Monday, December 21, 2009

Sale is a 4-letter word

Merry Monday! Now time for a meaty post.

After your first 10 minutes in retail, you start to realize there is something up with this SALE word. I call it a 4 letter word for a good reason, and I'm going to get up on my pink soap box and tell you why.

We live in a culture that is incredibly sale-obsessed and sale-saturated. In general, I am opposed to sales. "Oh, of course you would be, you're a retailer, you want money!" you might be thinking. Nope. Although, we all want and need a bit of money, no? Why I hate sales is because they are contributing to the bastardization of American retail. Sure, everyone loves a deal. But there are deals, and then there are SALES.

Sales are becoming more and more tricks to get you to buy. You are "saving". What are you saving? A so-called discount off of an imaginary inflated price. You think the big box stores are out to help you? You think THEY are taking a hit so you can get a deal? No, they are making you THINK you are getting a deal.

There are three ways that stores can price merchandise.

  1. Set a price that is in line with current market value of an item, assuring a profit for the store to maintain operation, payment of the vendor for the item they manufactured, and payment for the shipment of the item to the location. This price is fair to the consumer AND fair to the retailer. Because of this, to have a 'sale', and reduce the price means the retailer is the one taking a hit--and it is best to avoid doing that unless the item is damaged or outdated in some way.
  2. Set a price the exact same way--but give in to pressure to 'have sales', and thus cut margins down to bare bones level, jeopardizing the health of the retailer.
  3. Set a price that far, far exceeds the fair market value of an item, take a large percentage 'off' of that price, make the consumer think they have 'saved' all of that money, and the final price is closer to what the true market value of the item is.

Method #1 is the one most favored by the independent mom-and-pop single location stores. Method #3 is the one most favored by big box mass market retailers--you know who they are. Look at your Sunday circulars for a clue.

Remember that retailers set the prices for their items. When I first opened, a local shop that was around for just a few months let me know how I should do things. I should mark everything way up and then have sales. I thought that was stupid, and I still do. Why play this game with customers?

When you're running a store for a while, you start to see that some customers expect you to play the big box sale game. They don't get it that it's a brainwashing to make you think you are saving money. Instead, if you 'dont' have sales', you are a greedy expensive store, selfish and anal. Poppycock! What happened to being FAIR about pricing? They expect you to give it all away, yet they still expect to see you there so they can come in for their fix. And who pays the rent when the inventory is given away, huh?

It's not something you think about unless you own a store, or unless someone who owns a store writes a big ranting blog post on it for you to read. I was definitely bitten by that SALE bug many times in my past. I once went to a store where it was a week before Christmas, and all their Christmas was 50% off. Oh, was I excited!!! WOW! And now when I look back on it, it occurs to me that $25 was a rather high price for a Christmas tree ornament I was happy to get for $12.50. It should've been $12.50 to start with--but the allure of getting away with getting a $25 item for 50% off was too much.

And so retailers continue to mark up to mark down. Every week someone asks me about sales. What's better--an item marked $20 on sale for 75% off or the same item marked $5? I know most people don't want to think about math when they shop, but you really need to.

I was reading our online local newspaper this weekend, and read an article about upscale retailer Von Maur. I love Von Maur, it's a lovely shopping experience, and they have great stuff, and no, you don't have to be rich to shop there. The article, which you can read in full here, says...

They’re also known for carrying high-end merchandise that doesn’t go on sale. Instead, items go through a series of permanent markdowns.
“It’s always been our strategy to price fairly and not play the (sale) rollercoaster,” said Amy Davis, marketing manager for the Iowa-based chain.

That means days like Black Friday don’t play out differently in the store, which opened at its normal time and featured fresh markdowns for customers - but none of the coupon- or sale-induced shopping frenzy that co-anchors Sears, Macy’s and JCPenney generated.

