement and what got them excited. And then taking that and running with it and trying to reproduce it. That 2020 for me was my first six figure year. So I know right, right, so I can do it. Anybody can do it. But so that is a very brief way of saying is, is my story. And that’s what brought me to where I am today.
Crystal Vilkaitis: No, I love it. Kelly, I get chills, because I’ve got to watch this journey. You know, I entered about 14 years ago. It’s so fun that you were a retailer then a rep, then the vendor, and now you’re back to retailing, but in a unique, fun way that is so connected to your passion. And if anybody is watching this video, Kelly, you have to explain your wallpaper behind you.
Kelly Gunn: Well, I’m a Pyrex girl. So this is actually from a great company called spoonflower.com. And again, it’s my branding. You know, people know me as vintage people know me as Pyrex. And so on many of my posts that I’m selling stuff, you will see this in the background. And that’s their way of saying they see my wallpaper and they’re like, that’s Kelly. That’s Part Time Pickers. I need to pay attention.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yep, such good branding to wear now anytime I see Pyrex, I’m thinking to Kelly Gunn. Exactly. Okay. So you have built this amazing business by following a passion by being curious. And I’m so proud because I am in the social media space, and I have watched you explode online, you have grown an incredibly engaged audience, a large audience, you have about 170,000 combined followers. Yeah. 170,000. Yeah. Well, this is so awesome. You’ve had reels go viral, one of your reels has reached over 4 million people. So what do you think has led to that kind of social media following and success?
Kelly Gun: Well, again, it’s always in this, I’m gonna say this as if it’s nothing. And but it’s really just about having compelling content that your, you know, your engager your person who’s watching it is relating to is excited about. And the only way you know that you figure out what that compelling content is, is from trial and error is from paying attention to all of the engagement that’s taking place. I mean, even now, when you’re talking about 170,000 followers, you can imagine the chattering, the chitter-chatter that’s constantly happening. But I’m, I’m so in tune with, oh, they really liked this, or, okay, I need to make sure I’m doing this and just constantly paying attention. So in the end, you figure out what the recipes are. So we’re just sidetrack. Reels are super important to my growth. And I think we’re going to talk about that a little more. reels are really important. But I, you know, I think I did my first real, I went back and looked it up for this is probably a year and a half ago. So I had no idea what I was doing. I’m like, Oh, what is this reel thing? And anytime this new technology comes about, for me, it’s very stressful. My anxiety gets going and I’m like, Oh, my God, I don’t want to do this, do I have to have makeup on? Oh, I just, I just don’t even want to do it. So that, for me, just the idea of just a video thing like this is very stressful. So imagine having to create these things day in and day out. But I didn’t want to add, you know, unavoidable or unnecessary stress. So I found a way around it. Instead of me being on camera everyday, which personally it’s like, Okay, I’m gonna get boring at some point, people are not going to be really excited to see my little face every day. I really want it to be all about the product, all about the search for the product, all about the finds in and out of the thrift stores. What am I finding, and it’s so fun or not just thrift stores, you know, it’s also antique stores or state sales. It’s any place on this planet that sells vintage, I need to be paying attention to that. So you know, I decided to Okay, let’s you know two birds with one stone here. I can get the content that I need, which is real, you guys. I mean, it is a struggle, content, content, content. But so is it’ll just say I’m in a thrift store, for instance. And I see an item that I think is that I know is vintage and might be of interest. It might not be a good business decision for me to buy it. But all of a sudden, I have this great content saying, Hey, would you pick or pass this? Or would you pay this much? You know, so you can, you can ask lots of questions about items that you don’t even necessarily purchase, because now they’re on this journey with you. And they’re like, oh, where’s she going? today? What is she going to see? Ooh, would I pay that much? I would never pay that much. And they’re, they’re getting to know you without necessarily having to see your face every day. They hear your voice, which is fine. And they even come out and say, Oh, you’re not feeling good today? Do you have a cold? But that’s cool. Because they’re, they’re just part of my family. Now they know who I am. So that was my way of getting around something I just did not want to do, be in front of the camera every day. And and then I started again, paying attention. Okay, well, why does pick or pass, you know, get a lot more engagement than would you pay this much? Or, you know, so by analysing this and fine tuning it, you know, you, you grow.
