28 July 2008

The Online Trunk Show is Here!

Welcome to the start of Pyrrha & Sid in the Summer, our live virtual trunk show! To give our blog readers and customers around the country a chance to taste the breadth and depth of both collections, we are featuring them on the blog (for Sid Dickens tiles) and in the Jewelry department of our Online Boutique (for Pyrrha jewelry). Both collections are always sold in the shop and by special order if we are sold out of a particular style, however, this is an opportunity to receive immediate shipment on any styles we currently have in stock! We are pleased to offer free shipping on all Pyrrha pieces, which can be viewed here. (Be sure to click through all nine pages to view all offerings.) In-stock styles will ship immediately; special orders will ship to you in approximately 4-6 weeks. Many styles are only available through Sunday, August 3rd; special order only on some styles after that date.

And here, my friends, is our current in-store selection of Memory Blocks (please double click the photos to enlarge them):

The big wall.

Several more that didn't make it onto the wall.

The Zodiac Collection which premiered Spring 2008. These are available in Blond (a creamy plaster finish, shown here, except for Taurus in center, shown in Silver) and Silver. These come in a complimentary black Collector's Box.

We do not publish our prices for the Blocks online, so please drop us an e-mail at sales@theblissful.com or telephone us at 330.492.2500 and inquire. Prices are different for the Active Collection, the retired tiles we have in stock, and the Zodiac Collection. We also sell the new black Collector's Boxes which just debuted. If there's a particular Block you're looking for and not seeing in the photos above, please inquire because it's possible it just didn't make it into a photo. Any styles we have in stock will ship immediately; styles we're sold out of will be special ordered and will ship to you in approximately 4-6 weeks.

Online Trunk Show Coming Soon!

Our Summer Trunk Show featuring Sid Dickens Memory Blocks and Pyrrha Jewelry was a smashingly fun success this past Saturday. Devoted collectors, regular customers, and new discoverers were all on the scene to choose their favorites in person. We also took special orders for some of our most popular tile styles (they go quickly--kind of like potato chips) and for those wanting to handselect gifts from our extensive Pyrrha catalog in plenty of time for pre-holiday delivery.

Here are a couple of sneak peek photos. I'll be uploading a nice big batch this evening or tomorrow; you know, all those juicy close up shots...

Our Online Trunk Show featuring the Sid Blocks and Pyrrha jewelry will begin later today. I'll be working diligently throughout the day today to get every item ready to show in the Jewelry department of our Online Boutique. Watch for another blog post later today announcing that all the jewelry has been uploaded and is ready to purchase...with free shipping! (Or, keep watching the Jewelry department throughout the day, as pieces will be added hourly. We're already in progress!) In addition, we'll be posting photos of Sid's tiles here on the blog later today. You'll be welcome to e-mail or call with inquiries about pricing and ship time.

I meant to come in and work yesterday (Sunday, the day the shop is closed) so that we could begin our Online Trunk Show early this morning. Instead, I spent most of yesterday at the hospital with my family. My twenty-six year old cousin Michael Kerr lost his life in a motorcycle accident early Sunday morning on his way home from work. Michael, a big teddy bear of a guy at 6'8" tall, will be remembered for his warm smile, his great hugs, and his way of making everybody feel comfortable, even if it was the first time he'd ever met you. We'll be taking some time off later this week for the funeral. Please keep our family, especially my uncle Joe and aunt Jan (Jackson Township residents) and my cousins Molly and Kristin (his sisters, who adored him), in your prayers. And please, please, please, if you're a motorcycle rider, slow down and wear a helmet. Life is so precious and can be taken away in one moment. We'll never forget the warmth that Michael brought to the world and to everyone who knew him, and we believe that his life goes on in Eternity.

25 July 2008

Countdown to the Trunk Show

With twenty-two hours to go until we open the doors for our Summer Trunk Show, we're closed for the day creating vignette magic with Pyrrha...

and unpacking every last splendorous Sid Dickens Memory Block.

The staff is hard at work. Wait 'til you see!

Please join us tomorrow, Saturday, July 26th, from 10 AM-5 PM for this one-day special event. And if you're not going to be in the area, please watch for the debut of our online Trunk Show beginning Monday, July 28th, held here on the blog for the Sid tiles (you'll be able to call or e-mail for pricing) and in the Jewelry department of our Online Boutique for Pyrrha. All Pyrrha pieces purchased online next week will be shipped for free!

