REED CITY — It wasn’t their plan to open a downtown storefront, but when Amanda and Kristopher Cross saw the building available, they decided to take a chance.
Homemade and More Consignment Shop opened in early May to bring handmade goods and local art to the Reed City community.
Before Homemade and More opened, the Cross had about 12 vendors consigned and ready to sell, but since opening that number has grown to 18. Co-owner Kristopher Cross said there was still room and that ‘they were still actively recruiting vendors. .
Cross said he decided to lease the retail space, located at 114 W. Upton Ave., because of the difficulty of selling online.
“The markets being flooded, you know, you have to keep lowering your prices and undercutting everybody,” he said. “And then you end up not making any money, and when you go and try to find a store to put it on, there’s no one to do it.”
Cross is also a craftsman. He takes old vinyl records and uses a laser cutter to create an image from the material. The cutout is then placed in a frame for display. Cross’ records can be found at Homemade and More among the works of his artisan peers.
Other community members contributed personalized mugs, t-shirts, tumblers and coasters, as well as jewelry. Another consignee has set up shop to sell antiques, including refurbished vintage furniture. Cross also included a large wall filled with pieces from local artists to give them some exposure to the public and sell their work.
Another recent addition to the list of Homemade and More vendors is Reed City author Tim Bazzett. Bazzett’s books are a reflection of what it was like growing up in Reed City. Her most recent work is an account of her mother’s life, told through the letters she sent to Bazzett’s father.
There are no specific guidelines for supported handmade items; Cross said everyone is welcome.
“It’s all you sit at home, and you do, and you try to sell it on the internet and you have trouble with that,” he said. “You bring it here, I consign on the spot and I sell your things for you.”
The process of contracting as a consignee is pretty straightforward, Cross said. Homemade and More’s hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and during this time sellers can come and talk to Cross about securing a space in the store.
Each item will get a sticker to let it know which stall it belongs to too, and then a POS system keeps track of the money earned for each seller. A 20% is kept by the Cross’s, but the remaining profit goes to the seller.
One of the main reasons Cross said he and his wife opened the store was because they know firsthand the difficulty that can arise when trying to sell your products independently.
Prior to owning the storefront, Cross worked in several factories, but sold his vinyl art at craft shows. Even then, he found that it was not enough to generate any major profit, and he suspected that the case was the same for others.
“If you think about it, how often is a craft show? So they were probably kind of like me, where all your stuff is,” he said. “Mine was in the garage, other people have it in a room in their house, and the stuff just sits and stays until you know, a few months later, you might have a craft show.”
Being open six days a week, morning to night, Cross said people then had the opportunity to sell their stuff on a regular basis. It will also help build a stronger customer base.
During the first few weeks of moving in, Cross said they quickly bonded with other local business owners and Reed City officials.
“Our city manager came a few days ago. He checked out the place and he thought it was a good idea to set up this type of business here,” Cross said. “He even suggested, we have this back area which is really nice and all open, that we put some sort of hot dog stand there, because we have hamburger restaurants, but no hot dog stands. dogs.”
A hot dog stand is one of the Cross’ hopes for the future, but they’re also considering adding a paint and pour station to their backyard. Homemade and More’s basement also offers room for further expansion, Cross said.
As the Crosses prepared for their grand opening, they saw a lot of excitement from the community via local Facebook groups. Now open for about two months, Cross said the excitement has only grown.
“The community response is amazing,” he said. “Everyone who walks through the door says it’s a beautiful place.”