Crystal Vilkaitis: totally. Well, so I heard so many great things in there. One is you really have this, you’ve created a community that has a similar interest. And I think that there are retailers listening to this, that you might sell something that even that product or that line can create this buzz can create that interest. And that can create the engagement in the community and get that growth going. And so I would look at some of that, as are opportunities within your store there. And then also, you’re consistent. I mean, you are showing up with your content, you’re thinking about the content, you’re committing to it as much as you don’t want to. And there are so many retailers listening to this being like I love Kelly’s honesty, because I don’t want to I hate content. I don’t want to show my face. Like so many people struggle with that. But it is a really great way to stay top of mind to connect. And like you said they’re a part of your family now. And then you’re also looking at the content to see what works, what doesn’t, you’re trying new things. You’re not just like posting and ghosting and never figuring out you know, what’s, what are people paying attention to, you’re really analysing your community and seeing what they want and providing that. So I love it. And I can see how you’ve had that growth. You have this great analogy with the car that I really appreciate. So what is that?
Kelly Gunn: Sure. So the big game-changer in my following in my social media following has been reels. And I tried to explain to people just how important reels is. And I go back to a car. I love simple analogies. Pretend Instagram and Facebook are your car. And reels is your gas. And as you’re driving along, unless you have extra fuel, if unless you have really good performing fuel in your car, you’re going to sputter, you’re going to kind of run out of gas, you’re not going to be performing the way that you should be. But as long as you’ve got that awesome fuel in your car, you’re going to be, you know, running smoothly, you’re going to be seeing you know, getting where you need to go. Reels is definitely that gas. There is, if I had one word to say the most important thing about social media growth is consistency. Consistency with reels is critical to getting the growth quickly, quickly quickly, because I’m going to say you know, I’ve probably had just since I’ve been doing reels probably 40,000 growth on Instagram alone, just in the last 18 months and that’s purely from reels and I do not pay on Instagram at all. I do not pay to promote it, it’s complete, just work. Now used to be a day when Instagram would pay me a bonus to do these reels. And to be honest, that was the thing that got me in. So I’m like okay, they want to pay me to do reels, that’s enough for me. So I was doing three, four or five reels a day because they were smart and you could see the little bank account get bigger and bigger and bigger with every little reel that you did. So they have since changed that, however the other thing that you saw besides your dollars going up is they saw your following going up and Meta is very smart in that not only were they able to take away that bonus money but they’ve also got you now in such a habit of doing it and that you’re so well-trained and that you connect automatically okay if I don’t do this, my following is not going to grow. So even though they’re not paying me anymore for that part of it. I’m still like the you know the hamster on the wheel because As I’m so trained that if I want the growth, I have to continue doing this. So, you know, it’s in, like I said, because it’s not a hobby, because it is a job, we all have things in our job that we don’t necessarily want to do that are very, very critical to our success and our growth. They have to be a part of your everyday life and not just one, you got to at least get to, at least two: morning and night. I try to get one somebody can watch one in the morning when they’re waking up, you know, seven o’clock sitting in bed looking at their phone, and then I’ll get one in the evenings when they’re settling down. So at a very minimum, I’ve got two in there. Most days.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, I thought it was really smart of meta to pay these creators to, they’re really incentivizing and rewarding reels creation, and you could tell they’re really going all in but it worked. You know, a lot of creators, we’re seeing that kind of growth, we’re loving that paycheck, they take it away, and you’re like, Well, gosh, I got to still do it. But one thing you said too, is, you know, you don’t always have to show up on the camera. You’re taking people along for the ride, when you’re in these stores, and you’re showing the product and engaging you’re documenting. And that’s something I say all the time to our retailers is everything is content. So if you ever feel like I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to post there is so your people don’t believe it. But people like to know what you’re doing behind the scenes. People do like to see you travel on,people like to hear your thoughts, people like to see where you’re going, what you’re wearing, what you’re up to. They like that connection. And everything is content. We just can make it so hard sometimes.
Kelly Gunn: So true. Because a really great example of that is I was so worried about my algorithm. Stalling we went on a trip to Antarctica last December. I was so panicked about this trip, not because I’m going to Antarctica, but because oh my god, what am I going to do for content for two weeks? What am I going to do? I’m just like, beside myself, because I worked so hard. I didn’t want to slow down. I didn’t want my car to sputter. I didn’t want to stop. So I said, Okay, I gotta come up with something. So there’s this great 1950s mug out there that actually says Pyrex on the outside of it. It was from the Corning company. And I said I’m gonna do a series called Pyrex and penguins. I took that Pyrex mug all the way to Antarctica. I took all kinds of pictures of Pyrex with penguins, all these things. And were they the best, you know, engaged posts? No. But it kept going, it kept it going, it kept it going. You do have those diehards that want to see everything that you’re doing. So it was just my way of like, you know, keeping it alive, which is important. And you know, like it or not, you can’t take big breaks with that kind of stuff. You know, you can post, you can schedule things, you can do that type of thing to get yourself organised for a trip. But you got to figure out some way to keep it going every day.
