Sunday, December 13, 2009

One of my favorite things about living in New York is viewing the Bergdorf Goodman windows, especially at the Holidays. They are always so well crafted and imaginative , I would love to work in that craft room. Who else could make polar bears out of white fringe and crystals: Nanook of the North, sign me up!
This is one of the side windows so let me tell you the 5th Ave windows are AMAZING, I'll try and get a few more shots this week.
Oh and a little bit of gossip; my friend Heath and I went to see A Single Man at the Paris theatre and who was there standing in line but Carolina Herrera, she looked amazing and not at all fussy or pulled. See we are all just people!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So I am back into a blogging frame of mind, so here we go.
Yesterday we received a new order of beautiful glass and we promptly remerched the center table. One of the fantastic pieces is a contour dish, it made THE most wonderful display for a collection of metallic leather travel accessories. Sometimes everything just comes together in the most amazingly easy way and I love my job.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I know it's been quite a while since I have added to the blog but here we go again.
The pictures of the front window never come out looking that good but here is the Holiday window that went in last Tuesday.
Elena, who works at GCT, came up with the witty verse and it works wonderfully. I'll try and get better pictures but you get the gist.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sorry for the long delay in writing. Both of our moms visited this fall and I fell behind in my everyday life. Retail is never boring! If it's not one thing it's 40 thousand other things. Sometimes there is not enough time in the day to do everything that needs my eyeballs.
Anyway, Q4 is here and about to bust out. The theme is going to be black and white, because, well I that's the mood I am in... there is more white than black but the contrast should be striking especially at ABC were we just hung more amazing black and gold fixtures by Tom Dixon. These combined with the antiqued silver garlands streaming down from the ceiling should be quite something. Stop by and check it out next week.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I am huge fan of hand blown glass. I personally have collected it for years and have spent many a flight holding onto my newest piece as to not have it broken in the overhead bin. The collection above is from an L.A. designer. They are sensitive, functional and not at all dated, even though they reference the 50's. Anyone who appreciates the special quality that real hand blown glass has would delight in one, or better yet three of these sitting on the credenza.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I took this picture of Mom at the New York City Public Library. You may or may not know that the Lions in front are named Patience and Fortitude. I asked my Mom which one she wanted to be photographed with and she said " I already have Patience". It's funny because just last year a good friend of mine was in town and he asked me the same question and I answered " Fortitude I have, I need Patience".
Anyway, next week it's back to shop talk!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

photo courtesy of M.K.

So meet my Mom, Judy. Mom is here for her first visit in 10 years!!!! Needless to say she is not fond of traveling so having her here is a great treat. As you can see we are enjoying ourselves. I love my MOM!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Humpty and Eggberta are hanging out in the window this fall.... It's really to bad that the window is so hard to photograph because this new one is really great! Douglas and I saw these wonderful handmade figures at the NY Gift and this window just popped into our heads. We love a double entendre!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A quick sneak peek at the new window...... more to come but I have to go to the airport and pick up my MOM!!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

We just received my favorite new item from the Stationery Show. It's a beautiful letterpress calendar featuring what else but Birds! Each month is more beautiful than the next. The designers really know how to use the subject matter to a wonderful effect. The really cool thing is that the calendar part is perforated and can be torn off so the bird can be used as a card {they come with matching envelopes}, talk about a good value!
We sell a lot of calendars in Q4 and I know these will "fly" off the shelves.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The road to...
I / we have been self employed for almost 15 years, now this is a double edged sword and I am by no means recommending to tackle this for yourself. Having spent the last umpteen years trying to avoid being stuck into the mold of the corporate world , so why now am I being suffocated under the weight of corporate American bull? I've been struggling to keep my head above water while the totally inefficient structure that rules my existence has been doing it's best to pull me under. I can't understand how anyone can flourish under a ridiculous amount of do nothing, cover your own back, lie, cheat and steel environment that pervades corporate America. No one takes responsibility in this culture and NO one has any sort of bedside manner or sense of customer service. What I don't get is that my whole work experience is trying to make everyone happy and do the right thing {now this isn't always possible mind you} but it's non existent in corporate culture... first dodge, then pass it off and when that doesn't work become a complete ***hole and harass until they back down. Sweet world isn't it! Well, I am OVER IT and am about to push back.
So the road? It's going my way!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So we are back from the cabin and desperately trying to hold onto the relaxed vacation
attitude... so far so good.
As you can see from the above photo, the cabin is an inspiration inside. It's filled with posters from museum exhibitions dating back to the 60's. I love the mix, it's so personal and the juxtaposition between all of the different exhibits is visually stunning.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Douglas, Noodle and I are leaving for a much needed and DESERVED vacation tomorrow. We will be in San Francisco for one fast paced day and then we head for the hills to our secluded mountain cabin. No phone, no Internet, barely any radio~ it's heaven !!!! Someday in my fantasy world we'll be spending 2-3 weeks every August here, how sweet would that be?!

