What A Week!

Hey gang.

Kinda feeling like I’m on cloud nine today.

With any business, there’s always going to be highs and lows. It doesn’t matter if you’re Goldman Sachs, McDonald’s, Restoration Hardware, or Maison Decor. There will always be ebbs and flows as is the case with all facets of life. You only hope the highs will outnumber the lows and keep pushing forward.

This last week has been one of the good ones. It couldn’t have come at a better time, too. In Boston, Sundays have and will always be our busiest day. With our location being in a tricky spot, it’s necessary for those Sundays to really be off the hook to bolster some of the quieter times during the week. The last Sunday in April was our worst Sunday ever. I wasn’t entirely discouraged as it wasn’t a matter of people not purchasing, there just weren’t even any people around. It was also the first weekend that Boylston Street re-opened after the Marathon attack, and the Mayor made a push for everyone to get “Back to the Back Bay” and spend money to boost the businesses that were closed and improve morale. I even went myself after closing up shop that day.

Then, the first Sunday in May came and baby it came with a vengeance. In our hood, the first weekend in May means that the SOWA Open Market is back and it only seems to grow bigger year after year. As the market grows, so do the crowds. This last Sunday was our second biggest sales day of all time. It was bonkers. Sometimes when you experience a slower day, you start to second guess yourself. At least I do, but I’m also as neurotic as they come. (Madison can attest to that) You start questioning your buying decisions, your location, the music you played, the shirt you wore, does my haircut look okay? Okay, I’m kidding, but if you have a slower day, you can’t help but wonder “why didn’t they buy?” Business is a sport and an inexact science. When I played sports, I hated losing almost more than I loved winning. I can still remember some painful losses dating back as far as the eighth grade. That’s why for me, one bad day can wipe out a month of good days. (Hey! Are you calling me a pessimist?) I realize I’m probably overstating things here, but I want to take you inside my mind and my thought process regarding this business that I care so frigging much about. Anyhoo, last Sunday was nuts and people were buying everything. It was very validating and reassured me that, “Hey! I actually know what I’m doing! People like our stuff!” Remember, I’ve only been at this business for less than a year. My mom, who taught me everything I know has been in this business in one facet or another for my entire life. So, yeah, Sunday was exactly as I hoped it would be, the market was back and in turn, the thousands of potential customers that I hoped where there too. I’m glad we were able to convert some of those people.

In addition to buying stuff, some folks also had the most sincere, thoughtful, and complimentary things to say about the store. There was one girl I’m thinking of in particular who paused, put her hand on her chest, and said with such earnestness, “You have a beautiful store.” I turned to Madison and we both melted. In fairness (and not to toot my own horn) people say nice things about the shop all the time, but this girl really stood out. It meant a lot to me.

After we closed, we were beaming. Madison and I headed over to Gaslight for a couple of glasses of champagne and oysters. We were celebrating an exceptional day and toasting to the beginning of our busy season. The Market runs through October, so we are ready to rock.

Gaslight

I didn’t know that there was a lot more in store for the week.

Colin and I got up at the crack of dawn on Monday to meet in Boston to deliver two big-ass chests that we sold on Sunday. Deliveries are a fun part of this business, because you get to see something you created in somebody’s home, where it will live for a long time. Somebody will be using something that I worked hard on and take a lot of pride in every day of their lives. It’s a cool thought really. So we made our deliveries, and everyone was so friendly and excited to receive their new haul. We were done for the day early, so we went over to the legendary Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe for a big breakfast. It was great.

Dorks drinking coffee

Dorks drinking coffee

On Tuesday the whole family would be getting together for my middle brother Brandon’s 30th birthday soiree. We all got together at my dad’s up in Woburn and got Chinese food and me and Madison mixed up big batches of delicious Mai Tais for people to drink. Colin made a lovely video tribute to Brandon that was set to music and had lots of old family photos and fun memories. It was great. Oh and our dog Sylvia met Brandon’s dog Kingsley and they got along okay I guess. Kingsley weighs only 3 lbs (teacup chihuahua) and Sylvia wasn’t used to being the big dog (she’s 9 lbs.) She was trying to play with him, but he wasn’t into it. Oh well.

