Where Yesterday Meets Tomorrow
by Betty Becker
Feng Shui, pronounced "fung sway," is the art of placement. The words literally mean wind (feng) and water (shui).
The study of Feng Shui is based on a Chinese philosophy that has been practiced for over 4,000 years. There are several schools of Feng Shui. Here, we are going to concentrate on a combination of the Black Hat Sect and the Intuitive Schools.
All life and the air that we breathe has within it an energy force called Chi. There is positive Chi and negative Chi. Feng Shui is the study of those forces.
Anything done perfectly creates positive Chi. An athlete, a musician, beautiful surroundings, clean water and air all create positive Chi. Living by a high code of ethics creates positive Chi. When we are aware of and live in harmony with all living things and our environment, our lives progress more smoothly and we find it easier to achieve our goals.
The following Feng Shui tips are for those in the Antique Business, whether you have your own shop, a booth in an Antique Center, or sell at shows.
Rounded edges and soft lines create more positive Chi. Sharp edges and pointed objects create negative Chi. Is your shop or booth filled with sharp edges and points? If so, rearrange things so that the sharp edges do not greet your customers. Place round or oval objects and furniture at the entrance to your shop or booth.
Is your booth or shop too cluttered? Clutter can lower your Chi and cause loss of sales. Get organized. Make your shop or booth easy to get into and around. Let the positive Chi meander nicely through the booth or shop.
Is your shop or booth dark and dreary? Add some lamps, and turn them on. Keep them lit throughout the business day. If the customers can't see it, they sure aren't going to buy it. Light and fresh air create positive Chi.
Is your shop or booth dusty and dirty? Spruce it up and clean it routinely. Give your place a new coat of paint. A clean piece of glassware with a fresh price tag tells no tales and creates positive Chi. Clean it and move it. Move 27 things at least once every week. Your profits will only get better.
Does your shop or booth lack color? Red is an action color and can be used to draw attention to an item. Use red on lower shelves and on the ones at eye level. Use some red in the left hand corner of your booth or shop, the corner that is farthest from the entrance. That corner is known as the Money Corner or the Fortune Corner. Put your expensive merchandise in that area and keep that corner well lit. Caution: Do not make your whole booth red using tablecloths etc. An article that is red or a small doily will do the trick. Too much red will make customers hurry in and out of your booth or shop.
What is your chinese birth sign? If you are not a "fire" sign, you can activate your Chi by using an aquarium with fish in it, or you can use a small fountain with running water. Place these near the entrance to your booth or near the cash register. Be sure the water is running toward the cash register, not toward the street. Water puts out fire, so a fire sign person should not use water items to activate energy. A Fire sign person can activate positive Chi with wooden items and potted plants. Use these in the money/fortune corner, or by the entrance. Be sure to keep plants or flowers well groomed at all times.
A good location for books in your shop or booth is in the Knowledge corner which is the left hand corner closest to the entrance.
Where is your cash register? Where is your work and checkout area? The best place for your checkout area is where you can clearly see people entering the shop or booth. Always be behind the cash register and if that isn't possible, hang a mirror on the wall behind the register.
At an antique show, never sit with your back to your customers. Put your chair where you have a clear view of entering customers. Your Chi will be enhanced when you face customers and so will sales.
Mirrors can activate and get positive Chi moving. Use them. They can make a space look larger. They will draw energy and people to areas in your shop that they wouldn't normally have noticed.
Live plants and fresh flowers and anything that has to do with nature creates positive Chi. Dried flowers are not recommended as the life force has been removed. Silk or artificial flowers are OK as long as they are kept dusted. A hair dryer works well for this.
Hang some wind chimes around the store.
What kind of merchandise are you buying? Would you put it in your house? Do you love the stuff? If you are buying things that you are not particularly fond of, that can lower the Chi in your store. If you have had the item too long and it has not sold, it is just a reminder that maybe it is time to send it off to auction. Buy what you like and see how much quicker it will sell. It is easier to sell things you like.
When we surround ourselves with things that we love our Chi is raised and therefore the shop or booth is enhanced with positive Chi. Feng Shui is an unconscious response to what you see and experience.
When you raise the positive Chi you will be more productive, have more insight, make more money and be happier, and better health will be the result.
In closing, a good rule of thumb is this: If it feels wrong or is a source of aggravation, fix it.
© 1997-2002 Coxsackie Antique Center