Now back to work!

22 July 2008

A Tale of Two Trunk Shows

It's July in Ohio, days are long and temps are high, so we thought what better way to indulge our need for a mid-summer escape than to host a Trunk Show at THE BLISSFUL?

Waiting to be unpacked.

On Saturday, July 26th from 10 AM-5 PM, we'll throw our doors open (and then promptly shut them so the air conditioner can do its thing ) to welcome customers in for this special event featuring two of our most talked about lines: Sid Dickens Memory Blocks and Pyrrha Jewelry. If you're a Sid collector or someone who is still curious and wondering what the hype is all about, Saturday is your day to find out, as we'll have nearly the entire Active Collection for sale on premises. And as for Pyrrha, this is a gorgeous and mysterious jewelry line that many of our customers have already fallen in love with at the shop.

Fidelity Ring.

Because the line is so extensive and fairly customizable, we wanted to give everyone a chance to see a terrific array of it in its full glory. Keep in mind that the Holidays aren't too far away! We had our first admitted Christmas shopper already in June, so we know you early birds are out there. If this is the year you'd like to give a truly deserving friend or loved one a memorable, once in a lifetime gift, perhaps you'll find your ticket at the Trunk Show on Saturday.

For those of you who haven't heard the buzz, here's a primer: Sid Dickens is the Vancouver-based artist behind Memory Blocks, handcrafted plaster art tiles that tell a story from history or religion or botanical studies or architecture or mythology. They're designed to hang on a wall but can also be propped on a shelf or displayed on a small art stand. They're highly collectible, addictive, and surprisingly reasonably priced considering how they appreciate in value once the elusive Sid retires them.

Sid Dickens and I at the Atlanta Gift Show in January 2008.

Pyrrha Jewelry, also (coincidentally) crafted in Vancouver, is a line of jewelry made from authentic 19th century wax seals cast in precious metals. Very hip and very now despite its origins in yesteryear, this line has a celebrity following that includes actors Brad Pitt and Halle Berry and songstress Sheryl Crow.

Chariot Necklace.

Silver Initial 'Y' Necklace.

Now on to our exciting announcement: we're actually have TWO trunk shows, one actual and one virtual, as in, online! Yes, that's right, we are holding a virtual live Trunk Show on our Online Boutique the week following our actual Trunk Show in the shop. This is for our blog readers and customers throughout the country who aren't able to make it here for the show this Saturday. Beginning Monday, July 28th, we'll commence our Pyrrha Trunk Show in the Jewelry department of our Online Boutique. Ship times will vary depending on which pieces we're sold out of and need to special order for you (we'll indicate approximate ship time in the description). And we must admit we're giving our online shoppers a bit of an advantage. The online Trunk Show will last a full week, ending Sunday, August 3rd. Oh, and did we mention we're offering free shipping on all Pyrrha pieces?

Now, the wonderfully persnickety powers-that-be at Sid Dickens' studios do not allow retailers to sell the Blocks online. (We like this; it protects us boutiques who have been approved to carry the line.) However, we'll post photos of our Sid-bedecked walls here on the blog after the Trunk Show wraps. Call us for pricing and availability on any Block that you see.

We'd love to see you this Saturday. Light fare and libations will be served, as always there'll be great music, and lots of fun while you browse and try on.

16 July 2008

Summer Trunk Show

THE BLISSFUL presents...

a summer trunk show featuring two of our most talked about collections.

Sid Dickens Memory Blocks & Pyrrha Jewelry

Saturday, July 26th
10 AM - 5 PM

This is a chance to shop the entire Active Collection of Sid Dickens Memory Blocks, as well as a terrific array of 19th century wax seal-inspired jewelry cast in precious metals for women and men. Arrive early for our best selection. Our staff will be happy to work with you to write special orders during the Trunk Show in the event that your favorites have been sold. These are two heirloom quality collections to keep in mind for special occasions and the Holidays (Sid Dickens' average ship time on special orders is eight weeks, Pyrrha's is three weeks). No holds or pre-sales. Enjoy light fare and libations as you browse these storied "statement" collections.

And for all of our friends throughout the country who can't make it in for the actual Trunk Show, we will be doing a live virtual Trunk Show on our Online Boutique the week after the one in the store! Stay tuned to the blog for details.

Oh, and our vintage-style steamer trunks will also be for sale!