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Wednesday came, and when my mom got home she was greeted by her copy of Romantic Homes magazine. AND WE WERE IN IT. They do a monthly segment on different shops from around the country and for the June issue, they chose us. THEY EVEN PUT A PICTURE OF ME IN THERE. Needless, to say, it’s an honor to be featured in any magazine and to be exposed to a new audience who otherwise might have no way of discovering you. The writer did an exceptional job capturing what we are all about.

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The next day, we already had people calling from around the country to inquire about pictured items. We even sold a set of cabinet plates to an adorable older lady in Texas. She sounded like Maya Angelou, and when she hung up she said, “Well, good luck with y’all’s family business.” I died. It was so very sweet.

We were also featured on Racked this week! It sure seemed to be a perfect storm of exposure. Racked is a really cool website devoted to shopping and style. They are part of the Curbed network which also includes another website called Eater. Curbed covers real estate and Eater covers food and restaurants, and you should totally check them out. I do daily. Racked was kind enough to feature us not once, but twice. Justin Reis wrote us up, and though we’ve never met, I recognize him from seeing him with people I know on social media like twitter and instagram, and I remember him coming in the store before. Hopefully I get to thank him in person and introduce myself next time. Site editor Susie  Kostaras featured us in the first of two Mother’s Day related posts, Procrastinators Have No Fear, Here Are Seven Mother’s Day Gifts which spotlighted our famous Angel Wings. You can also see us if you check out this post:  Make Mom Smile With A Gift From One Of These 15 ShopsPretty damn cool.

Well, if you stayed til the end, thanks for doing so, I know this was a long one and I hope I didn’t beat my chest too much or pat myself on the back too often. I’m just proud of my family and what we’re doing. It’s been awesome.

I’m headed to Brimfield on Tuesday and a client has given me a wish list of things to track down for her. Like a personal shopper, I guess. I’m so excited and plan to blog about that when I return.

Have a great weekend guys!

 

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27 thoughts on “What A Week!

  1. Justin & family,
    May all your dreams come true. You all have worked hard, have talent & deserve only the best. Well wishes from Oregon!!!

    Cathy

  2. You and your family deserve all the best. I enjoy seeing what you do and also enjoy your success with you. Blessings

  3. this put such a big smile on my face- so happy and excited for you and the family and that so many people are finally getting to see & fall in love with everything you’ve worked so hard on.. can’t wait to see it only grow even bigger from here! love you guys XOXO

    • Love you too Tay. This comment put such a smile on my face. It means the world to me. Truly.

      Sent from my iPhone

  4. Hi, We just returned from Ireland and 7 nights in Paris! What can I say? WOW ! You would love it! Saw many French antiques but can honestly say Your shop and Your work is better, much better, at one third of the price.

    Dont worry or doubt yourself. You have it all!!!

    Amore, Arleen

  5. Very nice article and update! Thank you for that. And gosh, one day would like to see your store if we ever find ourselves in Boston. Congrats and best wishes to the start of a busy summer!

  6. Nice Job! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! your Store is awesome! I tell people about it all the time! you and your mom do beautiful work! very inspiring! can’t wait to see what is next!! keep it up!

  7. Justin, this was a great post to read on Mother’s Day! I’m sure you’re mom is so proud of you. I am a big fan of her store (and classes too!) and can’t wait to get down to see the Boston store. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments and have a blast in Brimfield!

  8. As I wrote on your Mom’s blog, this magazine will be my choice this month for my “treat magazine”! Congrats on all the good things coming your way.

  9. You ALL deserve to be proud! I bet Colin loved seeing his Union Jack table in one photo! Loved the coffee pics, too. Y’all are just growing up so fast! 😉 Love you!

  10. Well I did what your Mum said & popped over to your blog & loved reading about you & all the hard work you have put into your family business. You certainly deserve more than a pat in the back. Well done you. I wish we had that magazine you were featured in here in France I’d certainly buy it. I’ve just finished my first chalk paint piece of furniture, following your Mums instructions, & I’m really pleased with it.

    • That’s so great and wonderful to hear Barbara! Thanks for coming over and good luck with your painting projects.

      Sent from my iPhone

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