23 May 2008

THE BLISSFUL Named One of 50 Retail Stars Nationwide

From the press release...

May 15 2008, Greensboro, N.C. - THE BLISSFUL, located at 4605 Fulton Drive in Canton, Ohio, has been named one of Home Accents Today's 50 Retail Stars for 2008 by editors of the premier trade magazine for the home accents industry. The stores selected have exhibited strength in merchandising, display and advertising, are operating successfully in their marketing areas and have a strong presence in their communities.

Our feature photo. Thanks, HAT!

Home Accents Today
editors focused on independent retailers, specifically those considered specialty or home accent stores. Members of the home furnishings industry were invited to suggest stores and retailers were encouraged to submit information describing their businesses. This list was compiled and narrowed down by research analysts and editors of the publication.

"Home Accents Today has the privilege of working with and being read by thousands of home furnishings retailers, and selecting the 50 Stars is never an easy process," said Jenny Heinzen York, editor in chief. "We are particularly proud of this year's honorees, as these store owners have had to harness their entrepreneurial and creative spirits to stay competitive and relevant in challenging economic times."

The 50 Retail Stars feature is published in the May 2008 issue of Home Accents Today.

22 May 2008

Fragile Tough Girl

Something so cool happened today. I had just arrived back at the shop and was ringing up a sale. The customer handed me her credit card and as always, I studied the name to recall whether or not she was a regular shopper here (I have a freakish ability to recall first and last names--with exact, idiosyncratic spellings--that I have seen written out only one time, however, I struggle with faces). It was a business credit card and the business name rang extremely familiar to me--familiar because it was the name of a song I have loved for years (and even included in a presentation on teenage female identity formation while in grad school) and just last night cooled down to on the treadmill while listening to my iPod. I looked at her and said, "Fragile Tough Girl. Isn't that a song?" She looked at me and said, "Yes. How do you know that song?" I looked at her name again, put two and two together, and said, "Are you THE Jo Davidson?" She said yes and I hooted and said, "I just have to hug you!" Turns out her parents live in the area and she's in town visiting them.

Several years ago when I was in grad school, I discovered Jo Davidson's music on my daily hour and a half round trip commute to campus. I fell in love with her song "Kiss Me There" on my first listen and downloaded it to my Napster immediately. Then I discovered "Fragile Tough Girl" and "I Don't Dance" (which we have in our mix at the shop). I was hooked. After all these years, those songs remain in my iTunes list, even through periodic clean-outs of songs I'm sick of. There's just something about her voice and her lyrics, especially, that speak to me. Today, she's the host of Zentertainment Talk Radio. Check it out!

Photo copyright 2003 Marni Angel, courtesy of zentertainment.org.

21 May 2008

Now Showing Online

Hourly, we're adding new summer items to our Online Boutique. Here's a sampling of what we're now showing. Click the link to be transported directly to the item's page, where you can learn more.





These and others like them...

These (with lots more styles coming very soon)...

And this...

And of course these ('tis the season)...

New items added on the regular, so check back often. Wishing you sunny skies!

12 May 2008

THE BLISSFUL at ApartmentTherapy.com

This just in...we've been picked up for a feature on Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn. Read all about it here. All finds featured in this article are available in our Online Boutique.

Custom Shopping Trip

I received a phone call last week from Jennie, a blog reader who lives in Michigan. She was interested in purchasing one of our Paris Green Doormats, which she'd seen featured in a photo in this blog post. I told her I would of course be delighted to fulfill the sale and we talked about shipping and billing through PayPal (since the item is not currently offered in our Online Boutique...and by the way, we're happy to ship just about anything you might see featured in photos on our blog. Just e-mail us and inquire about pricing and availability.). Then she asked me an interesting question, one I've never gotten before. "Abby," she said. "I have an interesting request. If I give you my credit card number with a limit of, say, $100, would you pick out a bunch of things from your shop and send them to me? Kind of like a surprise shopping trip?" You mean would I spend a customer's money for her??? You bet I would! And I did. First, though, we discussed Jennie's preferences: I asked her about what colors she loved and which she didn't like, what her favorite categories were (home furnishings or personal items or paper or apothecary, etc.), and whether she'd rather have one big item or a mix of less expensive items. Our part-time shopgirl Jamie and I went to work hand selecting some things we thought would thrill Jennie. About a week after our phone call, she received these items in a box on her porch, along with the Paris Green Doormat which had originally struck her fancy:

One of our Small Cast Iron Vases in Antique Cream. This is one of our stock items at THE BLISSFUL, as it sells year round and can be used for a variety of brilliant purposes, from a basic flower vase to a pencil container to a holder for your makeup brushes. Also available in Rusted Green, as you can see.

A Ciao Bella Pillow. The backside is lined with burlap. Humorous, neutral in tone, and vintage-y...what's not to love? (Also available with other images, soon to be offered in our Online Boutique. Please check back soon!)

A Chandelier Tin. The white image on a distressed dark chocolate background has an effect similar to that of a photo negative.

And seen here, a custom candle by Tatine poured especially for THE BLISSFUL into a rose colored votive glass. We're all sold out of these, but look for future custom pours from Tatine at our shop.

We got such a kick out of Jennie's Custom Shopping Trip that we'd like to open it up to all of you. You give us a dollar amount, we go shopping in our store and hand select our favorite finds to meet your desired criteria and/or fulfill your wish to be surprised. We think this is a great gift idea for friends or family who love all things French and Euro-inspired. All you have to do is e-mail us at sales@theblissful.com and order a Custom Shopping Trip. We'll work with any dollar amount and invoice you via PayPal. (Shipping costs are additional.)

Thanks for the great idea, Jennie!

06 May 2008

Oblique Peeks

I'll save the commentary today and let you take in this photo montage. Some views are a bit off kilter, some just plain Spring-y. We've had sunny skies over Ohio (so far) this week and our staff and customers seem to be enjoying every bit of it!

Still looking for Mother's Day pick-me-ups? Shop the store this Friday the 9th and Saturday the 10th, as we're offering artisan gift wrapping on Mom's Day purchases for an additional charge. Spend $50 or more on one receipt for complimentary wrapping on one purchase. Offer not valid on oversized items.

Come on in!

04 May 2008

In the Pages of Belle Armoire

Ahh, Sunday afternoon. Just hit up my local Borders to pick up the May/June issue of Belle Armoire, the inspiring publication by Stampington & Co. I plucked the issue from the newsstand and gasped aloud, "Oh my gosh! They made the cover!" They being our Bibliothèque Bangles, designed and created by our friend and local artist Melissa Jackson, and sold exclusively at THE BLISSFUL.

Click here to purchase the bracelets in our Online Boutique.