Friday, March 27, 2009

Are you Romantic?

Do you consider yourself "a romantic?" Here's the definition according to :
1. of, pertaining to, or of the nature of romance; characteristic or suggestive of the world of romance: a romantic adventure.
2. fanciful; impractical; unrealistic: romantic ideas.
3. imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure, chivalry, etc.
4. characterized by a preoccupation with love or by the idealizing of love or one's beloved.
5. displaying or expressing love or strong affection.
6. ardent; passionate; fervent.
7. (usually initial capital letter) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a style of literature and art that subordinates form to content, encourages freedom of treatment, emphasizes imagination, emotion, and introspection, and often celebrates nature, the ordinary person, and freedom of the spirit (contrasted with
classical ).
8. of or pertaining to a musical style characteristic chiefly of the 19th century and marked by the free expression of imagination and emotion, virtuosic display, experimentation with form, and the adventurous development of orchestral and piano music and opera.
9. imaginary, fictitious, or fabulous.
10. noting, of, or pertaining to the role of a suitor or lover in a play about love: the romantic lead. –noun
11. a romantic person.
12. a romanticist.
13. romantics, romantic ideas, ways,

I can see myself in (2); Darren would prefer a little more (4) & (6); I'd like to nurture a little more of (7) & (8); but otherwise it's not a typical adjective I'd choose to describe myself. Well, not until I took a quiz in this month's Romantic Homes. There are a few quick questions--nothing too complex, but I enjoyed the process. As a result, I discovered I am a boldly, sweet romantic--why thank you! Too kind, really. I was split right down the middle for most of the questions. Can't wait to compare notes with you. (Once you stop belly laughing at the notion of me being "sweet.") So, drop by for your copy of the May issue of Romantic Homes.

In the romantic manner, as suggested by (5), I will give you a free copy of the May issue with a purchase at Hodgepodge of $15 or more. This magazine is one of my favorites, with regular features like, We Love, Make It and Love This!; special focus articles like, Get Away for Good and Shopping DNA; and, gobs-and-gobs of gorgeous photographs! You'll find inspiration on every page.

I'm not going to publicize this at the shop--this for my blog friends only--so be sure to let me know you read it here!

Thanks for your indulgence.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

HGTV, Rivers & Spires and Hodgepodge

I've got some news that's got me pretty jazzed. I found out that I will be host to the guys from the HGTV show, Designed to Sell, during Rivers & Spires. The celebrities in question are John Gidding, Chip Wade and David Wint. So, during the appointed meet & greet times on the schedule, they'll be hanging-out in front of Hodgepodge to meet you and sign autographs for you. So, mark your calendars. Rivers & Spires is April 16 - 18.
John Gidding has worked in architecture and design firms around the world. His experience ranges from residential and institutional architecture to landscape architecture and urban design. His television career started as an offshoot of modeling, which he started to do to pay for graduate school. Having done runway for Armani and Gucci, he was cast to be one of the host/designers on ABC Family's Knock First, a design show for hip teens wanting to update their spaces.
Following the success of his first TV show, he moved to New York City to start his firm, John Gidding Design, and has done numerous residential renovations there and around the country. Keeping one foot firmly in architecture, he is thrilled to bring his breadth of experience to Atlanta, Ga., to join the Designed to Sell family.
Chip Wade has building in his blood, having come from a long line of craftsmen and woodworkers. In the fall of 2007, Chip's energy and talents made him a perfect member of HGTV's "Designed to Sell" as the carpenter on the Atlanta team. His creativity and expertise inspires viewers to rethink what can be accomplished with $2,000 and a three-day makeover.
Chip's Atlanta based design-build firm, Wade Taylor, LLC, specializes in custom residential and commercial renovation featuring high level design and the newest fabrication techniques. The quality craftsmanship of tried-and-true construction methods provides a sure foundation for the imaginative designs and innovative materials used to surpass each client's expectations.