Crystal Vilkaitis: It’s so true. And I love that idea of Pyrex penguins. That’s so freakin adorable. And so smart. It’s so new. Okay, so if somebody’s listening to this, and they’re like, I don’t, I don’t feel comfortable doing real, or I’ve never done it yet. So I’m fearful. What kind of advice would you have for that person?
Kelly Gunn: Yeah, I get it. It’s, it’s, here’s the great thing about a reel. It doesn’t have to be live. You know, you can, you can record you know, 10 times until you’re getting comfortable with it. And then you can the great thing now is they didn’t used to have this, but you can do voiceovers and you can redo the voiceover. It doesn’t have to be if you need perfect, you know, and you want to spend the time to get perfect, you have the option. You get to the point where you’re like, you know, Kevin’s like, are you in the bathroom doing that voiceover? I’m like, you know, I just need to get it over with so he could tell the echo. He’s like, Are you sitting in the bathroom? I’m like, Yeah, because that’s where I am. And I need to get this done. Lose that I need to be perfect thing. So if you just gotta dive in, and the worst part, I promise you is the anticipation and thinking about doing it. Just do it. Just do it.
Crystal Vilkaitis: You nailed that. The worst part is thinking about it the anticipation because you do it and then you’re like, oh, that didn’t take me forever. It actually turned out fine. And people are responding. And then you know, over time you build that confidence muscle of getting the reels and putting yourself out there and it does get easier but Done is better than perfect. That’s for sure.
Kelly Gunn: Yes, definitely. And people relate to not perfect.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Exactly. I say this a lot there was listening to a podcast and this woman shared that. Her friend is a Broadway playwright and she says how you write a character to be somebody that everybody hates, is you make them perfect. So don’t be perfect, be you.
Kelly Gunn: love that.
Crystal Vilkaitis (announcement): Retailers, it is time to step out of the day to day of running your store and step in to a new perspective. I would like to invite you to join me in Denver, Colorado at my conference EVOLVE. This is built for independent retailers looking to transform their business, retail is changing faster than we have ever seen before. So as marketing, and so are the tools to help us build our business, this conference is one of the best places for you to stay up to date, and stay relevant. And it’s super, super early bird pricing right now. So you can get a ticket for as low as $197. Go to crystalmediaco.com/evolve to secure your ticket, and I can’t wait to see you in Denver and help transform and grow your store.
Crystal Vilkaitis: As you look at your journey and the retail industry as a whole, what do you think retailers need to know to be successful?
Kelly Gunn: Well, I touched on it a little bit. By far, the most important thing is consistency. Patience, you need to be willing to invest in yourself, it’s not just going to happen by itself. I know in my industry, there are a lot of folks that will have an antique booth, and they’ll pay the two or $300 a month to be able to have this real estate somewhere. So it’s just like having a brick and mortar where you’re paying, you know, this overhead every month. For someone like me who doesn’t have that, who is you know, completely reliant on their online business, you need to have that same commitment to your growth and, you know, budget it and set it aside and put that money toward you, instead of somebody else’s rent. You need to have that kind of discipline, consistency, patience, and those are the keys to success in this.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah. And I know, we were kind of talking before this call, and you’re really stressing the importance of having an online presence and showing up. I mean, the consumer has so many choices now. And looking at what you’ve built purely online, will you touch a little bit about how important that is?
