Our {"pop-up-shop"} Country Living Fair 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tidbits of our theatre theme, this "auricula" theatre to showcase prized flower specimens {the history of these date back to the 1700's} was made for our booth. {We used the theatre to set the stage for our puppets by Wendy Addison} Special thanks to a cousin who had these finished the week of the show. Made of cedar along with the towering obelisk planter 2 pics below, these are made for the outdoors.
Thank goodness this year we had an entrance and an exit, as last year you went out the same way you came in = traffic jam. Every year you fix things to make it better for you & your customers. One thing about being so busy is you are not on the selling floor helping the customers, no room first of all in a tent space & you feel like you're not getting to know the customer. Also, there is little time to do our wrapping the way we like it!
1st day of the show, bright & early. We thought the early bird buyers were allowed to be in by 8:00 am & we hoofed it to Lowes to buy Oak trees and boxwood. Out- of- breath we undid our tents to find out early bird pass was for 9:oo am. Oh, well at least we were able to finish things up that extra hour!
Evening before opening day........7pm & setting up "our pop-up-shop" since 12:30 that day. Thank goodness for Chipotle for giving us nourishment for dinner! Sun was shining in our tent and the paper bags of ribbon was yummy.
A little of this & that, merchandised from floor to ceiling in our "petite department store style"!

Wow, our 10x20 tent was packed so full we didn't even get all of it put out!
Haberdashery area........{didn't take as many photos as we would've like, that's what happens when your tired!}
The burlap pennants added a festive touch, perfect at a tent event.........
Our tent was more neutral this year and we loved it. There was a few subtle bursts of color here & there.
Wendy Addison's hand done goodies!
Vintage costume.........
We were able to locate a 30 meter roll of grain sack fabric. Thank goodness for a dear gal who searched through her warehouse and had it to us 3 days before. Oh, the red stripes!

Thanks for all the help, Grandma Karen, McKell, & Barbara......even though it was hard to work in our cramped sales clerk stations we had a ball!

Fun people got to meet in person: Jeni Bowlin, Tara Wilson {Texas gal}, & other lovely bloggers!
Thank you to all of the support............

W is for Winner & Willow Nest

Monday, September 28, 2009

Here is our petite token for our 10 years in retail our favorite paper, over sized and can be put on foam core. Your local framer can do this for you around $11.00,we like to put grommets at top to put ribbon. The border around paper is a lovely robin egg blue, all the colors are very antique looking. Enjoy Gretchen, please e-mail me to get your address!

{Recent article of Willow Nest, Country Home March 2007}

Our new friends: a husband & wife team, Ludmil & Linda Marcov of Willow Nest.......we had read about them in the late 90's in a magazine. They set up their lovely booth at this year's Country Living fair. She has so much experience and loved hearing her wisdom. Kara's mother purchased 2 lovely French sheets from them. Oh, we do hope to run into them again someday! They set up at Marburger in Texas. Thanks, Linda for all your understanding, you're a dear!

Goal this week is to have all new products on our website by Friday......time to get this task accomplished! Thanks for your kind emails this past week.

Country Living Fair 2009 {Story no. 1}

Friday, September 25, 2009

Did you know the Spangler Candy Company {since 1906} is located in Ohio? We offered the well-know Dum Dum lollipops as a treat for our customers. Oddly a family came in and told us Mary Spangler goes to their church. She is 90 years old and still runs the church's annual rummage sale and brings candy from the factory for events. We plan to take the kiddos to tour the factory. We grew up with these. Did you? The stories we gather at events across the country. Learning things from other people is a treat in itself.............
Karla, left and Beth next. Judith is missing in this photo, these adorable gals run Bloomsbury Loft in Powell, Ohio. They did an amazing job on their tent space. They have an amazing story of the hard work behind this business. We are keeping our fingers crossed they get to tell you their story in a national magazine. We met them at the first Country Living Women Entrepreneurs Event in Chicago. Since then we both have set up for 3 years at the Country Living Fair. We appreciate them a lot.
Findings---jewelry by Joanna and she is talented! Her work was just featured in Family Circle and will be in Country Living early next year along with home and shop. Her mother, Kathe is involved in gathering goodies for the shop.
Bracelets in a funky, vintage drawer thing-y.
Number bracelet, this is what McKell picked out to buy...........{Darcy's daughter}
Lovely display in Findings booth space...........
Oh, the fun paper goods.
Joanna's mom, Kathe brought lots of Ephemera, vintage goodies and a lot of delightful, petite treasures. They have a shop Summer House in New Jersey. Their style is very edited and museum like. Which we love as our booth is crammed..........so fun to enjoy every one's individuality!
Joanna's bracelets.........just yummy. We sold her bracelets in our shop last year.
Darcy admiring the bracelet that her daughter picked out to wear..........
Kasey from Lola B's Boutique, she has set up the last two years and this year headed to just shop at the Country Living fair. She posted on it here and her most recent post is celebrating her 300th post and is giving away great prizes. Anthro is involved so head over there to celebrate. Cheers to Kasey!

She is kind enough to give us support and called us right before the fair to cheer us on. She knows first-hand the hard work that is involved.

Tomorrow: Willow Nest


S is for "Special Studio Sale"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Studio Sale!

What: A medley of this & that from props, things we thought we were going to do stuff with and never did, household goodies, lighting, and really, really fun things. Lots of ribbon too! Treasures for all! Calling all bargain hunters!
When: Oct 16 & 17, Friday & Saturday 8:00am-3:00pm
Where: Kara's shed {please email me for directions}

Special note *no public restrooms & no house tours as we are starting construction.