David Wint lives in Atlanta where he began his construction business, Building Dreams Inc. This company is recognized as a respected renovation company throughout the finer neighborhoods of Atlanta due to their superior craftsmanship. They transform homeowners' dreams into reality.
David is very involved with all of the company's projects. His hands-on experience sets him aside from other contractors. His skill and professionalism is what established him as the contractor for Atlanta's Designed to Sell. He is excited to lend his knowledge and expertise to the set and allow homeowners to capitalize on their biggest investment.

So there it is. Mark your calendars and get yourself downtown for Rivers & Spires. Specifically, get yourself down to Hodgepodge to meet these guys on April 18th. More later on the specific specifics.

Thanks for your indulgence.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

out of commission

i've been without my computer for over one week. it's been strange to say the least. i've missed making posts here. i could do it at work--nah, i couldn't. too busy and too many interruptions (not that i'm complaining!). i prefer to do this when i'm wrapping-up my day--like now. so it's back--starting like it should, but still without some of the keys (thanks to samurai boy).

i started the day at church--forgetting we were on the schedule to be the greeters for the 9:30 service. (make no mind that i do the scheduling!) i get into the sanctuary and realize i have no reading glasses--i was able to follow along only when i could place the book of common prayer on the pew in front of me. (it's rite 1 for lent--not as familiar to me.) great sermon.

after church we went to pick-up the trusty, but old, suburban (our most recent vehicle to visit don and jason--our favorite mechanics).
then to the shop to work on the display challenge. "challenge" is appropriate. they sent me the merchandise i'm allowed to use--none of it came from my existing vendors. at first, it didn't look like enough inventory to create a decent display, but when i started to try to put it all together, it was much more than i thought. i'm allowed to incorporate props, but no merchandise from other vendors. it's much more complicated than i anticipated--especially since it's so little variety with which to work. i wish i could show you pictures, but it's against the rules. suffice to say i look forward to sharing it with you as soon as i'm able. of course, if you come into the shop in the next few days, you'll see it. (hint, hint)
Thanks for your indulgence.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Market Behind Us

We're wrapping-up our trip to the Americamart in Atlanta. Before we hit the road, I wanted to tell you about a few things.
First, we had a great time working with a friends as they discovered "the market." After we got in the door, we took them into the belly of the beast. We happened upon the most helpful representative at a show room which was most fortuitous! It was a very educational experience--she told them everything they need to know about how to deal with vendors through representatives, which questions they should ask of their various vendors and more. (I wondered on several occasion where my "good fairy" sales rep was/is.) We dragged them all over the three buildings looking for anything that might be related to their new shop. We found some wonderful products and loaded them down with catalogs and tons of information to peruse. I'm very excited for them. I don't want to spoil their news, but suffice to say that their shop will be a wonderful addition to Historic Downtown Clarksville.

Second, the market was VERY slow. INCREDIBLY slow. I couldn't believe it. I've never been to the March market, but most vendors assured me it's always slow--in which case, it may be my new market. There were very few temporaries--only about 75-80 vendors, compared to the thousands of the markets I am familiar with. But it was a wonderful start for our friends--the vendors had time to really talk with them, weren't looking over our shoulders for the next appointment of better sale opportunity.
Now for the stuff I want to discuss with you. I'm at an inventory crossroads. I think I'm going to add a new home fragrance line to the Hodgepodge inventory list. At the recommendation of a customer, I decided to look into Tyler Candle Company. Oh my goodness! Fabulous fragrance! An interesting and complete line--down to fine linen detergent. Several great options for candle sizes.

Then there is the new upholstered furniture line I've been looking at--not easy to find, but we did it. I found it online, but we couldn't find it at market! I know they told me they were there, but they were not in the directory. So I started dragging Kendall from floor to floor looking for the Best Slipcover Company. We had been looking since Saturday afternoon, but no luck. By Sunday I was asking other people. We found ourselves with about one hour left at market and decided to work our way down, floor-by-floor looking for these furnishings. Fortunately, Kendall spotted it on our first floor! We sat down and loved them! (Even if we weren't exhausted--we would have loved them!) They all contain down fill--usually combined with additional fill, such as a foam core, for stability and support. Here are a few samples of what we can get:

I placed some orders with old reliables and I found a few other lines to investigate. I'll blog about those when I get home. I just wanted to get your thoughts about the upholstered furniture items. There are several different collection available through this line and once I get information on shipping/delivery charges, I'll let you know how affordable it is. I think you'll be surprised--I know I was.
Well, we need to go get some breakfast and hit the road. I just wanted to touch base with everyone and give you something to chew on.

