Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More From Market

These are stunning! At the Stylemax market you can go into one tiny showroom that has a zillion different lines of accessories! I was just about to walk out when these little beauties caught my eye. I wish I could have taken a better picture.

I couldn't quite catch the wonderful details such as the birds and leaves that adorn these necklaces. Each is a piece of art to wear.

I'm not sure what the ivory soap and towels meant to the display but it sure was cute!

New Finds and Ideas

I just wanted to share something with you from my home that I love. Old typewriters! I have noticed that while I do love all things vintage, I'm now leaning towards more industrial items. I love the color and labels.

Another fun thing that we've done on our book shelves is take vintage bookends and turn them around. The books are leaning against the walls of the shelves while the bookends are on opposites sides. This way you can actually see them.

At Christmas I put red and cream Christmas balls in the typewriters. So festive!

Now I'm seriously on the look out for old black telephones.

I do have one great typewriter that is similiar to the above at the shop if you're interested. It's 75.00.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Market Surprises in Chicago

Take my breath away!
So I poo-pooed the Merchandise Mart. Sorry. What a surprise! I turned the corner and look what I found... this FABULOUS vendor with all things French. I had to post a few photos of her items. Enjoy.

Take a look at the pillows. If you look at the floor of the photo you will see these wonderful bamboo mats that have French images screened onto them. She says they'll last forever.

Just looking at these photos makes me want to order more! You can look forward to seeing these in May.

Remember in my pre market post when I mentioned the 90% of stuff I had to get through to get to the good stuff? Let's just say I passed on the blow up yard ornament of a life size John Deer tractor with Santa on top... and the Elvis paraphenalia.... and oh, the wooden toilet seats with deer carvings on the top.

Monday, January 12, 2009

To Market To Market

Have you ever wondered what it's like to go to the retail trade shows? Every year I anticipate them with great excitement. What was hot last year, what are the trends this year and what will I buy that will set me apart from all the other retailers that you have to choose from?
This year is a bit different. While last July was our best ever, we just tanked with the rest of the world in this new economy.
My buying has to be different this year. What can I find that will have a good price point, yet still set me apart in my own displays? Should I cut way back? Probably. Do I want to? Nope.
I am going to Chicago this weekend to visit with Andi from Neesh. Those of you that know the line know that it is about the best clothing line around. It is perfect for work and play, as each piece has great style and just enough tweaking to make it flirty and fun without going over the top. Neesh never dissappoints.
I am also checking out the new Pine Cone Hill. As always the line is limitless, but I did notice that the neutrals, matelasse's and the Willow Wear were the top runners. Interesting to me was that nary a quilt was sold last season.

I will tell you a huge concern about Chicago. The showrooms are closing left and right! Truth is if it weren't for these two lines I would skip Chicago all together. Merchandise Mart... what are you doing?

My favorite show, hand's down is Dallas. Yes, I grew up there and love to see it again, but frankly Dallas has it going on. Last year I decided to go in March when the apparell show is in conjunction with the home and gift show.

I had a ball last year! Little did I know that this apparell show rivals New York and LA. It was mind boggling to say the least. I was by myself and the showrooms were floors of mazes. I walked past several showrooms that had models in couture ballgowns with the big whigs sitting at tables making notes and comments. I expected Tim Gunn to out me at any moment.

To tell you the truth, I was quite intimidated at the whole thing!

Then oddly enough, a beautiful woman in a very gracious starched white blowse and palattzo pants came out of her showroom looking me straight in the eye. She said to me "I see you are from Door County... do you know Debbie and Theresa?" Well anyone who shops the county knows those two from the Magic Jacket. They also both happen to be very good friends of mine.

She just wanted to chat and see how they were doing, and after warming up to her I mentioned that I was like a fish out of water at this show. With a wave of her hand and a harrumph, she said "never worry, you are to be catered to. You are a customer here and will be treated as so! Now go and shop!" So I did!

This is when I happened upon the Heart's Desire line that just flew out of the shop all summer. Linens of all weights and colors that fits us all if you get my drift. I get so tired of big clothes that just make you look bigger trying to hide big! This line is so feminine and has a nostalgic feel, but is very up to date.

I also found great jewelry to boot.

The best part about this show was that the gift show, which is huge, was going on at the same time, but very few people were there for that part of it.

So flying high from the success of the apparel show, I entered the much less crowded hall of the Trade Center with reps in showrooms happy to see me and no waiting to place orders.

I used to really "doll" up for these shows, you know, wanting to impress and all. But after 13 years of markets, it's all about comfort and hand's free. While I haven't donned "mom" jeans and sneakers just yet, I have learned the value of comfortable shoes and good backpacks.

One last thing. I know you must think of all the fun it must be looking at all the beautiful items, but just imagine that 90% of what I see I wouldn't touch. It can become very tiresome and downright depressing sometimes rummaging through the muck with people wanting to sell to me. But as all you shoppers know, it just takes one item to get me back into the "zone" and it's all on again!

I'll have pictures to post next week of my time in Chicago.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Winter Hours Short and Sweet

I thought about closing for the winter, but there is something about being in my shop during this time preparing for market and dreaming of the next season that is so rejuvenating for me. While I don't see many of you, the ones I do are always a pleasure.

So I have decided to open on Saturdays 10 to 4 and Fridays by chance.

Come by for a visit... we still have lots to see and buy.

Sisterhood of The Traveling Oxfords

About eight years ago I was in an antique mall doing what I do, when I was drawn all the way across the room to a pair of little blue and white oxford shoes. I picked them up, and looking over them carefully took note of the broken shoe strings still tied tight, the smoothness of the soles, where the color had been worn off, yet still unbendable and sturdy as the day they were made.

Tears sprung to my eyes, much to my surprise. What the heck?!

I scooped them up, paid my two dollars and seventy-five cents for them and took them back to the shop.

Alicia had been working for me at the time and I pulled them out to show her. Her eyes watered up immediatley. What is going on here?

Then there was Lana. "Lana, look what I found..." Yep, water works. Do I dare mention Shaun and Julie? All of us somehow so moved by those little shoes with not one word exchanged.

Those shoes have been in the shop ever since with a "NFS" tag on the bottom (not for sale). I play a little game in the since that I move them around from time to time and more than a few of my friends and customers always spend time looking for them. Why this pleases me so much, I can't explain.

I've come across childrens shoes time and time again. I've seen more than my fair share of antique childrens stuff and more stuff.

There is something about these shoes... so small and worn that they had plenty of owners as no child could wear them for long. Alicia remembers wearing shoes just like them and swinging them back and forth under her school chair. I wore shoes just like them when I was only three years old and disticntly remember loathing them as I preferred my cow girl boots. Cheerlearders wore them back in the day.

What is it? I think these shoes may remind us of a time when we didn't have to worry so much about life and grown up things... Who was coming over to play today? How high can I go in that swing? Please let me spend one more week at my grandparents house! Somehow breakfast, lunch and dinner appeared on the table. Twenty five cents to spend on candy that would last a week.
Could it be the babies we were raising weren't babies anymore?

While I do love my life today, what I wouldn't give to spend even the smallest moment absolutely carefree... no worries.

Those are the shoes in the picture. My friend Kay McKinley took the picture last week with the coat, cap and leggings that I just found. Those are for sale, the shoes however are tucked away in the shop still with the NFS tag in place.

Come by any time and hunt for them.