Saturday, July 23, 2016
It is one of my favorite Holidays....okay, let's be honest...ALL Holidays are my favorite....but, Fall and Halloween certainly rank right up there!
I get very excited about picking out the merchandise that I am going to carry in our gift shops. I know all of you do, too. It is, without question, one of the most anticipated times of the year, at Sweet Memories!
I have so many ideas....so many things that I want to do....displays that I want to set up...but, frankly, there isn't enough time.
My husband and I go to the shop early (very!!!) on the Monday that I deem "roll-it-all-over-to-the -next-Holiday" Monday and work for, about, 14 hours. We move furniture, clean, "base decorate" (like lighting and, in the case of Halloween, spider webs....Christmas would be snow...etc.) then start to unpack all of the goodies that have been coming in for months. I have big plans and lots of vision....until we hit hour number 10 (or earlier!!) and my energy level hits the floor. I never, actually, make it all I want it to be.
I hear....constantly....that we have the best displays and the most wonderful, unique, merchandise (and....thank you for that!!!! ☺️) but, lately especially, I feel a little like a fraud when you say it. I KNOW what I WANTED those displays to look like....and I, also, know that, while I love the merchandise that I am picking out, I want to offer more.
Now....none of this is new. It has been a "problem" for quite a while. Actually....there are a bunch of problems all rolled into one. I have been searching for solutions. I have had many, many conversations with myself and the only answer is adding more hours to the day! Since that is not, actually, doable....I started kicking this new idea around!
We are going to create a "Marketplace".
Here....I will give you the "official" tag line:
"Black Cats And Candycorn Marketplace"
A Gathering of Vintage, and New, Fall and Halloween Treasures
We are going to have our "Open House" on September 8, 9, 10 & 11. After that...the Marketplace hours (and ONLY the upstairs Marketplace....this in NO WAY changes the hours of operation in the restaurant or bakery!!!!!!!!) will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday until the middle of October. (I will give these dates many, many, many times...)
Basically....this solution does, in fact, add hours to my day. Instead of trying to do everything in one day....I will have weeks. And...since I won't have to worry about keeping the upstairs full everyday...all year long....I can be even "pickier" about what we carry! And....since the day to day operations, up there, won't occupy my every waking moment...I will have some time to make stuff!!! I will, also, have time to "hunt" for vintage treasures!!!! My husband will, also, have time to make stuff! And....we can actually HAVE an open house!! With all that that entails!!! Can you tell that I am excited??
Circle those dates on your calendar....right now....while you are thinking about it!! I know this is a pretty big change....but it will be amazing!
Monday, July 18, 2016
I told you that changes were coming....now I would like to tell you what that means!
We are going back to our roots....more or less. So....what am I talking about?
When we first bought our farmhouse....it needed a lot of work. A LOT! There is no better way to learn than by doing! Sure....you have to know when a project is out of your "ability zone" (heaters, big electrical projects, big plumbing projects....) but...if you just make up your mind that you are going to tackle something...you learn all kinds of things!!
You have a mountain to climb....start climbing!!
Not only have we learned all kinds of skills...we have learned that we have all kinds of "talents". I have presented more than one idea for a project....and my husband has delivered exactly what I wanted! He has become quite a woodworker! I think if you had told him that would be the case, when he was just a young lad, he would have laughed at you!! But necessity is a great motivator!
It is what motivated me to start what would, eventually, become Sweet Memories. I did custom baking so that I could be a full time Mom. It worked beautifully! One year I even got it in my head that I would have a "pop up" Christmas show right in our home! We cleared out all of the furniture and made EVERYTHING ourselves...by hand! Ornaments and decorations...wood, fabric, salt dough....it took us months and months to have enough "inventory"! Now....you need to understand that this happened WAY before it was such a thing. We are talking like 25 years ago!! It was an incredible amount of work....but it was very well attended and I was thrilled with how successful it was!!
I think you can see that the foundation for our, current, business was in the works....but, especially recently, I have been feeling like we are drifting away from where I would like to be.
I love....LOVE....home, my family, holidays....everything that makes life special (even more so with the world the way it is right now!!) I love to decorate my home and make it a place of comfort and security....and make it exude charm!! I love to look for all of the treasures it takes to make it perfect....and I love the fact that it takes years to gather all of those things! I love all of the memories that have been created...and the "things" that bring those memories back!!
My goal, when I started Sweet Memories, was to create all of that for our customers. We create a special menu for each and every service. Sometimes....we "miss the mark" as far as some are concerned. No....we don't serve breakfast...or have chicken fingers for the kids....but that is intentional. We want to stand out....be special! (Thankfully....99.9 % of you wonderful people not only "get it" but love us for it!! And....let's be honest....you are the ones that matter!)
My goal, for the gift shops, was to give you a fantastic collection of unique and special treasures. For you, your home...to give as gifts...and, while I believe we have been successful, it's just not "good enough" as far as I am concerned! I have had to give quite a bit of my "creative control" away....there just aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with the baking (thank you!! 😊) and do all that I would like to do in the shops! I, also, have become very dependent on "companies" for merchandise. Don't get me wrong....most of the companies I use are based right here in America and their products are awesome....but I want more! I want the shops to exude the same charm that I strive for in my own home....and, in order to get that done, I have to be the one to do it!
So....we will be "closing" the shops at the end of July. No....we are not closing them permanately! We are going to take our time and create the kind of Fall and Halloween experience that I have always wanted to give you! We will have a "big reveal" open house kind of thing....and then, limited, shopping hours for the remainder of the season. Then....we will "close" again....and I am going to create the kind of Christmas experience that I have always wanted to give you! We are going back to our roots. There will be vintage and handmade....one of a kind charm that you will love forever!
Obviously....there is a lot more to this and I will keep you posted!
Just know that we always strive to be the best us we can be....and making you happy is what we do!! This is going to be different.....but AWESOME!! And we are thrilled to have you come along for the ride!
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Personally....I like it.
I change wall colors, furniture placement....I have even changed room purposes once or twice!
I am, practically, "famous" for all of the changes at the shop. I hear "oh...you changed things" all day long!! We change the menu every week..and the offerings in the bakery case can, and often DO, change hourly!!
Changing things keeps them interesting and fresh. And, sometimes, changes are just necessary.
I, recently, changed the color of this hutch. I am not sure I am "done" with it...I may distress it a little. I do love the creamy, buttery yellow...I am living with it. I will "know" what else needs to be done to it...if anything else does.