“Being non-promotional and staying true to what we do has been successful for us,” Davis said. “… There’s no need to change that strategy. We think customers appreciate that. It sounds like a simple approach, but it works for us.”

Yes! Yes! Finally a major retailer comes out and says this, and talks about the 'sale rollercoaster'. This craziness has to stop. So no, I don't have 'sales', because I don't play the game. I price fairly and if something is past it's prime, it's marked down. I am not going to take a $75 lamp, mark it at $250, and then have it ON SALE for 50% off. As we said in the early '90s, "Homey don't play dat".

Monday, December 14, 2009

At long last, after 7 years of futzing around, I have the website o'my dreams for the shop! Please visit: It has been so hard for me to come up with a style and design that I liked, and figure out the whole e-commerce shebang, but I did it. I got down to business on Dec. 3rd and decided or I would be very bitter with myself. So I toiled and toiled--and completely forgot to post here, sorry, so much for my "write every day!" plans! I am so grateful for my past life in web design, it all came back to me, and I really like how it turned out!

In spite of being a frivolous girl with a frivolous shop, I like 'clean' websites, that don't have a ton of superfluous graphics (probably because of living with dial-up at home for nearly 12 years at 24kbps!) Black and white is my favorite color combination, so I decided that with some touches of frivolous pink was the way to go.

I will continually add new things to the shop, and I am happy to offer free shipping at a $75 order ALL THE TIME, to shoppers in the lower 48 states! There is still time to ship before Christmas, the cut-off date is Friday the 18th!

I am so excited, and of course, smacking myself for not doing this sooner! My computer files are filled with half-finished designs over the years. I guess it just has to be the right time for something to happen.

Just so everyone knows, the 'real' shop will be closed December 25-January 19. No, I'm not going on an exotic vacation! This is my time to organize life, organize the shop, and catch up on sleep, family, and life. I have been open after Christmas the past two years, and I'll be honest: I hate it. It's depressing. People who rail against Christmas being commercialized must have been out shopping on the 26th. It isn't about the holiday spirit anymore. Yes, you make money, but happiness in business isn't ALL about money. After a difficult time this year losing my dad (one month after Christmas in '08), I just need some time to regroup and spend with my family and appreciate MY Christmas, not the retail Christmas life!

Of course, the online shop will be open alllll the time, and we will ship on a regular schedule, so if you need something, fear not!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

No time to post?

It's almost midnight, running out of time for my daily post.

What to do??

How about a CUTE PUG PHOTO! Yeah!

Here is the lovely Miss Penelope in her festive winter turtleneck sweater! No animals were harmed during the dressing process, however, one human met up with a pug claw in a painful way. But you have to suffer to have beautiful pugs!

The turtleneck has to be rolled down or else Penny chews it. Hopefully she will outgrow that bad habit soon (as well as her other dozen or so bad habits!) so I can buy her lots and lots of sweaters, because she is the most adorable stuffed sausage in them! Nokie doesn't seem to have much of an interest in clothing, but he IS a boy.

I can't wait for Christmas, my little monkeys are going to be spoiled!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Favorites around the Shop

There are always some things around the shop that I get especially smitten with. I'll be featuring a few of them over the month!

I have carried Crabtree & Evelyn ever since I opened, and their Noel scent is truly the smell of Christmas for me. This year they came out with a new scent, Windsor Forest, and I am in love! It is the perfect Christmas tree/evergreen/woodsy Christmas smell. I have a candle open on the shelf and have to pause and sniff if it everytime I walk by. The large jar candle in the snowflake-patterned mint green glass is $29 and the reed diffuser set is $36. It's great, because even if you have a 'fake' Christmas tree, your house will smell like you spent all day searching the tree farm for the perfect fresh Balsam!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

31 Days of Christmas Blogging

I know that November is the month that you are supposed to blog every day, but I missed that--so I am going to try it this month! That's right, I have chosen the busiest month of the year to embark on a new project that involves me doing something every single day. Ha! But I will give it the old college try.

