Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009, Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow....

Bidding goodbye to the year 2009 won’t be such a difficult thing to do, will it? I hear this sentiment more and more as the new year approaches and at first I laughingly agreed. Yeah, 2009….good riddance with your economic woes, your politics and your generally depressing atmosphere…..we’re ready for something new!

Then I thought about it for a while and my opinion has changed. The new year is inevitable but it was this last year that taught us many valuable things. I don’t want to throw 2009 away completely, because this year saw some very awesome things happening at WFS and in Altadena. How awesome could it have been, you might ask? Let’s take a look…..

2009 saw the Altadena Arts Coalition firm its mission and help increase awareness of the North Lake Business District as not only a convenient shopping destination but as a culture hub as well. July’s Project: Altadena was a huge success that was enjoyed by so many! The Coalition looks forward to planning many more art-centered community functions in the coming year.

2009 taught us how to tighten our belts and taught us resiliency. Never before have we had to strategize so carefully and learn to make correct quick decisions. We’re pretty proud to say that in a year that saw many lay-offs and business closings, we managed to give our employees a small salary increase, and only lost one to greener pastures. 2009 taught us to value our crew members more than ever and that their role in the development of WFS is just as important as ours.

2009 was also the year of the Business Builders Bootcamp at the Women's City Club in Pasadena. Wonderful friends invited me to join the ladies there and I'm so thankful they did! The intelligence, ingenuity and creativity of the women in this group is astounding and I'm amazed every time I attend. A very special shout-out to the members (you know who you are!)....thanks to all of you!

2009 was the year we educated you on the value of shopping locally. It was also the year The 3/50 Project was born, which was fortuitous because it gave you concrete evidence of how money spent locally affects your community’s economic health. Keeping your town’s local character alive is crucial to its survival and it’s a good thing to know how you can help.

2009 saw WFS develop and move more in the direction we’re working toward. In addition to jewelry and art cards by local artists, we added books by several Altadena authors. We’re very excited about this facet of WFS and intend to expand it in the coming months. We’re also pleased to be aiding the Christmas Tree Lane Association by carrying their merchandise all year round and giving them 75% of the sales. We added wonderful fair-trade goods to our product mix and discovered that we like the way that made us feel! We plan to look for more fair trade goods to offer you in the future, and we’re also working on a local artist’s collaboration that promises to be fabulous!

So you see, 2009 wasn’t all that bad. We’re positive, though, that 2010 will be our year, and your year, too…..I feel it right in the center of my heart! Happy New Year to you all!

---Lori & Scott

Sunday, December 13, 2009

'Tis The Season To Be Hoppy!

Shop-hoppy, that is! Because the North Lake Pole Winter Festival and Shop Hop was cut short by the pounding deluge Saturday afternoon, the businesses involved will extend the qualification time for the Grand Raffle until December 24th. During this time, visit the listed merchants/businesses/restaurants and get a star affixed to your Shop Hop card. No purchase or obligation is required for the star on your card so why not explore places you haven't been to yet, meet new people or say hello to old friends you haven't seen for awhile? What better time than the holidays, when you're out and about anyway? Once you get some stars on your card, you'll be eligible for an entry into the most exciting raffle ever! So many marvelous prizes, all generously donated by our local business owners, and just in time for the holidays. The grand prize will be a new bicycle from Steve's Bike Shop and there will be many more exciting giveaways. We'll pick the winners on Christmas Eve, December 24th, and the winner need not be present. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Altadena along with the holiday season.

Due to last Saturday's rain, WFS will be hosting a Holiday Open House this Saturday, December 19th. We'd love you to join us for holiday festivities, fun and food! We open at 10:00 am and the party starts then with pastries, hot coffee and cider. From 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm, hearty appetizers and other surprises will be on the menu and from 4:00 pm until closing at 6:00 pm, dessert is on us! We invite you to drop by - get your Shop Hop card with its first star on it from WFS, and stay for top-notch shopping, shipping and good old fashioned holiday fun! Shopping or shipping at this time of year is fun, you ask? It sure is when you've got beautiful music to listen to, interesting merchandise to peruse, delicious munchies to nibble and good friends to greet! It's a lot of fun, too, when you win one of the many door prizes we'll be giving away.