Thanks for your indulgence.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

File, File, Shred, Rinse, Repeat

I'm in the mood to create, but (as I've whined about in previous posts) I'm tied to the computer--doing fun stuff like *budget analysis* (translated, "what's the drop dead date for paying that bill?"); *purchasing* (translated, "please, oh please, let me choose stuff they'll like"); and *office management* (translated, "filing piles and piles of paperwork").

I guess I'll have my opportunity with the merchandise I need to assemble into a winning display for Country Business. The inventory arrived the other day. It's all lovely merchandise. I just need to figure out how I want to display it.

I'm working on a few ideas. I need to take action soon, though. I have to have it finished before long--in time to have the photographer come and take pictures before the 30th. I was thrilled to be chosen, but part of me is wondering what I've gotten myself into! I've gotten two phone calls and an email--I'll bet they're wondering if they've chosen the right retailer for this opportunity!

This weekend Kendall and I will be traveling to the mini-market in Atlanta. I'll be looking at some merchandise I intend to order--based on what I've circled in the catalogs. I also have a few other things I've been thinking about adding to our merchandise mix. Consequently, we'll be closed on Monday.

(Sorry the pics are so small--I couldn't figure out how to re-size them. If you get out your magnifying glass, you'll see they're pics of displays at market--"award winning" displays at that . . . a definite theme developing here.)

I'll also be joined by some prospective shop owners on this trip. Friends I've met through the shop have bee discussing the possibility of opening their own shop. They want to open something downtown (the "magic words" as far as I'm concerned), so I'm doing what I can to help them out.

So while I'm mentioning this it brings to mind a question I've been meaning to ask. This may develop into an official survey for the downtown business district, but for now it's just an informal inquiry, specifically about shopping:

What are we missing? Which kind of shops do you think we need to add to our "retail mix?"

Post your thoughts as comments here.

As always, thanks for your indulgence.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Lots and lots to share.

First, I've got some news. I had a great day last Thursday. I was going about my Thursday business (a quick check-in at the shop, then to WJZM to record our weekly radio show), then on my way back to the shop I got the call. I have been selected by Country Business (a "to the industry" magazine) to put together a display of merchandise they will provide. They'll come and photograph the display we arrange and write a story about Hodgepodge! Now, I wish I could tell you that this article will appear in a magazine that you'll be able to pick-up on the newsstand near you, but that will not be the case. This magazine is available by subscription to those in the retail business. Regardless, I'm downright giddy! One of two businesses chosen! So, color me happy--I'm the queen of retail (if only for a moment . . . and in my own mind).

(It was painful to take, then select, then post this self-portrait. I admire those who have their pictures all over their blog/facebook. I just can't get there. Self-deprecating, I hope not . . . I know I don't look at others so critically . . .)

Second, Art Walk is this Thursday. I'll be hosting Tammy Dohner, an extremely versatile artist, at Hodgepodge. She will bring a collection of her photographs to share. This show will be focused on architecture as her subject matter. Tammy and I have been trying to get our schedules together for a while now, so I'm very excited to finally be showing her work. Don't forget to visit ARTifacts: an arts & antiques emporium during Art Walk, too. They're hosting Kate Johnson, Elizabeth Klein and Jo Rhodes.

Third, we have a winner for the Stream of Consciousness & a Contest. The winner is kath@retromanticantiques. Kath, I'll contact you via email for your t-shirt size and preferred diffuser scent (they're all great!). Thanks again to all who participated. Keep in touch--I'll have another contest later this month.

Okay--I'll add some pics once I get to work (my laptop isn't finding my camera) and get this posted. Of course, this will all be transparent to you, as it'll be done.

I hope you all have a beautiful day.

Thanks for your indulgence.

Ooh, ooh ooh! The boxes of merchandise for the contest arrived today, before I got this blog posted! I haven't opened them yet--not sure I want to know what's in there . . . wish me luck!
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