Welcome to Just Biz, Omaha Style. Today, we’re talking with James Kavan, owner of the Imaginarium, an antique and collectibles shop.

 

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Down To Business:

On today’s episode of Just Biz, Omaha Style we’re talking with James Kavan, owner of the Imaginarium, an antique and collectibles shop.

James is from Omaha and lives here with his four children and wife. He’s had a lifelong love for antiques and collectibles and has turned that passion into a successful business.

He started the business on April 7, 2010, after dabbling in antiques and collectibles. In 2008, he was electrocuted while installing a satellite dish for work and fell and broke his back. In 2010, while the economy was in a difficult place, he decided to start his own business.

“I got a small settlement form the workers comp when I got hurt,” said James. “I got $22,000, and I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to put all my eggs in a basket and see what I can do.’”

James found a space and put down $8,000 for the first month’s rent and used to the remaining $14,000 to fill the store with stuff and made it work. The Covid pandemic has hit them hard this year, though. He planned to make between $20,000 to $24,000 one weekend during a typically busy time, but they only made $1,200.

“Losing $20,000 in one weekend? It freaked me out a little bit,” said James.

He got creative and relaunched their eBay store and adapted by selling items online through Facebook Marketplace. He also launched a website. Still, business has been down 20-30%.

“We’ve had to be creative and work harder than we’ve ever had to work,” said James.

Listen to the full podcast in the audio player above or the timestamps below to jump to a specific section.

Key Topics:

1:50 – Meet James Kavan

2:11 – James’ background & business beginnings

5:11 – How Covid has affected his business

7:45 – James’ team

8:17 – His operating process

11:00 – Passion for business

15:08 – How to handle unforeseen circumstances

17:47 – Businesses’ great vision

20:45 – Work-life balance

24:23 – Get in touch with James

 

Invaluable Insights:

“We’ve had to be creative and work harder than we’ve ever had to work.” – James Kavan

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