One of my resolutions for '10 (or 0-10, as my mom and I jokingly call it) is to be more of a net junkie and blog, get my online shop going, and generally associate more in the online world. After being a certified Net Goddess and having, like, 10 domain names, in the late '90's, I let all that slack off when starting the shop. I also let other things slack off, like decorating my home, exercising, and boys. I told a customer yesterday I was married to my shop, and she said it was a great relationship. It is, we never fight and I get to hen-peck it all I want.

I'm going to throw up 10 Random Facts about Me to get things rolling and then get back to this really kickin' display I am going in my glass counter!

1. I have owned a Jacuzzi for over 2 years and used it only 3 times. It's scary. It's so big and bubbly.

2. I love deep meaningful conversations and despise small talk and having to come up with something trite to say.

3. I love coffee and aspirin at this time of year.

4. Balsam firs are my favorite Christmas trees.

5. I nickname people I really like and also ones I really dislike.

6. I like it when people think I am 16, but sometimes I'm rather insulted.

7. Life is too short not to be happy, and I get really mad when people aren't happy. Ha ha!

8. My favorite charity is Pug Rescue. Any pug rescue. Pugs are truly my soul mate dogs.

9. I refuse to sell wall sconces and anything that says "Welcome Friends".

10. I love January.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Shops I Have Loved

I am pretty sure I was born to be a shopkeeper. From being related to a retail giant (Sears--and no, they don't give me a discount), to a childhood spent putting price tags on items in my bedroom, to teenage years not full of angst but full of trips to shops, decorating my bedroom--no, what I really did was merchandise it, to learning the joys of antiquing and painting furniture, I have always been destined to have a shop. I always will, one way or the other.

I was thinking of the early shops I loved that are no longer in existence. My love for vintage Christmas was discovered at age 15, in a cigarette smoke-filled basement, at a little shop called Fireside Antiques. I wonder if anyone else remembers it. It was in Chelsea, on M-52, in a ranch house that is now gone. It is just an empty lot now. You'd go down to the basement, and the walls down were lined with vintage pictures. It was owned by a lady who smoked like a stove and read novels down there. It was dark and gloomy, but for me it was filled with magic. My mom and I would spend hours there Christmas shopping, while the gal smoked and smoked. I bought antique postcards and Christmas ornaments there, and a wonderful little silver tree. And I don't think they smelled like smoke, either!

When I was 13 (c. 1991) my mom and I loved to visit Manchester, and the old Mill there. It was also filled with shops. Being 13, I loved the one that had candy, but the one that impacted me the most was called April Victoria. It was owned by a young lady named April, who put herself through college with the money she made from her shop. OH, to have a shop in the 1990's! She made lots of things with dried flowers (this was when dried eucalyptus was at the height of fashion), and soaps, and brownie mixes. She crafted fairy houses, and I remember one was $350, and it was something else! I would buy Victorian stickers and Flower Fairy books and potpourri made with dried lavender buds. I would so love to be able to transport myself back to that time, being 13, in my favorite Guess jeans, ha ha, strolling about that shop again. I had never seen anything like it.

People wonder how do I 'do' this shop. I get prosaic questions about how I dust (ya know I just love that one, eh?), how do I keep track of it, where do I find this stuff, HOW DO I DO IT?!?! said with looks of utter confusion.

Everyone was born to do something. Shopkeeping is my thing. It just is. It's what I am. I hate retail sometimes. I never hate shopkeeping. I hate bitchy customers, credit card processing fees, and inventory that arrives broken. I never hate shopkeeping.

All that old magic that I felt in my younger days, I feel in my shop. I try to make it magical. I hope that I am impacting some people the way those other shops impacted me. Maybe I will inspire another young girl, one who will grow up into a time when she can put herself through college off her shop--goodness knows you can't do that these days!

