Monthly Archives: January 2015

Who Inspires You?

We all have people who inspire us.  Some inspire our spiritual side.  Some inspire us with their creativity and ability to believe in their dreams and trust they will find their way.  We all hear about the people who are successful because they do what they love.  To me, that is the “build it and they will come” mentality.  NOTHING is that easy.  I find it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice to “do what we love.”

So, who inspires me?  Well, I have a list of women who I have seen accomplish their dream, build successful businesses and still exhibit great humility and appreciation of employees and customers alike.

My first inspirational woman in the retail business is Frances Gravely of Vietri.  What she and her sister accomplished with their mother is amazing.  When they began over 25 years ago, they had a vision to bring back home to America a handcrafted dinnerware style that was not the norm at the time.  Think the perfection of fine bone china vs. the imperfection of hand perfected dinnerware.  Who would think something like that would work?  Who would defy the odds and become one of the leading tabletop collections?  Obviously, they did, and they worked hard for that “overnight success.”

Second, I find Conni Reed of Consuela.  Those handbags just keep kicking butt!  Why?  Because Conni does not sit on her laurels and say, “why, yes, I created the most popular tote, bag, etc. and now I’ll sit back and enjoy.”  No, she constantly “gets it” and keeps reaching for more.  Like me, she spent years in the corporate world.  It’s hard leaving a steady paycheck for a dream.  But, dream she did and now she and her incredible staff (I’m partial, they are as cool and hip as her collection) just keep creating and inventing a new path in the handbag venue.

Last, but not least, is Beatriz Ball of Beatriz Ball.  I so love this collection of tabletop serving pieces that I can’t imagine anything as magnificent in the industry today.  And, she has created this from a vision, an idea, a passion and she still loves getting ideas and suggestions from her customers.  I greatly admire her, even though she did tell me she has a love/hate relationship with neighborhood deer!

While these women represent what I think is the best of my industry, there are many other women who inspire me on a personal or spiritual level.  But, I hope any young woman with a dream will look at these women and see they CAN achieve and can accomplish, at any age, what they were meant to do to live a complete life with no regrets.  Enjoy your dreams, enjoy your accomplishments.  I do every day and these women remind me I can do even more with my dreams.

Beatriz Ball & Yours Truly

Beatriz Ball & Yours Truly


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Filed under Bridal, Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts, home decor, Tabletop

Baby, Oh Baby

Back in 1999 kids 12-16 were a trend. Why? Because the were the off spring of the Baby Boomers, the largest concentrated demographic ever. These babies were the next largest controlling demographic since that time. How do I know that? I was the Marketing Director at Claires Accessories and we watched these babies like a hawk!!!

15 years later reports indicate we are in the midst of a new baby boom. Ironic since I now own a store and have been noticing baby sales steadily increasing over the last couple of years. Now, I go to the Winter Gift Market and I see lots of new products for this emerging baby boomlet.

Funny how 15 years ago I was marketing the latest earrings and headbands to a group I’m now promoting Sophie the Giraffe! Can’t wait to see where these kids take me next.


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Filed under Baby, Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts

To Market, To Market We Go!

Whenever I go to the Gift Market lots of friends and customers ask, “what did you see?” Well, I don’t know how to explain what all I see but I can say – “It’s a lot!”
That doesn’t satisfy!
So, what DID I see worth noting?
• Colors starting to emerge again. The year of everything in some shade of tan, fawn or brown is fading.
• Burlap in everything is getting old
• Baby biz is getting stronger
• Holiday 2015 will see dusty colors a little more muted than the pales of 2014
• Get ready for dinosaurs. The new Jurassic Park movie this summer has vendors sowing dinosaurs all over the place!


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

Well, Hello There……

When you live in the country, Internet is sometimes as attainable as flying to space for lunch.  NOT happening.  Without Internet it makes it hard to find the time to post blog reports.  So, the Silver Barn blog fell by the wayside while we focused on Facebook and Instagram which are a bit faster when all you need to do is post a picture versus a little info.

So, now here we go again.  We have loaded the spaceship, we have so much to share….and lunch on Mars is great!  The Martians gave me rabbit ears, we should be good to go with Internet in the country!

Tomorrow we will fill you in on Spring Market 2015 trends – as seen through the eyes of this little barn owner.cat4

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Filed under Uncategorized