Happy 6 Year Anniversary
As I look back at my December 2019 blog, one of the first blogs that I had written, I realize just how much my business has grown since 2016. In that blog, I share how I took a leap of faith and left the mortgage business to start a China rental business. This unique niche was just the challenge and much-needed personal change that I needed. As I built this business by myself, I am proud to say that December 2022 marks the sixth year of Dish & Decor Vintage Rental! To recognize these past six years, I want to highlight a few of my accomplishments.
First and foremost is my extensive collection of dishes, glassware and decor. My oh my how my inventory has grown! When I first began, I would only rent what I had collected. At that time, my collections were small. People ask me all the time where I had acquired all of my inventory. I would tell them that there is no 1-800 number to call. I have hand-picked each and every item and collected here and there over time. My goal back then was to reach 100 of each collection. Most of my collections are now over 400. As I curated more inventory, I then would rent larger events. Now I have one of the largest collections of colorful glassware in the area. And my dinnerware collections have grown as well. This year has been my best year to date. My place setting and decor rentals have been rented for corporate galas, weddings, madrigal dinners, showers, tea parties, baptisms, church functions, and birthday celebrations all over northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. No event is too small or too large at this point, I am happy to say.
As my business grew, I have tweaked and improved the packing, storage and delivery processes. I have purchased specific crates, racks and boxes for each collection. No bubble wrap here! Rentals are delivered in proper containers. These are all hand washed and sanitized as well. We make it easy for clients, planners and caterers by including typed directions for setting the tables, sweet tables and decor. Setting up our place settings perfectly is our goal. We deliver. We pick up. And we hand wash our inventory again making the process as easy as possible for everyone.
Speaking of planners and caterers, we have built relationships and become friends with a number of vendors. We call them "friendors" because these networks have helped each of our businesses grow. We work hard and trust each other. Dish & Decor is a preferred friendor for several area venues and caterers. I am especially proud of these connections. These friendors know that I am reliable, flexible and available when needed. By working together, we all benefit.
As my bookings increased, my computer system needed upgrading. Most important to any business is the ability of the computer system to handle its needs. This new system is easier for clients and friendors to navigate and is much more efficient for me. Within this system, our product photographer has been busy upgrading our photos from the ones that I took long ago. We are always maximizing!
I now have a team, which I am most proud of. I no longer work alone. Each year as the bookings have increased, I needed assistance. I built a team including a product photographer, a wordsmith for social media, a full-time assistant plus several part-time employees. This team rocks! I am able to bring my assistant to the American Rental Association Conference with me this year. Mentoring her and including her in a conference is a proud moment. And again...it just doesn't feel like work. This team is just as passionate as I am about making each client happy. Each team member brings their own special strengths to my business. Our team collaborates for photo shoots, social media and marketing. We all keep our eyes open for new acquisitions to our inventory too. And we have great plans for the future!
A little foreshadowing...it was meant to be. If you made it through reading all of this, here is a tidbit you don't know about me. When I was 20 years old and living in my parents' house, my boyfriend was in the living room watching tv and my mother was in the kitchen drinking her white wine and eating popcorn. I was in the dining room with a lady who sold China. The deal was you order the China and pay in installments. I didn't think I would ever own my own China, so I bought it for myself on the payment plan. I wanted to build my credit. Who would have thought??? Now I have all the China I could ask for! I guess I was destined to do this!
My passion and purpose of finding joy has created a unique business that I am so proud of. To have started off on my own and to have built this venture one client at a time, I couldn't be happier with where Dish & Decor Vintage Rental is today.
🥂For my next accomplishment...you will have to stay tuned. More to come in 2023! 🥂
Dish and Decor Vintage Rental is located in Crystal Lake. We deliver to Greater Chicago, Rockford, Naperville, Winnetka, Highland Park, Plainfield, Lake Geneva, Kenosha and surrounding areas.
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Dish & Décor Vintage Rental- Located in Crystal Lake, IL By Appointment.