That's all I can think to say after these past few weeks. The past month, actually. We've gone from launching the store (a soft opening, if you will) at the end of April, to our Grand Opening and Troy Night Out last Friday night, to getting ready for the big summertime festival in Troy next weekend. I'm all out of whack and can't seem to get my head straight. Whew.
Yeah, so, I'm completely out of sync and finally got around to cleaning my house for real for the first time in a very long time on Monday. I've "cleaned" the house, but haven't cleeeeeeeaaaaaned the house, if you catch my drift. I'm amazed people even want to hang out there. Never before in my life have I wished I could afford a cleaning lady more, even just for one day a week, just to blow the stink and dust (and the ton of pollen that has made its way into my living quarters) out of my house. I used to clean my house regularly...washing the floors, dusting and polishing when need be. I took pleasure in it, actually. Cleaning your entire house from top to bottom and then standing back and watching it sparkle is one of the greatest feelings I know of. But ever since the shop has become my number one priority, the cleaning, unfortunately, has taken the back seat. It took me two hours just to get the front room clean, and I had such a raging headache from the dust and pollen I almost had to stop. Gross. If you're a cleaning lady in the upstate New York area and you're reading this blog, please contact me if you're willing to clean for handmade handbags.
Anyway, so the grand opening gala was a success. The mayor and various other powers-that-be were all here and they seemed to really like the shop. We went through with the ribbon cutting, even though it was quite embarrassing and inside I was seriously hoping that everyone would mysteriously forget about it somehow. The mayor bought one of Dave's paintings, which was thrilling for him, I'm sure. The opening was immediately followed by Troy Night Out for May, and we were packed once again. Sales were great, the turnout was great, and thankfully the weather was amazing. And the food. Oh, the food. Like a crazy person I decided to handle food myself instead of opting for the catering route. I'm really glad I made that decision because I saved a ton of bucks, but the headache over the planning was ridiculous. We had a huge shrimp platter, a cheese platter, a fruit platter, fresh mango salsa, fresh guacamole, caramelized onion dip, cookies, brownies, breads, boneless chicken strips, wine...the list goes on and on. Too much food, I think, as we fed half of Troy, but everyone really enjoyed it and you only get one shot to do it right. I think we did.
Let's see...in between the list of maddening shop events, I squeezed in a dress shopping romp with Carly, my mom and Carly's soon to be mother in law because I have reluctantly agreed to be my sister's maid of honor, and the only person in her bridal party. Go me! I hate wearing dresses, and I hate wearing dress shoes, so who better to select to stand up for you at your wedding but me!?!?! I'm playing around mostly, but I'd be lying if I said a small part of me wasn't cringing on the inside. I found this dress:
which surprisingly doesn't look all that horrific on me, and I think I might find shoes that can be dyed to match. What do you think?
Anyway, I really have to get my butt back to my little sewing nook asap because our summer festival, RiverFest, is quickly approaching (next Saturday) and I need to boost my stock back up before then. I've been keeping busy with the little dresses, but every so often I take time out from that and crank out some bags and little pouches. The little mini matchbook notepads are a surprising hit here, too. I made over 100 of them yesterday alone.
So, that's the update. I'm trying to come up with some new items to sell here. I constantly worry that the shop looks too empty and I don't have enough stuff, even though my customers and friends all argue that I'm nuts for thinking that. Still, I'd like to start bringing in some new things, but I don't know what direction to take. If you were to walk into my shop, what kinds of things would you love to see here? I'm itching to bring in some home canned goods like jams and jellies, sauces and dips. You know, the kinds of things that can sit here without spoiling. Aside from that, though, I'm at a loss. Any suggestions?
I'm toying around with new tattoo ideas lately, too. I would love to connect the koi fish on my forearms with the birds on my shoulders and eventually have full sleeves. I'm really into the idea of flowers lately, but seeing as how all of my tattoos are black and grey I need to come up with an interesting way to incorporate simple black tattoos with elaborate floral details. I'm really leaning toward old school botanical drawings, which are mostly simple line drawings in ink anyway. I'm struggling with finding images, though. I think a visit to the library might be in order. My mom suggested looking into the Audubon books, but I want to go a bit older than that. I'm thinking of something along the lines of this:
but in black and white...no color. Google, here I come.