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2008, Bring it!

Something amazing happened to me between December 31st and today and it’s directly related to the 190+ comments left here listing your ’08 goals. I plan to read through them again tonight, one by one, because I want to see if there are any that I can help you with on decor8 this year. That’s my New Year’s goal, one of the first on my list anyway.


Your responses touched me, your resolve to reach your goals may be important to you, but they’re also to me because I want all of us to be a successful bunch. I want decor8 to motivate and impact your life in a positive way. Your happiness matters to me. I love blogging daily, if I didn’t care about you and all those whom I feature, I wouldn’t be here. I’ll never get rich blogging and I’m fine with that because success isn’t about money to me, in this lifetime I’m shooting for spreading joy and making a difference, which includes being a good wife and friend to others, my online friends included. That means you.

Through decor8, I will continue to show you that one person (me) can make a difference and impact others in a positive way. Not that decor8 will bring world peace (ha!), but a blogger can make an impact, positive or negative, and I’m pushing towards positive again for ’08. The power of blogging, the strength of our community, the value in having work reviewed and posted here from my heart means something to the business owner, to me, and to all of you. Blogging is huge and making a noticeable difference for us all. People are looking to blogs more and more for products and advice, but I’m finding that friendship and partnering up is another rapidly growing need in the blog community. Sure, we love beautiful things, but we want to make connections and take some of these into the real world. We go to our favorite blogs to become motivated, to learn, and to reach out.

I read many blogs each week just like you do, and they’ve all impacted me. Some I’ve had to stop reading because they weren’t making me a better person, I don’t need to elaborate on this point, I’m sure you’ve run into this yourself. I’ll just tactfully say that I could tell by my behavior after reading them that they drained me or gave me this “I Suck” feeling, like I wasn’t good enough, or that I wasn’t nearly as talented. I wouldn’t associate with these people in real life so why was I reading their blogs? I really thought about this question and cut my blog reading by about 10 blogs per week. But those I do read each week make a difference. They inspire me and help me to keep my personal goals in view. They motivate me to action. I’m more creative than I ever thought possible, I see things differently when I travel or just take a walk in the orchards behind my house. I see positive results in my personal life due to the association I’m having with others online through these blogs and I’m happier because of it. You must relate.

With all that being said, my goals for the new year include most of the basics, to love more, eat less, read more, sew more, we always want more, don’t we?! But mostly I want to connect with you and help you to embrace your unique beauty, your value in this world, to help you push through fears, to push ahead, and to realize the impact that just one person can make – only that person is YOU and what YOU can do to make a difference. I will continue to write here on decor8 and you can extract what you need and leave the rest for others. I’ll work on giving more tips and reminders, and I plan to spend more time working on special posts that will discuss topics I’m pretty keen on, like small business, setting up shop, attracting customers, blogging, saying goodbye to fear, making your home more about “you” and less about “everyone else”, and moving forward with your goals, decorating and otherwise. I’ve had a lot of experience in these areas and I’m always working on ways to become more productive and to live a more creative life, so I think sharing these things with you from time to time may be just what you need to hear.

With that, next week will begin the 3rd year for decor8, two amazing years are behind me now, over 3,800 posts completed, and I can only promise you that many more will follow — I can’t wait to get started. So for today, I’m going for coffee with my girlfriend, who just relocated from NYC to here in Hollis, New Hampshire (yeah, culture shock), but I will resume posting tomorrow, so see you then!

Oh and that “amazing thing” that happened to me today, well it’s more like a feeling I had as I read through your comments. It hit me how many of us are striving to reach the same goals and how I can encourage and help through decor8. I realized that together we’re going to kick our fears in the butt and make this a year to remember. I know we can accomplish many great things standing together. All I have to say to 2008 is this: Bring it!

(image by holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Inspiration, Small Business on January 02, 2008

Boston Locals: Wanna Set Up Shop in Newburyport?

This one is for the locals (or soon to be) that I decided to post on decor8 because I hope it will be a good fit for someone looking to gain exposure and to experience shop ownership without jumping in on their own. Kim Gobbi from The Studio, a loyal reader that I’ve been in touch with for months now, has decided to sublet some studio space upstairs in her shop located in downtown Newburyport, MA located on the coast just north of Boston.


Located on State Street, this shop gets a lot of foot traffic – especially in the summer. Kim is looking for either an artist or crafty types, ideally someone who lives locally. Storage space is included. The rent will be $500 a month starting in April, if you’d like to move in and get settled earlier then the rent is only $300 for Feb. and March. The lease would be a tenant at will, so no long term commitment is involved. For full details, please contact Kim directly at 978.463.3077 or via email kimgobbi AT jonesysjewels.com.


P.S. If you’re a shop owner and looking to announce similar opportunities in your store (no matter where you are based), please email me and I’ll consider posting it here on decor8.

