Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My darling little protoge!

Along with another successful event last night, a darling friend and long time follower, Amy, came in with her ever so grown up and stylish daughter. Rachael has been shopping in my store since she was a toddler and many a cute thing has gone home to her room and her mother's home!

Rachael was the youngest guest to attend and one of the most attentive! The class was the annual and well attended (25+), "Tray Chic". We talked and walked the store discussing many trays that I had designed with holiday themes. Silver trays, metallic leather croc trays, rustic trays, metal trays, basket trays, mirrored trays...just to name a few!

Rachael was on a mission! She scoured the store for her favorite things, assembled them on a silver tray that she had brought in with her, and asked for my opinion. There wasn't a person in the store who wasn't totally taken by this darling girl's ideas and talent! (BTW, she has announced that she wants to work at the store in due time, and my thoughts of retirement nearly went by the wayside in anticipation!)

We snapped this photo of her displaying her creation and I thought you would enjoy seeing it!

So there you have it! We talked and I made the most minor suggestions for change. Rachael had her own opinion about scale and placement...all good! 

I'm thinking this young follower might be worth waiting for!

She was, indeed, the hit of the night.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Annual First Peek Event!

I had my annual First Peek event tonight to reveal my 2013 Holiday Collection. It is a most anticipated event and throughout the day people were calling to sign up...we had 50+ friends and new customers attend and it kept us all on our toes ! I had a great team of helpers, Ann, Kelly, Janie, Lisa and myself.

We took a short tour of the store and started shopping, gathering piles. Baskets with names appeared everywhere and we all ran all over the store locating that certain Santa, tree or spray that were being sought.

Tables were bare, mantles stripped, trays emptied and baskets hoarded by the end of the night. Long long lines of patient friends...something good to eat and plenty of places to take a seat. Wow. What a night! Some of my favorite things sold out...new friendships were made while waiting in line and plans to come back for something else were overheard.

It was a great culmination of hours and hours of work by all my cute staff. You'll need to stop in to see what you missed!

Looooooong lines...

Piles of favorites ( we sold three of these large square mirrored trays!) with name tags attached...

Reflection of bags waiting to be checked out....

More lines wrapping around the cash desk...

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Empty tables needing tender care..

My favorite giant pine cones stripped from the mantles...

...tray gone and contents scattered on the table...

Cloches emptied...

Lanterns bare ...

Someone here was musing their selections...

Bags were filled and waiting to checkout...

Tables stripped of details...

Pretty much the entire store had to be filled in and primped! Thanks to a talented and dedicated staff, we put the store back together...but the stockroom is looking empty! If you want a selection of santas, burlap deer, giant pine ones or shatterproof ornaments in fabulous citron and berry, you'd better come right over.

I don't see it lasting many weeks!

A good time was had by all. My clients /friends are darling...staff too. And now I'm ready to snuggle into my covers. * sigh*

Come see the magic.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

First Retail Reactions!

Opening day after the Christmas setup is complete is always full of mixed emotions. After the nearly impossible number of hours it takes to design and implement the holiday collection, it is hard to see it depleted and "disturbed" if you will by purchasers!

Today was no exception...

This was a favorite color story for my 2013 Christmas collection...chartreuse and white, punctuated with several blues from teal to navy. We did not design a tree in these colors and purchased tabletop inventory only. In January 2013, it was certainly not the thrust in design that we saw in the October 2013 furniture market! We just happened to come up with the colors together. In hindsight, more of a collection would have gone over well...

Friday at the end of day, a client came in and purchased a good bit of this impact color...those who know me well know that I was both reluctant and disappointed to sell the new offerings so quickly!

Today he called to request the rest of the collection...really??! A weeks worth of hard work and my favorite visuals gone...before my First Peek event even happens...good grief.

We also had this cute client (being helped out by one of my new employees, Brian), who made the 2 hour trip just to shop and be inspired by the new holiday collection just out. That's quite a few bags I must say! Both she and I wished she lived closer!! After filling her basket with multiples of my favorites, she spotted one of our hand glittered branches. I had tucked it into a vase with other greens and branches and she begged to purchase it. Linda sought my blessing...again, with some distress. But after all, driving two hours is quite an honor for Black-eyed Susan.

I guess more glass glittered branches will be forthcoming for purchasing!

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All in all it was a very good day with many accolades for the hard work and long hours of the past week.

I guess I'd better get used to it. The perfect stories and beauty lasted only a few hours from the time the key locked the door late Friday night until Saturday morning at store opening.


Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Friday, November 1, 2013

Done. Almost...

It was with a sigh of relief and an early departure (9:45pm!) that we closed the door behind us. We reflect back on our week and collectively clocked 196 man hours of brainpower...manpower and creative moxie. And that doesn't include Sneelock's countless hours, or the combined dedicated efforts of 6 other supportive staff members.

Tonight as we were wrapping up, I made the comment to Linda that it was a good thing the work involved and the pain at the end of each day was similar to childbirth, in that by the time it is time to do it again next year, you have forgotten it and can face it again! She laughingly said that she had just been thinking the same thing last night!!

The store looks beautiful. Garlands galore, wreaths unmatched, trees dressed, lanterns filled, mantles draped, windows filled...it looks beautiful.

Here are a few last photos to tempt you to visit us...it is, the most wonderful time of the year at Black-eyedSusan. come see the magic.

Cropped shot of a favorite mantle...

Linda's glitter encrusted branch fastened to the ceiling and draped with glass icicles...

Document art with organic inspired garland, pods, snowy pine one spray and twigs...

One of dozens of sizes of glass cloches filed with snowy birds, an ever popular motif.

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A personal favorite pine branch and drapey evergreen housed in a beautiful mercury vase.

Mirrored tray filled with holiday objects that becomes a centerpiece....

Oops! We left this glittery swag "Noel" in attached and in a heap...perhaps tomorrow.

It's been a long week. Tomorrow we will check in first thing in the morning, tweak the final finishing touches and head for the Airport for Linda's flight home. I could never have done it without her.

Here's to the start of an inspiring Holiday 2013 season. It's a beauty.

Another late night...

We are tired.

So tired, I can't think of a clever title...

Check list;
Complete orange room
Details in organic section
Fill buckets with sprays and organize in place
Review rug market order
Plug in trees for easy reach
Vacuum again
Buy a robot for trips to the stock room
Clear the display window for tonight
Primp trees for display window
Lighting plan for window
Glitter branches for inside display
Hang lights in display window
Hang giant snowflakes in window
Head for home

A the end of the day, we began the main display window. Linda and I designed the window last January and we always look forward to the execution of the long awaited plan...

We opened and studied the recommendations for the exlarge to medium hanging lights we ordered...

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Here is a shot of the grove of trees waiting to be placed in the window...

Here is the grove of frosted trees beginning to form...

From the inside, a look with lighted globes Nd giant flocked snow flakes! So cute. It's really better in person. Come see for yourself!

check list completed.

...clock on dashboard upon arriving home...Oh. Dear.

One more day to reach completion...Nd most likely, one more night...