Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shop Series:Training Day 2, Inventory Mess, Signage & Stress

 The rules apply to store openings too~
things look worse before they are going to look better.
I'll confess that yesterday took me by surprise~I hit the wall.  
After spending last week away being trained as an Annie Sloan
 Chalk Paint specialist, I returned feeling under the gun 
to complete pressing tasks.
There was still sections of unpainted walls, and half 
the floors to do, and yet the shop was 
quickly filling up with inventory (look behind Mr. MD)...
By 3:30 PM yesterday I was frantically texting
hubby to come quickly as I might have a panic attack!! 
He arrived in short order and gallantly agreed
to finish the Portland Grey (lavender) paint on the walls for
 me while I was consumed with 
technically crap that is not my forte.
 Sometimes a girl would rather see her hubby
 do this than hand her a bouquet of roses~
you get it, right?
 I was stuck in my office figuring out my new wireless 
color copier fax machine. UGH~
but I did figure it out, all except why it refused to spit out the UPS label 
I was trying to print. I has just opened a new UPS business account
 and the UPS guy was coming to pick up my first shipment~
this was supposed to be easy, right?? Well it wouldn't print the label 
at all~so armed with my receipt for $97 (yes it was an expensive package),
 the UPS guy came in and told me he was new, and he didn't
 know anything about it...and was about to walk out the door
 without my package! I asked him to call his boss~and just like that
 there was a solution....phew! The mystery of why it wouldn't print 
remains, but the package was on its way...and I was completely spent! 
 I couldn't wait to get home and vegitate on the couch~
oh., right after I made dinner and cleaned up of course...
*wink* so my days of domesticity at a speed I 
could master seemed to be in my rear view mirror, a
nd I had my first set of doubts...would I like my new life?? 
Well, just being completely honest here~it was a rough day.
The shop is not looking pretty~yet.  But I know most
 are curious to take a peek, so here it is this morning. 
 Today I will be filing my sign application and shipping
 clocks and then painting clocks~ and before I know it
 I am guessing it will be 5 o'clock....
and so it goes~for a while anyway.
The other aggravating factor for me yesterday was I waited 
forever to get my sign guy to complete a proposed rendering 
for the store so I can file my sign application. 
 This is the basic idea without any changes to paint colors 
on the facade~he finally sent it to me at 8:30 pm after
 I complained that I didn't feel very important to him (!)~
I have worked with this sign guy for years starting back ten years ago
 when I was the chairman of the sign board in Woburn, Mass~
sometimes working with friends can have a 
relaxed effect on productivity!!
 But I needed this thing~and I just hope its not to late to 
get on the May docket~otherwise I won't have a sign til 
after my opening. UGH~double UGH!! So all in all,
 it was a stressful day....but here we are today~
I really have a lot of photos I want to share with you 
from my last training day in NJ~so the text will be minimal...
 These pretty photos came from the shop 
Stephanie, an Annie Sloan stockist, owns this shop 
and it has a European elegance to it that I loved~
 Her displays were visually exciting~
 Beautiful vintage pieces~
 Mixed with grand modern glamour~
 I was envious of her auction find~an antique cash wrap station!
 We headed out to dinner, fast friends, and as all GFs 
do stopped for a little fun in front of the bathroom mirror!
 We channeled our inner Charlies Angels!! 
Stephanie kept shutting her eyes~lol! But we
 laughed hard that night~and it was nice to meet a 
generous Annie Sloan compatriot
 as I would be in her shoes shortly.
 Bedtime at the hotel was heaven~I would be
 headed to training class early the next day.
This blogger says good night all~!
Morning came and I was at Patty Seaman's house in Silver Springs. 
What a pretty town and what a lovely home she had~
the grounds were littered with old cast iron gates and 
gazebos and all the kinds of things that make me
 want to go home and spruce up my surroundings~
 Day two~like a kid in a candy shop! 
Look at my mess work area!
 I was joined by Esther, who is going to 
be a stockist in Greenwich Connecticut, 
at a cooperative artists shop called the Gifted Hand.
 If you don't get a chance to take a workshop, 
you should buy this $19.99 book~
it shows off so many ways to use Annie's paint
 in an easy to follow manner.
 Patty's sister Diane, assisted in the class~
here she shows the color chart for the paints.
 And Patty showed off the table in the book, 
Creating the French Look, 
that she said first inspired her 
to try the paints!  Funny, 'cuz that same project 
inspired me to do my coffee table last year~
I bought some of my first paint from Patty, and I 
bought the paint to do my kitchen cabs from her as well.
She is an incredible resource~ Classic Wall Finishes  if you 
want great advice, check her out!
I called it my French-Boho coffee table~
you can see how I did it here.
 So that is the gist of my training class. 
We had a field trip which I will share on another day 
as this post is too long already.
The other thing is that today is my 2 year blogging anniversary!!
 I completely forgot~my sister,Susan,
my mid-west Etsy picker, reminded me!! 
Oh man! How could I forget?
So I have a little something planned for that tomorrow~
as a thank you for supporting my blog.  
See you then~and lets hope I get 
on the sign board docket for May...fingers crossed!!