(images from kim gobbi)

Posted in Shopping + Products, Small Business, Travel on December 21, 2007

Farewell Blueprint {your thoughts?}

Confession: I’m addicted to Creature Comforts, I don’t know, it’s like all of a sudden I’m hooked and can’t stop looking at this gorgeous blog. And though I heard the news of Blueprint folding several days ago over on Apartment Therapy NY, I didn’t think to bring it up here on decor8 until I noticed Creature Comforts posted her thoughts on the topic. And after a few readers wrote to me asking me to blog about this, I figured why not. Wanna dish?


Although I’m sad to see Blueprint fold, I’m happy Amy Butler’s home was recently featured, and I loved all the other homes they gave us a chance to peek into – each felt loved and lived in, and a bit crafty (minus the skulls and rhinestones), and I really liked that because this is a void that other glossies just don’t fill. Most cater to less of a DIY (do it yourself) crowd and more of a BIY (buy it yourself) crowd. Blueprint featured homes of those that run their own business, make lots of the things in their spaces, and they were real everyday people that just so happened to have a huge chunk of creative spirit and know-how.

We really need Blueprint and I’m sad to see them go. They should bring back MS Kids and merge it with Blueprint – in other words, take the “best of” from both magazines, dump the shoes and raincoats and makeup, keep the amazing typefaces, and offer this shiny new car to the new-nesters they want to target. The DINKS and the couples with young children. That would be ideal and I would support it for sure.

And let Sarah Humphreys take the lead because she is talented and down-to-earth, and I like that. How many editors-in-chief do you know would allow you to tour their tiny 1-bedroom NYC apartment decorated solely by their staff? That’s humility, that’s real, and I I liked her since the get-go based on her apt tour alone. She felt approachable, like if I met her at a party I wouldn’t get butterflies – I’d walk right over to her and have a human-to-human conversation. Sarah doesn’t strike me as some media celebrity. She feels real in her editor’s letters and though some of her staff come across a bit snobby, I’m thinking that if I worked at a company like MSLO, I may feel a little full of myself after awhile too. It’s a whole different world inside those offices vs. out here in the real world. They have test kitchens and craft labs and companies sending them cool stuff all day long, access to things you and I will never see or know about. It’s like the freaking Pentagon – only instead of being the headquarters of the American Dept of Defense, it’s more like the American craft headquarters or something. It’s too cool in there for me, I know that much.

I have to let you in on a little secret though… Their last issue is due out soon, it’s for Jan/Feb and I’m in it. Well, not my picture or anything, just some blurbs about my opinions on displaying photography in the home. Look for that, along with a little decor8 mention, in their final issue.

So, what are your thoughts on Blueprint folding?

Psst: Still looking for an ’08 calendar? If you love that gorgeous Blueprint font, here is a free little download.

(image from the wonderful creature comforts)

Posted in Books + Magazines, Inspiration, Small Business on December 14, 2007

Cupcake {Berlin}

How sweet it is! I have to introduce you to Cupcake in Berlin, I hope that if you’re ever there you’ll seek it out and support this small business because though it may have nothing to do with shopping for interior products, cupcakes are quite delicious to eat and this shop makes a great resting place while you’re out and about. Plus Cupcake is darling inside and no one likes breaking in well designed places more than me. Okay, you too. :)


And Berlin isn’t America – a cupcake is a hard little delight to find in northern Germany, you just can’t find them dotted around there as you can here. They aren’t in bakeries, or grocery stores, and they don’t have dedicated little cupcake shops all over as some American cities do – until now. That’s what makes this shop in Berlin so very sweet – they’re truly unique as they are Berlin’s first! I asked the owners, American Dawn Nelson and her boyfriend Daniel Baderif (who runs his record label out of the office in the shop) if they could send over some photos for your enjoyment, so here’s a peek into a very tasty place. Cupcake is located in the heart of Friedrichshain, a short stroll away from the last remaining section of the Berlin Wall.


In regards to the design of the shop, Dawn said that they started out with “All these ideas for the decor. first it was vintage 50’s funiture, then streamlined 70’s, and then finally this is what we came up with”. They wanted something minimal, clean and fresh with the focus on the cupcakes, so this is the result. I think it reminds me of a cupcake shop Audrey Hepburn would have rested her tired feet after a day of shopping at Tiffany’s. If Tiffany’s were in Stockholm. It really reminds me of a Swedish bakery for some reason with a touch of classic Hollywood. And the light fixtures are 2 Die 4, aren’t they?

Cupcake, Krossener Str. 12, Friedrichshain, Berlin

If you’d like to know more about Dawn and her background, click here to read a great interview that I Heart Berlin had with her – it’s in English – and there’s a video as well. It was there that I learned Katie Holmes frequented Cupcake while she was with Tom Cruise in Berlin filming. Too cute.

(images from cupcake)

Posted in Shop Tours, Shopping + Products, Small Business, Travel on December 13, 2007

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