31 January 2008

Busy as a Bee

Well, it's not bee season quite yet (one can dream), but there has been enough busy-ness around here to keep the Queen and her whole hive buzzing. While naturally we've been a bit slower in the shop this month than usual (twenty degree temps and thirty mile an hour winds will do that), we have been working like crazy behind the scenes preparing for things to come. First of all, the ongoing metamorphosis of the shop into full-on Spring. Shipments continue to arrive on a daily basis and we work them in as we get them unpacked. We're unpacking as quickly as we can, I promise!

In the midst of all this, I almost jumped on a plane this morning and hightailed it to New York City for the Gift Show (some kind friends had invited me to share their hotel room), until a three-pallet delivery arrived two days ago loaded up to eight feet high with iron, architectural salvage, the largest cast iron garden urns you may ever see, and furniture. I took one look at our stuffed-to-the gills storage room, called up my friend, and told her, "Who am I kidding? I'm not going to New York this weekend."

I've definitely got enough going on here to keep me occupied. Did you know that The Blissful is opening another store? An online store, to be exact. After months of anticipation, planning, and fun with research, design and construction, we are launching e-commerce at our website in February. The photo above shows just some of the new items we've gathered for our online boutique. We promise to announce the opening of the online shop on this blog the second it goes live. Well, maybe half a minute later.

Above, a new piece from John Wind for Maximal Art. What look like pearls are actually cotton balls dipped in a hard pearlescent finish to look as though! Interesting, huh?

New decor items are turning up daily. See our Damask Cube Lamp, above.

And my latest focus: hipping up our Atelier (Studio) department. I love our offerings from Cavallini & Co. and so do our customers, but I've been on a search for more contemporary lines (with even a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure) and have found some fantastic ones. I am currently in love with the funny Valentine cards in our front display. Valentine's Day is not a holiday I've ever gotten very excited about, but I think we've dug up a small lot of fresh, quirky treasures for the day usually given over to hearts and flowers. You won't find anything overly sweet or precious here, but you may find a little something to remind you of the one you love or heavy like.

The contents of our storage room remain largely a mystery even to us this week. We're just about unable to get through the door that leads off of the sales floor and squeeze back through the stacks of small boxes piled high and large boxes propped up against our shelves. It's a precarious place these days. Thank goodness for my able-bodied brother and his friend, as well as my boyfriend (yay for corn-fed boys!), who come in and save us when they can! I somewhat envy those other retailers who have a team of people at the ready to unpack boxes, move stuff around, lift stuff off the trucks when they arrive. On most days, it's just my mom and I running out the back door to meet the freight carrier driver, trying not to overly dirty our coats as we schlep boxes into storage, the wind whipping our hair into our mouths all the while. Oh, I am a drama queen today!

But lookit: the photo below was shot from the door of our storage room, which can't even be opened all the way at this point. Those cool crusty iron gates will be incorporated into a vignette of found objects very soon. And inside that box? That's our Bohemian Apartment Mirror, the color of which caught my eye from across a showroom at Market. Had to have it for our expanding Apparel department (new vintage-washed tees will be in the shop soon, as well as new Spring scarves).

And below, I wanted (for some odd reason) to give you just one peek behind the curtain of the fantastically appointed place that is The Blissful. Am I really going to do this? Yes, I guess I am. This, my friends, is the interior of my office, the sacred private space where I am supposed to collect my thoughts, pay my invoices, draft inspiring posts for this blog and my other one. So not the case right now, as you can see. This little room will be my project for the first quarter of the year. My yellow and green Chinese desk, I picked up at an antique shop when I was in college. It's one of my favorite pieces and has traveled with me from gross pre-fab (and I don't mean pre-fabulous) college apartment to my parents' basement and now to the shop, where it's certainly under a lot of duress.

If you find your own office, or any other space that's yours, to be in a similar state, I encourage you to inquire into the services of our friend Jamie Escola, organizer extraordinaire and the entrepreneur behind Calm & Collected Home Organizing. Ahh. Doesn't the name alone just make you feel better? Jamie has a blog which may inspire you to, ahem, reassess the way you're creating your personal space. I know I could use a dose of Calm & Collected right about now. I do want to mention that this little shout-out was entirely my idea.

Those of you who are subscribed to our e-mail list, watch for a new graphic-rich mailer landing in your Inbox the week before V-Day. There's even a special offer attached to sweeten up this cold, cold weather. Adieu.


McMaster & Storm said...

Ohhhhh, Abby you made my day with your inspiring post. Can't wait to "peek" more at the shop when it's ready for spring! Love the green-ish gate thingys.
Yes, wish you were coming to NYC---but we'll go again. I'll post pics of us hailing a cab!

Jill Flory said...

woo-hoo! I can't wait to see your on-line store!!!! I think it will be well worth the wait! Your office looks like my sewing space, not enough organization because of not enough space?!? I tell myself that because it can't be that I'm just not organized!!!!
Have a wonderful weekend, hope you don't get the ice they are calling for in this part of Ohio:-)

dahlias said...

Abby...your office looks familiar my friend...although I will be honest...mine welll if it looked like yours it would be considered organized:) I doubt I will ever share a pic of my space b/c honestly I would be afraid someone might gasp in horror and possibly have some sort of medical damage (especially those organized souls)...yes seriously its that bad. Oh well I work best in a mess. Your finds look wonderful...talk to you soon!

Kasey said...

I love reading your thoughts!
I am also in the middle of spring fever.

Tracie said...

Just dropping in to say good morning!

Happy to see my office isn't the only one that's a work in progress... I will get to it soon, as soon as I do the 513 other things I need to do first.


Mermaid Queen said...

I came across your blog and it is so inspiring and beautiful. Your taste is great. Good luck with your website! ~Martha

Lana said...

Everything is lovely Abby, even the room with things piled high. I'm one of those who doesn't mind prowling through goodies! I'm looking forward to coming back to visit your blog and seeing your online shop.

Jennifer Ramos said...

These are fantastic, so jealous....would LOVE to see your online store.

Jenn and Jacqui said...

Hi Abbey, we are excitedly awaiting the online store opening, we are sure it will be beautiful :) Jenn and Jacqui

Anonymous said...

hi... i'm kara's mom at mc&storm. Is
the creamy gorgeous armoire for sale?
i have to be nimble & swift to get
the goods before she does!!!! or
she talks me out of it-MOM," what were you thinking"...

grandma karen

Anonymous said...

hi... i'm kara's mom at mc&storm. Is
the creamy gorgeous armoire for sale?
i have to be nimble & swift to get
the goods before she does!!!! or
she talks me out of it-MOM," what were you thinking"...

grandma karen

Anonymous said...

LOVE the Savon de Marseille! I can almost smell the lavender and roses coming through my monitor. I'm heading down to The Blissful to get some!