Kelly Gunn: Yeah, it’s really interesting, because I’ll even have, I have my own classes, students will come to me and say, I really need help with my booth or my brick and mortar or whatever. And my number one thing is are you selling online, you cannot rely on that little piece of geography, that little region that’s around you to come through the door, you need to expand your reach, get out there more, if I when I first started, I thought I would have to have people come pick up my stuff. So my reach when I was doing my targeted marketing was regional or very specific to where I was living. And then I realised Well, why can’t you ship? Why can’t you do this? So you start, you know, mentally saying, Okay, if I want to grow, if I want to reach more people, I need to put you know, XYZ in place. So once I made the decision, okay to go national, all of a sudden, you’re opening yourself up to so many more opportunities. So retailers today, you absolutely have to, I don’t know how you get around this, have some kind of an online presence, and where you’re reaching out, even if it’s, you know, buy the product to buy the item or, or whatever it is about. Yeah, I’m really speaking, item-driven. But you gotta get it in front of 1000s instead of, you know, the few people who might be in your area that if you’re lucky, they’re gonna walk in tomorrow. So it just doesn’t work. You’ll never find the success.
Crystal Vilkaitis: You can’t rely just on foot traffic at all. Unless you’re like in the busiest spot in your town and floods of people come through your doors every single day. But most of us are not like that. You cannot rely just on the foot traffic.
Kelly Gunn: Not independent retailers. You can’t and what’s really crazy is I can have a $3,000 day and I know stores who are paying huge overhead, you know, who are they’re happy if they’re cracking 1000 that day. So the secret is expand your, you know, reach and get some kind of an online presence.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Now, Kelly, you went from kind of a hobby business to business business. You took that chance that leap of faith. How important was that shift in your mindset from going to hobby to business?
Kelly Gunn: It was everything. It was just I treated it like fun. Yeah, when I have time I’ll do it, you know, to it really, in desperation breeds wonderful things. You know, when I threw myself in a position where you have to succeed, so I had to completely have faith in myself and my abilities, and put myself out of my comfort zone and say, Okay, you just need to do this. So once I made the decision to actually go, you know, this is my job, I was not kidding, I was up every day, you know, as if I was going to work, I was, you know, paying attention to what’s working for other people I am. So because I’ve always been like a sales person a head of salesperson numbers are critical, I have daily numbers, for every single thing that happens, just as if you know, when I worked for some of these big vendors, they would require of me as their head of sales, I require that of me as well, I want to know, you know, what kind of return on investment Am I getting for this item, I have rules in place that unless you can triple the cost of something, it does not make sense for you to be doing this. So you know, you have all of these things that you know, that are critical to success. And once you make that decision, to do it, you gotta start figuring out what those are. And you do figure it out, if you go every day, and you’re paying attention, and you’re looking at other folks, and you’re researching, and you’re putting you know, what you what you understand, you know, your fundamentals that will work, your marketing and your sales and that type of thing, it will work. If you don’t give up, you just gotta keep going. And you got to, you know, give yourself, you know, I always, you know, will tell a student or whatever, they’ll be complaining, you know, oh, I just don’t have that many followers yet, or I’m not seeing the success you are. And I said, my friend, you know, if you’re not giving yourself six months a year, nothing is going to happen that fast, you have to put the work into it. This is a long term end game. But if you do it consistently, if you invest in yourself, your time, your money, it will happen. But most people by far the majority of people will quit. So you’ve got to set yourself apart from that.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Such good advice, you’ve got to make that mindset shift, you have to commit, treat it like a business show up for yourself. Kelly, you’ve been mentioning your students. And so through this journey of part time pickers, you’ve been hearing from your audience, and they’ve been asking questions, and then you started a whole new kind of side of the business. And so talk about how you were listening to what people were saying and what you created?
Kelly Gunn: Well, it’s really funny how things spring just out of, you know, necessity, almost. Because as the followers were growing, I had so many people reaching out saying, Well, how do you do this? And how do you do that? And shouldn’t I be doing this? And can you tell me how you do this? And just out of a pure efficiency, you know, standpoint, I could not respond to all of these people. And it got unmanageable. And I thought, oh, my gosh, if I just had a class, I wish I had had a class number one, if I just had a class that I could, you know, offer to these people that answer all of their questions. And then if you know, I wasn’t exactly quite sure what does that look like? And you know, kudos to you for helping me actually decide what that might look like. And the key to success for me was a pre-recorded class, best advice you ever gave me. It’s a two and a half hour pre-recorded class of all my tips and strategies and secrets of how I built my successful online vintage business. And now you can too. So when people ask me, I’m like, No, it’s easy. Oh, should check out my masterclass, here’s the link. It makes it yes, it’s an opportunity for me to earn additional revenue, which has been really, really great. It’s a blessing. But it’s also just a matter of, I don’t want to ignore these people, I want to be able to help them. And at some point, it’s not scalable, I have to be able to have very quick, efficient, you know, answers that I can tap into. So that’s how that came about.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, I love how you evolved into that you saw a need, you’re like this will be efficient. It’s obviously a revenue stream, which is great. But you have to be listening to your audience and not be afraid to evolve and be there for them. And I just think that I love that you did that for them and what a great resource. And it’s sort of like one of the ripples of what you’ve built. Right. And so as you are getting more out there, what are some of the other ripples that you’ve seen through part time pickers in your social and getting out there?
