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Dreaming Tree Vintage combines brick-and-mortar with social media

“When I was a kid, I always dreamed I would have a consignment store when I retired,” says Kristin Furrow. “Thrifting was something I always did. It was the only way I could stay on trend when I was younger.”

But after a successful foray into selling vintage wear on Etsy, the e-commerce site for artisans and internet thrifters, to supplement her teacher’s salary and thrifting habit, Furrow realized something very important: “I didn’t have to wait until I retired to open my own consignment shop.”

In 2010, Furrow toured empty retail spaces near where she lived in Saco. When she arrived at 294 Main St. and saw the mural of trees on the wall, she knew instantly she had found the brick and mortar location for Dreaming Tree Vintage.

Kristin Furrow, owner of Dreaming Tree Vintage, models a dress for a photo to post on Instagram. Embracing social media (Instagram especially) has helped her boost sales. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

Now, at age 33 and living in Portland, Furrow’s vintage business is her bread and butter. She has learned a lot about running a business in the past seven years, not the least of which is that diversity is key, especially when it comes to the ways you reach out to potential customers.

“Everything we do in our lives, we want to find ways to do it better,” says Furrow, who still posts specific items to Etsy that she knows people will be looking for, but now also uses social media to leverage her sales.

Furrow took to Instagram as a second venue for online sales in addition to promoting her physical store and Etsy page. She sends up to 10 posts a day to her 8,000-plus followers, featuring on-trend items for sale at reasonable prices (like an Ann Taylor linen and cotton top for $12 or a Betsey Johnson strapless party dress for $24). A follower comments “sold” on the post, Furrow sends them a PayPal invoice and, once payment is received, she ships the item to the customer’s door—wherever that may be.

“Instagram has become a quick way of getting inventory out,” she adds. “I actually stopped putting items on Etsy because it would sell so quickly on Instagram.”

“I started this off the cuff,” Furrow admits, but her ambition and flexibility—and her willingness to give Instagram a go—have turned Dreaming Tree Vintage into a successful career rather than a hobby for retirement.

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DREAMING TREE VINTAGE

In person: 294 Main Street, Saco
On Instagram: @dreamingtreevintage
For more info: 207-632-1335

Emma Bouthillette, a Biddeford native, is the author of “A Brief History of Biddeford.” She loves a good book and walking the beach with her corgi. www.emmabouthillette.com

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