I like it when people feel the magic here. I don't really have much use for the ones who don't. My shop is definitely different, yes. It's not a retail conglomerate or a faceless corporation. My shop is for the Kindred Spirits who "get it". It's on a completely different level than merely being a 'store', much like those other two shops were for me.

That's what I am thinking about today while putting out some lovely vintage Christmas candy dishes. Photos to come...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone out there is having a wonderful holiday! Here, the turkey is roasting in the oven (we eat very late...usually 9pm-ish...once we ate at 11pm!) and I am enjoying a cozy relaxing day with my family before the madness of Black Friday descends on all retailers! I am excited that I got everything done that I wanted to get done early yesterday, so did not have to go in to the shop at the last minute today!

Speaking of tomorrow, we will be open at the crack of...10am! That's early enough for me, none of that 4am junk! We will have a special sale this weekend, so come on in to check that out!

I still need to take photos of most of my displays, but here are a few Christmas teasers!

Have a great weekend and shop 'til you drop!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Witches' Night Out!

Thursday night the 29th (tomorrow!) we are holding a Witches Night Out at the shop from 4-9pm! Trick or treat for a sale, get the last of our Halloween goodies before they are gone, and wear your witch hat for an extra treat! Ample broom parking out front! Warlocks welcome, too, ha ha.
The Christmas mayhem starts on Friday the 30th...oy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall and Halloween around the shop

A few photos of the original displays for fall and Halloween!

I LOVE this kitty. Just sold him yesterday to a sweet customer!

Hard to believe that we start doing Christmas in ONE WEEK. Where does the year go??

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Talk first, pictures next!

Hi there, abandoned blog! Anyone still out there? Gosh, this always happens with me! I am the queen of unfinished projects! Of course I always have the best intentions of blogging, but I always get distracted.

So it's been almost two months since my last post, what I have been doing around the shop lately? Well, as I left you hanging with my 'big news', what I decided to do back in August is change shop #2, aka The Whatever Shop, into a home staging studio. I am moving all retail biz to Frivolities, and expanding there! Yes, I am going to open up a SECRET ROOM in November, possibly Black Friday, or earlier, if I can get it all done.

I have taken down the sign at Whatever, which of course, is putting people a-buzz! No, no, it's not doomsday. As small towns are wont to do, the gossip is flowing. And that has me addressing it all here to clear it up. I simply did not need TWO stores, while trying to run my staging business out of a cramped little office in one of them. I never meant to have two stores, and I like it much better having things separate. The worst part for me with the two stores was deciding which 'child' got the new toys. Or having something in one store that I really needed in another. Or people just being so confused by which was which that it got tiring explaining over and over.

So...the Central Street house is still my business it's just not retail. Easy, right? Yeah!

Pretty soon there will be a sign up that says STELLAR INTERIORS. I am still deciding on the layout of it. I am going to stage the house and use that as the office for my staging. I am also setting up an art studio in the back for my wholesale biz, which is not really going to get going until January. I have had an office/art room in the SECRET ROOM at Frivolities and all that is getting moved over there to make room for MORE retail space at Frivs. Whoopee!

And that was my big news. I first had that idea in June 2008! But I got busy and just got lulled into the status quo of two stores. One day in August my brain exploded and I just had to change everything. That's how I roll.

Time for Gratuitous Pug Photo:

What an angel!

Do not be deceived...I bought her a shirt for Halloween that says "LITTLE TERROR", ha ha!

I have loads of fall and Halloween shop photos on my home computer, and I will tie a string around my pinky to remember to post those tonight!

October has gone by ridiculously fast! Less than two weeks until we break out the Christmas around here!

Thanks for reading, if you still are!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Something big... brewing.

Stay tuned!

(Something has been brewing for two months, I just changed what exactly that is! Confused? Just wait!)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New displays! And FAQ's.

Getting ready for fall and the upcoming season always means a big shake-up of displays, which is one of my favorite things to do. Here are a few I have been working on at Frivolities the past few days. They are never really finished enough to my taste but after a while I just have to say STOP! and move on to a new one!