Kelly Gunn: Yeah, it’s so funny how one thing leads to the next leads to the next leads to the next. So a great example of that is you and I spent some time on your other podcast, Crystal Uncorked. And recently I had a person from worth point reach out to me and worth point is like a really important industry trade if you ever want to know what something’s worth you go to worth point. But they also have great articles and interviews and blah, blah, blah. So somebody reached out to me and said, You know, I could really use your subject matter expertise for this article. And then that led to another article and that article. And then at the very bottom of the email, it says, Oh, by the way, I saw your lovely story on Crystal Uncorked. And I think you would make a great feature article for Worth Point. So all of a sudden, I’m being featured in Worth Point. So I was like, Oh, my gosh, this is just crazy. That ripple, you know how one thing goes to the next. So..
Crystal Vilkaitis: it so does, and that also shows you the power of showing up putting yourself out there. I mean, you I think there’s just so many opportunities for retailers to evolve. When you look, if you kind of were like, No, I’m not a podcast guest No, I’m not an educator. And look, if you want to be just zoned in on one thing, and that’s what you want to do, then that is totally fine. But there are a lot of opportunities and with social media, and with podcasts and these channels that we all have access to. It makes it a lot easier to see those ripples, to serve more people and to grow our business. And you’re just a perfect example of seeing all those little pockets of growth and contribution to your community.
Kelly Gunn: Well, thanks. And it’s also a little ego-driven, right? So you know, I always want to be the best at what I do. I want to dominate whatever field I’m in. And it’s just a personality defect, I cannot help it. So you know, I’m constantly saying, Alright, okay, I’ve done the class. Now. Now what? What’s next? What’s the next thing that is going to separate me from every single vintage reseller out there? I need to be known as not the Part Time Picker, not the girl who sells Pyrex, I need to be known as the vintage expert. I need people like Worth Point becoming to as me as the subject matter expert. So I always was trying to think bigger. I don’t want to just sell a few things I want to figure out, you know, how to make an empire. But you know, what’s the next thing? What’s the next thing that, you know, nine out of 10 people will not think about, will not waste their energy on what it won’t matter to them. That’s how you differentiate yourself.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, yes. So good. Kelly, what does the future of Part Time Pickers look like?
Kelly Gunn: Ah, you know, it’s funny, because my kids are always like, Mom, you know, you’re, you’re doing good. You know, you have class, you’re doing great, you got great sales, why can’t you just, you know, chill out and relax? And certain people just don’t have that in them. So I’m always looking for something next, something new to conquer. And remember, it’s, it’s not for somebody else, it’s for me. So it’s, it’s exciting. It’s, you know, rewarding to be able to know that I did this, I created this thing. So you know, that is powerful for me. So, you know, if you think about, you know, vintage, and there’s a really great example, about something about what I’m about to talk about. So in 2015, Pyrex had their 100th celebration, their first Pyrex product came out in 1915. So in 2015, the company decided we’re going to have a relaunch of just a throwback, of like, the Pyrex patterns that people have loved forever. And we’re going to offer a meta mass market level. It was the biggest success it was in target. It was an automatic them the mass market types of stores. And all of a sudden in 2015. And I completely credit that product launch to a growth of generation of new vintage lovers. They’ve just embraced it. They fallen for it. So when I watched something like that, and then two years ago, now Tupperware had a Mrs Maisel throwback pattern. And they’re like, just like Mrs. Maisel, limited time only just, you know, these Tupperware bowls just like 1965. And that product line was so successful. There are so many people who may not you know, be able to find the original set of Tupperware who may not be able to afford it, but they sure would love to have the feel of that in their house. So what I would love to see Part Time Pickers doing next is, I’d like to launch a product line that speaks to these folks, you know that you can love vintage and have this vintage vibe without spending the money or without having the luck of finding it. And you know it can, you can still get those happy vintage feelings from it. So that’s what’s cooking in my head right now.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Oh, I got full body chills when you said it. I can so see this happening. And if anyone is listening, or know somebody who can help Kelly out, reach out. We’ll give some info here soon. Actually, this is a great time to give. Well, yeah, give How can we’re gonna link to this in show notes. But how can people reach out to you Kelly?
