Wednesday, August 27, 2008


The morning Isabella and I headed for NY the moon was still in the sky as the sun came up. She drove while we shared retail stories.

We arrived at the Javits Center early and it was already buzzing with people.

Thousands of vendors displaying products, in four locations- the Javits (pictured here), the Metropolitan Pavilion, the Piers and 7 West. All are packed with inspiration for HiHo, from new counter top goodies to amazing furniture. Isabella and I do a combination of looking together and venturing off on our own, touching base with cell phones. We both had scheduled meetings with sales reps from favorite company's and lists of new items we were on the hunt for. On this first day we took in one floor of the Javits and the Metropolitan Pavilion. The show closed for the night at six, Isabella headed home while I had more adventure ahead.

A friend, customer and local Gardiner resident was very generous and lent me her place near Union Square. I took advantage of the shows' shuttles and only had to walk a few blocks to my home away from home. Exhausted from my long day I ran a bath and gobbled pizza while preparing my plan of attack for the next day, (all while watching the Olympics, an Olympic event in its self).


After a good nights rest with my new friend Paris the cat, I headed to the Piers to meet with Pat. Relationships with sales reps really feed into the business when they are knowledgeable about both their lines and our point of view. HiHo is considered an out post location for most reps, so I really try to put time aside for those who make the trip and I go out of my way to meet with them at the shows.


Seeing the products showcased in their company's created environment never disappoints.The second day was drawing to an end, after walking both Piers I hopped a shuttle for 7 West where drinks and appetizers were being served for late shoppers. Eleven floors of showrooms filled with retail business owners from across the U.S..I LOVED THE VINTAGE LOOK OF THIS NEW FURNITURE

I met with another rep, had a cocktail, a few munchies, and I was off to my home in the city. My husband was arriving for dinner and a over night.....we had dinner on the street, a table for two, watching New York walk by on a beautiful summer evening. More Olympics and planning for my last day at the show.


Day three; Isabella is joining me for another day of walking, walking and walking. I visited candy vendors tasting my way through jams, candy canes and chocolates. With Isabella at my side I revisited select booths from the previous two days for a second opinion. It's was great having the feedback and made for a productive day. We shared the bus ride back to New Paltz in the early part of the evening. Now we both eagerly await the delivery of new goods and enjoy the fact that our shops are as lovely as anything we saw at the show.

Monday, August 25, 2008

catching up

A wise customer told me for every one day away from work it takes two days to catch up. I have been home from the New York Home & Gift show a week ago Tuesday evening and I'm still not feeling on top of my game. The show was huge, hard work, fun, inspiring and exhausting. I will be sure to post pictures of products purchased at the show as they arrive. For now I have been preparing to launch the web site, working on newsprint ads, recreating the HiHo lady logo and sketching new signage for the parking lot side of the building. I also have been lining up vendors/dealers for our upcoming tent event. I'm planning a booth for the event that will benefit Gardiner's animal rescue along with working on a press release. Like so many of the woman in my life, often I feel like a one man band. Balancing family,a home,community involvement and work, this shot of Ellen says it all. I will continue my attempt to catch up, however sometimes the shop sets a pace of it's own and I'm just along for the ride. It's an exciting time of year as the seasons change along with the HiHo displays.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vintage Toys and Books

The nostalgia of my childhood is stored in toys and story books, and I didn't even know it. I was at auction the other evening, when I was struck by memories of my early youth. A box of books that seemed to have many of my favorite titles and proceeded to recall a wave of moments from the late 1960's for me. The first title to do this was this book, Heidi. Now I know, I was given many different versions of this title, but this is "the one"with illustrator, Erika Weihs and that will remain the "real" Heidi book for me. The ring of daisies on her head and the sweet baby goat, transported me to the land of make believe.
Having a fondness for author and illustrator Romney Gay, I was very surprised and delighted to acquire five of his books for the shop this week, all in wonderful condition.
I have always adored animals and I vividly remember holding this next book up and sharing the illustrations with my second grade class. The Pet Show is in great condition with the slip cover intact.
The book I was most excited about purchasing will remain home. Little Black Sambo was read over and over in my childhood home, I was fascinated with the tigers turning into butter. The evening I won the bid on the lot of books which included Sambo, I was elated. I phoned my Dad in Canada to share my excitement, he didn't miss a beat..."isn't that the book where the tigers run around a tree and turn into butter?"... Great moment.

This hand crafted rocker is perfect for hours of quiet book reading.

