One year ago today, at 6:00am, I woke up, went for a walk on the beach. I was so nervous to come back and hit “submit” on the post that launched LuxeSwap. I had worked for months preparing the LuxeSwap website and business plan. I was on hiatus from posting on StyleForum at 19,999 for a week or so, waiting to make that my 20,000th post.
When I was walking on the beach, I was nervous that the community would not really respond to the site, and all the money and time I invested in it would be for naught. Its always scary putting something you put so much of yourself into full throttle, right into the public. I cant say this was any different. The sales I make are largely fact based - measurements, pictures, descriptions. Not really something that takes an artist to create, but I treat each piece as if it were my artwork. I try and make a crappy piece look great, I try and make a great piece look even better. I take each auction and sale quite personally, and I like watching them bloom like a flower from when the seed is planted until full blossom. I think (I hope) that thats why most of my auctions are successes.
At 6:30am, when the sun began to rise, I sat there on the shore and said a little prayer to myself that everything would work out well with my venture that I was about to embark on. The day and time were also pretty significant to me, as it marked the 15 year anniversary of the death of one of my personal heroes, Gianni Versace. I snapped the picture above to commemorate the moment, put on U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” on my iPod, came back inside, and hit submit on that post at 6:54am.
And so, LuxeSwap was born.
A year later, the business that I have created has been busier and more successful than anything I could have ever expected. When I started LuxeSwap, I was listing 30-40 auctions a week, and that was a lot to handle. Now, I rarely list less than 125 per week, most weeks about 175, with hundreds of more auctions that I just didnt have time to finish. I take upwards of 2500 photos each week, have sent over 30,000 emails, and have sent over 5,000 packages this year. Ive sold over 6000 of your pieces this year, that you so generously trusted in me to move for you. I have also met some extremely cool people who started out as consignors and I now call my friends. Ive made a lifelong dream come true of purchasing a Ferrari, which is something that I never expected would happen.
Of course, its not all without sacrifice. I rarely have a break or a vacation, Ive worked on my listings in some aspect each day for the past 365 days. I wake up at 4:30-5:00am nearly every single day to work on them. I work on Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. I was packing ties on New Years Eve. My daughter sometimes helps pack the packages, she puts the stickers on the tissue paper. If you get one a little crooked, you know why. My wife writes you all your checks, you can thank her for those. She lovingly packs all the packages, and does her best to put the Luxe in LuxeSwap when you open your box.
So, one year later, I want to sincerely and honestly thank each and every one of you. Anyone who has ever cast a bid on one of my auctions, anyone who sent me something of yours to sell. Anyone who purchased something from me. Anyone who even thought of sending me something to sell. Anyone who had looked at one of my auctions and asked a question. I want to thank you all for making LuxeSwap a success this year. Thank you.
I have big plans for LuxeSwap in the coming year, hopefully continuing this upward trajectory. Stay tuned for more on those. But first, I need a break. Im taking a small time out from accepting consignments for the next few weeks - I need to get myself grounded again for the Fall rush. I want to get out and see some of the sunshine this summer and be a husband and a dad for a little while. Ill resume consignments in just a week or two. Auctions will continue to run as normal, as I have still a few hundred items to plow through and get out, so nothing is going to change on the auction interface.
Anyway, TLDR, I thank you all for making this a success. Im now going to head down to the beach, take a walk, throw on U2’s where the streets have no name, and instead of saying a prayer of hope, Im going to say a prayer of thanks.
Congratulations. You’ve done some awesome work, and provide excellent service. Keep doing what you’re doing, because you’re doing it really, really well.
Now take a break. You’ve earned it. You all have.