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.
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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  1. You've been a whirlwind these last few years at the shop, and I've really enjoyed watching your changes and progress with your retail spaces. I know there have been many "open doors" for you because of this. And...I totally know what it's like to work at something 24/7 and miss your own "life". I'm excited to see what you do next. You are full of creativity, so I know you will be doing some amazing things. Rest up and enjoy your upcoming summer!

  2. Best wishes, Amy, on your new endeavors, and enjoy your semi retirement! Your son's shop looks very exciting to me, as I love the rustic style as accent pieces.

  3. Good luck Amy in your new adventures. I love following you and can't wait to see what you are up to next. Take care...

  4. What an amazing journey you have been on....with more on the horizon. I can't wait to see what you do, wherever you choose to do it, I am a fan forever.

  5. Hugs! Will still be watching for your blogs! Sad I never got to see your shop though! donna :)

  6. Amy, thanks for sharing the story of your shop today. I'm sure closing them is so bitter-sweet for you. They look so lovely and charming! It was a good thing for me to read because I have often thought of opening a shop. I"m praying that you find joy again in your home and gardening and family.
    love and blessings~
    Lynda @ Gates of Crystal

  7. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors, Amy. Shopkeeping is such a huge responsibility. Take a deep breath, and, enjoy your family, and, rejuvenation.

  8. Amy, you should be so very proud of all of your hard work and most important...following your dreams!

    I hope the next phase of your life is just as fulfilling.

  9. Well, I'm sorry to hear you are closing your shop, Amy. It seems like a bittersweet event, but it also sounds like you could use a much needed break from the hectic pace of retail. I won't lie when I say I've missed your posts and seeing your home and other projects. I will look forward to chatting and visiting with you again, girl! : )

  10. Amy, Love you and your blog. Your shops were wonderful and I am so happy that you jumped in and opened them. My daughter and I did the same thing 3 years ago after being on line for awhile. I totally understand that if you are truly dedicated to your business it is very time consuming. But now we will never have to ask the question "what if". Continued success with your new the new adventures that await you. Enjoy just being. Happy Spring!
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  11. I have really enjoyed following your journey the last year. As a shop keeper myself, I found myself nodding and agreeing with you as I read your post. congratulations! You have your priorities straight and will enjoy this transformation! Cheers!

  12. Well, you did it, and you did it well. You met so many great people, and had amazing experiences... and even left your son a the legacy of having his own amazing shop. Now it's time to move into another space in your life... I'm so glad you have the wisdom to follow your heart and your instincts, and I'm looking forward to seeing you more on the blog!


  13. Wow Amy, I had no idea it was closing. What a beautiful story you told here today, one of having a dream and going after it, making it happen and enjoying it for the time that you chose. I can attest to what a fabulous job you did Amy I can attest to that!!

    Sounds like there are even better and brighter days ahead for you, with your talent ANYTHING is possible. You are truly the one and only "amazing Amy" who can make such masterpieces look like a piece of cake (we all know they are not)! How wonderful that you passed the design gene onto Justin, you must be so very proud! Congrats, and cannot wait to see what you do next!

  14. Amy,
    I can remember back when you used to blog about your home and your decorating style. I've missed that. However, I've also loved watching your business and shops evolve and grow. I'm so happy that your son plans to carry on his shop. You have no doubt been an inspiration to him.
    I wish you well in your new endeavors and looks forward to following right along with you on your blog.

  15. Well, sad to hear this but I understand. I will have to stop by soon to see you one last time.

  16. I have been following along on your journey. I can imagine how much sacrifice it was away from your family. With your talent and love for art I am sure you will have lots of creative things in the works.But at your own pace. Thanks so much for always inspiring me!

