For all of you who run your own business, you know this moment:
You want this big project; this amazing client. So, you make the calls, do the sales pitch, negotiate the contract, re-work the bid, even picture yourself doing it… and then you get it- you get the project!
You feel special! Even a little giddy…
And then it hits you… you’ve gotta lot of work to do. How will you ever get it done?
Finally, you gather your energy, your courage and you rally.
Let’s do this!!!!
That’s exactly what happened when DIY Network called wanting videos of fresh how-to paint projects. But I caught my breathe pretty quickly because I have a fearless posse:
Stephanie Letsinger joined me for an afternoon to help select and gather stuff for styling. Not only is she a designer with a great eye, she’s always up for a good laugh. In fact, she chuckled (with me, I’m sure) all the way to our first stop in a massive moving fan with the biggest steering wheel ever. (wish I had a picture- it’d make you chuckle too)
We started at Dream, THE BEST hidden treasure vintage shop in San Mateo where Stacy, the owner, opened her doors wide for me…
…I grabbed lots of things including these super cool accent tables she creates with salvaged aluminum frames and scrap stone.
Then, we headed to Harvest where Kathleen set us up with some new pieces…
Like these cool lamps, this simple side table…
… and the piece de resistance- a ferris wheel- score!
Later, I grabbed a few more things at Willa Home, my other favorite local boutique…
where owner, AnneMarie, carries the best dishware and other unique accessories…
I felt great about the styling stuff. But there were still supplies to gather. You’ll see…
Earlier this year, I went with my friend, Nona, to an event in Napa that paired wineries with emerging musical artists for a weekend tour that brought people together in a really cool way. I liked the approach so much I decided to try something similar in my own little neighborhood.
I created a Vintage Holiday Shopping event with three local vintage/gift shops- Dream, Willa Home, and Apt 46, and Sophia Cunningham, a designer who offers Holiday decorating, landscape, and interior design services. The event became a Passport to Vintage and really was a fun trip!
Passports provided a map to the stores, a pocket for our business cards, and notepaper for passengers to keep their purchases and ideas organized. The booklets were designed and created by Brown Pigeon at http://www.etsy.com/shop/brownpigeon
We all brought our clients and customers together and invited them to my home to see how I decorate with vintage finds…
…Sophia added her Holiday touch with vintage and vintage inspired pieces curated from both our personal collections and goods from the stores…
and with passports in hand, ‘passengers’ headed out on a tour of the boutiques for refreshments and exclusive Holiday specials.
Megan Lewis, creator of Brown Pigeon also provided custom stamps that we used at every stop. Stamping the guests 'passports' qualified them for prizes and gave us an opportunity to meet and greet everyone. That was my favorite part of the day. Megan Lewis is a San Francisco artist. Meeting with her in person and adding her passion to this event was a great bonus!
Then we headed out on a 3 hour tour of shopping, snacking, and visiting with everyone…
That's Sophia Cunningham to my right. On the other side is my best friend, Krista, and Willa Home owner, AnneMarie Hogan. She's a superstar business woman with big vision for her amazing boutique.
Next stop was to Apt 46 with owner, Melisa Bleasdale, who's shop is always overflowing with beautiful and delicate things
Our final stop was at Dream, where owner Stacy Rhodes turns her gorgeous store into a vintage Holiday wonderland every year.
There were so many highlights; my Dad came! so did some good friends, and hanging out with these talented, smart women over the weeks as we organized everything was just really fun and cool.
Teaming up complementary businesses is a great way to expand business and create a sense of community for everyone vendors and customers alike. Why work against each other when it's so much more fun to work together?
We all brought our distinct touches to the same passion- bringing new life to beautiful old things. What a great day! I’m thinking about doing it again in the Spring, so stay tuned…
Years ago my hairdresser in San Francisco mentioned that a friend of hers
was opening a little vintage shop in San Mateo. Little did I know that years later I’d be living in San Mateo driving by Dream, Stacy Rhodes’ jewel of a shop that was even more magnificent than our friend described.
Located at 905 S. Claremont Street, Dream and owner Stacy Rhodes are treasures of San Mateo
Okay, I’ll admit it- I’ve been selfish. I’ve been keeping Stacy to myself. Dream has been my resource for client gifts and amazing Christmas goodies for myself! But I’m fixing that now. Here’s everything you need to know about Dream and my gal pal, Stacy Rhodes:
SK: How long ago did you open your shop?
Stacy: I’ve had the shop now for 7 years. I live in the neighborhood and noticed an empty little storefront. I was running a successful business but the stress just wasn’t worth it.Â I really wanted to do something more fulfilling.Â Back in the day, my mom took me to flea markets in Chicago soÂ I grew up with used furniture and antiques.Â I think I was stripping and painting furniture in my teens.Â So I sent a nice note inquiring about the property and before I knew it I was renting it!
SK: Has your vision changed since then? Is selling in today’s environment
different than is used to be? How do you cope?
Stacy: My vision remains. You do have to roll with the changes in styles to some degree but buying and selling what’s super hot right now can leave you high and dry in
months.Â I prefer to sell items that people love regardless ofÂ the latest craze.
SK: Do you have a hard time letting go of some of the beautiful things you
Stacy: I have to admit it’s hard to see some go but there is nothing better than seeing these treasures go to good homes, and seeing happy customers is so rewarding. There are always more cool things to find. On my semi annual buying trips I always buy myself a piece.Â I just bought a French sideboard with the original marble top.Â I’ve painted and it now holds our entertainment system.
SK: What’s your favorite style or period? Do you have a favorite color palette?
Stacy: 1910-1930. I always go for cool tones, light blues, grays, greens, and beige.
SK: I love that you have a tiny garage attached to this place for extra
storage and room to repair and paint some of your finds. Do you enjoy that
part of your business too?
Stacy: Fixing up a piece that would otherwise be tossed out is truly one of the best parts about this business.Â I love creating new life.
SK: What advice would you give someone looking to start a bold new venture?
Stacy: Honestly I would not change a thing. I tell people you just have to jump
in, eyes open.Â There are no wrong turns when choose to follow your dream. Just start small and try to make wise decisions.
Thank you, Stacy! I’m bringing my friends in as soon as you have your Holiday pieces out, so start getting those boxes out! I love your work and can’t wait for everyone else to see your atelier.
If you’re interested in a Holiday shopping party, let me know and I’ll start organizing the event!