  1. I am exhausted just reading what you are doing. Your husband is so sweet to come to your rescue. No panic attacks needed.

  2. someday someday someday it will all be in order and you can sit calmly and enjoy. I tell myself this alot.."this time next week, next month, next year" and here I am a year away from last year with a ton of stuff accomplished! Good luck dear!

  3. Look at you go girl! You must be running on fumes!! The shop is looking great.


  4. Happy Anniversary Maison Decor blog x

    Amy i love the picture of you pouting haha you look really cool!
    I have said before i wish i could come help you it must be exhausting but you have achieved so much in such a short time,everything is looking amazing,i really hope you get your pretty sign,fingers and toes are crossed.
    I have had the same Annie Sloan book for ages but have not tried her paints yet,if you had to pick three colours for starting out with Annie Sloan paint which would you recommended Amy?

  5. Go, Amy! I'm cheering for you. Everything is looking awesome. Happy Blog Anniversary!

  6. Whew! Girl, you are the energizer bunny!! I hope you are taking your vitamins to keep your immune system up during this stressful and busy time. I loved this blog post with all your great pics and updates. I don't know how you do all that you do AND still find time to blog about it. I am glad that you do though! Your shop is looking great and it's so nice that your husband is helping you every step of the way. I would be having lots of anxiety trying to learn so many new things at once. I don't handle change too well. I could learn alot from you. Are you planning on hiring anyone to help you in your shop? I can't wait to see the inventory you have yet to unpack too.

  7. Amy I'm pooped just reading all this!! Your shop looks AMAZING and I spied so many pretties!!

  8. You are sooooo busy, wow I can totally understand a feeling of being overwhelmed. You have a great support system, and the shop already looks pretty cool. Good luck with the sign and Happy Blog anniversary!

  9. You are officially the new "Superwoman"!! You go!!! and PS I think the store is looking pretty amazing! :)

  10. It's a lot of work to get a business off the ground, but once you get going, I'm sure you will get into a routine that will be easier to manage. There's a big learning curve right now too, I'm sure.

    Congrats on your two year anniversary!

  11. Your shop is looking fantastic! I love that cane back heart shaped chair! I hope everything works out with the sign. This is such a busy time in your life--soon you should be able to rest. (BTW I always find my husband the most attractive when he is pushing the lawn mower LOL)

  12. well amy, we may be doing different things but we sure sound like we're travelling at the same rate of speed.

    Love seeing the progress. Thanks for giving my brain a break from 'my' to do list.

  13. You are going to have to fit some time off in somewhere, Amy ~ hopefully before your store opening. You must be exhausted. We are all here cheering you on though!

  14. You need to bottle your energy, your creativity, your positive can-do energy. I admire and respect all that you do! I'm less than an hours drive away from you and yet I wait...lurking...until that day you say READY! :)

  15. You are really making great strides. I know you feel behind from being gone last week. Can you bake some brownies to influence whoever is creating the docket for the sign committee? It's funny the fabric you chose for your awnings in the same that is on my awnings that I took down. They don't go with my color scheme any more on the house. I did have a green roof and now I have a slate greenish blue and the undersea windows. So funny that you picked the same as what was on my house. They are still sitting in my garage waiting for me to figure out what to do about them. I wish I had your energy, you would already have finished that project. Hang in there....it gets worse before better and soon Collin will be helping...that will be a blessing. It's going to be a great summer for you. Thank goodness you are doing all this now and you'll be all set to go for fall and the holidays when shopping gets really hectic.

