Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Eye-Candy and Inspirations

As we count down to the 2009 holiday season, it occurs to me that many of us feel the almost desperate need for some decorating direction....something to inspire us and give us that extra little push we need to get us going. I'd like to share some absolutely fabulous blogs with you that can provide you with that much needed inspiration.

Yes, this is supposed to be a store blog, 'tis true....but let me tell you a little bit about me personally. Back before Scott and I bought our little store, we had been renovating our home and we discovered our passion for design and decor. I'd always had a flair for decorating, but the whole-house redo put our talents to the test. I ended up studying interior design and joined a few decor-specific Internet groups to increase my knowledge. From one group, an MSN group named "Great Impressions", I formed many friendships with some very wonderfully talented ladies & gentlemen, many of whom I still keep in touch with today.

Scott and I have been waiting for the right time to introduce decor topics on this blog and it seems there's no better time than the present. We're selling more and more decor items in the shop and on-line at our website so it's not a big stretch to bring information about decor to you via this blog. We encourage those of you who have decor questions and concerns to ask here. Scott and I and our many decorator friends would love to chime in with advice to help you out.

We also encourage you to check through our friends' blogs and websites. They're all listed below on our blog roll, but let me list them as links for you. They are: My friend Elizabeth's blog, A Breath Of French Air probably smells as good as it looks! She makes and sells her own fantastic soap products, and is also a decor and gardening buff extraordinaire. My talented friend Pat's blog is amazing. Pat is not only an accomplished decorator and floral stylist, she's an amazing photographer, too! Stop by and admire her wonderful taste and exacting eye....all her photos are magazine worthy! My friend Lisa, another talented decorator, also makes the most wonderfully creative cakes. When in need of cake inspiration or decor inspiration, she's your girl! I also know she's very good with power tools! My friend Kim's blog, Dear Daisy Cottage, is another wonderful source of decor inspiration. Colorful and full of light-hearted whimsy, her home and blog are fun-filled spaces that will make you smile! My friend Jill's blog, Follow Your Bliss. Jill's lived all over, most recently in France, and I can remember her posting pictures of her lovely French home. She's back in the U.S. and into paper crafting and photography, of which there are many peerless examples of on her blog. My friend Sue's blog, How To Keep House. She's got that perfect'll love going through her gorgeous rooms! My friend Maureen's blog, Penchants, Posies & Ponderings exudes beauty. Mo is another accomplished decorator and photographer, and her gardening shots are exquisite. Check out her latest postings of her tablescapes....they are a must-see! My friend Sharon's blog, Serendipity, is a pleasure to read. Tons of inspiration here, this accomplished woman has decorated showhomes all over the upstate NY area and is rather awesome, if I must say. : ) My hero of small homes! My friend Lisa's blog, Small Place Style, is a delightful read, also. She's got the solutions for living small beautifully! My friend Rhoda's blog, Southern Hospitality, is a fabulous foil for her incredible talent. If you're looking for inspiration, this Southern Belle has it in spades! My friend, Lisa's blog, Rox and Things, showcases her awesome talent for home decoration and jewelry making. They say things come bigger in Texas, and I guess they're right....Lisa's got a huge amount of talent! My friend Rose's blog, The Center Of Myself, is your one-stop destination for ohm-filled, soul searching goodness. Her fabulous Orange County home is the source for decor inspiration, also. My friend Donna's blog, The Decorated House. An inspired designer, this Florida decorator's taste is incomparable. She's a creative multi-media artist who is magical at whatever she does - there's a link to her Etsy shop on her blog.

All of these sites offer the best of the best and more inspiration than you'd ever want. Keep in mind as you view these blogs that the women who write them have done most of their home decoration themselves. Meaning, they climbed the ladders and primed, painted, Venetian plastered, buffed, or textured their walls themselves. They scrapped, sanded, cleaned, bleached, stained and painted their garage-sale or bargain basement finds themselves. Some made their own art, some found theirs on Ebay, but all have their creative juices running to the max. This is especially advantageous during difficult economic times, because you tend to save a lot of money when you do the work yourself. We could all benefit from knowing how to accomplish certain home renovation projects, and what better people to ask than those who've done it successfully themselves? I invite you to ask away....I'll get back to you as soon as humanly possible.

I've been trying to get Blogger to attach links to my post, but it refuses to be cooperative. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I can't spend any more time on it...Scott's making pizza while I pound the keyboard, it's 8:40 pm and I have clothes in the wash. Please either scroll down to the very bottom of of the page and click the links there, or cut and paste the URLs into your browser sorry for the inconvenience.

Next post, we'll take a look at our friends' blogs in the Altadena/Pasadena area. We love to spotlight creativity whenever we find it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Over The River and Through The Woods

It's that time of year again - families gathering together to give thanks for their many blessings. As the day draws closer, we at WFS want to wish you and yours a warm, safe and happy Thanksgiving.

The holidays are approaching quickly and with them come numerous events, parties and gift-giving opportunities. We know this year has been a tough one for many people, ourselves included, so we decided to kick off the season with our very first annual Black Friday sale. We'll open at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, November 27th, and for 7 1/2 hours only (until 4:00 p.m.), prices will be substantially cut. No coffee, no cookies and no gift wrapping services will be offered this day, but you will find great bargains! If you spend over $50.00 at the sale, you may come back and get one item wrapped for no charge....just save your sale receipt.

