Category Archives: Tabletop

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

The Placesetting Ain’t the Backdrop!

Option 1

A customer told me the other day, “your tables are so creative, I could never do that.” What? Really? This is not rocket science! So, I took four placesettings and used different material to add a little ‘flavor’. Use flowers, ornaments, anything to make your placesetting a little unique. The table sets the theme, adds sparkle to your special meal. Don’t let your table portray blah, let it say ‘we are excited to have you with us’!



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

Oh, Baby it’s Cold Outside!

Imageglow Candles & Fabulous, Tall Candelabras!

So, I was telling a friend how I couldn’t wait to go home and get the fireplace going, it is a great way to enjoy the winter. She was less than impressed! “Thanks, I live in an apartment in Chicago. No fireplace for me!” But wait, create your own.

After she laughed and pointed out there had already been one big fire in Chicago and she wasn’t into repeating others creations, she let me suggest getting fabulous candelabras, finding fabulous candles that will put out a wonderful glow, and maybe even a subtle scent to fill the cold night air. Dim the lights and enjoy the natural beauty of your own mini-fireplace-creation.

Then, she pointed out she didn’t live here where she could shop at the Silver Barn and get these fabulous items I’ve just mentioned. Well, I can’t solve all her problems! (Well, I can, but she wasn’t in the mood to listen! LOL)

But, she’s my friend. So, since I can ship anywhere. This problem solved. Ann, am Imageglow candle and candelabra are on their way. Now, on to the boyfriend issue……


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

A Salute to the Season

Lenox Bridal Flutes

Ah, the Christmas decorations are gone, the Valentines goodies are out on display…and, the season of love is underway. If you don’t have a bridal department – you don’t know what you’re missing! The excitement, the thrill…the arguments with mom! Boy, what retailer wouldn’t want to be a part of that. Actually, with the addition of our bridal room this past year, we made it easy for mom and bride to relax and “discuss” years of experience in the kitchen vs. “I’ll never use” from the microwave college degree.

But, once you intervene and help merge experience feeding 20 with experience of snacking for 20, you are proud of all you have accomplished on behalf of a future happy family.

So, tonight, I salute our first bride and groom of 2011. I’m lucky to be in a small town where I have gotten to know both families and I feel like I’m watching one of my own prepare for this exciting event. I hope I always treat each bride, each mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom, and yes, groom, as if they are members of my own family. This year we will expand to have fun kitchen goodies – perfect for that first turkey dinner for the family…or microwave brownies for two. And, we’ll work to bring all of that online so everyone can celebrate with our brides.

Welcome to the new year…welcome all of our future Mr.’s & Mrs.’s, we are waiting to help make your registry as much fun as finding the perfect dress and planning they honeymoon! Well, close!!


Filed under Bridal, Country Living, Furniture, Gift shop, Gifts, Tabletop

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

One Word – Pumpkins!

Plush Pumpkins - $13.95 - $57.95

All Shapes, All Colors

Velvet masterpieces with real pumpkin stems. I can’t say anything but, wow!


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

Hot Summer Party Idea

Melamine by Le Cadeaux

Hot town. Summer in the city. Back of my neck gettin’ hot and gritty…..but, the weekends make it all worth living!! Living through the week to get to the weekend? Looking for something good to serve? Looking for something to serve it on? We have everything you need. And, the best part — this dinnerware is melamine. Yes, melamine. It won’t break, crack or leak through to your fabulous white pants. And, it looks like fabulously expensive Italian dinnerware. Then, you take the “Tacos & Salsa” cookbook we just got in and create something fabulous. Then, text your friends and tell them to come on over — to enjoy summer in the city at your place!

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Filed under Food, Gift shop, Gifts, home decor, Tabletop