  16. I've so had you on my mind, and wondered if you were stressed... i mean, holy crap, you're doing like a thousand things at once! That machine looks like something that would make me want to rip my eyeballs out.... Yuch! Having to focus on that kind of thing with everything else you want to be doing.... phew
    I can't believe all the inventory you already have, WOW...! I don't even know how you got a blog post in, but glad you did... i'm lovin the updates, the good the bad and the ugly, i'll keep my fingers crossed for you on the sign...


  17. Amy,
    You must be so tired...but so very happy.It is all looking amazing.Why do I live so far away?Congrats on your 2 years of blogging.

  18. I can't believe that your blog is only 2 years old? Wow! You started off running!!! I think it's because you had already been a professional in what you do and love. I studied merchandising at FIDM, in Los Angeles, many moons ago so all of this is very exciting for me to watch.

  19. Anniversaries two days in a row! Roses and painting -- what more could a girl want? (okay, sign approval, too!)

    I actually picked up Annie's "French" book before I had even heard of her paints. 'tis so inspiring (as are you)

  20. It's looking fabulous!!!! It sounds overwhelming, though - haha! I hope I will get to come visit when I am up in that "neck of the woods" =) this summer!

  21. I honestly don't know how you're doing all of this, Amy! I think you're Super Woman under that apron! lol! Take a deep breath, take some time for a glass of wine before you hit the sack, and keep up the great work knowing that a couple weeks from now....it'll ALLLL be good! Hugs, sweetie! xoxo laurie

  22. Aw, Amy! I can just bet you are feeling stressed and under the gun right now. It WILL get better, you know? It's like those last few minutes before a dinner party when you are rushing around trying to get everything JUST RIGHT before the guests arrive...and then everything just kind of falls into place and it all comes out okay....not perfect but close enough!

    I love all your classroom sharing- I can tell you learned a lot AND had a good time. Deep breath - you are almost home! xo Diana

  23. 1st.. happy blog-day. outside looks great. only one thing.... i think you may want to take out the FOR RENT sign in the window...... i found an a. sloan place to go to the 2 day class. im so excited. your shop is going to look so beautiful when its all done. one day of total frantic, but it will all come together before you know it. youll probably feel overwhelmed for a bit, but once you get into routine its all good. ive yet to get mine switched around for spring/summer. working on that now. while taking care of orphaned kittens. well tomorrows another day. im sure will be better. DEEP BREATHS..... close your eyes and then just picture your final results.....then smile:)

  24. Yes, it will get better. Just breathe. Opening and running a business is crazy hard work in the beginning and you've done SO much already. Pretty soon, things will be in there place and more peaceful. Your shop is going to be awesome. My fingers are crossed for your sign going on the May docket but even if it doesn't, it will be disappointing, yes, but don't let that issue bog you down or keep you from focusing on other the exciting stuff that you can control. You're a wonderful painter and if worse comes to worse, you can just paint a lavender and gold sidewalk sign for now. It all works out in the end! Anyhow, how you have time to paint clocks while opening your shop amazes me! Wish I had your energy level! HAPPY 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!!!

    xo Jami

  25. Wow Amy, just look at all you have accomplished in a few short weeks...take it from one who has been there, this is the hardest part....be a little easier on yourself!
    Your store and new life will be so rewarding..you are living what you love.

  26. Wow Amy, You are sure doing a lot all at once. The shop opening would be busy, let alone painting clocks, shipping orders and blogging. Make sure to take care of yourself. Congratulations on 2 years of blogging.

  27. The shop is coming together beautifully! You are super woman in my eyes. Just remember to pace yourself. You can do it all, just not all at the same time.

  28. Oh Happy Anniversary Amy....I know that you are frantic as you are a perfectionist and you want everything just perfect for our Opening Day...and it will be...your hard work shows in every detail of the shop...

    I love viewing your progress and seeing how beautifully things are coming together...

    I took a ASCP class...it was wonderful...

    Have a wonderful day, as the end result of all your efforts now seeming that you are "in the storm" is just "over the rainbow"....

  29. I love that you included the photos of yourself Amy because you look so happy!

  30. Oh I need to know where those brushes are sold...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...