See you again next Wednesday.
So this last weekend was almost entirely devoted to Jewels! I finally got around to redesigning the Jeanine Payer case @ ABC and it looks beautiful. I covered the bottom of the vintage case with a natural silk lined from The Silk Trading Co. It took me about 2 hours to cover all of the different pieces with the linen {making sure to neatly fold over all corners}. The funny thing is that it took only about 15 minutes to install the linen risers and merchandise the case. The way I work is that I already know how it's going to go before I start, so the actual installation is a breeze.
On Sunday MK and I attended the D&A show and specifically focused on the Jewelery collection for GCT. I am sure all of you know that jewelry is a strong category and attention must be paid to the selection and point of view for the offering. We put a great new group of designers together with a strong focus of gemstones, this will compliment the existing collection of silver and gold but not compete with it.
Most of the new collections will be in the shop by the first week of October.

Friday, September 18, 2009

So Fashion... For those of you who don't know I am a huge fashion fan, you might not be able to tell by the way I dress, but I LOVE fashion.

This picture was taken at the Peter Som presentation Douglas and I were invited to on Wednesday {Cursive donated cute little boxed papers for all of the models}. For those of you with really good eyes that is Brad from The Rachel Zoe Project looking over the spring lineup.

I am a strong believer that most things follow fashion's direction and I most certainly use it for the shop buys, IE: Silver metallic jackets = silver metallic crackle journals and albums.
The easiest way to stay relevant and a head of the curve is to keep your eyes peeled to what the people on the streets are styling, read odd little foreign magazines (and by read I mean look at the photos) and travel as much as you can.
I feel lucky to live in the city that encourages personal style and experimentation.... if you didn't already know the 80's are very back!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We just received the samples of our new shoppers, they are essentially the same but different. We decided to update the look of the bags to something more modern. I am loving the built in handle, so much cleaner.
It's hard to believe we went through 2500 small handled bags in 3 months. Crazy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We added these florescent lights behind the JD Étagère, it looks really cool and ads a interesting effect to the all glass cabinet. This picture doesn't do it justice but I never professed to be a great photographer.

Friday, September 4, 2009

So here is something cute {noodle} before I talk about something and little ugly.

In reading my daily blogs I came across something that has been on my mind for a while. You see, there is a certain couple who have an on line shop, they and the shop are blogesphire darlings at the moment, but to me they represent a dastardly trend {when you own a shop (of any kind) you CAN NOT shop other peoples shops, especially brick and mortar, to curate your own}.This happened with the above mentioned couple. They came into the shop, made small talk but didn't introduce themselves and preceded to shop the shop, ie: turn over and look for brands, ask about certain items provenance and generally pick our brains under the guise of being potential customers. Now I have no problem with sharing information on lines with other owners/ buyers and in fact I do all the time, but when I enter another shop I always try and identify myself {as an owner of Cursive} to the owner or manager~ seeing another owner or buyer come into the shop and SHOP the shop is nothing but irritating and disrespectful.
Oh and please do not try and take sneaky pictures, we are not stupid and can see your little camera or phone being aimed at the stack of handmade journals we sourced in Belgium!
Now maybe they (and maybe you) didn't know the decorum of being an owner/ buyer but now it's out there and so no more excuses!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Photo courtesy of M.K.

Here is another picture from the opening.
The guy talking to Douglas is our business coach extraordinaire, Jim Deak. A few years ago he was recommended to us by our CPA and the work we did with him really prepared us for the turbulence we all have experienced lately.
I can't tell you how many times he talked us off the ledge when we were ready to pull the plug on GCT. " Remember it isn't personal" he would tell us and he was right, business is business!