Kelly Gunn: Oh, that’s awesome. Um, they can go to my Instagram page, which is part dot time dot pickers, or my Facebook page? And can I make a point about Facebook before we wrap this up? Super, super important point. The number one thing that people should not forget on social media is Facebook. Do not be completely relying on Instagram, more than 50% the majority of my business is coming from Facebook. Why? It’s a whole different demographic of people. It’s people my age and older, different pot of money. They think of vintage a little differently. Maybe they had it versus their grandma having it or whatever. So you cannot do Instagram alone. You have to do Facebook as well. And a lot of younger people are like, Oh, I don’t want to deal with it. It’s a mistake. It’s absolutely critical that you’re doing both. Sorry.
Crystal Vilkaitis: I’m so glad you said that. I feel like a lot of retailers they do. They asked me is Facebook dead? should I even care about Facebook and everybody just wants to be on Instagram and because it’s almost like they’re disenchanted with Facebook and they want to move on. But man, there are buyers there, there is attention there. And the fact you’re seeing majority of sales. I mean, I’m not surprised. Kelly, are you ready for the resilience round?
Kelly Gunn: Yes, this is the most nervous part. Okay.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Okay. Best Business Book.
Kelly Gunn: Okay. I’m dyslexic, I have always had a hard time reading. Reading is very hard for me. So I don’t commit to a whole book. But I’m article driven, usually industry articles.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, love it. Love it. Best retail technology like an app or software?
Kelly Gunn: Right now an app that I use every single day is Mehta business suite. It allows me to centrally manage my Instagram and my Facebook business at on one app. So that’s an important part of my day.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Mm hmm. How do you keep up with the ever changing retail landscape?
Kelly Gunn: I think I get by by telling myself You don’t have to pay attention to every single thing that’s happening out there. As long as I’m focusing on key things to make my business grow, there is such a thing as getting distracted. So I try to focus on what’s working. And you know, there’s a small year out there happening, but it can drive you insane.
Crystal Vilkaitis: I love that you said that actually, because we really can get caught up and distracted. And we spend a lot of time on that versus the doing and focusing on customers. And yeah. Yeah. Because retail is ever changing. How do you recharge your batteries?
Kelly Gunn: Yeah, I’m the worst at that. I’m not good at recharging. But I will say that passion and results and success charge you. That’s exciting. That is good for you. And if you can incorporate your family into that, so that you know, it’s just a part of your life. You don’t have to recharge if that makes sense. It’s just automatic.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, your recharge is your passion. Yes. Yeah. To help retailers be stronger, more rooted in success. What’s a retail foundational best practice?
Kelly Gunn: Yeah, but by far, it’s just that, you know, consistency goes back to what we talked, kind of talked about earlier. But there’s there’s no nothing more important than consistency.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah. Finally, what do you think the future of independent retail looks like?
Kelly Gunn: It’s, I used to say, when I was a rapper, or even a vendor that, you know, independent, we will always have brick and mortars. Don’t worry about that. People want that customer experience, blah, blah, blah, well, especially since 2020. While I still believe there will always be independent retailers. There will not be as many brick and mortars as we are used to. And the ones that are willing to bring in that online piece might even find themselves transitioning from brick and mortar to online because there are so many great customer experiences now that you can create online that it just becomes you know, less of a barrier to have to have a brick and mortar. So I think you know, almost online first brick and mortar second. That’s just my two cents.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, I love it. Okay, we shared where people can find you, Kelly, this was amazing. Thank you so much. for letting us peek behind the curtain at what you’ve got going on and how you build this successful and fun business, be sure especially if you love the vintage world you gotta follow Kelly. It’s so good. Kelly, thank you so much for being here.
Kelly Gunn:Thanks for having me. And thanks for letting me talk about myself.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah. Oh, I love it so much, everybody. Remember that I’m rooting for your success. Have a great weekend. Bye. Thank you so much for being here. It means the world to me. Don’t forget to join the rise and shine newsletter which is Social Media News You Need to Know sent via email every Monday morning. Go to Crystal media seo.com/rise to join and don’t miss the newest episode of Rooted in Retail which drops every Sunday morning.