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Archive for November, 2013

What kind of shave cream is in your medicine cabinet?

November 25th, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Will I see a difference? Next week my oldest starts drive lessons, it is a multi-week class from AAA. He can practice on our family car starting next Thurs (after Tgiving). I hope he will be excited! For the first 6 mo / 50 hrs he has to have a licensed driver with him (me or my husband). But I am hoping he will be excited and it will get him out to:

-take himself christmas shopping for his dad & sis
-take himself to community service at the ReStore

Wondering if it will it make him get out more out and about.

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Question: If you wanted really good shave cream, where would you go? I'd like to give this as a gift. Need it to be (1) NOT overpriced (2) natural chemical-free (3) available in my area

Answer: ??

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Our art association boutique is buzzing along, we have been open 9 days. Not busting out in sales lately during the weekdays, and this past weekend was fairly quiet. But the foot traffic is GOOD and visitors are impressed with the upscale offerings. Keep fingers crossed!

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Did a good bit of my own shopping this past weekend, starting with 5 locally owned businesses.

Spice Topia=exotic salts and sugars for my parents
Wild Bath=handmade soap bars for my MIL
Pottery Guild=Goblets for my BIL

and so forth

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Have a good day Thursday, please say you're not shopping!!!!

!* Pop Up Bang Up Starting Weekend *!

November 18th, 2013 at 05:39 pm

Just 9 days ago my art association got a green light to use a vacant storefront in the Ventura Harbor for a seasonal shop. Thence ensued a feverish somewhat less-than-perfectly co-ordinated volunteer effort to get the place cleaned, divided into equal spaces, filled with artists work, and otherwise administratively set up with cashiers, background decor, merchandise supplies, etc.

It all fell into place nicely (with a lot of hard work), especially for us being a bunch of non-retail professionals.

We opened two days ago on Saturday.

And the customers bought. And BOUGHT. At least my things were popular. What fun!

The first day I made enough sales to repay the participation fee. WHEW a relief and now I can enjoy the next 6 weeks. Everything after this is income (though the association does a 60/40 split).

The wire weave jewelry is being sold nearly as fast as I can make. How exciting! Also a few handbound notebooks and notepads that I have had at other venues (and which were not noticed) were sold. THey are really cute, priced low $5 ~ $7.50, and were a pleasure to make because it was perfect way to use very nice trim scraps I had.



Other purchases? 4 handpainted silk scarves, 2 art photos, 1 very smart cat themed tree skirt ($100!), and some little things.

Maybe it's the higher pedestrian traffic at this location, maybe it was a blip on the statistics for the weekend.

Don't know, but it is a happy way to start!!

WhataWeekendWHEW

November 12th, 2013 at 05:50 pm

Where are you going to shop for gifts? Please remember to think before you go: is it a small business? an idependent owner? a local business? It's an important time of year for retailers, and especially small businesses. Take a minute now, what are you planning to buy and where are you getting these things. Thanks.

One, Two, Three, Go!
Up first this weekend Pretty Cheap Jewelry was in an independent gift boutique which targeted the arts community. The location is very hidden, mostly only invitees come visit. Each of us sellers had to volunteer to work, so that was half of one day this weekend. The boutique had a very gorgeous variety of artful things, it is stiff competition!! A few of my things sold, including the wire jewelry set below. I think my check will be $60



Next activity? The local gallery I am in at the harbor was offered a vacancy for a temporary holiday shop. It is waterfront, a big advantage!!

A volunteer-intensive proposition though! I spent another half day cleaning, organizing and getting some things put in (along with others). LOTS TO DO! mark out spaces, get an accounting system going, training all sellers how to open/close.

And making it all look cohesive, how to do that? Oh- at zero budget?!

In three places there is a deep shelf under a wrap around corner window. The corners are way too deep to reach merchandise. But those corners are VERY visible to the outside. What to put in the corner window spots?

Someone said GIANT TEDDY BEARS, and that got us started. Old BIG toys? We didn't want to be thought of as a toy store though, so we came up with some great ideas: boxes wrapped like GIANT presents, small tabletop trees we already had, GIANT pinecones bunched with green tinsel.

It will tie it all together and cost very little.
We are opening this weekend, watch for pictures here and HAPPY LOCAL SHOPPING

Happy Sunday, Sad Monday

November 4th, 2013 at 07:01 pm

This roller coaster life is exhausting, stressful and I don't like it. Trying hard to even the keel, am not terribly successful lately. Perhaps writing this here will help get it all out of my system.

Sunday I had a table of artful jewelry outside my art association gallery for the a wine/jazz day (event throughout the harbor). I expected smallish crowds, usually cool months is a low period for the harbor. But it was great weather, perhaps a few more people came out because of that. I made more sales than I hoped, gross about $100 (the association keeps 40%).

A highpoint of the day: a tall outdoorsy looking lady came past and was reasonably interested in my things. I noticed right away --> She was wearing a pair of hammered starfish earrings I made about 2 years ago! So I said something and she happily explained that she just tried on one of my rings inside the gallery. She really liked it. I went back inside with her to see, and perhaps chat about the ring (how I made it, what it was made out of). There were 4 others of mine we looked at, but she just decided YES to take it. I don't want to push someone to spend their money, but seems the personal contact with the designer makes a difference.

Her beau was with her, both tall great outdoorsy types. He secretly showed me some earrings he just bought in the gallery for her as a gift, "were they also made by me?" So I looked, nope. I mentioned to him there was a hammered starfish bracelet in the gallery matching her earrings. Just for info. He ran back in, decided it was a must! Especially because it was inexpensive ($24) and that I wasn't going to do that design anymore.

Other folks noticed the wire weaves alot (one sold) and silk tie mini bags. We also made good sales in the gallery and had many visitors doing wine tastings.

Monday My daughter came down late to leave for school. Not a particularly bad thing at the time because I was not anxious nor yelling at her to get going (and I confess this was the case repeatedly a couple years ago and I have since stopped getting stressed on this point so much). She came down, had no breakfast, got her things and went out the door. We were getting a late start, I didn't want to miss my bus, I didn't want to end up driving (35 mi one way) to work.

The bad thing happened when we were a block out of the driveway. She realized she forgot an important assignment. She would get a zero. I said I would stop at the corner, she could walk back and then take the regular school bus that comes in about 25 minutes (plenty of time). She wailed and cried and said 'no'. She takes the bus home, but not in the morning and is not familiar with the routine. But I once again said I would stop at the next corner and she could do the walk/bus thing. She of course made all kinds of 'why can't you just take me back, it will only take a minute, etc etc' with lots of crying.

I really stayed calm, but not exactly warm and fuzzy. I said 'NO'. That she would live with the consequences of forgetting it. That yes it was a mistake, an accident, but perhaps she would learn not to come down at the last minute to leave. (I didn't get on her case for getting up at the last minute AND going to bed at the last minute).

This has been her style for several years. It was a train wreck in slow motion. Fortunately this is just a little fender bender in not turning in an important assignment.

But will she reflect back on this later today or tomorrow and learn to -- get things in order earlier. I don't know. That is the big hope, but I don't really think it will happen (based on the years past of her last minute behaviour). Maybe it will take many more mistakes. Maybe she will be better with planning her time after she grows up and leaves.

So I'm sad, this was a bad start to the day.