Friday, February 27, 2009

Vintage Chicks

Received a package today from our own Claudia. She is still working out in California. She is one of those rare people who fit perfectly into our family. I miss her everyday and I'm sure Humphrey does too.

I love getting things in the mail, it makes you feel so special. The surprise was addressed to both Susan and, Heidi Hill-Haddard and Susan Hill, from Claudia Hill... our names always make me smile. (that's a blog for another night) anyway here is a photo of our gift.
Two fantastic satin buttons, I wore mine on my apron all day. I love them and know she sent them because we both love vintage things not because we are old...right? Thank you for the fun and thoughtful gift Claudia. ooxx

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meet Catherine Boyd

Catherine is the newest member of the HiHo family. She is a talented upholsterer selling and showcasing her work on the second floor of HiHo. Catherine (Caty) has been reupholstering furniture for over 19 years. She works with antique and vintage pieces. Her love for the art of restoration shows in her work. Caty prefers the older furniture, trusting that the frames are superior to furniture built today and have more character. She uses high quality supplies, cushioning materials, fabrics and all springs are 8-way hand tied.
Caty is a fellow Gardiner resident, relaxed, friendly and outgoing. She is the perfect addition to HiHo.
We are so excited about her bringing her expertise, beautiful furniture and amazing pillows here for our customers.
That's why we are having a
reception in her honor.
5:00PM - 7:00PM

The reception will kick off a weekend of fun. Friday night will be an evening of friends, complimented with a glass of wine, a nibble of cheese and of course shopping our “Get to Know Caty Specials”. Customers can enter to win a door prize worth over one hundred dollars, can receive a party favor and can find out about our preferred customer cards. Catherine will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the care, restoration, pricing and upholstering of any heirlooms or furniture you treasure. Saturday and Sunday the celebration will continue with the specials and more chances to win prizes. Catherine will be here Saturday from 11:00-1:00 and Sunday from 1:00-3:00, making sure everyone has an opportunity to meet her. Come meet my new friend Caty!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


That something that makes someone believe tomorrow will be even better. I guess it doesn't matter what you call it, as Americans we are born with it. I think entrepreneurs just have more of it. An ability too hold ones breath and take hold of a dream. I have a community of retail friends faced with challenges everyday. Obstacles they anticipated, bad weather days, upkeep of buildings, food spoiling, damaged merchandise, loss of employees and even the occasional unhappy customer. ( we don't have those at HiHo, wink,wink) These are all things anticipated, somehow many of these special people who are following dreams are really feeling the downward swing in the economy. ( I won't put that big R word out into the universe I refuse to perpetuate the fear). Now don't get me wrong I'm aware that many of my customers are feeling the pinch, however a hundred people spending ten dollars at a local produce stand adds up to a thousand dollar day for a dreamer. You can make a difference, don't let the constant push of fear by the news stations convince you to hold too tight to ten bucks. I don't know about you, I don't want to look around in a year and see businesses have slipped away.
One last thought... we should not look further than our own back yards, our local dreamers need us.

Friday, February 20, 2009

girl friends

My day started so nicely with an email from a friend. A love note of sorts saying something nice would happen today and it did.

So very often small groups of women share a trip to HiHo together. This afternoon there seemed to be more woman than usual enjoying each others company. Today two sisters came in and laughed out loud while reading greeting cards. A pair of older ladies (with large pocket books and gloves) pondered over where all the things of their mothers homes had gone. Four woman enjoyed time debating who had the best dessert at lunch. Even a couple of local antique dealers; gals just out running errands.... found the time to share a look around. The wind was strong, bitter cold and the sky was grey, but somehow I don't think that's what is going to stand out in the memory of the day for any of the woman that gathered at HiHo this afternoon. I am sure they are all home tonight grateful for having had a day to share with a friend.

I'm glad to have my girl friends.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

IKEA Adventure

I had never been to an IKEA store before today. For more than a year now any time it came up in a conversation, people gasped and could not believe I had never visited an IKEA.
Susan and I departed for New Jersey this morning after all respectable children were safely loaded on buses for school. She had been looking forward to sharing the experience with me. It took about an hour of driving to arrive at the massive store.
WOW, WOW, WOW, a retail wonder, nearly an amusement park for shoppers. We followed the arrowed floors, viewing thousands of items for sale...amazing. Clean, orderly, utilitarian, furniture, lighting, bedding, well... you know what is there, I'm the last person on earth to visit an IKEA. How did I send a child to school this past Sept. without shopping for her dorm room in an IKEA? anyway....
We had lunch, ran into a HiHo customer and of course bought a few items for our homes. An enjoyable Tuesday, the pleasure was all mine, thanks Susan.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thanks for a Great Time!

