Sunday, September 26, 2010

Traditional Trends In The Spotlight

Scott and I stopped at the L.A. Mart for their Fall mini-show this afternoon, before coming into the store. The larger shows are in January and in July, but the Fall show affords another chance for buyers to complete their holiday shopping and get a jump on Spring. It also offers one a glimpse into the hot trends on the horizon.

The opening day is usually crowded, and normally it’s hard to find parking. Perhaps because of the heat… was close to 100 degrees in Los Angeles after all….or perhaps because of the economic situation, this show wasn’t very well attended. One of my favorite showroom reps said that she had eight appointments booked, but only one showed up. We’ll see what it’s like the next two days, but if this is any indicator, I think everyone’s sitting tight and not spending much.

As for new trends, the most prevalent color schemes for this holiday season seem to be relying on past years’ combinations. Pinky reds and lime greens intermixed with traditional metallic colors are back with a vengeance, with a heavy emphasis on the golds. This is actually great news, because you can use older gold and silver decorations and just add in a few pieces of the newer pinky red & green colors. Natural elements are immensely popular, and birds, butterflies, insects of all sorts and dragonflies are important motifs this year. Good news for Altadena and the surrounding areas, since we’re so close to nature anyway! Owls are still popular, possibly owing to the Harry Potter craze (the Harry Potter theme park just opened in Orlando, FL) and the new Legends of the Guardians movie. Otherwise, the traditional elves, Santas and snowmen are the pillars of this year’s holiday decor.

On a different subject, Scott and I hope you’ll be able to visit us on Friday evening for our Social Media Meet & Greet: The Networking Event. Our event is up on Facebook, we’ve sent out our invitations to our mailing list via Constant Contact and have fliers on the counter. We’ve lined up several wonderful speakers who will clue you into what you need to know about social media and how it can help you. We’re getting the restaurants together for our tasting menu and our theme is Fall Tailgating Parties. There’ll be great food, great conversation and great networking opportunities, so again, we hope we’ll see you this Friday night!

Have a great week, my friends!

Lori & Scott

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"If You're Not Proud Of It, Don't Sell It"

Time is a luxury for me these days. When I do have some down time I try to spend it reading articles and blogposts that will help me grow our business. I've found some pretty great information by many wonderful experts but the one who continues to inspire me almost daily is Seth Godin. Seth's Blog is chock full of little nuggets of insightful intel that make me think. His posts are reality checks for me as I try to connect our store with our community. This was his post today and I think it's so important that I'm going to reprint it here for you to read as well (if you haven't already):

"Are you responsible for what you market?

Let's assert that marketing works.

The money and time and effort we put into marketing goods and services actually works. It gets people to change their minds. It cajoles some people into buying and using and voting for things that they otherwise wouldn't have chosen. (If it doesn't work, save your money).

If it works, then, are you responsible for what happens after that?

If you market cigarettes aggressively, are you responsible for people dying of lung cancer?

I think there are two ways to go here:

1. You're not responsible. The marketer is like a lawyer representing the obviously guilty client. Everyone is entitled to a lawyer, and it's up to the jury to decide. The lawyer's job is to do the best she can, not to decide on the outcome. Market the best you can and let buyers take responsibility.

2. You are responsible. Your insight and effort cause people to change, and without you, that change would never happen.

I'm not sure there's a middle ground. Either we should applaud the folks lobbying on behalf of causes we despise, the pornographers selling products that degrade our society and the politicians spinning and lying to get elected (because all these people are doing is giving us a choice for which we're responsible) or we should take responsibility for stuff we sell.

My take: if you're not proud of it, don't sell it."

I love this entire post, but what struck me particularly was point 2 and everything following. As a business in Altadena, we are responsible and Scott and I and our entire crew are responsible. We are responsible for making a positive impact on our community and in our town. Scott and I are responsible for creating the type of sustainable shopping destination that is a true member of our town, giving and receiving equitably while supporting its economic substructure.

Change comes hard in Altadena, we're all aware of that. But change happens whether or not we like it. What we all can do is to nurture that change and shape it into a positive force. This is what we can do....what WFS can make sure that we're proud of what we're selling. Whether it's an idea or product, it matters not. What does matter is that we try to make a difference. I'm proud of that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Being Social and Shopping Local, A Recipe For Fun In Altadena

Scott and I hope all of you had a pleasant Labor Day holiday. We decided that we'd close the store Sunday and Monday, and it was lovely having two whole days at home! Our dog, almost 14 year old Pepe, was estatic that we were home, poor pup has gotten used to us being gone every day.

After that nice, warm Labor Day, it sure seems like fall is here. Although the days in Altadena are warm, they're clear with that certain tang in the air that signals autumn is just around the corner. Some claim we were cheated out of summer....I'm glad it wasn't too awfully hot and all of us at the store are getting ready for the change of seasons. All this week we'll be moving things around and redecorating, so please excuse the disarray....I'm sure you'll be pleased with the outcome!

Last post, I mentioned the social media meet and greet/wine pairing event we'd be having, and I mentioned mid-September. We're going to hold the event on Friday, October 1st, after the Jewish New Year celebrations are over. October 1st is also the date The Gallery At The End Of The World is having a one-man show, so it should be a great evening of fun, fellowship, information, food, wine and art! Our wine pairing theme will be Fall Tailgating Parties, so do make plans to join our area's well-known bloggers, find out what all the buzz is about social media and even ask questions about how sites like Facebook can open a whole new world for you and your business! More information about our function will be forthcoming next week.

Something exciting has happened! The Altadena Chamber of Commerce has launched its long-awaited Shop Local Altadena program. It started last week with very little fanfare and a link to a PDF page of coupons on the front page of the Chamber's website at This link will take you directly to the coupon page, which you can print and cut out to use at the participating merchants and businesses. Webster's Fine Stationers is offering a 15% savings on purchases over $20.00, excluding sale items and Crane & Co., from now through the month of October! The other businesses participating are Altadena Golf Course, Curves, Amy's Patio Cafe, Steve's Pets and Kat Scrap Studio. As a Director of the Chamber, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of coverage, save a two-liner in Altadenablog. We need to be a bit more committed to creating interest and making sure the majority of people in the town know when we start a campaign like this. It's the start of a fabulous movement, with coupon savings and everything, so we'd appreciate it if you'd help spread the word.

Have a great week, my friends, and local truly does empower your community!

Lori & Scott