There's one other benefit to our Shop Hop, can you guess it? It's the great feeling you'll get from helping to support not only your local businesses, but the economic health of Altadena as well. Civic pride might be something we tend to smirk at these days but it's something that's absolutely needed right here and right now! We've all seen the warning signs and have already witnessed the closing of many of our local places of business - it's time now to rally to support those that remain, lest they disappear also. If we collectively direct our buying at local, independent businesses it will increase Altadena's bottom line by funneling funds back into the community. It funnels back in by increasing the ability of these businesses to pay their taxes, both sales tax and employment tax. It funnels back by keeping their staff employed and the people employed spend money in other local businesses. It funnels back as the different businesses use other service providers, such as accountants, payroll services, janitors and printers. We invite you to read about The 3/50 Project at - it certainly puts what I've just said into perspective.

The holidays are a perfect time for us to express our gratitude to our loyal customers - thank you from the bottom of our hearts! You've helped us survive this year and you'll help us thrive in the future so remember to join us this Saturday, even if just for a few minutes. Let us take this opportunity to wish all of you a warm and wonderful holiday season!

UPDATE 12/16/09 The Christmas Tree Lane Association will be joining in the fun on Saturday, too! Come see the many charming items they have at their Boutique, which will be set up in front of WFS and Galloway Alley, and help support this worthy Altadena institution!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Local Blogs Worthy of Note and Winter Festival Update

As promised in my last post, let me offer you some information on local sites and blogs that are, in my opinion, some of the best. Informative, amusing and such a great compliation of the culture of Altadena, these sites are waiting for you to discover them (if you already haven't). Read on, intrepid readers, and find a new sources of information, news, entertainment or historical entire world of the written word awaits!

Altadenablog, Altadena's one-stop source for community news and opinion. If you want to keep up with what's happening in Altadena, this is the site for you! The site's author, Tim Rutt, was honored recently by Los Angeles County for Altadenablog's coverage of the Station Fire.

Altadena Above It All,
Debbie Swanson Patrick, author, photographer and artist, says it best herself: "this blog is dedicated to capturing the life, history, preservation and improvement battles, the wildlife (animals included!), talent, beauty and magic that is in these foothills." We love helping her celebrate Altadena and we hope you do, too.

Altadena Hiker,
Karin Bugge's View From The Trail, a glimpse into the life of this local resident who tells it like she sees it. A talented writer, Karin is funny, witty and spot-on!

One excellent perk about being a blogger is that you get to share other wonderful blogs with your readers. There are so many excellent local blogs in our area and I'll be pointing out more in future posts. Hopefully by then I will have figured out what's wrong with my Blogger account and why it won't let me attach live links. On now to exciting local news!

Altadena Arts Coalition Presents
The North Lake Pole Shop-Hop and Winter Festival

Come join the Altadena Arts Coalition and your local merchants on Saturday, December 12th, for an evening of holiday merriment and civic pride! Rediscover all Altadena has to offer by visiting the participating merchants and businesses, who are awaiting your arrival with seasonal treats and goodies. Collect stars on your map and once filled, you are eligible for entry into a drawing for wonderful prizes!

Set to start right after the lighting of Christmas Tree Lane , the AAC will host sledding in REAL snow in Galloway Alley, live music and a visit from Holly Jolly Wally! There will be food vendors in case you get hungry….John from O Happy Days will be serving hot soup, The Coffee Gallery will be serving hot coffee & tea, Park Bench Deli will be making tacos, Steve's Bike Shop is serving hot chocolate and Altadena's own Dip Me In Chocolate will be offering their decadent goodies. Stroll along the North Lake Pole Ave., greet your friends and neighbors and enjoy that good old fashioned Christmas spirit! Webster's Fine Stationers will be showcasing their holiday d├ęcor and will be serving hot apple cider, treats and a surprise guest. Webster's Pharmacy and Webster's Liquor will be serving soft-serve ice cream and Photography by Walt is hosting “Capture the World”, an exciting photo exhibit. The Gallery At The End Of The World will also be hosting an art exhibit you won't want to miss. This is a great opportunity to get out and see what makes Altadena so special. Get set to have a great time on the 12th …..we'll be waiting for you!