As an aspiring artist in my teens, I loved the small pen drawings of Joan Walsh Anglund. I spent many hours trying to reproduce pages of her pocket size books. Anyone familiar with HiHo knows my infinity for Christmas, so when Joan Walsh Anglund's title Christmas Is A Time Of Giving was among the books in the Sambo box...well lets just say it was a good night. I don't think I have to tell you I'm keeping this book too.

I did purchase boxes of books, I even bought more at the next auction and mainly because they were all things from my past. I usually don't make emotional purchases at auction, I realize the risk of spending more than something is worth when ones emotions are involved. However I have justified the buying, these treasures look wonderful in our "Highchairs and Hiccups Room". These next pictures feature terrific made in Spain, wooded toy banks.
All unscrew with ease to collect money saved. I like the idea of people going to work in a toy factory and hand painting wooden toys, for children all around the world.( I envision the elves at the North Pole all lined up at long wooden tables. ) The Just a Minute Jimmy book has the sweetest illustrations of a boy and his dog. The rooster bank and the farmer stand at least ten inches high. The piggy head bank near seven inches high.

Mixing old and new in our children's rooms adds charm, warmth and character. Sharing old favorite titles with our children reassures them we were kids once too.

Going Away With Jack and Judy features a story line of siblings, told in large early reader text. It's condition remains good.

This last shot shows how great the old and new blend for a classic look.

You may not have a child to buy for or a baby to shower in gifts but skipping a walk through our Highchairs and Hiccup room maybe a mistake. Why not let the memories pour over you?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Humphrey's On The Move

Throughout this summer, Humphrey (our familie's Yorkie) has been sited traveling in style. He traveled out of the country to Canada and to the busy city of Buffalo New York. Humphrey enjoyed gathering inspiration for HiHo's fourth quarter while hitting the streets of the city. This first shot was taken here at home. HUMPHREY'S FRONT PACK WAS A GIFT FROM A THOUGHTFUL CUSTOMER

Humphrey and I usually travel to the shop in the HiHo truck or walk. Now that the weather has cooled a bit I got out my bike. This shot was taken in our parking lot. You can see he really enjoys this mode of transportation.


My bike was a gift from my husband, purchased on one of our shopping tours of antique shops and thrift stores. The baskets let me cart things back and forth to the shop. I wouldn't recommend going long distances on this type of bike, but it's perfect for the mile home.


While visiting extended family in Buffalo, we couldn't resist a tour of the shops on Elmwood Aveune. Many of the shops are small family owned businesses. Creative displays and helpful sales associates made the day very enjoyable. Humphrey seemed up for the adventure.


We encouraged a visit with the fire hydrant, but Humphrey didn't seem to know what we had in mind. All in all he proved to be a good traveling companion. He is happiest at the shop, holding court on the counter.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Latest Treasures

The newest goods always seem to be favorites for the moment. Purchasing items that have personality, HiHo's look and will fit in to the current themes, is not always easy. Somehow it has been easy the last couple of auctions. The small scale chaise lounge had a slip cover when I bought it, so it was a surprise to find it in perfect condition when I removed the cover. The "Hitchcock like style" highchair is in fantastic condition, it's certain to become a family heirloom. I always hunt sets of chairs for our customers. This set of four has nice cained seats and are very sturdy. Sometimes I come across furniture that is just plain fun. This yellow table, with a bamboo look would add whimsy to any room. Setting it up in the shop along side the dog we call "Old Yellow"lets customers see its playful side.This week proves that treasures are always out there waiting for us. HiHo is the place we hope you can say you found your last and next treasure. Stop in and have fun hunting! See you soon...

yellow table SOLD...............................................set of chairs SOLD

Anthony Bids and Buys at Auction

My friend Isabella and I both usually attend auction on Monday evenings. Two weeks ago she brought her son Anthony to participate, there were a lot of toys listed for sale. Like all good auction goers we previewed all lots before the sale began. Anthony knew just what lots he wanted....he waited hours for just the right boxes to be put up. His mother, Isabella had informed him he would be doing his own bidding.


When the toy lots started coming forward for sale Anthony was a bit nervous. Mom reassured him and he stood and bid....he was a pro instantly!


