30 April 2008


Click the graphic at left to read our latest press! How do we feel about both items? Can we say... thrilled?!?!

As a boutique owner, the first "big" magazine coverage is a pretty significant milestone. It's going to be a little unbelievable come August to flip open the glossy pages of Romantic Homes and see our shop featured there.

And as for being named one of HAT's 50 Retail Stars, it feels like such a short time ago that I first discovered Debbie Dusenberry's Curious Sofa in the pages of this same publication...and in the very same feature! (Of course, Debbie's was THE featured shop that year, with huge photos and a detailed interview.) Debbie was one of my early retail mentors-from-afar (as in, she didn't and still doesn't know me). Our shops are very different but I admire her eye and the way she creates her concept anew every season. I remember thinking at the time, maybe in eight years or so we could get a mention like this. And now, two years later...

Thanks to every single one of you who helps us do it. Inspiration does not thrive in a vacuum, and neither does the community around which a shop grows. We are truly blessed.

Article source: Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce Communicator, May 2008

24 April 2008

Rites of Spring

I've been working on this post since the beginning of the week, trying to upload a great big batch of photos from our recent fête at the shop. Blogger has been playing games with me (must be glitchy this week), so I've finally decided to post with what I have already uploaded and fill in future posts with the extras.

So, bienvenue to Paris in the Springtime at THE BLISSFUL!

Our French Moroccan picnic on a bed awaited customers at the threshold of the shop.

Oh, how everything glowed...

Paper lanterns in the signature colors of our party were suspended everywhere from the ceiling...

Speaking of ROUND things: we caught this expectant mama in our spotty mirror and the effect was too good not to snap...

And did we mention the food?

Naturally, there were sweets in abundance...

And pretty new things for the saison to behold and buy...

In the freshest of colors. Blue--especially cobalt and indigo--have made a comeback in home decor and fashion.

While green in its various hues always feels fresh...

I love the way muted brights--yellows, bright pale blues, and tonal oranges and copper tones--look in the shop. When choosing new colors for your own space, lighting decides a lot of it for you. For instance, simply due to the way the light falls throughout our space, we can't seem to pull off pink in here to save our lives. It just doesn't translate. But blue...blue is always one of our winners. Good thing I've always been in love with that color.

Here I am (on the left) with Alexa from the hilarious blog Cleveland's a Plum. We're so glad to have her as a customer and as a compatriot in blogland. Check this lady out! And hey, all you Cleveland shoppers, we're just about an hour's drive south. Despite numerous pleas for us to open up a satellite store somewhere in the Cleveland Heights area, it just isn't going to happen anytime soon.

A few more of our finds...

Happy Spring! And don't forget that Mother's Day is Sunday, May 11th. Shop early for our best selection of handpicked splurges for mom. Our staff would love to help you choose just the right thing.

22 April 2008


And the winner of our 100th Post Giveaway is . . . bec4 from Beyond the Picket Fence! Out of 75 entries (77 in sum, but 75 that were valid as two were duplicate or "oops" second entries), bec4 was our Lucky No. 63! Bec4, your passel is on its way.

Thanks to everyone who entered with a comment. Your responses to our four questions were avidly read and appreciated.

Oh, and thanks to Mrs. Glosser (whomever she might be) for the Random Number Generator.

Stay tuned for a photo-packed party re-cap blog. Our Paris in the Springtime photogs were working overtime this past weekend and captured lots of interesting shots to share with you.

21 April 2008

It's a Wrap!

Paris in the Springtime 2008 is officially a wrap! A thorough insider's post chock full of pictorial lusciousness (including my photo op with Alexa from Cleveland's a Plum) will come just as soon as I catch up on some pressing shop-related communiqués. 'Til then, here's a teaser:

Our 100th Post Giveaway entry window is officially closed! The winner of our passel of "French-y boot-ay" will be selected today using this random number generator. Please rest assured that people who unintentionally entered twice will only be counted as ONE entry. We'll announce the lucky winner on the blog post haste, as well as contact her personally by e-mail. Bonne chance, ladies!

More soon!

14 April 2008

La Vie en Blissful

We're just four days out from Paris in the Springtime and we're not quite in finishing touch mode. We have some big display changes left to be accomplished (most will be saved for after hours, as I dislike making customers tramp through our disarray) and there are still lots of behind the scenes things to be done. I keep checking things off the list and doing my best to delegate. I've got my mom Debbie (who new customers frequently take for my sister!!! One of us LOVES that compliment... guess which one???) out scouting for something funky and cool for our last minute brainchild of a window display and Zoey will be here this evening to help me create some of our bigger ta-das. Jamie, our part-time shop girl and Calm + Collected organizer, has been working with me for the past month in our back offices, getting all of our paper in shape. I promise to do a Before & After post once I've added some personal, aesthetic touches to the space. In terms of delegating, I've come a long way since last fall, wouldn't you say?

FYI to our local customers, the shop will be closed this Wednesday, April 16th so that we can get our zhuzh on for the party. We'll reopen this Thursday the 17th at 3 PM. Click here for the party deets. Hope you'll stop by this weekend and bring friends!

And to all of our friends both near and far, there's still time to enter our 100th Post Giveaway! The contest ends Sunday, April 20th, at 11:59 PM EST. For a chance at winning our French-y boot-ay, please answer our four question quiz in the form of a Comment on THIS POST. Merci and bonne chance!