We had so much fun at HiHo this past weekend. I wanted to share a couple pictures and thank everyone for making Honey of a Weekend a huge success. Melinda Widmark kept customers chuckling with tales of the farm while spooning up all flavors of honey. Thanks Melinda, for adding energy and laughter to event. Bless Humphrey's heart for putting up with wearing wings for two full days...he was a very busy bee.
Ray Smith shared his recipe for granola and Susan's pecan recipe was the talk of the counter, thank you both.
Ginger-Scented Pecans from the Martha Stewart Hors D'Oeuvres Handbook
5 cups pecan halves1/2 cup sugar2 t kosher salt1 t ground ginger2 T honey2 t canola oil
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Place the nuts in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets. Toast until the nuts are fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through cooking. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, salt, and ginger in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the honey, 2 T of water, and the oil in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the roasted pecans. Cook, stirring once or twice, until all of the liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the sugar mixture, and toss until well combined. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
Pecans may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for one week.

Keep watching for our next event...a reception for the newest member of HiHo, upholsterer Catherine Boyd.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Serve Up a Complete Look

We have all been in the situation. You know, guests, a great menu and not quite the right utensils. In the search for all things lovely and utilitarian, I came across these wonderful boxed sets. We sold them during the Holiday Season and now will be selling them year round. They are the perfect gift. The hostess gift you want to receive.

As the winter lingers it is always nice to have guests over to share an evening in your home. Nesting this time of year seems to be easy. Now is the time to be creative and mix up your everyday dishes with pieces from your not so used know the dishes you love but never use, the ones in the back of the cupboard. Don't worry if a set is not complete. Tables set with pieces pulled together creatively are always more personal.Like these two sweet saucers. Use them for fruit salad or bread plates, they would spice up the look of the table. This traditional pine patterned china would look wonderful with a green charger or even mixed with a 1950's plaid patterned dinner set. Try using a quilted throw for a tablecloth or layer a tablecloth with place mats. Have fun, you can't go wrong. You have kept the dishes in the back of the cupboard because you love them, now use them. Don't have fun pieces to mix them with? Stop by and let us help you pull a look together. So you can serve up a complete look that shows off your personal style.

Future Possiblities

Our little Town of Gardiner has been discussing sidewalks for the Hamlet for years. So it was exciting to see a number of gentlemen in town today surveying for sidewalks. I'm not sure if anything will happen in the near future, but it is nice to think we are getting closer to the project. Humphrey enjoyed the entertainment, it went on for hours. These shots were taken through the front door of the shop.

You can tell from the pictures he was working very close to where Humphrey enjoys his sunshine. Humphrey made sure he didn't get too close to the door. After hours of threatening growling, pacing and jumping they packed up and left. Humphrey proceeded to sleep the rest of the day, proud of a job well done.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ready and Waiting

We have stocked up on honey, tidied up and dolled up. Now we hope you are up for a sweet time.
Time for a Honey of a Weekend.I Hand Painted Some Special Votive Holders, Some Glass Pillar Holders To Match The Bee Tea Towels
And Some Tea Lights Too
Plenty to buzz about, bee sure to stop by.
Saturday 10-6
Sunday 11-5

Thursday, February 12, 2009

HiHo Basketball

For a few years now HiHo has sponsored a Youth Basketball team out of New Paltz. This years team played well last night lead by Coach Curcio. My son Everett scored two baskets...GO HIHO!!! A victory.....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Roses, Chocolate and Cards

Lovely gifts for your Valentine here at HiHo.....
Silks By The Stem Beautiful Tea Towels Honey and Chocolate Valentines With Hankies

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Honey of a Weekend (press release)

Local Honey Available in Gardiner

HiHo Home Market and Widmark Farms have joined together for a Honey of a Weekend. Enjoy honey pairing and tastings all day Saturday and Sunday February 14/15. Heidi Hill-Haddard of HiHo and Melinda Widmark of Widmark Farms will be hosting the event at HiHo Home Market and Antique Center on Main Street in Gardiner. Visitors can expect honey recipes, tales of the farm and discounts on related gift items.
Widmark Farms, a staple landmark of Gardiner, has been a destination of people of all ages for close to half a century. With Mary Widmarks declining health the farm shut the gate at the end of 2006. The business continued to serve customers online and through the cooperation with other local businesses. It was at this time that HiHo started selling Widmark Farms products. Creamed honey, honey comb, bee’s wax, jarred Clover, Wildflower and Buckwheat honey now stock the shelves at HiHo. Heidi Hill-Haddard, owner of HiHo recalls, “it seemed like the local honey was a perfect match for the shop and a way to continue the tradition of it being sold right here in Gardiner.” Melinda Widmark of Widmark Farms commented, “I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends this weekend.” The Honey of a Weekend is sure to become an annual event that celebrates the past and the future of Gardiner.
For more information, call (845)255-1123

Because You're Worth It!