Yes, gals we will post stories on the CL fair & tell who won our giveaway. We are still staring at the wall from the fair. I told someone we could sleep until Christmas.
Yes, you will need to excuse my yard {since end of July planning & working on CL fair}
Concrete work not finished.......all in due time getting old stone to finish sides of steps and picking out brick for joint seams and end of arched walk. Flurrying around figuring out flooring for back room/mudroom/laundry and kitchen.
We have old wood floors in the rest of house and want different texture in these places. Any ideas? Help!
Yes, our boxwoods need trimmed!

See you there!
Kara & Darcy

Celebrating 10 Years of Retail Ventures! A Contest!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

{Celebrating 10 years of Creative Endeavors}
Marks the time between us, we have either had stores or have helped others in their retail ventures. So many stories, faces and memories. What a grand adventure! Yes, times flies when you're having fun.

Top ones
Kara: Crossing the Oakland Bay bridge to get to the Flower Market at 3:30am. Sharp. To beat rush hour traffic to bring back fresh garlands, wreaths {at Christmas}& plants. Then run the store all day. We lived 1.5 hours from San Fran.

Darcy & I: Getting stuck in the Chicago Gift market {at an off gift show} in the stair well soon after 9/11 and it was weird. Very weird.

Kara: Opening a store in CA with very little money and being incredibly blessed that first year. {man, those economic times were different!}

Darcy: Seeing her husband pound her store sign in the ground.

Kara & Darcy: Taking the BUS instead of the taxi from La Guardia to Manhattan. We still laugh at this one. Hey, it said 20 minutes on the Internet. Try 2.5 hours. OK, really don't laugh too hard at us.

Darcy & Kara: Schlepping on the "long blocks" in NYC in the rain. We literally were drowned rats when we arrived at the Javitz Center. {When people say "oh, it's just right up the way....it could mean a looooooooooong way!}

Kara: Hauling furniture out of the bay area......I used to know how to tie trucker's knots. Now that I'm almost 35 I would be scared to death to do what I used to do. Bizarre, hauling furniture out of warehouses in Oakland and going to San Fran with a trailer. eek. Good thing I never had to back a trailer ever. I would be in trouble. Big trouble.

Darcy & Kara: Granville........lots of coffee. Fun times. Amy Butler's home & studio.

Darcy: Sliding on a stack of tissue paper that Kara had left on the floor. She was carrying an cast iron urn and caught it and the item that flew out of the urn landed back into the urn. ---Somehow Darcy missed the glass topped coffee table and caught that urn. {she's a whiz}

Kara & Darcy: Driving to Atlanta and stopping at all these fun antique stores on the way home.
No kids. Pure bliss.

Kara: Paris & Brussels 2000. Time to go back. Darcy needs to go too. Hmmmmmm. It's been way to long. Vanves flea market. Fabric stores. Crossiants. Interesting people. Meeting a vendor for lunch. People taking pictures of my prayer covering. Not kidding, I had people turn me around and snap away.

Kara & Darcy: McMaster & Storm Brick & Mortar storefront.

Kara & Darcy: The countless vendors we have done business with for 10 years, this leads to something we're giving away. It's been a favorite of ours for 10 years and it's yours if you just post! BUT, we want feedback: a comment of what you would like to see us do, a complaint {we want to know} so have at it. OK, try to be somewhat nice.

We want to keep the giveaway a surprise. Yes, it will be at the Country Living Fair! We're keeping everything under wraps until after the fair and we'll post pics. Also, a lot of the products will be available online after the fair. It's time to update our website for sure. {yes, we know everyone's emailing about this}

Some of you will be traveling from far away to the show.........have a safe trip and we'll see you there. Tent space #108, same area as last year. Next week. YIKES!

Thanks for celebrating with us!
Kara + Darcy

Christmas List.....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wm. Mills & Co.
since 1880

These bags our added to both of our Christmas lists.............have you started yours yet?
As soon as October arrives we'll start shopping. This year we can decorate our houses instead of a store! Usually Darcy & I would be flurrying around on Christmas Eve day wrapping gifts, not joking. We have so much fun with wrapping that this year want to enjoy our work.

Now folks about a McMaster & Storm pop-up-shop.............more on this later.............

Oh, Hello!

Friday, September 4, 2009

We're here somewhere we keep losing ourselves as that is how much we're flurrying around. "Losing ourselves?" Now that doesn't make any sense , but hey, it did when I was writing it! Warning: I didn't edit these photos, I have misspelled words in two previous posts and I'm not even worried about it.

Judith from Bloomsburry Loft called and knew why we hadn't posted in forever as she knew that we were going crazy too. Shop girls are so understanding! Oh, and hello new neighbors word has it on the street that our tents are close to each other. Fun, fun!

Kasey from Lola B has been diligent in calling to cheer us on and we'll be staying in the same hotel and having a great dinner together one evening. Anyone interested shoot us an e-mail and we'll give you the details.

Thanks to those who have been great support: both our moms, & a great big shout out to my mom-in-law for surprising me and getting my kidlets yesterday. Thank you for kind words, e-mails, calls to everyone----thank you.

It takes a village to raise a child {can't remember who quoted that please google and get back to me, I'm too lazy at the moment} AND it takes a village to get ready for the 2009 Country Living Fair! I can't believe the crazy things we've pulled off in the last week! Oh, the last minute inspiration, why is it always last minute?

We've been calling, pricing, pricing, pricing, pricing---you get the picture! We're slowly getting to the finish line and we're sprinting not jogging! Can't wait to see everyone there..........

Now about the Midwest weather that weekend............well, we're both praying about that one.............

See you there!
Kara & Darcy too