Thursday, June 10, 2010

...But Not Forgotten

From the home of Wendy and Fred Testu, former owners of Interieurs Perdu
in San Francisco. I know some of you remember this clock!

I had an unexpected personal micro-burst this week when I found myself cleaning out every drawer, file cabinet and tub of scrap paper in my office. Actually, this came out of necessity as I am knee deep in redesigning my website and also preparing for a Curious Sofa online shopping cart. (Yes, I am announcing it finally. I guess that means it has to happen now!) It was inevitable to add this part to being a retailer. Many of you have asked for it, so now I can sell items to our many fans across the globe as well as have the actual brick & mortar store for the locals. I have spent every hour of every day for the past month, searching, planning, designing and scanning all the graphics to finalize for my technical Jethro. Now I am ready to buy, shoot and write about all the items we will offer.

Five pages of the new website are devoted to all the press we have had over the last 10 years. Wow, am I ever lucky. I knew it was plentiful but when I had to finally sit and scan every single magazine, newspaper and misc. clipping- I was humbled. This task is what lead me to going through my office with a fine tooth comb because what had started as a simple manila folder of our occasional press had turned into a magazine shoved in here and a postcard tucked away there and some articles I still could not find. Now, I am organized down to the first printed sample of our business card from ten years ago.

Shown above, Great Jones Home in Seattle from many years ago.
Sarah Kaplan, the original owner sold this business and moved on
to Westport, Connecticut and changed her look completely with Dovecote.

I've written before how we are all missing our magazines and as I was digging through my boxes of tear sheets, I found some favorite stories from shops of long ago. If you are as old and diligent as I, you will remember some of these. Most shown here I never had the pleasure of visiting but oh how I wanted to!

Stacy Sindlinger's tiny New York apartment dressed for Christmas.

Stacy's Sindlinger's store was Rhubarb in New York City. I was only able to press my nose to the glass because I arrived after-hours some eight years ago. It has since closed but I remember Stacy at the New York Gift Show selling her own designs and also appearing on HGTV a few times.

When I first saw this ad in Elle Decor it stopped me in my tracks. A store called Sister Agnes? How cool was that? But also, the graphics of the ad were clean, edited and cool. It made me want to throw out all my layered, scrappy, shabbiness and tighten up my act. Later I learned one of the designers and creators of this shop moved to Kansas City and partnered with a local merchant to create Lula Mac, one of Kansas City's best high-end European antique shops down the street from me in the Crossroads. It has since closed along with Sister Agnes.

Can any tear sheet file be complete without a reference to ABC Carpet in NYC? When I first saw this ad I hadn't been to the store yet, but this also changed everything for me when I saw it. And when I finally entered the store in real life, nothing has been the same since.

Hope & Wilder, NYC

Long before I was a retailer I stumbled upon a store called Hope & Wilder in Soho. Later I saw their story in Country Home magazine and was so glad I had seen it in person. I still have a small chipped ironstone jar from them that I love. This store was clean, simple and countrified with very carefully selected pieces in the midst of NYC and such a welcome aesthetic to what was going on outside their front door.

Although all but one of these shops is still open, having these references still takes me there for a visit. Also, coming sometime this year, my tribute to Carol Bolton and her original Homestead shops.

ALSO!, local fans... PLEASE VOTE FOR US as your one of your favorites. We've been nominated as Kansas City's BEST HOME DECOR STORE!! Register here and see all the great local businesses you can support!