Monthly Archives: November 2010

Getting That Holiday Spirit Yet

Pug Holiday Purse

As all retailers prepare for their favorite time of year – from a cash perspective – let us take a moment to get in one final giggle. Okay, retailers….ready? Is this Pug Reindeer Purse not the funniest thing? Go ahead, giggle. Okay, now back to decorating, creating bows, tagging merchandise, take a final breath and let the countdown begin. Shoppers. Thanks for giving us one final moment to laugh at something before the craziness begins.

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Filed under Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts, holiday decorating

A Little Self Plug Tonight….

Shelly Miles, Host of SA Living...and Moi!

….and I’ll try not to break my arm patting myself on the back!

Some folks may know that before I opened my store I had been a consumer PR geek, retail consultant & TV spokesperson. Opening the Silver Barn gave me the opportunity to do something I had always wanted to do – live a dream. I am excited to be able to now combine my first love – the store, with another love – TV work. For anyone in retail they know any PR you can get is very valuable. I’m lucky enough to be able to garner some of that on my own, and now I can begin to work to build Silver Barn as a destination. A place to come and enjoy shopping as well as enjoy the atmosphere.

And, I am especially happy to share the Silver Barn and some of our great products with some of my favorite TV pals – Shelly Miles and her fab producer, Monica Nino. I can’t wait to return again soon!!! Thanks to the team that makes me look good!!

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Filed under Gift shop, Gifts, Publicity, Uncategorized

The Year of the Angels

It always seems to be a holiday season filled with Santa, snowmen, bright colors and even a Nativity. But, the crew at The Silver Barn saw this as the year of the Angels! We decorated all the tables at a recent charity event with the variety of angels and deer in this beautiful handcrafted style. The angels that weren’t sold that day came back to the store and, after a brief stint in the front window, have now taken center stage in the store. The tallest Angel, at 43″ seems so much taller against our super high ceilings. I just had to share. No deep thoughts, no ideas on how to decorate…just the simple beauty of an elegant silver angel decorating the store and home.

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Filed under Country Living, Furniture, Gift shop, Gifts, holiday decorating, home decor

There Is More Than 1 Way to Skin a Cat!!

Woodland Christmas

As most of our friends and customers know, we have a store kitten, Lenox. If you’ve visited recently, you have noticed a half decorated Christmas tree upstairs. You may wonder why. The answer is, well, we have a tree cat. Yes, Lenox thinks the trees have been brought in for her amusement. She likes to surprise customers as they reach for an ornament, by taking the ornament back! She likes to leap from high branches to the shoulder of unsuspecting friends…mostly me. She thinks the ornaments are to be brought to my desk, downstairs, at the back of the building. Guess how many have made it that distance intact?

Therefore, we have taken a new approach to decorating this season. All trees will be festooned with lovely bows and ribbons available for purchase. All ornaments will be placed in baskets around and near the tree for all of our friends to use their own imagination and decide how to use their ornaments. For some reason, Lenox has no desire to take things off tables, counters or other displays. It is the tree that is the object of her desire. She has not read the retailer handbook of decorating for the holidays…she likes to un-decorate.

So, come by The Silver Barn and enjoy the baskets of ornaments…in fact, now that I look at it, I kind of like this novel way of decorating for the season!

I'm sorry, I can't help myself

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Filed under Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts, holiday decorating, home decor, Pets

Decorating More Than The Table

The Thanksgiving menu plan – check. The guest list – check. The centerpiece – got it. Another way to festively add to the occasion – what? You’ve done it all, you’ve figured out everything that goes on the dinner table, but what about other areas of the house that could use a little touch of glamour? If you have a vase hidden away in the cupboard, pull it out. Add foliage you have, or come and visit us for a fall assortment. Don’t worry about putting them in the vase “correctly”; you’ll be surprised how easy it is to see where you need to add, move, adjust. Find things like these antlers to add a natural touch. And, when your guests arrive they will be impressed before they even get to the table!

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Filed under holiday decorating, home decor

Let’s Bring Thanksgiving Back!