In other news, Sid Dickens' Spring 2008 "Empire" collection has just arrived. To browse, double click to enlarge the photo to the left, then stop in to see all of them in person. (Not all of them in this photo are new.) Lovely and different. I remember standing in the showroom at Market back in January talking to Sid, and as he and I stood with our arms crossed and perused the wall of new ones (very artiste-gazing-at-his-work, but not the least bit pretentious or even all that serious), he told me that this was an "interesting direction" for him.

See you soon!

05 April 2008

100th Post Giveaway

Watch your mailbox next week. These invitations are going to the post office on Monday.

Back when I first began blogging about the shop in December of '06, I was a new-ish store owner with just a little more than a year's experience under my belt. (If you've only recently discovered us, be sure to check out our Blog 1.0 to catch up on the archives.) For goodness sake, we even had a slightly different store name back then and we had just acquired new, expanded digs in a community forty-five minutes away from where we first opened our doors. Hard to believe that with as chatty as I can be, it took me almost seventeen months to reach my 100th post! But here we are and this one's all for you.

In just two weeks, THE BLISSFUL will host its friends--and yes, of course you're invited--at our annual Paris in the Springtime event. We hope you'll join us for four days of nibbling, sipping, laughing, and of course SHOPPING! We're running a great weekend-long promotion, as well as two fantastic drawings. Come and bring friends. Let's pack the shop out in the spirit of the best little cafés à Paris! More details to follow once our invites land in mailboxes next week.

To help celebrate this annual store event and to spread some of our joie de vivre from coast to coast, we are having a 100th Post Giveaway here on Lettres. We're giving away a passel of great French-inspired goodies to one lucky winner. All you have to do to enter our Giveaway is to take a short, four question quiz and post your responses in a comment on THIS post. The deadline for entering is Sunday, April 20th at 11:59 PM EST. On Monday the 21st, we'll choose a winner using this random number generator. The winner will be contacted via e-mail, so be sure that if you enter, your e-mail address is accessible through your blog or website so that we can contact you if you win (i.e. if you post anonymously and do not have a blog or website, please include your e-mail address in your comment or e-mail it to us privately at info@theblissful.com). Clear enough? Oh, and our Giveaway is open to blog readers from all fifty states, from locales beyond, as well as to our local customers in our very own neighborhood.

Now on to the goodies. Here's what's up for grabs:

No. 1. This book (just one page shown here). A coffee-table-to-bathtub book on the glories and curiosities of the French way of life. The cover will entice dreamers of all ages. Whimsical, endlessly informative, and delightfully designed. Not yet for sale in our online boutique, so consider this a preview!

No. 2. Your choice of one of seven Patisserie candles by Tatine. Choose from Carrot Cake, Framboise, Café Crème, Madeleine, Pink Sugar, Crème Brulée, or Chocolat. An absolutely scrumptious burn, almost as good as eating the real thing.

No. 3. A copper fleur de lis cookie cutter.

No. 4. A block of our Savon de Marseille in one of four fragrances: Lavender, Rose, Verbena, or Orange. All feature crushed local flowers (that's local from France, not from Canton) and are scrubby and wonderful and perfect for the bath or by the kitchen sink. Oh, why not, let's throw our pure Olive Oil Savon in as an option, too! No crushed flowers in this one (so less exfoliating), but very rich and moisturizing.

No. 5. And a handpicked surprise from our Atelier. New file folders from Cavallini & Co.? A Pink Paris Paperweight? A box of our French Home Notecards? Or perhaps one of our musical CDs featuring tunes you would hear when rambling through THE BLISSFUL? We'll let this last goody remain a surprise until the winner is chosen.


How to Enter
To enter our contest, please leave a Comment with answers to our simple four question quiz. You don't need a blog in order to be able to leave a comment. Simply click the Comments tab at the bottom of this post, type your answers in the box, and voila! You are entered. One entry per person, please.

In your comment, simply number your responses 1-4 and post the letter of your answer. However, we don't mind long windedness, so feel free to elaborate on any or all questions if you wish. Consider this a cheap way for us to generate some market research, and the possibility of a very sweet reward for your time and thoughtfulness.

Now on to the questions:

1. Which style of decorating most resonates with you?
a) Contemporary
b) European
c) Bohemian
d) Traditional

2. After purchasing one time from an online boutique, which of the following qualities would MOST make you want to return to shop online with that boutique a second time?
a) exquisite packaging
b) better than expected product quality
c) super fast shipping
d) extra surprise item included in package

3. If you had fantasy money to spend in the online boutique of your dreams, in which product category would you be MOST likely to spend your money?
a) jewelry, handbags, apparel
b) home decor, furnishings, accents
c) stationery, paper items
d) apothecary, candles

4. Which characteristic of a brick-and-mortar shop would MOST ensure your loyalty as a customer?
a) attentive, personalized customer service--I like the people who work there
b) imaginative, interesting atmosphere--I like the way I feel when I'm there
c) regular influx of new product, store changes often--I like discovering something new each time
d) unique, desirable merchandise--I like knowing I can find different things there that I don't see elsewhere

Thank you for playing and we can't to meet our winner. Bonne Chance!