Monday, February 28, 2011

A brief blurb about ser.en.dip.i.ty

I have always had a hard time putting my decorating style into words. I know it when I see it and feel it and I am a believer in the adage – “buy what you love and it will find its place”. Now, with the creation of ser.en.dip.i.ty it is essential at a social gathering or during a brief introduction to describe the style of my occasional sale in twenty words or less – just a vivid, snappy blurb that will paint a picture in the minds of potential customers and kindred spirits.

So my next conversation might go something like this…

I will say, “I would love for you to check out my occasional sale.”

Potential customer says, “Oh, what is it?”

I say, “It’s an event! Featuring fun and funky vintage furniture, beautifully displayed hand crafted accessories for your home, music and treats so grab a friend and come see us.”

Okay, so that is 28 words – I’ll keep working on it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pure Design on HGTV

Pure Design

I love Pure Design.

"Designer Samantha Pynn believes that you don't have to sacrifice high style in order to create an eco-friendly home. Samantha shows homeowners how to go green with gorgeous design. In each episode, she transforms everyday, outdated rooms into stunning, sustainable living spaces reflective of today's interest i

n green living. Pure Design is packed with imaginative ideas and accessible, takeaway tips that are easy on the budget and even better for the earth!"

I love Samantha's style but even better, I love that she uses what she can by repainting or reupholstering vintage furniture. The product is always a stunning room with a creative mix of "up-cycled" furniture and organic fabric. Samantha proves that we can all live in style, even on a budget, with a little imagination.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ah, Summer

“Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”
-Warren Buffet

Well, by the time my yard looks something like this it will be time for the first or many ser.en.dip.i.ty sales. January and February seem to test us with icy roads, gusting wind and below zero temperatures until we feel we can take no more. Thankfully spring and then summer are just around the corner and preparations are being made for a fabulous sale that will breathe a fresh summer breath into your home.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Check out this funky clock at the ser.en.dip.i.ty summer sale!

Made from found objects this clock is a fun example of renew & re-use to inspire you to redecorate your home. Looking forward to seeing you at our summer sale on June 24 & 25 at the Corridor Gallery.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sage words from Serendipity Magazine

While researching "ser.en.dip.i.ty" I discovered a thoughtful article in Serendipity Magazine Feb/Mar 2011 issue. The message resonates with me in my home and in my life - reminding me to not let perfect be the enemy of good.

Lean on antiques

"Try to be less preoccupied with perfect interiors. Scratches and chips are okay —they add to the patina. The best interiors look lived-in and are slightly worn, avoiding that sterile decorator look. Rooms don’t work if everything looks just-out-of-the-box. Having at least one old thing in every room helps give an evolved appearance. Your furniture doesn’t have to be museum-quality, but there’s no substitute for something with a little age. Besides, buying antiques is the ultimate recycling effort, and since they already have a timeworn appeal, you’ll worry less about every new nick and scratch. They might even help you relax. These pieces have been around a lot longer than you have, so chances are you really can’t wreck them."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What is an Occasional Sale?

The occasional sales concept is a progressive approach to retail. Open for a limited number of days these sales generate excitement. The concept is to gather and create one-of-a-kind vintage wares and price them to sell over a short period of time (usually a weekend). When the sale is over, restock the store from the ground up with fresh merchandise in time for the next sale.
It's the anticipation of what you will find and the idea to “buy it now because it won’t be there later” that makes the concept work.

I traveled to Long Lake, Minnesota in 2004 to experience my very first occasional sale, “Junk Market”. I followed Ki Nassauer and Sue Whitney, the founders of Junk Market in Country Home magazine for several years before setting out with my husband to meet these two impressive women and experience their sale up close and personal. Since following them in Country Home I was especially impressed with how they repurposed old farm equipment and rusty auto parts that most of us would find of no value and transformed them into cool and unusual accessories for home and garden.

