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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, 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, small business, travel on December 13, 2007

Boston Small Business Meet Up: Design Salon {12.11.07}

I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve replied to over the past few years asking me if I know of any small business meet ups in Boston for women. I’ve heard of a few initiatives, but nothing has made much progress because either group leaders kept canceling, or the attendees weren’t getting much out of the meet ups and decided to drop out. I mean, it’s nice to connect, but what good does this do long term if people don’t have something more regular to look forward to keep them fueled and on track? And topics. It’s not enough to show up and exchange business cards. You need a topic so real voices can rise up and be heard, advice can be thrown around the table, and ideas can churn.

Boston Design Salon was founded by Boston cermacist, Jill Rosenwald.

Many have asked me to start a group either in New Hampshire or Boston, but with my schedule, I can’t do it on a regular basis. And I’ve always felt bad about this. But it seems now I don’t have to worry because business ladies now have a home – a flock – and it’s called the Boston Design Salon.

History: A while ago a group of lady designers in Boston started meeting together once a month to share business stories, tips, network and drink wine. Calling themselves the Boston Design Salon, the group was formed by local ceramist Jill Rosenwald. Their goal for 2008 is to continue meeting monthly, grow out the group, and have a topic or guest speaker/s for each meeting.

The next Design Salon meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 11th @ 7:00 pm and the guest speaker will be Jill Shah of SoLUXE who will cover Network Marketing. The event will be hosted by Kelly Smith Harris of Etcetera Media at The Pink Comma Gallery. The location is 81B Wareham Street and it’s on the block between Harrison and Albany in the South End. Please call 617.833.0330 if you need directions.

Details: 12/11 Agenda: Network Marketing. Network Marketing is a sales model that has been around the block, but is seeing new life as modern day shoppers seek to find shopping venues (and products) outside of traditional retailers and etc. Jill Shah will facilitate a discussion on her latest business venture, SoLUXE, which is a network marketing retailer that sells personalized and custom paper and home goods through a national network of independent sales consultants. Topics include: What is Network Marketing?, The Business Model, Product Fit, Recruiting and maintaining a sales force, Creating Momentum, and Building a Network Marketing Business: Financing, Marketing, Growth. And cookies. Did I mention cookies?

In addition and in the spirit of the holidays, they’ll also have THE FIRST ANNUAL DESIGN SALON COOKIE EXCHANGE! Instructions for the exchange: Bring 1-3 dozen of your favorite holiday treats. We’ll set them all out, eat them and then go home with 1-2 dozen.

There’s no fee to attend, and I know for a fact that these ladies would welcome newbies with open arms because they asked me to spread the word on decor8 if it’s something I’d support – and I do – so I’m spreading the love. Just bring your business card and some cookies. That sounds easy enough, right?

Ladies can RSVP to Jill Rosenweld: mcrae2 AT aol DOT com.

(images

Posted in reader discounts, shopping, small business, travel on December 06, 2007

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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