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!


ann at greenoak said...

looking good! love all your pics... ann

Urban Farmhouse said...

this was a "laugh out loud" post...very funny, thank you!


The Attic said...

Oh My...I know you posted this long ago, but I just read it tonight. You really are a hoot! I knew there was something I liked about you right off the bat at Boutique Industry...LOL. Have a question about a photo frame you have pictured if you don't mind sharing your source. It's blue and it has a phrase that I can't actually make out..just love the frame though.