Monday, August 26, 2013
It is now the end of August and needless to say, I have been very busy ! The shop has officially been open for almost a month now, and I am in the early stages of my candle busy season. Although it was quiet at first,things are really picking up and we are seeing so many new faces come through our doors. I feel so very blessed, because I have been given an opportunity to do what I truly love and a new way to do it year round. Honestly, the thought of ever having my own store never really crossed my mind. I was very content doing things the way I've done them since 1996. Doing craft shows,wholesale and selling from other shops seemed to work out just fine, I made my product,sold it and everyone was happy. I even ventured into the big-bad wholesale market for a bit, it truly was a great experience and I met some wonderful folks along the way that have become great customers ,as well as business mentors. But I felt the need for a change...my girls are now busy teenagers and my mother-in-law had a need for an outlet to sell her antiques. She was a dealer in Texas and was part of a huge market down there. You could say that she was a Junk Gypsy before it became trendy. When they moved back to Ohio 12 years ago , she had LOTS of inventory with nowhere to go. She had tried a couple shops, but soon found that her Texas flair was a bit too eclectic for the primitive crowd. She also found out that certain folks in the auction circle were,shall we say, crooks ! We decided that with her need to sell and my need to accommodate my growing business, we needed to find a place, and FAST ! Enter The Arts District... It is a blessing to live in a community that sees the diamond in the rough, and for years our downtown was pretty rough! Sometime in the 1970's everyone decided to leave the downtown shops,restaurants,businesses and head to the suburbs in sprawling malls and shopping plazas. Our downtown became a very undesirable place that no one in their right (or wrong) mind would ever visit. Many years later, our local artists and entrepreneurs decided " Hey we needed work space and look at all these empty buildings, let's do something fabulous with them!" It is bustling with activity now, shops, studios, galleries,theaters, restaurants and live bands, something for everyone ! We made arrangements with the Chamber of Commerce to check out a building that was scheduled for rehab. We liked what we saw and soon we were added to their tenant list for the building when completed. That year seemed to take forever to get here, but it was totally worth the wait ! I now have ample room to work in without constant distractions ie. cats, kids, hubby that can never find anything in the house, and my MIL is selling her treasures to those folks with a good eye for junk !
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
It's hard to imagine that it will be 17 years this August since I came up with the wild notion to start creating things to sell for an income. I'm the former Jane-of-all-trades who wasn't afraid of some hard work...I've done my tour-of-duty in all branches of the food service industry, a little retail & marketing for a well-known leather store, catering at a major music venue not too mention working in the local music scene...back when there actually was a "scene". Truth be told, that job was more like Den Mother to a bunch of spoiled musicians that were legends in their own minds. Later, I moved into the home improvement sales territory...I LOVED the paint department it truly was my second home and it released the creative being within. I had long since put my artist hat in a box when I entered the workforce, I guess the term "starving artist" frightened me a little and those jobs never seemed to be listed in the classified . I loved to make something that made people happy ,so the challenge of mixing and matching colors was very enjoyable . A few years and a couple of jobs later... I'm married with my first baby on the way and I'm also suddenly on maternity leave. What in the world am I gonna do now ?! I've got to be honest, I was BORED TO DEATH !! All that HGTV & Jelly Belly's were getting to me, something had to be done, I couldn't just sit around and do nothing !! Enter my wonderful sister, who just happened to clean out her craft room and had several boxes of unwanted goodies to get rid of...SURE,I'LL TAKE IT !! I made so many dried floral arrangements and potpourri from that stash, my hubby thought I'd lost my mind... I did,but our little apartment looked & smelled divine :0) A few months later, our bubbly little Erinn was born and all of my crafting had to be put on the back burner once again for a wee bit . My mom was getting out of the flea market business due to her illness, so the opportunity crossed my path to take over her spot at an indoor market. Oddly, another opportunity fell into my lap at the same time. The company my hubby & I worked for had a warehouse inventory sale. Our boss practically gave us a pallet of merchandise to take off of the company's hands...SURE, I'LL TAKE THAT TOO !! Sitting in a tiny apartment sorting thru a gazillion boxes of incense, t-shirts and accessories with a 3 month old was not my idea of fun but it had to be done. With those opportunities came the motivation to get my creative juices flowing once more. When I put the baby down for her naps,I started to explore candle making again. Now that was a pastime I really loved. When I was a little girl I spent a lot of time with my Aunt Goldie, she was positively the most creative woman I have ever known. She was the person that taught my sister & I how to sew,how to knit & crochet(me-not so much)paint,make sun-catchers and how to make soap and candles. In 1975 when I was 8 years old , she bought soap & candle kits to teach me the basics,and my mind was wide open. Once I had that under my belt,she taught me the techniques hand-dipped ,rolled , molded and container candles. She would always tell me to discover something that you truly love and find a way to make a living from it. Little did I know at the time,my journey was about to begin... I still have those old kits... the molds may be brittle and the scents have long since faded, but those lessons in Aunt Goldie's kitchen will last a lifetime.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
No matter how good my intentions are, it still seems like I can never take the time to sit quietly and blog. Case in point,I last blogged in June...7 months ago people !!! Sure, I'm a busy mom with 2 busy teenage girls and a hubby who likes some attention from time to time. Not too mention running a home-based business that keeps me hoppin'. Did I mention pets to care for, housework and the never ending amount of laundry breeding in my basement ? I have this fantasy that I am sitting on my sofa in the evening, all cuddled up with a quilt, sipping (not gulping)my coffee and blogging away on my laptop. Pouring out all of my hopes and dreams,sharing recipes and my plans for the new shop. Sadly, I do not own a laptop nor do I ever seem to get that much coveted "time to myself", and sitting on the sofa... HA! Not without kids and a cat or two. I will just have to live that dream vicariously through The Pioneer Woman..she is truly my sister from another mister ! As of right now, I'm getting a little antsy to get started on the design work of our storefront. So many ideas running through my brain that my head sorta hurts. Finally, I can come out of my corner and bring all of my artistic ideas to life. For years I have wanted to step out of the grungy cinnamon- coated world of primitives and show everyone that there are so many other things that this girl can do . Our little shop will be a family collaboration,part creative studio for all of the many things that my girls and I will be making, as well as an outlet for my mother-in-law to finally show off her eclectic style with her offering of antiques & uniques ! Of course it will be the new manufacturing home for my candles, which that alone brings on so many new and exciting changes for me. Our proposed move is supposed to be sometime in March. With that in mind, I've been taking many trips down memory lane as each day passes...more on that in my next blog,soon, I pinky swear.