For the past few months, there has been a secret project percolating around here. I don't know about you, but when I'm working on something I find that the less I reveal to others until it's done, the more confident I feel about its chances to succeed. Usually, the more folks talk about their grand plans, and certainly the more I talk about mine, the less gets done. Or maybe I'm just superstitious. Voicing your wishes and goals and dreams, instead working towards them quietly, leaves you extremely vulnerable.
Therefore I have kept a pretty sizable secret from friends and loved ones and readers.
Since the super-moon-y night of the Lunar Beltane I have been a partner in:
It all started while I was still in sunny California. I got an email from my friend and then co-worker, Lissa, who told me apropos that her and another friend of ours had secured the lease to the two-room business place in the front of the building we already worked at in a restaurant/juice bar/lovely local hang-out (my main gig). Would I be interested in becoming a partner?
I guess this is my year of saying yes to things, because yes I said. This in spite the fact that my main making has been focused around friend's birthdays and Barter Fair and already had a fair number of things on my plate.
Whether it was the sense of adventure, the fact that little sister is one of the other lovely four partners, the low rent that makes it all seem so much more doable, or a combination of all these things, it seems like this is the year to make things happen, grab onto the momentum of the moment.
And so for the last few months we've been making and painting and adding and meeting and then finally pulling it all together the night before.
Or more like the morning of. Either way, our opening day turned out lovely, a success in every sense.
It was sunny and blustery and the five of us got hopped up on coffee and excitement and spent the day milling about, making decorations and accepting congratulations.
We made our first sale auspiciously right at 10 AM when we opened, though superstitious or not, we didn't save the first 20 bucks we made.
Since it was not only the Lunar Beltane, but also Cinco De Mayo, I invested some of Amelia's enameled jewellery in the style of Mexican sugar skulls (I know-different holiday! Cultural appropriation! Outrage!).
We made tissue paper garlands, situated the lovely bouquets we'd bought from a local merchant (Passion flowers! Snap dragons! Calla lilies!), Amelia taught us all how to fold craft paper stars. With little success on our part. I blame the copious amounts of coffee
Mali and I do most of the vintage stuff in the shop right now, mostly a mix of blouses, frocks and Pendleton woolens.
Amelia makes the aforementioned, utterly gorgeous enamel jewellery. These beauties are first cut and filed from copper, than sprinkled with glass powder and fired about 8 (!) times in the kiln. She even makes all of her hardware other than her chains, which makes her earrings particularly covetable. I'm totally enamored with her giant turquoise bug wing earrings and the dip-dyed look of her feathers.
If you feel the same, make sure to check out her Etsy shop Buffalo Gypsy.
Piper makes fully handmade, totally local woolens, dyed with lichens, hand-spun-and knit hoods, ponchos, hats and hand-warmers.
Check out these awesome, hardy and beautiful bags from Elisabeth. She sews them out of organic cotton, waxed canvas and other hardy and pretty materials. They are our most popular item by far and you too can own or just ogle some of her wares through Etsy. Check out her Barnacle Bags blog too.
I'm making a little bit of jewellery as well as my customary hair accessories. This little store has totally inspired me to try out new things. I've gotten a bunch of new tools to try out and am really excited to come up with more ideas for wares.
Mali's been making gorgeous little books and illustrations. She had a big hand in our decorating process and I'm excited to see what she comes up with next. There are definitely a couple of pretty fun things the two of us are working on together.
The actual opening party wasn't to start until four, but the whole day had such a celebratory mood that it felt like we'd been partying for hours by the time out evening guests arrived and the first bottles of wine were opened.
We made a bunch of sales and learned a lot and still felt like we were just "playing shop". Our friends and neighbors came over and sat on the lawn till dusk, sipping and singing and talking.
And when it was all over and done with, we cleaned up and closed up and drove to our friend's house for a big Beltane bonfire. We ate soup and lit the fire (with a giant whoosh-someone's maybe a little fond of gasoline...). The moon rose, big and white. The air stilled. An impromptu band struck up. We danced to the washboard and guitar and drums and washtub base. And as I walked down the driveway to take my tired legs home, it was to the tune of "Wagon Wheel".
Definitely one of those glorious days when the magic of my life felt so acute to me. Those days when you can scarcely believe your own luck.