Friday, December 30, 2011

flower shop inspiration

While in Manhattan, I decided to visit stores that would give me ideas for my own, since I'm planning to do some painting and shelf-building (and you know I will be asking your advice in the coming weeks). I left the hotel and started walking downtown. Hustling down Lafayette Street with my eye on a vintage clothing store, this window caught my eye. 
And a pretty sign announcing the name of the store: Adore FloralThe owner kindly allowed me to take pictures.

 This wall is to the left when you walk through the door. I love the barnwood look of the shelves and the mix of items on display. The terrariums were especially fresh and pretty.

Here you can see the wall from the other side of the store. 

I wish I had a better picture of the most wonderful giraffe who is peering out the window.

Here you can see the other end of the store, and to the left, the counter behind which the floral work gets done. It smelled so wonderful in there--green and earthy and flowery and fresh.

It felt vibrant. I wish I could have fresh flowers in my store. Big buckets with bouquets of wildflowers like they have at the farmers market would be perfect.

 The displays of small items for sale are whimsical and creative.

I bought a coral colored deer. (Apparently I'm starting to collect deer.)

What I took away from Adore (besides thoughts of barnwood shelves) is that it feels alive and loved. Not all stores feel that way, and I think it's very important.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

things people like

I'm back in Massachusetts after our lovely long weekend in the Catskills and a couple of days in Manhattan. Thinking about the store... and what people like.

A nice story: A couple of weeks ago a woman put down a deposit on this cottage dresser--she was buying it as a surprise for her daughter. Saturday she came in the store with said daughter (who looks to be in her late teens/early twenties) and the daughter went straight to the dresser. She loved it! And she had no idea that her mother bought it for her. When she found out, she was very excited. Which made me and her mother very happy.

Little things: When cleaning out the storage room I came upon a bunch of these tiny figures, many of them on ice skates. I cut out some cardboard, glued sparkly paper on top and arranged little scenes. I guess people liked them, because several sold right away.

This sign has gotten plenty of laughs and comments. It's not for everyone, but somebody will fall in love with it and take it home.

Postcards, magnets, vintage banners, birds. Does it look appealing or junky? I sell a lot of them, so I guess people like them. I spent all day yesterday, walking through Manhattan, looking at stores. I found four that were very inspiring and gave me much to think about. I'll be writing about them here, but not today. Today I have post-holiday, home from a trip, fatigue. So I'm drinking tea, and doing this and that. I'll tell you this: I'm glad I didn't close the store. And you know what else? In December I sold 48 of those kooky potholders. Someone I know bought 10 for his friends and he told me that one woman liked hers so much she was going to take it to bed with her.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

hello from New York City

inspiration everywhere

Pictures today. Pictures and words later this week.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Welcome Winter

The new sign is finished, and I love it! It will go outside of the building, and hopefully will entice people to come in and take a look. I opened the store today, though I only stayed a few hours--I had to rush home and watch football, and yes they won--and Harriet came in and took over. But lots of people came by, and everyone seemed relaxed and happy. It's nice to have Christmas in a small town. There aren't many stores, no shopping malls, not much traffic. People know how to take it easy and enjoy holiday lights and music, food, friends and family. Last night we had friends over for dinner and ate latkes with sour cream and applesauce, chicken soup with matzoh balls, beef, broccoli and lemon mousse (all cooked by my husband and oldest son). Tonight we went out to Peekamoose, a wonderful restaurant in Big Indian, named after a nearby mountain. I had butternut squash soup and gnocchi. And tomorrow we'll make a delicious Christmas dinner. Monday and Tuesday we'll be in Manhattan, and then back to earth.
Thank you for accompanying me on this journey, my friends. I hope that you are warm, well fed, and in good company.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

keeping it simple (at home)

The White Rabbit Mantle

The Kitchen Table

The Tree
(Which in this photo appears to be tilting more than it really does. I think.)

The Cat (shown on the dining room table, but she likes to move around)
We are spending Christmas weekend in the Catskills, but since I will be in Massachusetts for most of the holiday season, I put up a tree here and did a bit of decorating.  I always put colored lights on a big pine tree outside. I've been taking walks in the evening, and enjoying the lights--they cheer up the long winter nights.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I went to an auction

I haven't been to an auction for a while. The store is full and business is slow, but I found myself missing them, and as I am in Massachusetts this weekend, I went to my favorite auction. I took some pictures as I unloaded the car and moved things to their various holding areas.
Nice old red bench with pegged legs.

Muffin stand.

Very old (early 19th century) yarn winder.
The base of the yarn winder--a big old hunk of wood.

A bunch of metal things.

Fabulous fifties chalkware figures. I lay the guy on top of the shrine. Not sure what it's for. A candle?

An old needlepoint and a newish oil painting. I also got a bunch of cool frames, which probably wasn't a good idea as I never know what to do with them.

I'm starting to collect these early photographic portraits. I find them interesting and moving in a strange way.

I have a fantasy of having occasional small exhibitions in the store, organized around a theme.

This is my favorite find. A toddler ice chair. The tot sits inside and the parents push it when skating.

What is your favorite?


Friday, December 16, 2011

keeping it simple (in the store)

The Cash Register
Calculator, drawer with metal box for bills, quarters, dimes and nickels; half of an earring box for pennies. One dollar bills get a designated envelope.

The Credit Card Machine
I call them in. The old fashioned way. It would be really old fashioned if I didn't accept credit cards. (Or have a phone or calculator. I guess there are degrees of old-fashionedness.)

The Sales Desk (my view)
If I had a computerized cash register and bar codes and such this would be the POS a/k/a Point of Sale.

The Sales Desk (your view)
Vintage bird, bear from the artisans guild downstairs, pinecone from the forest, plate for business cards, teacup for fake tattoos. There's a chair you can sit in too, if you want to talk to me, or even if you don't.

Accounting and Inventory
File folders and composition books.

 So now you know all my business secrets. 

Remember the sign I was hounding you about? Here's the final design:
It will be cream with dark green lettering, and an orange trim line. Nick, the sign guy, says it should be ready by Christmas. Of course I'll take a picture for you then.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

a little bit of fun

A while back, when I wrote about this yellow table and green chairs, Mise commented, "The yellow table looks indomitably cheerful, as though it were waiting expectantly for a group of happy children for sandwiches and jelly." Since then, I've thought of it, in my American way which is not as lyrical as the Irish way, as The Peanut Butter and Jelly table. And this weekend, I looked around at the furniture sitting in the store, and did this:

This table is mahogany, but has drop leaves and is small and rather sleek.
(Inside I wrote, "good for writing novels and cleaning shotguns.")

Not very elegant, but neither am I. And it was fun. So thank you Mise, for the inspiration, and the rest of you for being such good company and inspiring me in your own special way(s).