Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Best of 2006

May 24, 2006
The first post:
Hello everyone!
Welcome to the Curious Sofa Diaries. (Who created the word 'Blog' anyway?) Here I will attempt a daily listing of what is happening within the store, upcoming events and other interesting information.

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June 13, 2006
We Won!

We got word today that Home Accents Magazine has named us as one of the top 50 retailers of the year! Although this is a trade magazine it still means a lot to us considering all the small retailers out there trying to make a go of it.








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August 8, 2006
Curious Sofa TV Commercial

:30 of Fame

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November 13, 2006
Gift Ideas

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Xmas 2006
November 2, 2006

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Thursday, December 07, 2006
Rethinking the Situation

When I discovered blogging, I thought this would be the perfect venue to update my website easily. Snap some adequate pictures of product, tell of my shopping excursions and keep you up to date on sales, events and the like. I did not think of it as a sounding board. A place to vent my griefs and hardships as a retailer (or the cheers) but instead to keep it semi impersonal, professional I guess, always with the idea that the more you know about the goings on inside the store the more likely you might be to stop in and find something. Knowing how and where I go to find the goods might intrigue you to investigate. Therefore, I am still not sure it is appropriate to tell you too much about the business details of the store. But I may change that, at least for today.

One thing about business owning and especially about retail is that it is a constant learning process. I mean real, significant lessons every day. Lessons on buying, selling, management, employees, display, seasons, custom ordering, leases, events, marketing, customers, landlords, money, legal- you name it. I am really turning into a grown up.

Keeping that in mind, retail experts tell you to never compare your first year in sales with anything. "Throw out the numbers" as one man told me. When we moved to Prairie Village I never thought of that advice as I had been in business nearly 5 years already. I had learned that lesson- I thought. But this year has proven me wrong, once again. It seems moving here was like opening a new business; new location, new customers, new size. So after our Holiday Open House and throughout the month of November, I was very disappointed in our sales compared to 2005. They were down. I was no longer the new kid on the block, the hip new store you had to see. The buzz was over. We have settled a bit with a good customer base. A steady flow of regulars and still, people who have never been in. The praises and aahs still come, but the numbers didn't increase the promising 5% or more. If you are a store owner, you know. You NEVER relax when your business depends on sales. Every day I check the bank statement two or three times to see what is coming through. Even when we have a great day or week- it is never enough to help me to breathe. I am always thinking about what I have ordered or what I need to order, what show is coming, what piece needs replaced, what hefty invoice is due next week. It never ends. You can see why I felt sharing this with you was not appropriate. I will always be concerned about sales, but I have relaxed a little. Today in fact, I have relaxed a lot.
The news of the Kim family lost in Oregon was bittersweet. Not until last night did I learn they found the body of James Kim. Not until today did I learn Kati owns a retail store in San Francisco. I went to her website immediately and everything there suddenly became very personal. The web design, the storefront, the products; all seemed to be meaningless now because of the recent story behind the store. Would Kati Kim care if her sales were down this Holiday season? It pains me to even write such a sentence. A reality check is in order for me today and I am sorry it took this event to make me take notice.
I am grateful for you, whoever you are who are reading this blog. For your interest in the store, in me or my products. I get so caught up in being a business owner I forget how far I have come, the friends and customers and fans I have made who have cheered me on since I was on the Boulevard; my unbelievable, kind and tolerant staff; the press and notoriety that have miraculously come my way and the Lord God Almighty who has sustained me every day of my life and will continue to do so. Today, I am grateful for another lesson I have learned- that I have nothing to complain about.

http://www2.doe-sf.com/about.html
http://www.jamesandkati.com/
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