THE BLISSFUL is thrilled to be the exclusive retailer for Sid Dickens & Pyrrha in the greater Stark County area.

14 July 2008


Those of you who read my blog regularly might know that I was supposed to have been at Market in Atlanta for the past week. Instead, my mom and I quietly and unexpectedly cancelled our trip at the eleventh hour. We were all set to go--our customized binders with maps and floorplans had been assembled and highlighted (the former teacher in me just can't resist) and we were starting to pack--when we had to put the breaks on. This is one of those times that life interrupted our best laid plans. My dad was first diagnosed with skin cancer a few years ago, but in the past year it's taken an aggressive turn, the symptoms of which were missed and misdiagnosed for way too long (as he scheduled appointment after appointment, insisting that someone listen to him). Last week, he met with new specialists who gave him a prognosis and recommended a course of treatment. The prognosis and treatment plan were scheduled to be handed down the very day we were to leave for Atlanta, and neither my mom nor I felt right about leaving town with so much uncertainty. And so there I was last week, sitting in my office in near disbelief, waiting on hold to talk to the people at the hotel and the airline to cancel our arrangements for the trip we've been planning for the past six months. We felt completely at peace, yet it was still a bit surreal. Not go to Market?

Fortunately, the prognosis the new doctors gave my dad sounds better than the one he was previously given, so we are feeling more hopeful. He'll begin radiation in just a few weeks, after some additional testing has been completed. We are believing and praying for the best possible outcome.

So what did we do last week instead? We very gratefully waltzed out the shop door and allowed Zoey and Jamie to take over full responsibilities for the week. I tried to stay away as much as possible, hiding in broad daylight while I went about the business of "normal" life. It felt so weird to do certain activities at certain times of the day that I'm normally behind my cash wrap--like spend several hours in the middle of the day playing with my sixteen month old niece, going out for chips, salsa, and a margarita with a friend at 4:30 in the afternoon, taking an impromptu trip to my favorite store (a major national retailer with an independent shop feel) to browse and soak in the inspiration. While our mind was still on ordering and the concerns of our shop, we forced ourselves to focus more on the big picture of our lives.

With a business like mine, it's so easy to just let the myriad details and pressures sweep you away and pull you under the tide. As I've said before, shop ownership is a lifestyle, not just a dazzlingly fun choice for the artist-cum-merchant. It looks brilliant and fanciful and dreamy from the outside, but truly, this business will kick your a$$ if you let it! And yes, we've been letting it.

Between my dad's being sick and some other things that have transpired in my personal life over the past couple of months, I have realized that no matter how wonderful I desire the shop to be for customers, the shop can not be the totality of my life. My LIFE must be wider than these four walls and my mode of conversation deeper and more expansive. I need to have a little more fun. I need to walk around feeling like Abby more of the time than I feel like "Abby the boutique owner."

So if you stop by the shop and don't see me, don't be surprised. I'm probably here, just working behind the scenes, making all the gears spin so that what you see out on the sales floor can happen. I'm not stepping back or stepping away, simply stepping more into the role of proprietor, one who realizes that the beauty and power of any enterprise is not in the hands of any one person, but in the beauty and power of a carefully and purposefully hand-selected team (which we are so blessed to have). I'm repositioning myself for this next season, believing that all things work together for good and that a little bit of a retreat is just what I need to keep the wonderment in bloom.

07 July 2008

Our Gallant Efforts

We just uploaded ten new products to the Online Boutique, including these beauties...

...and these...

...and because we know the spook enthusiasts among you are already dreaming and scheming for Hallowe'en...her (and her identical friends)...

Also be sure to check out our funky French beach coverups. They're going fast in the shop and I expect them to go even faster online.

Lots more product yet to upload from our recent photography blitz. Thanks for your patience as I try to cram in as much product description-writing as I can before we leave for Market in Atlanta on Wednesday morning. Look for my Market Notebook 2008 to be published after we return. This will be our longest trip to Market since we started in retail and I'm looking forward to sharing all of my trend and design observations with you, as well as lots of behind the scenes details about what really goes on at these wild and woolly events!

02 July 2008

Blissfully Aware

Here it is! Used with permission of Jacqueline deMontravel, Romantic Homes Editor. Please double click each page to enlarge and read writer Maggie Hauser's article. Thank you to everyone who helped bring this piece to life!