Holy Canolli! Has it been almost a year since I last blogged here?! I say here because I kinda "blog" on Facebook but I've realized that maybe I should do the blogging here and just link to my FB page. So for 2013 one of my (many) resolutions is to do just that...blog more and share more of my thoughts and musings here...less on FB and just let those that are interested link on over here.
This post is titled onward and upward because I feel like we have decided to go that way with our shoppe for 2013. I made the BIIIIIIG decision (bigger it seems to others than to me lol!) to discontinue carrying the Vera Bradley collection.
It's been about 7 years going now and frankly, I tired of it about 2 years ago. It never fit my personal "style" (not sure if I have a real style or not) but our customers and my shopgirls loveeeeeeed it so we continued to grow it until it just got to the point where I felt like they were telling ME how to run MY business...when to put things on sale, or not, what products to carry, or not, etc. and on top of that, I just never felt like their business decisions were supportive of a small business retailer. They continued to open other retailers, surrounding us with 15+ retailers since we opened the line, made us feel like we were competing with them as our vendor by offering free shipping online but not allowing the retailers to even offer the product online...I could go on and on (and on and on and on!) about my reasons but I finally feel like we are TAKING BACK our shoppe and going in the direction (or back in the direction) that we meant to be in when we opened back in 2001.
The creative path is one I've been on since my early teens and now my girls and my customers are following that same path. It does my heart good to see the resurgence in sewing/quilting and handcrafting. This is where we started 11+ years ago. We carried rehabbed and vintage furniture before it was "cool" ...we handmade and sewed before there was Pinterest... and having a customer base now that is interested and supportive of the handmade and creative lifestyle just encourages us to get back to our roots and offer more of the original and one of a kind items in our shoppe again. We always have, but we were just feeling our uniqueness being crowded out by the mainstream Vera Bradley collections which just kept growing and growing and taking more and more of our floor space to support.
and so, we may not have the huge crowds we had at Christmas time each year clamoring for whatever new pattern and style was out, but what we WILL have is more one of a kind UNIQUE items for everyone to choose from, and the supplies of designer fabrics, patterns, notions and paint collections for all our creative DIYers as well as the vintage and rehabbed furniture for those of you that just appreciate a greener, and more creative colorful footprint in life, without the desire to actually create it yourself.
and a much happier and fulfilled shopkeeper too =)