Another way to grab extra savings - donate needed food items for Five Acres and receive a 10% off coupon for your trouble. Bring that coupon in on the 27th and enjoy an extra 10% savings off any item on sale or not. Yes, that's EXTRA 10% savings, even off sale prices! There are only two days left to donate food to the families at Five Acres and this year they need our donations badly. Please help out this worthy Altadena cause and get a little help for yourself in the process.....a win/win situation for all.

In other news, there's lots of talk about the Pasadena Weekly's recent article about businesses closing in Pasadena and Altadena. Here's the link to Altadenablog's excellent reporting of it: What is particularly interesting are the comments that follow it. There's also an interesting little article about the old days in Altadena, called There was a comment on this article that really hit me and since it mentions us directly, I feel the need to respond. The comment, from William Korn, in gist stated that it's not just lack of customer loyalty that keeps folks from shopping at their local businesses. He states that he tries to shop locally but, "On the other hand, I used to shop for office supplies at Webster's preferentially, even though the prices were substantially higher than at the "big box" places. But when they moved to an stand-alone store, they started not carrying the things that I was shopping for. I'm willing to pay a premium for shopping Altadena, but if I can't shop, what am I supposed to do?"

This is such a common sentiment among some folks I've talked to in the recent past. What stands out most in all those talks is that "prices were substantially higher for office products at Webster's but I was willing to pay them". Trust this, nothing makes me more incensed than hearing that. Do you know that the office products prices at Webster's were the absolute SAME or LOWER than the big-box prices at the time, verified by my husband, Scott Webster? Seriously, readers, the prices were honestly the same or lower, but there is no changing people's perception. They are going to see things the way they want to see them, and that is that prices were lower at Staples, Office Max and Office Depot. There is no arguing with perceived value and that's one of the main reasons I want out of selling office products, because we can't win that game. I can't change your mind, so why spend any more time (we're talking years here) and money? Let's focus on something else, something we can do, do well and win. Maybe Mr. Korn liked buying his office products with us and we thank him for that, but at the prices we were selling this merchandise at, we would've had to have the volume of sales Staples has. How unfortunate that we never did have that kind of volume. I'm done beating that dead horse and we're moving on. Hopefully, Mr. Korn will have a need for some fine stationery, a nice pen, a beautiful gift or card....or maybe he'll like the fact that we specialize in locally made, made in the U.S. and fair trade gifts & accessories. Yes, we'll still carry pens, paper, school and desk supplies, but not as much as in the past. We'll do what we do best and pray the community will support us.

Another thing in our headlights is the North Lake Pole Shop Hop on December 12th, and a book signing by Andre Coleman on the 11th. More about that in another post, but save those dates, because it's going to be fabulous!

Friday, November 6, 2009

WFS Gives To Danny's Farm and Five Acres!

There are several exciting things going on at WFS these next couple of months! The holiday season is quickly approaching, and of course we'll be dressing up the store but we thought we could do a lot more than decorate and hang ornaments.

I've said before that in economic times such as these, it's our local charities and non-profits that suffer the most. When people feel they have little to give, charitable donations are the first to be cut from the budget. We understand and believe me, our store doesn't have room for much donating, either. But you know what? We're still in business and our crew members are still employed and for that we're thankful. In that spirit of thankfulness, we are going to be donating to two Altadena non-profits - Danny's Farm and Five Acres. Read on and discover how we'll be accomplishing this.

Danny's Farm is a a local non-profit with an amazing premise. We love how the Gott family's vision has improved and enriched our community! They even have plans to expand that vision which will create more opportunities for the disabled in Altadena. To get there, they need our help and they need your help. If you order custom holiday cards from WFS this year, we will donate 15% of the net cost to Danny's Farm. Don't let the word "custom" scare you away....these cards are cost effective and beautiful. Best of all, you can be the designer of your own holiday card! We will have our catalog of holiday cards on-line at by late next week. From now until January 1st, if you order your gorgeous holiday cards through Webster's Fine Stationers, we will donate 15% of the net sale to Danny's Farm and that's a very good thing.

Five Acres is another local Altadena non-profit that is near and dear to our hearts. They're running a Thanksgiving food-drive for the population they serve and we want to help! We'll be collecting the donations here at WFS, but here's the thing: when you bring your food donations in, please give them directly to a crew member. That crew member will give you a coupon for 10% off any purchase you make at WFS. You can use that coupon that day or save it for later use. It's just our way of saying thank you for making a food donation to Five Acres. We also have $10.00 coupons that are good for the same amount off a purchase at Macy's on Saturday, November 14th. Your purchase of these coupons benefits Five Acres and are redeemable on regular, sale or clearance priced merchandise purchases of $25.00 or more. Remember, these are valid on November 14th only. To buy one, just ask one of our crew members.

Also on our radar for the weeks coming up is a book signing with Altadena author Andre Coleman. Stay tuned for more information on that event!