People ask me all the time why I own a small business. They know it requires long hours, hard work and well, not a huge salary with benefits. Each time I answer it always comes back to the same thing. It’s a feeling. A feeling you get when you become friends with a customer, a feeling you get when you have helped a single dad and his son buy a gift for his mom. It is a feeling you get when kids from the neighborhood come in with a poster of the play they are in and ask you to put it up in the window. It’s about connections, family, history and community. It’s about celebrating life with those you share your neighborhood with. There is no greater gift then when someone shares a life story with you, you learn something new, or gain a new perspective. Our customers do that for us every time they come in.
So, when I ask them why they shop small business, here is what people have said: “We love coming in for the unique finds,” “Thank you for remembering my...
We recently took Mélange outside and participated in a local Vintage Flea Market. It was 100+ degrees! I worked the booth with 5 other amazing women who shared their secrets at the beginning of the day about staying cool, even if you are menopausal. Caution, some of these may make you blush J Here is how the day went…….
Pick the space with the most afternoon shade if you have a choice
Wear cool clothing that doesn’t show sweat or look wet
Bring Spare underwear
Use Antiperspirant even on the inside of your thighs, and under your breasts
Get the event host to power your space and use a fan, which you brought
Get a giant bucket of ice with waters. Hydrate people!
Pass out hand fans to all your lovely customers that came out in the heat to see you
Tell everyone you have a low tolerance for heat, apologize in advance
As a lover of old and used treasures it is hard not to become a hoarder, as you would imagine. It is so easy to become attached to things that are ours or those that you have unburied at a yard sale like some lost artifact. Either way, they come with memories attached, which is the hardest to let go.
Recently, I found it hard to let go of one of my biggest, most expensive, most prized possession ever. My home. It was the first house I ever owned. It was where I raised my son, and watched him grow up. It was where we had many family holidays, celebrations and gatherings; happy or sad. It was the place I started a home with the love of my life.
Although we moved from this house over 5 years ago, when we became empty nesters, we kept it as a rental. When the most recent renters decided to move on, we decided it was time to sell. What I had not expected while preparing the house for sale, dressing it for someone el...
My blogs seem to have a theme; Customer Stories. I really can’t help myself because their stories are far more delightful than any I could come up with on my own.
A few weeks ago we had our monthly sale day, for which we send our customers an email notification. A loyal customer makes the trip for these sales, who wouldn’t for a discount. Every girl loves a sale. This particular customer has to drive a bit to visit our little shop, so she combines it with visits to see her grandchildren. This time she chose to visit Mélange without her granddaughter. After spending time browsing and making her choices she came to the register to make her purchases and have a chat with us. Which we love! She asked if she could have an extra bag for a gift she had bought her granddaughter. I was delighted to do so and asked which item was for her so I could do a special gift wrap. She admitted that the gift was purchased at Target, but if she got home an...
From time to time I tell stories on our Facebook page about our Customers. As much as I love the treasure hunting and making old things new again, I have a love for our customers just as great. They come in and tell us stories and share moments from their own lives that continue to move me.
This week was no different. Last week a young women and her mother where shopping with us, and the piece she choose to love and want would not fit in her car. From time to time, when we can, we will deliver a piece for a customers to their house for them. It just so happend this piece fit in my car and was light enough that I could load it up myself.
I set out Friday morning to deliver the piece. When I arrived her mom was waiting with a smile and helped me put it into place for her daughter while she was at work. After, she offered to give me a little something for delivering, my time and for gas. I told her there was...
Recently while picking/Junking with a girlfriend every time we saw something we liked she would say, “Oh, one of us has to get that!” Generally we like the same things so you would think deciding who actually got it would be a problem, but it always worked out.
On our most recent junking day together our picker friend was unloading his truck with all kinds of delights. He was like Mary Poppins digging treasures out of the bottom of a truck bed that never seemed to end.
Then a most spectacular old trunk was pulled right out of what we thought must be an empty truck bed, and of course she says ….”Oh, one of us has to get that”. This trunk would have been hard for either of us to pass up, and even harder to decide who was going to get it, until she opened it.
To my delight there was a stack of what looked like old magazines inside. I am a magazine junkie, although they just stack up for lack of time to read them all. I ge...
I have been a lover of old things (treasures) my whole life. It started with a spare room in my grandmothers house she called her "Junk Room". I couldn't wait to spend time in it and hear old stories about what was in there. I always came home with a treasure that my grandmother let me keep. Sometimes an old picture, a piece of jewelry or a pretty hanky. The part that always struck me was that someone before me loved it, treasured it, and now it was mine to add memories to.
I think there is a need to honor our pasts and what better way to re-purpose, re-love or re-new something old. My favorite part of the shop and the business is watching people come in to the store, with their daughter/son, mother, sister, or friend and say "oh, I had that, or my grandmother had that", it makes them remember a special time, place or memory. I love the saying, and it is true for me as well; "My grandmother had it, my mother thre...
When I first became owner of Melange about a year and a half ago I decided to give our logo an update. There has always been a girl and a dog and there probably always will be, but for me she had to come to life. With the help of my brother in-law (who is an awesome graphic designer, just check him out at Studioem.com) we set out on doing just that. I knew in my mind what I wanted her to look like, what I wanted her to portray. Of course explaining my vision was a different story.
Here is what I told him… I want our logo to give the customer an instant feel for our shop. That image is a vintage inspired woman, she is a timeless beauty who can be found shopping at perhaps a French flea market or a vintage boutique looking for a one of a kind treasure that is just like her.
Well, he got it, and Mia of Melange was born, along with her adorable dog GiGi. She is that every day, totally modern, yet...