Love those chubby little birdies!

Damask-patterned candles and jeweled frames.

I am on a mirrored-perfume-tray kick lately. I have a bunch of fabulous vintage ones at The Whatever Shop, but this beaded one is at Frivolities.

I think this display is closest to my personal taste out of any I have ever done. I love crystals, pink and aqua, white furniture and roses galore. I could just eat this display, but it looks high in calories.

Classic black and white. I LOVE black and white color combinations in decor and fashion. It's completely timeless and adaptable to any trend and any style. Why yes, that is one of my old Vera Bradley cabinets being put to good use!
Even though I have been harping for what, the past month? about putting out fall...there is still no fall to be seen. And here it is almost August. I am still early, but this is a prime example of how long it takes after I first decide to do it! Unfortunately for me, I got some fabulous ideas this afternoon that involve moving my mammoth fireplace and mantel...ugh. I have never moved that thing--probably time to jazz it up a little. I don't even really see it anymore, and it's across from the counter.
I went on an antique-buying trip this afternoon and am zonked! Found lots of great things, most of which will be appearing at Whatever in the coming days. I find this posting lacking in my otherwise sarcastic wit and sardonic humor, and that is bothering me. So to spice things up, I thought I would post the answers to some of my FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. *applause*
I get asked the same questions over and over, sometimes daily I get them all at once, which is enough to make me want to run screaming towards the nearest Dairy Queen. I almost want to just print out the answers and tape them behind the counter.
In no particular order, I will take a stab at answering them, for the world to see!
1. How do you dust?
Oh yeah, you've probably heard me gripe about this before. Is that a real question? Does the questioner really want to know the blow-by-blow description of how I do it, 'cuz that's a pretty dull thing to talk about, isn't it? I answer differently depending on my mood and how the question is asked. Various answers I throw out:
--My poolboy does it for me. With his big feather duster. *innocent look*
--I attach a feather duster to my pug's tail and let her run around.
--Dust? I don't dust. *achoo*
I am starting to think that the folks who ask that assume I go around and dust each and every item in the store, every day. HA HA HA HA. Yeah, sure. No, seriously, this is how I dust:
When I change a display, I dust the table with a Swiffer. I go *swoosh* and it is done. I do not dust every item. It doesn't get dusty.
Yeah, that's pretty much it. Not rocket science...just a Swiffer. I wash table cloths. I vaccuum as needed. I am definitely not a dust chaser. My great-aunt was a dustchaser. She also had a husband AND a boyfriend! Cool, huh? *snort* So you see, in my family, chasing dust was not something to be regarded highly. You dust when you see it, and you don't dust when you don't see it. Works for me.
2. How's bizzzzzzzzzzzness?

People ask this for two reasons. Either they really love you and hope you are doing okay and will stick around, or they are sniffing out gossip. You know, if you are standing in the store, the lights are on and I'm opening is good enough, eh? Men love to ask this question, usually while jangling change in their pockets, and desperate to share their Male Business Wisdom with the allegedly hapless chick-shopgirl in pink Chucks. I have a few questions I could ask THEM, but that wouldn't be ladylike. *wink* It's funny the things that people use as barometers of how your business is. For example:
  • Not much in the store? You don't have money to buy inventory and are going out of business.
  • Lots in the store? Your inventory isn't selling and you are going out of business.
  • A blank space on the floor? OMG, you must be going out of business.
  • The floor is filled with inventory? OMG, you must be going out of business.
  • No customers in the store at that specific minute? Going out of business.
  • 6 people in the store at once? Only 6 customers, you must be going out of business!
  • Closed early one day? Going out of business.
  • Open more hours? Desperate, clearly, because you are going out of business.
  • Have something on sale? Oh yeah, going out of business!
  • Not having any sales? You're going out of business.

