06 August 2007

'Twas Four Months Before Christmas

I spent last Wednesday and Thursday evening sprawled out on the family room floor, watching So You Think You Can Dance (go, Sabra!) and zipping open box after box of holiday merchandise with my box cutter. Yep, holiday merchandise! Generally the goodies for "fourth quarter" (in retail lingo, that's October, November, and December) are delivered to the shop in mid-to-late summer. This year, we've been receiving all of our big holiday shipments at our warehouse, then taking them home so I can open and inspect everything, ooh and aah over it, check it against my purchase order, check it off my invoice, price it, empty the boxes of a superfluity of packing peanuts (we hate these static electricity-charged little buggers so much we sometimes call them "hell peanuts"), repack the boxes, seal them up with packing tape, load them back into my car (I see an SUV in my future), and take them back over to the warehouse. Were our warehouse comfy and well-lit, I could do this all over there, but what warehouse do you know that fits that bill?


I hope it's not too much of an abomination to be writing about the Holidays when it's only recently been ninety-plus degrees outside. Before I was a retailer, I would feel disgusted and even slightly offended when I'd walk into the mall in October and see snowflake garlands dangling from the ceiling and oversized red bows adorning every surface. Gimme a break, I'd think. Way to be mercenary. Now, though, I must admit that I eagerly anticipate the holiday season, and not just because sales go way up. Heck, to tell you the truth, I'm ready now! For me, the holidays are the best time of year to be a retailer because we get to participate in helping customers bring comfort and joy to their family and friends. This is the one of my primary motivations for having a shop. I absolutely love to entertain, but with my current lifestyle and the fact that many of my friends live out of town, I'm not able to do it half as much as I'd like. Through appointing my shop with all sorts of delectable finds, I like to think I can extend that same delicious feeling of being a hostess to you.


And let me tell you, do we ever have some pretty and fascinating things for the offering this holiday season. As my mom and I unpacked, we could already tell which items we probably hadn't ordered enough of. My caveat to you will be shop early, because as you know, we are a small, independently owned boutique and not a big box retailer or a franchise, so quantities are always limited. You'll have to wait a while longer for a sneak peak! It is still only August, after all.


I have a notebook in which I record all of my fantasy ideas for future vignettes, display stories, category themes, etc. I have recently begun jotting notes on our Holiday Open House! As soon as I have the date finalized, I will put the word out. Until then, I'll keep all of my glitter glass-adorned and mica snow-filled fantasies stuffed up my sleeves and I'll let you enjoy the rest of your summer!


Teresa said...

You know when you say Christmas is only 4 months away, it doesn't seem that far off. I hope you show some photos of the gifts you bought.


McMaster & Storm said...

those PEANUTS drive us crazy too! amazing what is takes to get product from the box to its proper place in the shop. (whew)unpacking!!! Best to you as you get ready for fall & winter 2007.
Also, thanks for recommending us to one of your @ home fans. Would love to see Liz's bigger space in

The Blissful Home said...

Teresa, Kara, & Darcy--

Hard to believe it IS only four months away. But yes! I've had customers in doing Christmas shopping already. I have always wanted to be a person who started her shopping that early and every year I swear I'm going to be.

And yes, McMaster & Storm, packing peanuts are the bane of many a retailer's existence. I adore the vendors who find another way to pad the boxes -- bring on the sheets of bubble wrap! I can even deal with the shredded color paper: great to use in displays!