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Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Million Thanks!

The countdown is nearing its end.  I have been working so hard at physical labor: scrubbing floors, painting, washing windows, hauling and moving racks that I haven’t allowed myself to think of the actual opening of this little boutique. But…it is going to happen and I am ready!!!

I want to take a minute to mention all of the people who have helped me get to this point in my journey.  Of course, Steve has been my encouragement at every step and Courtney: my righ-hand "man".  Not only has she designed my blog, website, mailers and business cards; she has helped me haul racks, buy items from printers and speakers to decorative earring holders and fashion shopping bags. 

Josh and Jesse helped move everything into my basement.  Sharon and Courtney helped sort all of the clothes. Thanks to Ruby, Dedre, Nancy, Janelle, Penny and Jessie for coming to my presale.  And to Kim, Lorraine, Sheldon and Cradle to Crayons for sending others to the sale!

Jesse redesigned my antique checkout stand.  Mark and Jaylynne gave ideas about paint color, being sure to add that strong color on the striking wall.  Carl, Rusty, Rick and Steve layed the flooring.  You will have to stop by to see which direction we went with the floor.  Josh and Jesse helped me apply the baseboards.  

Aaron and Josh moved the heavy furniture into the new boutique.   Rinda helped wash all of the racks and the windows, as well as, helped with the layout of the racks in my narrow space.   Mary Jo and Rinda helped purchase scarves, sunglasses, watches and reading glasses from the Merchandise Mart.  Jesse and Steve hung all the wall racks.  Ruby, Brenda and Courtney all helped me steam and hang the clothes.  Mary Jo gave me lots and lots of jewelry.  A special thanks to Caiden for helping sort hangers, help set up the jewelry case and keeping it light with a little Frisbee using the sizing disks!

Harold, my contractor, gave me a little table for my bathroom.  Joe gave me savvy marketing advise and Jason got me a killer deal on my 3 year lease.   My mom has been as excited for me as I am, and she’s given me some very pretty sweaters for the fall season.  My relatives from Nebraska came to get in on the excitement of my new journey!   They also were my first customers.

Then, there’s all of you readers out there who have read my blogs and sent me encouraging notes…thank you!  I couldn’t have done this without all of my family and friends.  If I’ve forgotten to mention someone please know that you are in my heart. 

If all goes according to plan we will open with a soft start on April 3rd.  If you have been waiting to bring clothes in to consign that would be the week to do so.  The guidelines for consigning, as well as, the hours of the boutique are listed on my website www.avenueconsignment.com   We will have an open house toward the end of April or early May.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Labor of Love

Saturday was floor installation day.  It looks fabulous!  Of course it was more than a one day job.  But my crew came back to finish on Sunday, minus one – he’s off to Mexico for a week of sun and surf.  It was a labor of love (and knees and backs and fingers) from our great friends The CRG! 
The floor was done but then comes the base board.  I noticed that as we started to lay the floor it seemed to expand in size as we all worked…could I really handle doing the base board all by myself?  This small little boutique was looking bigger and bigger.  So I called my son-in-law, with his bad arm and asked if he could coach me.  Then I called my son, who had planned his first day of spring break to sleep in, and begged him to come help me.  Of course they both rallied around me and we got it done in no time!  The construction phase is done! 
This week I get to start the move-in process.  I can hardly wait to design the space.  I spent some time at the Merchandise Mart with my friends Mary Jo and Rinda.  I’ve got some fabulous sunglasses, reading glasses, scarves and watches.  All new and ready for purchase!
Courtney has designed our first mailer with lots of specials to entice the neighborhood to drop by.  Additionally, my website has been launched, again thanks to Courtney!!!  So be sure to drop in at  http://avenueconsignment.com/Bye for now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Countdown Continues

