Also...I have a functioning studio now. We moved out of our large store into a smaller, more intimate space. It's darling and tho, small...incredibly functional. In the back, behind the curtain (like the Wizard of OZ) I have a small work space. So far, I've brought in my sewing, chalk painting, and office paper work blah stuff. Silkscreening will come soon (I hope) as I continue going through boxes we packed before the move. So let me show what's been happening...
Bunny Drawstring Bags! I saw this pattern (I'm All Ears) last year and really wasn't set up to tackle it. This year, I happened on it again and thought they'd be so cute in the kids' baskets plus I made a few for the store. They've been a hit; though they came out a little small...you can easily upsize the pattern. Also, I added a yarn pom pom with fabric glue.
Strawberry Pillows! We just had our big festival in town and I always seem to fall into the "berry" hype. But these came out beyond cute. I've listed a limited quantity on Etsy.
New totes! I've made this style of totes before but I love this fresh fabric combo...I had to snag one for myself! The outer fabric is a lightweight fabric, bold print from IKEA (they always have the best graphic prints); the interior is a thicker navy linen that adds more structure to the bag...also, as requested I put 2 interior pockets now. Also, available on Etsy.
Baby Bibs! These have been inbetweenie projects and a lot of fun busting out fabric scraps. This is a nice knit print with a soft minky lining. Very limited on Etsy.
It's been a loooong time since my last post; but a move last month and the untimely death of my laptop have made blogging more challenging than my regular procrastination! But, I haven't stopped making...in fact, I'm building a proper studio/office in my new shop!
Which is actually next door to where we were for 10 years. It's a smaller (more updated) space that actually is just what I needed to hit the reset button.
A lot of crochet is coming off my hook; perfect timing as we settled into the coldest part of the year! And just a bit of vintage finds are finding their way back into the shop...
I loved styling the above shoot for my vintage Alabama metal tray...the camellias are from my garden from a heritage breed...from Alabama!
Also, the end of 2018, brought my newest venture, Le Roost...a vacation rental located above our shop. If you love the aesthetic of our shop, you will love an overnight with us! I pulled together many vintage items, chalk painted or restored most of the furnishings, and added lush new amenities like euro top mattresses and fluffy towels!
Goodness, it's been a busy summer. I feel I have sufficiently labored and will be taking a mini staycation. I plan to still make a few things, but I'm trying to stick to things that I make for myself (I'm always last on the list). In the last couple weeks, I've created many new items for the store and online.
A new tote I promised last post is complete and will be a one of kind combination. Mainly because the vintage fabric, I loved, was just too difficult to sew!
Also, so much crochet! Lots of hats and a scarf. Currently, I'm working on boy sweater vests, perfect for Louisiana winters (basically non-existent). Here's one of my upgraded hats with flower and button...get cold quick, right?
In addition to my handiwork, I've been doing a fair amount of furniture refinishing utilizing my own line of chalk style paint, Cottage Nest Paints and experimenting with papers. I'm most proud of this little flip top antique table I re-did:
Here's the before:
And lastly, just a small restock on a popular guest towel I silkscreen; my "Don't Make Me Go All Cajun on You" towel is a shop favorite.
As you can you probably guess, I've been more machine than mom lately, so I'll be pausing for the Labor Day Holiday and reopening (and shipping) mid to late next week! But that doesn't have to stop you from shopping. Check out what's available in my Etsy Shop as all purchases $35+ are 20% off through next week!
This weekend turned into a major Sew-in. And though, nothing got cleaned, we ate Chinese take-out, instead of grocery shopping...I think I accomplished a lot!
Bibs in two styles, a feeding style and handkerchief, plus some really lovely burp cloths. I had one of my "good" regular customers tell me last week that she was disappointed in my lack of baby goods. (Need more honesty in your life? Open a retail store!!!) And though I think it just need a re-fluff, it had been a while since I circled back to sewing up some sweet baby goods.
Also it makes me a little sad, that my 3 year olds are too old for these precious items. I had big hopes to make many of their bibs and burps, but goodness, when your in it, with twins no less, there just isn't time. So, I'm hoping a new, and busy, mama will love these.
I have a new weekender slouch bag in the works too (fingers cross that it will come together this weekend). The large floral is a new Ikea fabric I purchased earlier in the summer. The small floral is vintage; cut from a skirt...and it's so lovely. It should only make one bag...so a very limited edition for this fabric combination.
Keep watch and also, check out my Etsy page as I plan to list a few of the new bibs and burps.
As soon as the calendar changes to August, I know Summer is over. Sure it's hot, everything is green but I just feel it. And I always hope to have all my winter crochet work complete for Christmas sales...I never have; but this year I am at my all time closest.
