It was just over a year ago that I came up with the idea for Style Share on a whim after going to an estate sale and finding an abundance of treasures, many of which I didn't end up purchasing (and somewhat regretted later). I had lots of different reasons for starting the project, some of which I'll discuss below, as I reflect a bit on the past year of giving stuff away.
My first reason for starting the project was a philanthropic one; I wanted to spread the joy a bit. At the time I came up with the idea, it seemed like I was stumbling upon trove after trove of great stuff, and while there have been months where I've had a hard time coming up with items to give away, most of the time I've found enough great stuff to both add to my own collection and hopefully add interesting items to the collections of others at the same time.
The numbers break down as such:
- Number of Style Shares: 11
- Number of items given away: 34 (30 ties, 2 shirts, and 2 hats)
- Number of returns: 19
Despite an initial desire to open a shop with some of my extra items, I eventually settled on the free idea for a couple reasons. One is simply because nobody else was doing it. A good portion of style blogs on the internet have associated shops (which is nothing against them, as I still may do one), but I wanted to see what the act of giving something away would prompt.
At the same time, for somewhat selfish reasons, I knew that it would be a lot harder for me to generate content on a regular basis with having a child come into my life this past year. In that regard, Style Share was my way of bringing in some crowd-sourced original content for the site when I didn't have my own time to keep it updated regularly. I figured it was sort of a win-win situation. I got content (and in the case of a couple gents who run their own style blogs, so did they), and the recipient got something small out of the deal.
So, what have I learned from it all?
When I first started, I figured that the return percentage (which is at roughly 56% right now) would be a little bit higher, but I guess I can't argue too much with over 50%. People get busy and I know as well as anyone that sometimes it's just kind of hard to stop for a moment to get a decent picture. Frankly, it's not much out of my pocket, and I'm not going to sweat it. All told, the 11 giveaways have probably cost me a couple hundred dollars or so, which . Then again, I've found things like this couch for probably 1/20th (or less) their actual value, so I can't really get too mad.
As always, thanks to everyone who has played along so far. Look for another entry to hit the streets in the next couple days or so...