It has been such a pleasure for me to have compiled such a wonderful inventory of items for my business. I take great pleasure in buying things that are beautiful. I am always on the lookout for interesting things and take advantage of sales wherever possible, even if I don’t need the specific item for several months. My inventory allows me to offer unique, high end pieces and linens to my clients when designing a look uniquely for them. Many of my linens cannot be obtained from other decorators or rental agencies around town as they have been specifically made for Grand Central. Other items were purchased quite some time ago by another decorating company where I acquired them, so they are no longer available when trying to add to or replace. But this makes them unique.
Every year presents its own challenges with respect to colour and patterns and fabrics. I try not to get caught up in too “trendy” where I already have the traditional classics and they are often what I rely on in the end. It is much like purchasing a personal wardrobe --- do I bend to the trend of the year and buy clothes that may not be in style next year or do I buy what may be useful year over year and not go out of style? I’m talking about the Black, White, Navy, Grey and the “little black dress”. I tend to be practical. These are the basics for all years, for all seasons, for all scenarios. To them, I add the pop --- the trendy jewelry, scarves and shoes, all the accessories that keep me current.
This is the way I approach my inventory and the purchases I now make. The Black, White, Navy and Grey are certainly the items most sought after and most used in my inventory for all events, corporate and wedding alike. I can provide linens for events 600+. To the basic I accessorize in whatever alternate colour is requested as in table runners, napkins or sashes, for instance. There are other small additional purchases of specific items to complete the “vision”. When purchasing, the practical part of me is thinking about what other events I have coming and whether this item might fit.
When I first started in the business I made the mistake to running out and buying items and linens on spec without finalizing the contract, just because I really believed that the organization or the bride was definitely going to sign on with me. I know that sounds naïve and it definitely was --- believe me, I learned the hard way, not quite realizing just how volatile this business can be. I think my nature is to be positive and trusting but I needed to understand “business” as compared to “personal” when leading my company. Not that I have hardened my thinking but I think I am smarter now. There are small specific items I may purchase ahead of time for a mockup for the client, but certainly not beyond that until they have signed on the dotted line, so to speak.
Because I offer linens and fabric items, the warehouse space must be dry and temperature controlled so mould and mildew and unpleasant smells associated, do not become a problem. These are items that you can’t just store in your garage. Maintaining 4,800 cu ft of warehouse space comes at a cost and adds to overhead but as a decorator, having inventory makes me feel legitimate and allows me to offer so much more to my clients. I also know that what I will be offering has been well taken care of by me. I have wonderful laundry facilities at Bluenose Laundry and at Ship Shape Cleaners that look after my linens. They get laundered and re-stored after every event. There are no surprises when I open my bins as stains, holes and wear are not part of what I offer.
The premium service and items provided by Grand Central Events and Décor do come at a cost and although it is increasingly difficult to overcome the DYI trend that now seems to be so prevalent in the wedding world, I am pleased to be able to offer such a unique service and inventory to events in Nova Scotia.