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.
It's been a while since I showed you some of the new old goods that have arrived in the shop. Some are from my personal collection as I now have personal items that are way beyond 20 years of age and a few were collected from a buying trip earlier this week (always a lot of fun!)
Who doesn't love Peter Rabbit? This miniature tea set is itching for a new loving home.
Can you sew? This cut and sew soft book makes the sweetest alphabet book for baby. I just love the illustrations and a red, black and white color scheme has been proven to stimulate baby's brain. I've seen these go for quite a bit, but I have a pretty fair price on this.
Vintage brass buttons! My favorite is the horse and horseshoe; sold as one lot.
And what a beauty. This Cookson Pottery planter needs your succulents, cacti or even a bonsai?!
Most are available at our brick and mortar, Nest Interiors in Ponchatoula, LA but all are online in our Etsy shop. Use coupon code HAPPINEST15 for 15% off your Etsy order for a limited time.
It's hard to believe Easter is upon us! We celebrated last weekend at the "Old Fashioned Easter Celebration" by the LSU Rural Life Museum. The kids participated in their very 1st egg hunt, tried egg paquing, and were terrified of the Easter Bunny again and now a pygmy goat.
We all had an amazing and exhausting time; so this Sunday for Easter, we are going to have a very quiet celebration. One in which I can tackle some projects in the garden. Exciting things are afoot...we are really becoming something of a butterfly farmette. About a month ago, I played with the idea of selling some of my excess seeds as a way to finance and support our conservation efforts. I started with a small offering of my Swan Plant. It's a fun type of milkweed, which grows very tall, can support a lot of Monarch caterpillars and produces unusual seed pods.
My goal was to make enough to buy monarch tags this season...my first year trying this! Within a week, I had sold out! Plenty to support the purchase of our tags. I hope to get more seeds saved for next year. And to include more variety for attracting all kinds of butterflies. A great way to see what I'm doing is to join my group that details our Monarch Waystation (plus tons of great info). You can always check my Etsy shop too and see if any small offerings of seeds have been listed again.
I really meant to share these gorgeous new totes earlier as these two prototypes sold out pretty quick at my retail location, Nest Interiors. This idea has been a longtime coming. I bought a similar tote a couple years ago and use it like crazy for daytrips. I wanted to recreate it but with my own spin. I ended up finding a pattern in a book we sold here at the store. Funny how that happens, it sat on the shelf forever; I picked it up and knew that was the bag. From there, it still seemed forever to have the pattern enlarged at a copy store. The fabric, too is from last year's trip to the Houston Ikea. Once all these parts and pieces came together, I realized I hated how the pattern came together. Technically, I thought it would fall apart with heavy use. So, I modified it and voila! A finished product two...long...years in the making!!!
Not to fear, more are being assembled and in different fabrics. Next up is a gorgeous maybe vintage Ralph Lauren rose print paired with a ticking stripe...giving this tote a totally new feel. I'll have this up on our Etsy next week if I can squeeze in some quality time with the sewing machine. But I have recreated my crochet farmers market tote in a delectable spring time blend.
Available now, but limited! Check it out and keep watch for new totes on my Etsy shop.
Tomorrow I celebrate a milestone: 10 years operating my brick and mortar shop, Nest Interiors. The words of my grade school best friend's mom have been resonating in my head, when I myself, turned 10, "Ohhhh double-digits!" And in the last couple months, I've thought about my past and future. I think I said before I don't want anymore of the competitive nonsense that I have to be THE store. I've just been trusting my gut and not taking it too personally if we just don't meet the mark for a handful of browsers.
It is really hard to not take things personally tho, especially when you wish customers understood its a miracle I'm here and this store exists. It's all here on the blog; there are, of course, the usual economic struggles, but the highlights...a hurricane extensively damaging our store the 1st year, a cancer diagnosis in 2010, and a high risk twin pregnancy in 2015. All this and I'm a terrible introvert. As I've said, this is a miracle. And honestly, if you ask, every brick and mortar has not only a dream but a story to tell you.
