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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Shop Small Stores

I'm still working on projects to get posted so this is a sneak peak at a couple of things I'm working on.  These poodles are going to be part of a bigger project and I'm not going to tell you what it is until I am done.

 Then I am working on another reverse decoupage project and here are the results after three soakings and rub downs.  No, I won't tell you what this project is either.  You'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I wanted to include one of my very first posts as we approach the holiday season, and, sadly, it reflects my own feelings as a dealer in one of my favorite small stores, Aubergine Emporium, where I have decided it is time for me to move into a new chapter of my life.  I will be leaving the shop in March.  And on another note, Julie O'Keefe Home and Garden, the shop I speak of in this article is still in business and hopefully for a very long time.  She closed her shop once and it was very sad.  I hope to not lose her again.  This subject is obviously very close to my heart.

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 Internets 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


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Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

It's always sad when a small store closes, especially if you've come to know the owner. In our small rural town, we've lost most of the unique shops due to the aging and declining population and hard economic times. We live on the once bustling main street and now there are only a few struggling businesses and restaurants open. I'm sorry to hear that you are moving on. Will you be selling your wares elsewhere?

Brenda Pruitt said...

Judy and John went over into Arkansas today to some craft show. She called and told me there weren't many things homemade. Mostly commercial stuff. Now that's not my kind of thing. If I find a small store, I'll support it.

Donna said...

I so agree with you Maggie, about supporting small businesses! It is always sad to see a favorite shop close! And we artisans just can't compete price wise with cheap imports. But creating is in our blood, isn't it? Best of luck with your new venture!!!

Tina said...

I love to shop in little shops like that. We have several here, but unfortunately I do not go in them as often as I would like.
Like Vickie I am also wondering where you are going to sell you lovely treasures?

Bliss said...

Six poodle skirts made in a little American shop.


Annette T. said...

Yes, it's sad to see the small shops close. LaCanada has certainly lost several in the past few years. I love that you support Aubergine as they are a beauitful shop, but I wish you well in your new endeavor.

Annette T. said...

I forgot to mention, whatever that reverse decoupage project is it's going to be beauitful. Can't wait to see it.

shoptalk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Art and Sand said...

I am a firm believer in supporting small stores. I live in Ventura and never shop in the mall, only downtown. We do not eat at chain restaurants- only small one of a kind spots. If I want cute shops, then I have to support them.

Where in Simi is your shop?