Had a chat with a neighbor today,( she doesn't shop in HiHo). I never really questioned it, I figured she wasn't the shopping type.(although she has been in twice that I'm aware of.) Her little house is spic and span , her gardens wrap around all four sides of her property, she entertains at home a lot and somehow it didn't occur to me that SHE IS our target customer. Hmmmm, why isn't she walking down the street to HiHo once in a while, even if just to get inspiration? As I reflected on the conversation, I came to the conclusion that she perceives HiHo as being out of her price range. Maybe I have displayed my shop so it looks like prices could be high.... but my prices have always been an "honest Joe deal". How did this happen? Have I scared some potential customers away by offering a lovely shopping experience? Do people really think bad service and lack of creative displays mean good prices?
After Christmas a visiting customer commented that Adams was selling a product we sell, however it was now on sale for 60% off. The product was now fifteen dollars at Adams and was always and will always be twelve dollars at HiHo.
I try to be upfront and honest with our customers. I plan on continuing to run my business and write my blog in this spirit. Work hard, work long, push to do my best, offer all who visit the best of me and if people perceive that it is beyond them, what can I say?
"Hope you stop in to see me at the shop... you deserve a deal, in a pleasant setting, that's inspiring and has good service!"
Didn't Heather Locklear do a commercial for a hair product?
..."Because you're worth it!" or was it..."Because I'm worth it!"
I guess that was another commercial...sorry.
She did the Faberge Organic shampoo featuring the line:
"and she'll tell two friends, and so on, and so on"
I guess that's all I can hope for after someone visits the shop....but please, could someone tell my neighbor, she's worth it?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Honey of a Weekend!

It's nearing that time again...
A Honey of a Weekend. Last year was so successful we are doing it again, but even bigger. The weekend of the 14th and 15th we will be serving up honey tastings. Buck Wheat, Clover and Wildflower honey from Widmark Farms. With special guest Melinda Widmark
joining in on the fun.
"Bee" sure to mark the dates!


Quoted in Country Business Magazine

Once again HiHo gets a mention in a magazine for independent retails. Country Sampler's, Country Business Magazine. Last year I was in an article about western theme merchandise and displays. This recent article is titled HOT HOT HOT, don't you love it!(you know I like all the "H's"). With a sub title of, Sizzlin' Displays. I know most of you probably haven't heard of the magazine ....but retailers selling with a country spin use it as a resource. Well it can't hurt when HiHo and are small town are mentioned 3 times in one four page article, in the February issue. A big thank you, to Editor, Susan Wagner and her staff for continuing to give small retailers the opportunity to be heard. I took a look to see if the article was posted on their web site, no luck. Although you are welcome to peek at the site, maybe you will find inspiration?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


It's a snowy afternoon and as I force myself to take some down time, I began to browse the retail experts blogs. I find it relaxing and I have to sit to be at the computer. It's a resource I find inspiring at times. I had one expert ask where I find inspiration.....I listed magazines, trade shows, web sites but it all came down to this. I told her "Most importantly I surround myself with highly motivated creative people...friends, they are the best inspiration." Sometimes I'm surprised when I'm faced with the obvious. Wow,I am blessed to have so many inspiring people in my life. Thanks.

Dan Moves On

Some things in life are bitter sweet. Dan is the dealer that sells all the sports collectibles on the second floor. Last month he let me know he was going to move out of HiHo. He explained with family obligations his plate is very full. I was so sad to get the news, it's always nice when you can work with friends. Dan has a handyman and caretaker business which keeps him busy.
Yesterday he packed up his belongings and moved out. He assured me we will continue to see each other and do business together. (He did much of the construction in the Christmas Room) The vacant room is a reminder that everything changes.


I have new exciting plans for Dan's room. Some construction , some painting and a new member added to the HiHo family....Hows that for a tease?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Soooo Nice

What a weekend! Thank you for making this past weekend one of the nicest weekends in the history of HiHo. I am so touched by the thoughtfulness of our many of you came out and showered Humphrey with treats, cookies, toys and even handmade cards. Oh, and brought your dogs too. That was a real treat for us. The birthday wishes were really appreciated.
With so many visitors Humphrey snuck in a sun nap. I guess he's not a REAL party animal.