  17. Hi Amy, I have been missing from blogland for a while (well ever since I started fb really) but decided to check in today to see what I've been missing. I was so surprised to see you are closing shop. I can't believe it has been 3 yrs since you opened, but atleast you gave it a go. It was exciting watching you go through it all, especially when you went on that trip to France. I can understand how going after a dream sometimes can leave other things behind, like family dinners, gardening etc.. which is so hard to do if you loved doing them before. I think you did the right thing though and followed your heart to open the shop and then to close it. I'm looking forward to your new adventures. take care, Maryann

  18. Amy ~ you have excelled at everything that you put your hand to, girl. Waving your magic wand and creating beauty where ever you go. This new life journey will be no different...and you take it at your own pace now. I pray that the time that you can now spend at home with your hubby and furbabies will be a blessing for you. Breathe in life's serene moments; relax in gentle times; and may you find renewed joy in your days at home! You deserve it, girlie! xoxo laurie

  19. congrats to you for figuring out what you wanted and then taking the steps to make it happen. Life's too short to keep doing something you're not into anymore!! YOLO :)

  20. I am so so so happy for you, Amy. I think some of the happiest days in life are direct juxtapositions to each other....the day we start something and the day we decide not to do it any longer. You have heard the call to move on and do something different---to go back to doing something you loved. It is not an easy step to take and I am sure you had many days of weighing the pros and cons of it all. In the end you have made the decision that is just right for you.
    I can't wait to see the next phase of your life--your home and your gardens...and your new/old life! Love to you, sweet Ames! xo Diana

  21. Amy, I have been following your blog for years and have always loved it! I look forward to continue reading it. You sure pulled at my heart~strings when I read the part about home … your family, dinner, missing time at home, your garden & your sweet dogs. That's what life is all about. Welcome HOME Amy. May you find comfort & peace in your decision to close your very beautiful & successful shop(s). So excited to see what the future holds for you! Fondly. Maryjane

  22. Best of luck to you as you move on to this next chapter in your life. I love your blog and am looking forward to seeing what's up next!

  23. I think Maryjane {as well as all the others} said it perfectly. Home and family are the most important things. Of course making a living is too but not at the expense of the other. I think it's awesome you fulfilled a dream of having your own boutique. Life is ever changing and our needs change too. I know there will be many wonderful things down the path for you. :) Traveling Boutiques are fun and less time consuming {hint, hint}. Best wishes Amy!

  24. Amy, at first I was a little sad upon hearing that you were closing your shop - I've been to the Malden one and it was lovely. But I truly understand why you need to - time at home with your family and your pets is precious. Enjoy your gardening and your new patio and all the wonderful things you're going to be doing. Can't wait to hear about it all!

  25. Well I know that running one shop can be exhausting so I've always wondered how you handled more than one. Retail in general is exhausting to work in. I've talked to so many store owners about it and that is a common thread. It's good that you at least gave it a try though. I'm sure you left your mark and your store will be missed by your loyal customers. Will you continue to sell online? I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll be doing in the future. I'm sure you will be able to use your retail experience to your advantage too. Enjoy taking some time off and being able to sleep in now!

  26. Hi Amy. It has been a happy road for you these past few years, hasn't it? Busy, and exciting. I'm sure you have learned so much through being a business woman. Some of the people you've met will be forever friends. Your decision to switch gears is a good one for you! I'm sure it was difficult...but we all do what's best for us. You've done things that other's only dream of doing. Be happy, and move on with the grace that you always have, Amy. You are a remarkable woman. I've missed your blog posts, and am looking forward to seeing more of your lovely home again.

  27. Best wishes to you Amy! Now a new chapter of your life begins. wishing you much continued success in your new beginning.

  28. I have enjoyed watching you create over the years. Glad your son can continue on with the retail end of things. You are right, retail is hard, I did it for 4 years in Louisiana. I will continue to enjoy your blog!

  29. It sounds like more exciting things are still ahead of you. I know you will be successful in whatever you undertake. No one can do it all, and I certainly know what you mean about wanting to spend time at home and being creative. Best of luck with your new adventures, and I will still enjoy your blog!

  30. I loved reading this, Amy. My heart is pulled in similar ways and has been for some time now. I am excited to follow you here and see what path you will take. Our families, our pets, and our creative, soulful sides all need love and nurturing. Your decision was a very wise one. It is better to follow one's own path especially if the way is prompted by such value, meaning, and richness. xo

  31. Wow! I wish I could have visited your shop before closing (I live in Ohio)... but happy to hear you are able to enjoy life.

  32. Congratulations on knowing when it was time to go to the next phase - that is not always easy. Having just returned from Paris, I look forward to your renewed blog! Best of luck in the next chapter of your journey.

  33. I hope the best for you and your Family. Enjoy your life and time with your family !


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