I could go on and on. But I am busy snickering now at how I have just tripped up the search engines with "going out of business" and Frivolities. Woo hoo! That'll give 'em something to talk about!

One day last fall, I had a box delivered. It held some sort of garden arch and was heavy and I left it on the sidewalk at Frivolities to unpack rather than dragging it inside. So this gal comes along...looks at the box...and asks me if I AM GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!!! *pounds head repeatedly on keyboard* Why why why.

One day in December '07, I was closing early to go to a friend's dinner party. So I put up a note "Closing at 5pm tonight!" A couple of weeks later, a gal comes in--oh, she thought I had GONE OUT OF BUSINESS because the note said I was CLOSING at 5pm.

Bizarre, bizarre obsession. I guess it's human nature, like the gawker delays on the expressway when a semi drives into a gasoline tanker and it explodes. Everyone wants a peek at the carnage. And, of course, the after-the-carnage SALE BONANZA that follows every retailers' demise. Everybody loves the feeding frenzy, the picking over the dead rotting carcass of 75% off.

Short answer: I am not going out of business. I have future 5-year plans for my business concept that are *slightly different* than what I have today, but what I am doing is *slightly different* than what I was doing 5 years ago. I have been a business-girl all my life, and that's not changing. I'm not one of those chicks who was all like, "Ooh a store! Fun! I can buy pretty things and be pretty all day with all the pretty pretty people and pretty pink sugary sweet prettiness! And it's all okay because I married a very rich man and this is just FUN for me and...what? I have to WORK?!"

Owning your own retail business is a wonderful hell. You don't do it for fun. It's not fun all the time. It is a serious business. Yeah, I'm selling something that is prettier than, say, pork bellies or spark plugs, but it is still a job. If you think it's fun, let's talk about that lovely little "S CORPORATION INCOME TAX FORM 1020" that pops up in the mail every year like a belated Christmas gift from your least favorite relative. Ugh. Or the cosmetic surgery you're gonna need because you thought it was a REALLY! GREAT! IDEA! to use your hips to shove a 350 pound cabinet across the floor and did you know that can leave permanent bruising? Yep.

But it is the WORK that you LOVE. Retail is completely, literally in my blood. Go back on some branch of my family tree, and there you will find Richard Sears, one of many Richard Sears', but the one, the SEARS, of Sears fame. So this dude was working at a train station, the family story goes, and he found this unclaimed shipment of watch parts, and decided he could sell them and turn a profit. Cha-ching. Sears was born. (With the help of that Roebuck guy.) And there started the family line of sales-hungry retailers (if they didn't become mad scientists.)

I will save more of the FAQ's for another night...there are some good ones in there!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Late Night

I am incredibly geeked to be blogging from the comfort of my sunroom...the dark shadow of my new satellite against the even darker night sky. After almost 12 years of having only dial-up accessible out in the boonies, being able to work at home and accomplish things online without waiting 20 minutes for a page to load is incredible! I'm in the 21st century now! There's some proof that postcard marketing can work--I got a postcard from the satellite company about a week ago, and voila, they've now got me locked in 2 years of doing business with them! If only we could all operate that way, ha ha.

Both shops are closed tomorrow (er, today), July 23rd. It's my mom's 4-times-a-year cancer check and we always make a fun day of it to compensate. Lunch out and antiquing!

Shop things I am looking forward to:
  • Getting ready for fall--the first of the fall goodies will be making their appearance at Frivolities on August 1st! I am moving furniture and inventory frantically to make room. Every year I think I have bought the best stuff, but this year, I think it's really the best!
  • Getting Whatever ready for Dexter Daze. It is a crazy wild time. It was so much fun last year! The mobs and the party atmosphere, and of course the sales aren't too shabby, either! I am going to experiment with some new displays that are not my usual...the freedom of being called Whatever!
  • I am getting ready to finally unveil a new, completed website, after years of 'coming soon' pages and my fickle design-mind changing all the time. Online shopping will follow *very* soon, too!

