Visiting one of our favorite vendors

We had a great morning out at Yala Designs.  They have a new(ish) owner and I always keep my fingers crossed in this situation  that they won't destroy the line. No need to worry In this case.  The new owner, Catherine (on the right) has stayed true to the best of the brand and is adding her own twists. Besides the uber soft and yummy bamboo clothing, they've added alpaca and organic cotton to the line.

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I was really impressed with their commitment to organic and natural fibers and fair trade.  Plus they want to manage as close to the production source as possible so they now have small sewing rooms in China, Peru, and near LA. which they visit twice a year.  It's really a global brand but located Right here in little old Bleugene.  Look for lots of new Yala pieces in store soon.

Summer Thirst Quencher

My friend, newly returned from China, turned me onto watermelon juice aka big chunks of watermelon thrown in the juicer.  And do not let the photo deceive you into thinking I meticulously removed all the seeds because I did not.  This was a seedless watermelon but they say the seeds are good for you too so feel free to throw them into the blender too. Any favorite summer drinks you're especially smitten with?

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Getting Crafty

We went out to Chris's place near Alsea one sunny Sunday and she taught us how to make these classic Williamsburg baskets.  

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I was too busy tracking over, under, over, under to snap too many pics but I managed to get one of Laura - crafty fashionista working with her shades on.

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And voila the finished piece made with palm reed and an oak handle.  I still need to stain mine with Watco. 

 

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Chris was really a good teacher and made it go really smooth and easy! Plus we got a garden tour in which I lusted after each and every columbine and enjoyed a spectacular potluck. Such a nice Sunday afternoon.

Shopping Las Vegas

Four days shopping for the store at the Las Vegas Market and I'm inspired and exhausted.  Besides finding shows to be endless sources of display ideas, I also really enjoy meeting makers and vendors. 

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One of my favorite was this guy who told me before he sold candles, he sold high end perfumes to movie stars and sheikhs.  This of course begs the question, "How do you sell perfumes to Saudi princes?"   

 

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Apparently there is a lot of protocol that involves mostly being quiet and handing them the bottles in a prescribed fashion.  Perfume is a go to gift in the Arab world.  So not too much has changed since the 3 Kings brought gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Also all members of the Saudi family wear this particular scent called oud and it is more precious than gold. 

 

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Your rank determines what kind of oud you can wear.  It's like you can literally smell the status as you greet someone.  So yeah, that's one reason I love shows. I meet all kinds of crazy interesting people.  I dig people.

Awesome Staff Meeting

Our Summer Window

Our Summer Window

We have staff meetings once a month.  We eat a little food, we look at the schedule, do a little financial check in, and talk about weddings and other events.  In short, we take care of business.  But the best parts are always when we have the time to have freewheeling discussions about customers and the experience on the selling floor.  Because my staff are awesome human beings who genuinely care about what's happening with you. Today we talked about how many women (hello almost all of us) talk so disparagingly about our bodies when trying on clothes.  And how we might best respond to that. And how we can make trying on clothes an actual fun experience.  Thinking about having some talks at the store on body positivity.  Bottom line is yes to loving ourselves!