Anthony bought box after box, I'm sure the car was loaded at the end of the night. Anthony was lucky they didn't have to strap him to the roof to get the load of toys home.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Looking For Vendors

This years Tent Event promises to be more fun than ever, Sept 13th and 14th. Saturday Gardiner Day will be happening in the park, while the Gardiner Library will be holding a book sale both days, under a large tent in Station Square across the way. Enthusiastic Wine and Spirits usually joins in with wine tastings and The Taste of New Paltz is all day Sunday. Consider being a part of all the festivities and reserve a 10'x10' space under HiHo's tent. Take the opportunity to sell your vintage merchandise and have tons of fun! Bev and Sal of "INN AT THE RIDGE" enjoyed each others company and the week end last year.

Two antique dealers John and Joe swap stories while customers take a look at their goods. The ladies worked hard letting drivers know they were selling books and having a good time.

Be sure to give a call here to HiHo if you are interested in a space under the tent. 255-1123

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Everett's Life at HiHo By, Everett

My job is to be the guy at HiHo. Although me and Humphrey are always out numbered we always enjoy working. One of my first big jobs was at the first tent event. I always enjoy tent events because I always receive jobs that are not like the ones I do other days at the store. The tent event is an annual event that takes place every Gardiner day weekend. The huge tent is set up along with the music, dealers, and Sal sets up his hot dog stand. One year I worked a space in the tent called the Library Tea Cup Toss. The objective was to try to throw a ping pong ball into a cup and saucer, if you did this you would win the cup and saucer that the ping pong ball landed in. This years Tent Event is planned for Sept. 13th and 14th. The amount raised from the event was enough to make a sizable donation to the library.

Although I enjoy tent events my favorite job involves a cow head. One day I put on a cow head and was on the street waving to people for over 60 minutes. Often now I will still put the cow head on for fun waving to people. Every time I take the cow head out and wave I count how many times people honk their horns or wave.

Yet another job I have is to be the HiHo train conductor in our upstairs Christmas room. Our train is a Lionel O gauge North Pole Central train. My job as conductor is to use the transformer to make the train go faster or slower. The train room seems to be the favorite room of all the younger children who come to HiHo.
The next time your in just ask to see the train run.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Grandma's House

We all have vivid memories of our own Grandma's house. Here at HiHo we here people say "oh my Grandmother had one of these" and "this reminds me of My Grandma" at least once a day. I had the pleasure of attending a family gathering last week, where there was mention of my Grandma King. She raised four children and was blessed with 27 grandchildren, she was the mother of my mother. This meant she was also blessed with very large holiday meals in her home. You know the gathering where you were banished to the "kids" table. At my Grandma's house every holiday meal included hot sticky buns for everyone and her best china for the adult table. Her home had a porcelain kitchen sink with a curtain under it, wall metal heat grates, heavy drapes ( with a palm pattern), large colored glass ashtrays, a front porch, garage with a sliding door and a rose garden bordering the neighbors yard. She also had over sized living room furniture that had scratchy fabric, emerald green, burgundy, dark wood, well you get the picture. There was always a full cut glass candy dish and those very small red cinnamon candies in her cupboard to decorate cakes with. I loved to sleep over at Grandma's house, the time spent with cousins was fun. The best part of a sleep over was choosing a flannel gown from the cedar chest at the foot of her bed. I also cheered when she brought out boxes of photo albums. Stories of the past, and lots to look at: fantastic clothes, shots of relatives home interiors, beloved pets, funny stern expressions. Grandma was always accessorized, earrings, necklace, pin, pocketbook, shoes, all matched. Now I realize as an adult that her home was too, a complete look. I was a around eight years old when Grandpa passed, he was a large quiet man who smoked cigar/pipe, wore argyle socks, washed his car for Sunday drives and was dedicated to his church. I'm sure there was much more to the man, but I was young and I only saw him in midst of the holiday crowd. Within a year of his passing Grandma decided to redecorate her room, she really made a pink ruffle girlie room for herself. The featured piece of the room was her dressing table, (where she taught me the right way to file my nails).
I think the most important decorating tip I've learned from reflecting on my Grandma's home is, the importance of our homes having a personality that embodies who we are. I'm sure she would tell you to share it with the people you love, fill your home with memories.
I poured over the pages of books in HiHo's loan library, looking for interiors that might resemble my Grandparents home. I found nothing close, the majority of their furnishings must have been purchased in the forties and our books range from the fifties to the present. We encourage visitors to borrow from our library of decorator books, they are a great source of inspiration. I'm sorry I can't share a photo of the interior of their home, the picture of them together at Alleghany State Park in the fifties says it all.