One toddler pumpkin hat done and modeled by one of my sweet pumpkins. I'll add 2-3 baby sizes and offer these in store and online on Etsy
Last year my chunky basket weave hats were such a hit, but I did not have nearly enough. I'm getting faster in that I can make 1 in 1 or 2 nights. This year there will be upgrades like pom poms and flowers and where possible (i.e., I have enough yarn)...a matching scarf!
I also have some pretty big news...we're opening an AirBnb vacation rental above our shop! So, if you've ever wanted to visit New Orleans, Baton Rouge, or surrounding areas, we invite you to check out centrally located Ponchatoula and Rest above the Nest. I'm detailing our progress (or procrastination) in a new blog: LeRoost. We hope to be ready for your visit by the end of this month.
work in progress!
And, sadly the beautiful line of vintage inspired jewelry, Bella Vintaj, I carried for about 2 years has been discontinued. I loved this line so much and you'll usually find me wearing a piece or two everyday, but it never took off as I think it wasn't simple enough for the casual buyer. The idea was you could edit and add charms changing your look constantly on a base necklace or bracelet.
Anywho, the good news is I just added the remaining charms in my inventory to Etsy...these are 40% off retail. A good deal onqualitymade goods, but my quantities are limited so check that out now here.
Hello again! It's been Spring since I reached out here; this sometimes happens as I approach Summer. Our retail location is typically busy coupled with my approaching scans at MD Anderson. If you haven't been following along...I had a form of cancer (ACC) in 2007 and I still present with no evidence of disease. Every year tho, I fear my record will be ruined and this cancer, with a high rate of recurrence will return. So I go quiet for a while.
This year too, well, for more than a year, I've been extremely fatigued. To the point, I've locked the door of the shop, turned off the lights and just laid on the floor. It turned out I had chronic zinc deficiency; that a simple blood test revealed. It's still taking me a while to feel better, but nearly there.
The other thing is this store. I love it; we've been here 10 years, but I feel like I'm constantly under attack and never connecting with my customers.
We have a local competitor (a home girl, if you will...everyone's rooting for her). Problem is, every promotion, product line and occasionally web images from our own store and text...get pilfered. Yeah, I could say something. I could do something...but it looks bad to be on the defensive always...and proves, at least, she got to us and I promise you, she'll use it to her advantage. We've had a handful of other stores and artisans copy us too...it's as if every one of our Facebook posts get replicated and, in many ways, used more successfully on the backs of our hard work and investments.
Then as I'm walking out of my MD Anderson appointment with good news again, I pull out my phone to text my mom...its the first thing I do every year; to have a Facebook message popup mid text. A news reporter 5 hours north of our store wants to interview ME about my new store there. Wha....after we clarified I wasn't opening a second location or moving; it turns out someone is using the name Nest Interiors in our same state. It's confusing as I'd already had reps calling about orders I didn't place and hello, this lady thought it was us too. So, a lawyer has been called and this now has to be dealt with...by the way, don't you think its weird for a new business not to know of an existing business of the same name AND for a new business opening to have no website, Facebook page or phone message (as in their case).
The other thing that I suggested too; we're not connect with our customers...that's you! Right before Father's Day, I sent out my weekly email. I struggled as I no longer have my dad and parts of the relationship were hard for me as he was ill. Ultimately, I decided to be authentic. I shared my favorite picture of him, how he had been a really good guy, gave me this crazy never stop work ethic and I missed him. I have never had so many unsubscribes. I'm sorry, if you're looking for Wayfair, please go there now; I'm a real person and I'm trying to be apart of this community, town, and world...but you have to let me in.
Today, a nice middle-aged lady came in; for context: the shop is clean, I added a water fountain, soft instrumental music is playing, plus I greeted her. She could not of been more uncomfortable. I asked how she was doing today; one site for retail advice said this is the WORST thing to ask a customer AND make them share about themselves. I'm sorry when did we stop caring about one another?! She flipped through the garden flags quickly; passed me again, "please let me know if I can help you find anything," Unable to make eye contact with me, "I...I...I'm just...looking." darts away. It's fine; but I sincerely wish people could just communicate. Because if there's something specific, I'd love to know and when I hear it enough I know to stock it.
So here we are; I know that was a big ranty rant. But I want to connect with you. No one ever comments (unless they are loons or robots) but I get many hits on each of these posts. So, I'm inviting you to respond if any of this resonates with you; retailer or customer or just person that found yourself staring into the interwebs. It's time for all us to start caring about one another and recognizing (and applauding) when someone is being real.