Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hazel's First Day At Work

Oh, what fun. Recieved the first shipment of incoming jewerly today. Such a little box, but with big treasure.

Hazel, our new vintage dress form, named by a fan of our facebook page. Had her first day of work today, sporting these charming charms. Most are double sided and all are lots of fun. Their vintage graphics make them a perfect fit for HiHo.

Each one, brings to mind another friend....a great gift.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I have been immersing myself in the social networking world. Attempting to use new tools to promote my brick and mortar business. Exploring different types of blogs and web sites. You know, blogs without great pictures of pretty things and web sites that showcase graphs instead of Etsy links. Boring , right?
A new favorite place for me to linger, Conversation Agent , where Valeria Maltoni, connects people with ideas. She says things like..."Do one big thing and skip all the little ones. Sometimes it's best to invest in one thing, than diluting your efforts and your energies over too many, spreading yourself too thin." wow, right? She is speaking of social media and promotion. {Don't worry all the little details of HiHo are not going away.}
An old favorite...Debi Ward Kennedy's blog is another place I have been lately. Yes this blog has pretty pictures ;) She makes me feel as if I am not alone, while I am working on visual display challenges. Owning a shop in a little town has away of making me feel that, I'm out of the loop of the *real retail* world. Debi's blog brings the world of retail to me. She says things we all need to hear, like *be consistent* it's nice to know she is there when I'm having a day.

Finding a balance? How to juggle the options of promotion and just plain offering a great shopping experience. I wish it was clear, like putting a sign up or taking it down. However it's more like what color, what size, what should it say, what font should we use, what's the message, where should we put it.....get my point?
It is an exciting time for me to be exploring the options of social media and gather some knowledge to promote HiHo more aggressively. The map is changing everyday. I'm trying to develop a plan, much like the plans I draw for floor moves and lists of merchandise I make for themed displays. Although these tools are behind the scenes and often not as apparent to customers as my displays, they are part of the balance of the business.
More importantly is the balance of family and work. A much harder balance for me to strike.

Two teens, a husband and a twenty year old , who is launching a business from her dorm room. SweetPea&Co is my Whitney's new business and if you are considering face book as a venue for promoting your business check it out. If you want to know more about patience ask my husband. For sharpening your talents on singing loudly in your room , Aubrey is your girl. Everett is an expert in down time, specializing in watching politics and the history channel.

Hows that for equal time and finding a balance, hee,hee ;)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Honey Of A Weekend

I know this weekend is Super Bowl weekend....but next weekend is more important in the land of HiHo. Every year we celebrate Valentines Day with Melinda Widmark from the honey farm. We sell her honey year round, but we have a weekend of tastings....sorta a tasting of honey with your sweety...or sweety your such a honey....or a sweet time with honey...I could go on but I know you want me to stop:)
Yes, we do a room over in a yellow/honey palette and we get in related honey gift items. But most importantly we share the weekend with our small town community reminiscing of days gone by at the old Widmark Honey Farm.
A new addition to the event this year is, tea provided by The Village Tea Room and Bakery of New Paltz. The owner Agnes has generously offered to bring the tea and one of her famous Honey Cakes (made with Widmark Honey) to be on display all weekend....available through special orders.The images are of Mary Lake Thompson flour sack towels we will have in the shop for sale by Honey of a Weekend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

three days or three daze

Just got back from three very full days at the New York International Gift Fair. I write about the experience every six months. I pack up travel to the city and throw myself into days of picking and choosing new products for the upcoming seasons. Thousands of vendors showcasing hundreds of products and all to be viewed while navigating through more middle aged woman than you will ever see in your entire life time. Yes I'm back, home and happy. At the shop and content. However how do I answer the question every customer asks? " Was the show fun?" "Did you have a good time?".....really, they must perceive the trip as the ultimate shopping binge. Clearly they have never walked the average of 15 miles a day lugging bags of catalogs in search of inspiration. OK,OK, there is the moment when you do find a product, a look, the perfect missing piece for a theme planned for the future....when the weight of the bags disappear, the crowds don't exist and you are in a retail daze. Then you wake up and start requesting all the information you need to know. We ask.."What's your minimum opening order, your shipping costs, quantities on this item, where is your company based, when will it be available." Then we walk away shaking our heads in disbelief, that anyone would buy five hundred dollars in sea salt...even if they were packaged in great vintage looking bottles.
Lets see, the best moments of this years show....Meeting up with Whitney, as she exited the social media seminar, leaping with excitement over her new wealth of knowledge.
Taking in the grand scale furniture and displays at the pier.
Riding the "party" bus from the Javits Center to the permanent showrooms at 7W. Sorry, no pictures the black lights and disco ball kept me from taking a photo of the group of ladies singing to "sock hop" music while the two large screen TVs ran reruns of old westerns.
Finding and reading the text on the charms, we finally ordered and having Isabella's expert opinion while choosing jewelry. (couldn't find a shot of the charms we ordered but you get the idea)
One on one time with a sales representative for over two hours, ordering Christmas goods, and we sealed the deal with a hug.
Hot bath Sunday night, at a friends place in the city.
The moment after I figured out two new favorite lines, one textiles, one soaps and tea towels, mix and match perfectly.
Susan's ability to crack herself up....always makes me laugh.
Realizing the jewelry we fell in love with, Isabella approves and is made in upstate NY.
I'm sure I will reflect on the days in a daze for weeks....all in all , Yes I had fun.