I can’t tell you how busy I have been getting ready to open.  The most exciting news is that the walls are up, as well as new track lighting.  The painting is all finished thanks to Mark’s (my brother-in-law is a painting contractor) crew. I’ve chosen a beautiful taupe for the walls with a darker shade on the ceiling to make those unattractive acoustic tiles go away!  Then for one accent wall I’ve chosen a striking Chrysanthemum.
This coming Saturday our wonderful friends, affectionately known as the Colorado River Gang (they often join us at our cabin on the Colorado River for skiing, hiking and, of course, eating and enjoying a nice bottle of wine), are coming to put in our floors.
I have decided to go with wood floors, so the big question now is directionality.  It has been suggested to make the boutique, which is long and narrow,  feel more spacious, we place the floors perpendicular to the entrance. Now that totally goes against my flow of the space.   I think the feng shui demands for it to go lengthwise. 

Maybe we should put it to a vote!  Send emails or comment with your vote suggestions!  Lengthwise  or Widthwise to the entrance.

Each week we get closer and closer to the deadline.  Nineteen days to my target date of April 3rd.  Many of my friends have offered to help me during spring break (still on teacher time).  That will be crunch time, as we will be arranging the boutique, decorating, steaming all of the clothes and hanging them.  I am taking them up on their offers…I’ll be sure to have plenty of munchies on hand.  Bye for now.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Two Generations

One of the interesting developments in my new venture is how Courtney (my daughter) and Steve (my husband) have gotten involved. As I’ve said in my previous blogs, the two of them have been helping me a great deal. But watching how they go about helping is very interesting. Steve has many contacts around Denver so when I say I need this…he says “I know a guy”. Courtney on the other hand immediately goes to the internet. They both find a solution. 

Right now, we are in the midst of deciding on a sign. Courtney has pictures and quotes for me to look at on the computer, and today I am meeting “Steve’s guy” at Steve’s office. Now of course, they may feel a little bit of healthy competition, I’m not quite sure. But when Steve says “I know a guy” Courtney says “of course he does!” When Courtney says we can do that on the internet, Steve says, “What’s the quality like?” It’s fun to watch the two of them operate.
I haven’t mentioned Josh (my son) in all of this. His role is coming soon. He’s already helped me move all of the racks, cases and clothes into my house. And come mid March, he will be helping to move it all back out again! And of course, he also is very supportive of this new venture of his mom. 

Jesse (my son-in-law)is a wonderful carpenter. He has taken a beautiful antique dresser and revamped it to be my check out stand. Paulina (my daughter-in-law) is an artist. Her input will come when we finally get to the finishing touches.

And then there’s Caiden, our beloved grandson. He is pretty sure that he will be Operations Manager. For those of you who know Caiden you know he was given the “little coach” award on his baseball team for all his ideas for the coach. As a“worker” in my shop he plans to run the cash register, take his break (at Baskin Robbins across the street) and carry a lot of keys. This is truly a family affair! Bye for now.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gone Shopping


One of the perks in starting up my business is going around town to visit the other consignment stores.  My objective is to look at their set up, pricing, d├ęcor, etc.  You know get the lay of the land before I open my store.  But…shopping is a big part of it all.  I can’t resist the great deal! I’ve come home with shirts, scarves, jackets, jewelry and more.  It’s not that I’m a “shopping junkie”, I just feel a need to support my fellow consignors and one or two more additions to my wardrobe can’t hurt!

We are getting much closer to an opening date, but still have much to do.  My goal has always been to open by April 3rd.  The countdown is on, only 33 days to go.  The shop is now “white box” ready.  That means, it’s an empty box.  I need to organize, walls, dressing rooms, lighting, flooring, permits, hang racks, sort the clothes for the 3rd time, steam the clothes, take on my new consignors, plan my marketing strategy, get insurance, set up phone and computer systems, learn the computer system that I will be using for the register…the list is endless!  And in the midst of it all, I am still teaching 2 days a week.

Sadly, I will be saying goodbye to a great group of kids this week.  They’ve given me a run for the money but they have also given me hugs, let me sing my crazy songs and allowed me the last chance to watch kids delight in learning.  An era is over for me, but so many new challenges are on the horizon.

Bye for now.