Thursday, March 26, 2015

Greening up...

Ahhhh...this is such a nice time of year in Louisiana.  That brief moment when both wisteria and azaleas bloom in concert, with vibrant pinks and purples that just have to be experienced in person because you just never can capture their colors truly on film.  I feel we've missed out on it a bit as we've been running back and forth to see our twins in the NICU (8 weeks this week!).  We did get our blue bird box up...chickadees have moved in.  Hummingbirds are back and this guy, the blue-headed vireo is probably saying his goodbyes as he travels north.
Something wonderful happened...I was gifted quite a bit of beautiful merchandise from one my favorite craft vendors.  These lovely wooden thread organizers for embroidery and cross stitch.  Too too many for just me to squirrel away.
My favorite...the owl!  The mustache is a close second.
and then these miniature travel sized fob thread organizers - gah!  This is to launch their new Belle Epoque line and to get it into shops to test the new designs.  Here's how I lucked out, the contest gave three obscure clues and through this rare blend of smarts and my Art History minor (it did pay off!) I looked up from the computer screen, scratched my head and said "Belle Epoque"  Oui, oui!

Honestly, this is more than I'll ever use and I'll help them test out the new line by slowing adding it to my Etsy shop by next week.

Speaking of cross stitch, if you are an enthusiast like myself, but with better time management skills you might be interested in joining the Bust Magazine and Subversive Cross Stitch Stitchalong featuring a darling pattern with the Broad City ladies!  This is a perfect starting place for newbies and seasons one and two of Broad City are now on Hulu...treat yo' self!


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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dog is My Co-Pilot...

After last week's lackluster sales and collection of visiting weirdos to the shop, I decided to beat those blues back with my best buddy.  Yes, our own VIP (very important puppy), Chico.  She always puts a smile on my face.  Even though its been a busy day, its been really nice to have hug here and there from someone who cares for you unconditionally. 
I've been working on our accessories nook for a couple days now.  New scarves in, a tote bag here and there...and lots and lots of jewelry.
I made these; Native American brick stitch earrings.  I've actually made these off and on since high school (we don't have to talk about how long ago that was).  They were a bit of the rage back then and I remember begging my mother to take me to the bead shop in this nearby speck of a town called Lacombe, Louisiana.  I'm not sure how I knew this was the place to find out how to make these pretty turned out to be, yes, somewhat of a bead shop but also the home of a young Native American woman (who I thought was just lovely with long thick black hair).  Of course, I must have been the hundredth adolescent girl that had landed on her doorstep in reference to these earrings.  We came all that way and she was pretty put out; told us "no" she didn't have any books, patterns, or supplies.  I must of just looked heartbroken, and perhaps it convinced her I was honestly interested.  Exasperated, she said "just wait" and went to the back of the house and retrieved a small booklet.  I've treasured it for years.
It takes me about two to three hours to make a pair; I'm not sure I should admit that I'm such a slow poke.  Most of these were made while I was pregnant and it was good fun when I couldn't do much of anything else.  Currently these are available in store; if I can find the time, I'll add them to my Etsy shop.


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Friday, March 13, 2015

Keeping it 100...

This week has been cray-cray at the shop.  First off its rained nearly non-stop with foggy mornings and humid, soggy one has thought much of coming out to town period.  Those that have ventured through town seem a bit touched (as a way to put it).  All week what foot traffic I did get asked for the most bizarre things -- the highlight: an hourglass; that's a first for sure.

Then yesterday, we had a couple ladies come in and pinch a couple of nice items.  I won't go into detail of how we had been had; I never like to broadcast how someone got one over on us.  But for other retailers out there...even after seven years in business - they sure caught our attention and changes are already being made.  I highly recommend reading this post from the Specialty Retailer...great points that I knew, but I needed to be reminded.

Today has not been much better...the first person in asked if I could give them gas money...seriously.  Then a telemarketer that I refused, decided to be a smarty pants and call back repeatedly for spite.  By the time a couple of solicitors came in this afternoon, I was in a mood and sure ripped them a new one.

With a bit of extra time on my hands this week, I've been researching other shops and lines.  I landed on one...and I apologize not divulging who as I'm about to be a bit of a snot about them.  They are in a beautiful space, great high end lines, about 3 or 4 years old and already in most retail top 10 lists.  Looking through the incredibly stylized pics - my first thoughts were no one in my town would shop this all.  For one thing, one picture showed a tiny crate of soaps sitting on the floor - no one would bend over in my shop, unless they were stealing.  I asked C her thoughts; how this shop appears to have so much fanfare but in my town would be seen as farfetched and inaccessible?  Her take - money.  She's usually right on about this things.  So who out there in retail is genuine, do we honestly have to pretend it rainbows and sparkles all day long?  Maybe if we're real - we might just teach people this is hard and worthy of them not stealing and taking advantage of us?
All pics are from the shop this week as I've been cleaning, fluffing and preparing for upcoming Spring holidays.  The Happy Keaster towels featured in the last pic are now on sale here.


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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Seven and Counting...

This week our shop makes SEVEN years in business!  I actually can't believe it has been that long, but over a quiet weekend - I reflected that, yes, quite a lot has happen in all these years and in these four walls.  I had a nice recap last year here.  This past year I learned how to be a pregnant shopkeeper and waddle thru the displays (knocking over things left and right with my new belly).  This year is sure to bring even more changes once we have our twins here daily.

The best thing that this anniversary brings (at least for me) is space.  I no longer feel so emotionally tied to the business and shop.  It's all grown up, so to speak, and I feel it's okay for me to explore and want for other things in addition to this wonderful little dream of a shop.

So, no big party or sale...I just quietly celebrated with an early Spring walk:


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