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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shop Small Stores

As I rushed out this morning to water my patio plants before the strong Santa Ana winds pummeled them, I noticed a beautiful cement duck that I purchased years ago at a beautiful little store in La Canada.  After the earthquake here in Northridge, I discovered this charming small store and purchased many things for our garden after we did all of our repairs.  I still have everything I purchased from that beautiful store, and every time I spot one of those special small garden accents, it makes me smile. 

After the garden was finished and I got busy with life (and became a dealer myself in retail stores) I quit frequenting that little shop.  When my daughter decided to get married in our back yard about a year and a half ago, I wanted to go by the shop and see if I could find some new treasures.  To my shock and dismay the store was closed.  That's right.  Closed!  I am a relentless individual and when I set my mind to do something, it usually gets accomplished.  After hours of internet searching I found a link that linked me back to the owner.  The name of the shop was Botanicals.  Thankfully the owner of the store was still in business, but was doing monthly boutiques in her own garden and no longer had a store front.  Finally she reopened in smaller quarters, but her store is just as beautiful as ever.  I learned a valuable lesson.  If we don't support the small stores, then all that will be left are the cookie cutter department stores and home decorating stores that have absolutely no individuality.  Imagine that in a culture so set on everyone being so unique and special.  Nothing will be unique and individual any longer.

Since I too sell in a small store, I hope that many people will adopt a new way of thinking and go back to shopping for unique, often one-of-a-kind things, especially at this time of year when we will all be purchasing hostess gifts and just thoughtful little pick me ups to take to our friends and family.  By the way, the name of Julie's new store is Julie O'Keefe Home and Garden.  She posts fabulous photos of her shop on Facebook.  If you live anywhere near her shop, you really should drop by.  It's a very happy place.

Since I don't have pictures of the front of her shop or the front of our shop for that matter, I wanted to post a couple of pics I took last spring when I visited up north at another small shop.  For the life of me, I cannot find the card for this store, but it is in Pleasanton, California on the main shopping drag.  The owners were so nice and allowed me to take photographs.  These were two of my favorites.  I confess I am a sucker for polka dots.  I love what they did with their umbrellas.  Too cute.  The awning is to die for.  Chippy and warn and so full of charm.  I am working on a project right now to semi re-create this look for my own space at Aubergine Emporium.  If I find the card or can get the name of this shop, I will certainly post it on my blog.
Chippy Painted Awning

Oo-la-la Umbrellas

If any of you are wondering why I have a black box in my post, it is because my signature went missing and I am trying to reach my blog designer to get it fixed.  Hopefully it will be gone soon.

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