Feed On The Word

And, here we go….The seasonal quick change is underway for retailers everywhere. We quickly move from witches and ghosts to snowmen and Santa. WHOA! Wait just one cotton-pickin’ minute! Wasn’t there a season in between that had something to do with turkeys, pilgrims and a little thanks? I walked into an unnamed store the other day in Houston to pick up some tealights and noticed a winter wonderland. I had to stop and check the calendar on my phone. I was right, it was still November. Which means Thanksgiving DOES still have the floor ladies and gentlemen! Yes, it is tempting to put out all those holiday goodies and relish in the world of reindeer and twinkling lights. But, I must say, I think the poor turkey – the Rodney Dangerfield of seasonal doings – deserves a minute on the stage of attention. I also think we need to stop and say thanks for being able to do a job we love…even when it is 3 a.m. and we are still hanging twinkling lights from the ceiling. It is an honor to do as we please. Decorate as we see fit. Tell the corporate office to hush up – especially since we ARE the corporate office. So, to all my friends in retail land who are also giving the turkey season a little table space – this leg’s for you! Thanks for remembering, giving thanks and enjoying one little respite before the Santa invasion.

See you next week with garland galore!!


Filed under Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts, holiday decorating, home decor, Tabletop

Give Back

As a retailer, don’t forget to give back to your community. It is the members of your community who need you as much as you need them. We have selected the Columbus Christian Women Organization as an important community charity for The Silver Barn. We thank them for all they do to help promote our store and in turn we did our 2009 ornament to benefit their organization – today they got a check for $450. This weekend we will be auctioned off! Yes, we are presenting a candlelit dinner for 10 this spring. I believe the more we give, the more we will get back. I hope every retailer feels the same way. Corporate retail donations are great, but giving of yourself pays back large dividends you can only imagine.

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Filed under Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts, holiday decorating, home decor

I’m Rooting for the Indians

Vietri and Westernware

As I decorate the store for Thanksgiving I started thinking about what could I do that was different? How many Pilgrims and horns-of-plenty can one table have? So, I decided to make a Texas sort of Thanksgiving and give some credit to the Indians. After all, they had us over for dinner first!

I love both Vietri and Westernware, two great products I thought would look good together. And, throw in glasses, steak knives and napkin rings from West Creations and you have a Texas Thanksgiving table. I love unique dinnerware and these three fill the bill, and then some. So, this Thanksgiving leave the Pilgrims in the closet and root for the Indians.

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Filed under Country Living, Furniture, Gift shop, Gifts, holiday decorating, home decor

The Store is Not A Family

1985 Christmas

Sometimes it is nice to stop and remember that if we are doing something we truly love, we are very lucky people. Very lucky people who are surrounded by a family that understands our passion, or at least “deals with it.”

Tomorrow, my daughter turns 25. Today I went through old pictures so I could spend the entire day tomorrow posting pictures of her on Facebook. Today I also took her to the airport so she could go to New York on business. She is all grown up and it is important we remember they are babies but for a moment. My store is wonderful, I love the customers, I love the creativity….but my family is always first, even when they think they aren’t. It could be Christmas Eve and if they needed me, the store would be in the rear view mirror.

Tomorrow she’ll be working in New York and I’ll be working at my little store in Columbus. There was a time in my life when I was the one in New York working with magazine editors. The torch is passed, and passed with pride. Being an owner of anything is just about an obsession….24/7 you dedicate your life to making things better and making a living. This is much like being a parent…only difference is you want them OFF your payroll! But, you want them to have a better future, learn from your mistakes, enjoy the day because one 24 hour period soon adds up to a lifetime of memories. 25 years ago today I was waiting for her birth. Today I wait for her call all is safe as she ventures forth. THIS is what life is about. A store, a job, whatever you do is merely to keep you from sitting next to your kid in class, driving them around like Miss Daisy forever and living their life. A store is a creative outlet. A daughter, a family is a blessing from God.

Happy birthday baby!


Filed under Country Living, Gift shop, home decor, Uncategorized