Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's a Wrap: Goodbye to my shop Maison Decor

I will be closing Maison Decor, 150 Main Street, Reading Massachusetts.
Our last day will come at the end of this month, April 2015.
I want to thank all of my customers for their patronage, as small
businesses depend on shoppers like you.  I have two more workshops
left in my last month, and am looking forward to finishing up
with two more groups of Maison Decor Chalk Paint® graduates.
At this point in my life, I have decided to step back and get out of
retail to pursue other creative pursuits as well as spend more
time with my family at home, something I have missed very much.
This post is a recap of my last three years as a shopkeeper.
Almost three years ago to the day, I opened my first shop.
I named it after my blog, Maison Decor.  After 
meeting Annie Sloan, the Chalk Paint® inventor and artist,
on an impulse and invitation from Annie herself that day,
("we'd love it if you would do it")
I signed the first lease of what would be four stores in three years.
Amy and Annie, in Boston, April 2012.
Annie scribbled her bubbly font on a book for me that day.
She appreciated my role as a blogger who spread the word about her paint.
Now I would become her stockist and so the adventure began.
I was in love with my first little shop in Malden Massachusetts.
I couldn't wait to get to the shop to paint furniture and sell paint.
Life changed very quickly and soon this is where I would 
spending most of my days.  Business grew, and opportunities presented themselves.
Next up was a shop in Boston with my son Justin Power at the helm.
My youngest son, Colin helped us out on weekends while he finished his 
college degree.  I couldn't have done it without him.  
Now I had two sons on board and our little family business started to hum.  
It was a fun and exciting period for us all.
Maison Decor Boston was a mix of my love of French decor
and Justin's preference towards the Rustic style.
 We learned about running a retail business the
hard way, but perhaps the best way~jumping in and doing it. Baptism by fire
I think they call this method.  But we were determined and dedicated. 
In one year we learned a lot. About the demographics and locations 
we had chosen for our stores.  Both would need to be changed.
A new store in Reading Massachusetts was next in line.
I indulged my love of French country style. 
I continued doing what I loved the most, which
was teaching my workshops about how to use 
this amazing Chalk Paint that I loved so much.
 My old workshop space in the Malden shop was filled with light
from the big front windows and would always hold a special spot in my heart.
This was where I taught my first ever Chalk Paint workshop! 
 Over the next three years I would teach hundreds of interested students, 
many who would become regulars at my shop, some became friends and some would even 
go on to become Annie Sloan Stockists themselves, inspired by my workshop!
I loved teaching, and look forward to the last two workshops I have left.
I have taught classes on color mixing, advanced techniques,
stenciling and transfers, metallics and more.  I will share more
than I have been able to in the past on my blog, so if you are interested
in learning, subscribe to my blog by entering your email address in 
the box on the sidebar of the blog.
Annie inscribed her latest book with the inside knowledge, as I had
told her I would be leaving when my lease expired.  I loved her paint,
I just didn't want to sell it anymore.  I realized over time, that having
the shop required me to be there, and that was a huge requirement.
Over time it had stifled my creative side, putting limitations on 
what I was able to do.  I missed decorating my home, making dinners
without being in a rush to get the food on the table after working all day.
My garden was a neglected pile of weeds, where once it was a source 
of pride and fulfillment.  My dogs spent their days alone and I know
they missed me and it was a big adjustment for them to wait to see
us at the end of a long day.  They are people loving pets.
Family vacations were scheduled around my shop duties.
Shopkeeper was proving to be too big of a sacrifice for me.
On the other side of the coin, is my son Justin.
I am so proud of how well Justin is doing with his Boston shop, 
and it was the last of the four shops we opened last summer. 
 It was his turn to take complete control and have his creative vision fulfilled.
Pioneer Goods Co at 764 Tremont Street will 
continue to offer Chalk Paint® to those in the Boston area as well
as his fabulous selection of goods.
Justin has created a remarkable home decor shop with a curated
Rustic Americana style that is garnering plenty of media attention.
We will continue to sell the Maison Decor Mora Clocks too.
I started selling them without benefit of a retail store five years ago.
If you are interested in ordering or learning more about our reproduction moras,
click here on Mora Clocks, or at the top of the blog header for information.
Thank you to my family for being right there with me every step
of the way. I am super excited to take advantage of some
creative pursuits that are ahead of me, and to spend time 
in our family home enjoying these guys, my hubby and dogs
and hopefully some grandkids one day. :-)
Thank you for reading my blog, I will be putting it back in action
more than ever once I get into my new mode.
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