I bubbled over with excitement as our plane touched down in Minneapolis (I can’t really say the same of Mike but he hung in there). We set out in our rental car with directions printed off Google Maps and after a couple wrong turns that led us through some of the most beautiful, lake filled country we had ever seen we crossed over the city limits of Long Lake and found our way to a clunky 1980’s style, single level, white stucco building that matched the address we were looking for. I thought there must be some mistake…Sue and Ki were trendy women and their creations were anything but boring and this building did not say “trendy” or”exciting”. I was apprehensive after traveling all this way but when we returned an hour before the sale was to start we were greeted by men directing traffic in rain slickers and a line of devoted patrons enduring the sprinkling rain that wound around the lackluster building and well into the parking lot. As we approached the door we could see old tin tubs filled with flowers, rusty car fans turned yard decorations and a well adorned blue vintage bike. Yep, I was in the right place!

For as unimpressive as the outside of the building was the inside made up for it a million times over. A vintage iron fence turned chandelier hung over a creatively set dining table with a high end picnic feel, a pink vintage refrigerator held Junk Market t-shirts and accessories, a larger than life check out counter crafted of colorful paint chippy doors and bulky industrial casters anchored the center of the large open space packed with perfectly arranged areas that fooled me into believing I had walked into a magazine. I was overwhelmed with inspiration for my own home and as many accessories as I could pack into my extra empty suitcase I brought along for that very purpose. After hours of gathering and watching merchandise as it was packed into vehicle after vehicle, and Mike’s fear that the friendly sales associates may believe we were stalking them I was thrilled to have gotten a chance to talk to Sue and Ki who had reached celebrity status in my mind. They appreciated the excitement that surrounded the sale, humbly accepted my compliments and encouraged me to pursue my dream of organizing a similar sale in Wyoming but advised me that it requires a group of dedicated and talented individuals to pull it off.

Country Home is no longer a monthly publication and though Sue and Ki remain icons in the occasional sale arena they have since split up but images of their sale and their words of encouragement still echo in my mind.

Are you a talented and motivated individual? Do you have an eye for what’s hot and happening in the vintage/handmade market business. Can you create high quality goods and beautiful displays? Experience isn’t necessary but the right attitude is. If you fit that description I am looking for you.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This is inspiration for the soul...

The latest in my search for inspiration came from Portland, Oregon. I, along with my chic and trendy cohorts set out on an adventure inspired by my new found blogger, Cindy Dockins aka The Queen of Tarte. (I know…where have I been?) Cindy really is the queen of occasional sales in the Portland area. Her sale was held in a humble little barn on the outskirts of Oregon City that she, along with a couple creative friends, had magically transformed into the Land of Tarte – it was magnificent! I tend to talk a lot about the feeling I get when I walk into a space such as this one that Cindy had created – but it was exhilarating. The vintage furniture – some painted, some not and some freshly covered with bold print fabric, the treasures covered by apothecary jars, numbers and letters of all shapes and sizes and dress forms proudly modeling one of a kind jewelry twinkled on a backdrop of rustic barn wood. Her sales are scheduled a couple days every month and I felt lucky to be one of many friendly faces who arrived early to catch a piece of the magic. If you are browsing in blog land be sure to check out Cindy’s new location.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Have the courage to recreate yourself

For as long as I can remember I have dreamed of owning a shop filled with fun, unique and inspiring items for home. I am never so happy as I am when I walk into a store that fills my senses - the smell of basil blue sage or a spearmint blend, the sound of music that encourages me to hum along and dance a little jig while I float from the soft fuzzy rug under my feet to a rough burlap chair cover. I can literally taste the anticipation of introducing a shiny silver set of candlesticks to my simple home or discovering pillows full of color and texture to inspire me to redecorate for the upcoming season. I have heard it said that “Home is the most important place in the world” and I do agree. I have spent many years searching for this kind of experience to feed my addiction. My husband calls this shopping but I call it inspiration for my soul. It is hard to explain to non-enthusiasts but I know there are many others who share my passion. Where ever you are …. I am searching for you.