I am humbled by so many customers, now friends, that have reached out to me in the last couple weeks as we announced our big celebration and sale tomorrow. Every part of this business has been a reflection of me and it has made me who I am today...so thank you to all who have ever walk thru our doors or clicked our links.
So Tomorrow is the Day! We honor our 10 years, opening at 10am until 4pm.
Every purchase will choose an egg revealing a surprise discount between 10-30% off
A couple years ago, I stayed overnight at Rip Van Winkle Gardens. Which in itself is pretty cool, it was July and hotter than hell, but we had free range of the gardens all night. I remember thinking how beautiful the camellias must be in winter...
They were! We went this past weekend and timed it perfectly!
And cue the Japanese magnolias...rain is slated this week, so we witnessed its peak!
Also, among the blossoms, I found a rare buff bellied hummingbird and a few butterflies like this hairstreak.
They also have a large population of free range peacocks; which clearly makes every photograph that much more enchanting.
And of course, these two enjoyed that first taste of Spring. And a big first...we toured it without a stroller or wagon...who are these big kids now??!!!
And here's a quick weekly shop update:
Hudson Valley Seeds are back with a really fun update; I'm currently testing my favorites but you can pick your own on our main site.
The vintage items I gave you a peek last week, are now on Etsy; vintage quilt and repurposed washboard are ready to ship; plus spend $55+ and save 20% on your entire order thru February.
Next week (fingers crossed) I should be putting the finishing touches on a new line of totes. The first two examples are nearly done as I try bit by bit during nap time!
This week had me racing...two holidays, Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day back to back and the week began wintery gray and ended with the sun blazing, a balmy 75 degrees. Typical Louisiana.
This week I also began updating my Etsy with some vintage items from my private collection. I hate to part with any of it...but I have 3 year old twins now. If I don't, no one will get to enjoy any of it...as they are now climbing the walls. (send help!)
Sold in hours of listing, is this beautiful ceramic bird twine and scissor holder. I had dreams of a proper craft area with this beauty. I hope it enjoys its new home and owner. The turnover on Etsy has been this way for weeks. I post and usually that night or the next day it sells. So, here's a peek at some of next week's listings...
A very primitive quilt...I have loved it for so long; now it needs a new chapter in its story.
This vintage washboard was a real find a few years ago. The metal is actually magnetized for small magnets to be used and small cup hooks were added. A lovely catch all near a door.
Keep watch for some time mid week for these listings to go live. Also, as an incentive, I'm offering 20% off purchases $55+ on Etsy. You can also enjoy the new flat rate shipping of $5.95 on my brick and mortar's site: Nest Interiors. So many cute things were just listed there this week too.
This week felt like an endurance race. A private event, a huge shipment to the store via 18 wheeler, a new product introduction and of course, it's Louisiana, we had torrential rains almost daily!
Monday I led a private talk about butterflies and our monarch waystation to a local brownie troop. It was intense...7 and 8 year olds ask a lot of questions...all at once! It was an honor, really, to be asked, and so nice that their troop leader pulled our little garden out of obscurity in our town!
Then Tuesday, an unscheduled 18 wheeler dropped off a palate full of boxes taller than me. For the record I'm not very tall but when you are the only one unboxing them it's pretty much Mt. Everest.
Some new items arrived in floral supply like these gorgeous cotton and greenery picks. I was able to get these on Etsy; the other home decor items will have to wait until next week to be launched on our store's main website.
And silk-screened last week, last year's Honey Bee design on a new vintage style towel with a honey yellow bordered stripe. This was the first day we had sun long enough to photograph it! It's a great update and now on Etsy too.
I'm off for the next four days! I've got a birthday in there - woohoo. No big plans but relaxing, starting seeds for Spring and Netflix. Stay tuned, more new updates coming to both the Etsy and Nest Interiors website!