Sending this out into the sky now...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Photos from The Whatever Shop, aka Shop 2 and a heartfelt confession

The second baby never gets as many photographs taken. I made sure to go around tonight and snap some pics at The Whatever Shop, after plumping up some displays getting ready for the weekend.

Fear not, that is just the Christmas room. I don't really put out Christmas in the main part of the shop this early. The Christmas room is surprisingly popular, though. It helps that we're just 1.5 hours south of Bronner's, though, and many Michiganders are used to the idea of year-round Christmas!

Important notice: Frivolities shop hours are officially 'by chance' until the end of August. What does that mean? It means that I can't promise regular to-the-minute hours (*snort* when could I ever?!), so have put this up instead of an hours sign. Mind you, the hours are *generally* noon-6 Tuesday-Saturday. I am open more often than I am not. If you are coming from afar, I recommend calling the shop to check on hours that day. The number is (734) 424.4438. The Whatever Shop is open Thursday-Saturday noonish-6. Closed on July 23rd.

I am working on a huge, life-altering project right now. It's terrific, but it is taking a lot of time and I have to accomodate other people's schedules who are involved in it, so I can't promise set hours. Besides, it's summer. Not exactly hot-hot-hot shopping time. My hours have been kerflooey ever since my dad died--really, pretty much the past three years, ever since he got sick--and I have been dealing with that. I love my shops more than ever, the spirit is always willing, but sometimes the body is not cooperating. I have gotten to the point where I am publicly acknowledging that I am not going to make myself sick to be open on a day if I physically cannot do it. I'm not a big old chain or a massive personality-less outfit. It's a personal, homegrown, family-owned shop. (Both of them. I know there are two, but it is basically one shop in two places.) I often make the mistake of working too intensely one day (decorating until 3am...) and then paying for it the next. I have had a lot of days where the ole bod says STOP IT AND LET ME REST. I have learned to listen to it. I ignore it in December, but in the summer? I'm all ears.

I didn't mean to turn this into a personal explanation, but maybe that's good. I have been very affected by my dad's death...sometimes it just hits me in the face and knocks me down. It got to me so much I ended an entire CAREER I had been looking forward to starting. (real estate) I had a lifelong interest in real estate and was making it a reality last year, got my license, was working for a brokerage, was gung-ho, all set to be a "top producer" and looking forward to closing my first million in sales someday, all while running two chic boutiques. I have a stack of letters I was writing to FSBO's (for sale by owners) to try to get their listings back on September 30, 2008. My dad had his mortal injury on October 1st. Those letters were never mailed. I never got back into it. I completely lost that part of me.

Decorating is in my very soul, so I never lost it for the shops. If anything, I have felt more inspired, more creative, more into it than ever. But the emotional fatigue kicks me in the ass somedays and that is that. I have also realized my shop's importance in the know, it's not that big a deal. And here I, the mother of that shop, am saying that. So it was closed one day. So what. It will be open again. No one needs anything I am selling. Of course it's fun to look in shops. Of course it's disappointing if a shop you want to browse in is closed when you happen to be out. But there is a reason why. My real, true customers understand and have been supportive. The others? Ah, I'm such a sweet old-fashioned girl, I won't write the things that pop into my head. *smile*

It reminds me of this one chick a couple of years ago who gave me a tongue-lashing for being closed one day. I think it was 15 minutes after that that the police officer I had called through 911 was opening up her bag to reveal over $200 of merchandise she'd been stuffing in there. LOL! I guess she had planned her heist earlier and I had "ruined" her plans by daring to be closed. Ooh.

Like dear Aunt Eliza says, "Empty vessels make the most noise!" Isn't that the truth!

Well, that was rather fun to write. And all I expected to do tonight was post some pics! I should write more of my deep, dark retail thoughts. I've got a few. Stay tuned. ;)