I was recently asked a question that I thought was a really good one – and felt it might be good to share my response online, in case others are wondering as well!
I have to ask … why have you chosen to carry an additional line of paints? I can see that there are a lot of exciting colors in CeCe — but if that is the reason then I must ask why you chose them over Annie Sloane? I feel that Caromal Colours is such great quality, and ease of use I’m a little confused that you want to carry other products…I didnt want to ask this question on your public site …but I am curious…
As most of you already know, I have been one of Caromal Colours most active reps – you probably won’t find a louder CC cheerleader- 3 years later I still believe and love promoting their paints – and still will continue to do so.
You might also know that my family hit the rocks last year when my husband lost his job – our lives forever changed. I know there are MANY out there that can relate to that statement, right? I almost gave up my passion for self-employment as a decorative painter, and DIY paint rep, to go back to a desk job that would bring a secure weekly paycheck and more importantly healthcare for my family. But I didn’t.
I couldn’t. I believed in these Caromal DIY products – a great finish, great durability, really easy to use – and all those people in homes where values have plummeted – how could I not be successful if I could only reach and empower them? I gambled and opened Fabulous Finishes Specialty Paints Retailer.
Last summer as we worked on opening the store, I saw the Annie Sloan paints taking roots in the blog world. I purchased a can and played with the paint to see what the buzz was about. It was a lovely paint, much different than Caromal, and not nearly as durable, but a pretty palette and finish look. I contacted them to see about carrying this line as well, since I knew of another rep in CA that carried both and it seemed like a good idea. All they were able to offer me was a mini-stockist retail which basically takes 1/2 your retail profit away (1/2 goes to you 1/2 stays with the main stockist that you buy from). By time you offset the other costs of doing business (running ads, paying credit card fees etc) 1/2 the profit wasn’t worth it.
Since opening in September, I’ve worked non-stop to make my store viable. My concept? A Specialty Paint Retailer/Studio – a place that offers shoppers the best products I can offer that I believe will make their painting lives easier – coupled with hands-on guidance, instruction, advice.
Is the finish something I think homeowners can do?
Yes? Then I show them how…
If not? Then I tell them so, and explain why.
It’s not about pushing a can of paint for a sale, it’s about filling the customers needs. I am finding that I’m really good at that. I love sharing my knowledge and empowering others – seeing their faces when they create a really cool finish easily… my decorative finishing background really gives me an advantage creatively I think… and they trust me. I think if I keep doing what I’m doing, that eventually it won’t take 7 days of my time 🙂 and I’ll be able to say
“I really am blessed because I am doing something that I love…”
So where does Ce Ce Caldwell Paints fit in? I try to keep up on the painting trends/products in our business and the CeCe paints peeked my curiosity. I loved the color palette – completely different than the Caromal, and the idea that they are 100% earth friendly? Stellar. I’ve had customers come in, and love the idea of easy paints but the Caromal colors didn’t fit their style or the finish wasn’t what they were envisioning. I checked out what others were doing with the CeCe paints and saw some really lovely finishes. I was intrigued. I ordered some. I played. Then I inquired about becoming a retailer. And signed on, just like that.
The Ce Ce paints are so yummy. The colors, the feel, the flow, the coverage, the smell , the Eco-friendliness, the wax, the SUPER ease (no sanding, stripping, priming) , the pretty finish… And, I have to smirk a little and admit that I like the idea of again introducing a product that is less known, but amazing. There is so much hype right now with the Annie Sloan paints – and for good reason – they are similar paints and Annie herself is a marketing genius – but it’s everywhere. Everyone is selling it. I’m one that likes drumming to a different beat 🙂
… Caromal Colours is such great quality, and ease of use I’m a little confused that you want to carry other products…
There is not just ONE paint that will satisfy everyone’s needs , but now having the opportunity to carry two amazing easy DIY lines of cabinet and furniture finishing products, how could I not want to do that? Not to mention, have you seen what you can do when you combo BOTH lines?