Thank you , Jim!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The big question is: what the {blank} is this Holiday Season going to be like?
I have spent the last few weeks deep in the throws of what to buy and more importantly how much to buy for Q4. After last year's disappointing turnout of holiday shoppers I am cautious about the selection and delivery dates to fill our stockings.
My optimistic self says " this year is going to be great". My beaten down self says " be prepared to be let down" who do I listen to? Well I don't know. All I can say is that I am stocking both shops with the coolest, high quality goodies I can find. Q4 will be visually exciting and if you can crack open your wallet you will find the most delicious treats to give to your nearest and dearest!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Photo courtesy of M.K.
So the Grand Opening was a huge success. As you can see our little shop couldn't hold the crowd, so we took over Lexington Passage.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is a new design from Jeanine Payer's 20th Anniversary collection. I am crazy about the pieces she has designed to celebrate this milestone in her career... so thoughtful, organic and really what she does best. A special preview will be shown in the shop on the evening of August 17th.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's funny how one person's bright idea can be an other's dim thought.... as long as I live I will never understand herd mentality and how when someone gets what they think they want, it's suddenly too much for them.
Anyway, here is the cool new window that Douglas installed this weekend... I think it's brilliant!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A sneak peak..... more to come!

Friday, July 31, 2009

So we had a little water damage in the shop... well it was more than just a little but I am trying not to be overly dramatic! I must say that until you are a shop owner you have no idea what they/ we go through. As you know the shop was fully gutted and rebuilt and it's more than a little disheartening to see it slumped and dripping. The good news? (even though the shop is badly lite because of the shorted out tracks and there are buckets sitting on the floor collecting water) we had a very good day yesterday. You gotta love New Yorkers~ nothing will slow them down!

So my new Cherub bowl is in the shop and filled with "Stop Talking" cards. I must admit it looks great, it is just hideous enough to spark my interest.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I goofed up and didn't take a picture of this before it's makeover but use your imagination as to the colorful detail that was adorning this vessel. It's amazing what a can of white spray paint can yield.... Next post I'll show it in it's new place of honor!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In last Tuesday's NY Times there was an article detailing the amount of small businesses going out of business in NYC. The article made me so sad. We are loosing our specialness, not only NYC but the U.S. as a whole. How many chain stores can the world handle? who shops in them? I don't and quite frankly I don't know anyone who does. When was the last time you popped into a Pottery Barn, Gap, or.... (ad your own chain here)? as far as I am concerned there is nothing in them that is special enough for me to take out my wallet. And lets not forget the VAST amount of banks and T Mobile shops that have scavenged the carcases of the fallen small entrepreneurs.
I know I am biased, I do own 2 specialty shops and my wholesale business's survival depends on small shops, but really what makes NY special? Certainly not a shop you can find in Baltimore/ Boise/ Baton Rouge , ect....
Wake up landlords, you are cutting your own throats by undercutting the value of the city to line your own greedy pockets.. it will come back to bite you in the you know what!!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back from Atlanta and am happy about that. The good thing about the Atlanta show is that it's Holiday merch heaven. We were excited to formulate what the vision will be for Q4 and it should be interesting. It seems so weird to do Holiday when I am sweating and looking forward to some pool time this weekend.
Anyway I am back and getting into the groove~

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What the.....

We installed a new window last night. This time there is more in the window and it took a lot longer to get it just so. People are always asking " what's with all the birds?" Well, it's just in the air, what's not to like? (except for pigeons) So come on in and see " what the flock is going on in here!"

Monday, July 6, 2009

So we had a great 4th out in the country and now back to work. We leave for a trade show this week with a duel mission, sell wholesale and buy for Q4. Having a wholesale business and 2 retail shops to nurture has really added an extra layer to our lives. Our eyes are always pealed for the new thing, the unexpected and saleable~ not always compatible traits! Any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Update. Noodle is going to be fine, they still don't know what was wrong but he is doing much better and should be able to come home tonight.
This has made me think about how much we depend on him for our sanity. We work and work and without that little nose poking me on the calf to get a hug or go for a walk, I am afraid we would just keep on working. It poses the question; when is enough?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our poor little Noodle had to be taken to the vet this morning and will be spending the night there. They don't know what's wrong with him but he was dehydrated and had a very high temperature. I am sure he'll be fine but it's a bummer!
Just a piece of advice to you everyone who has pets, GET PET INSURANCE WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG!!!!! We chose not to take this advice and just this little stay overnight will set us back 1200 bucks! Can you say "OUCH"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

To reorder or not to reorder...

that is the question. So you sold 6 grapefruit diffusers in a week, do you reorder them? and if so how many? 6, 12? I know it's a great problem to have but this is occupying my time at the moment.
This is harder one. So you sold almost all of the hand blown glass vases you brought in from a great glass blower in Oregon, do you reorder them in the same colors? change the palette? and what about that expensive piece that sold the first day, what about getting more of those? was it a lucky sale? or is that going to be the way it goes?
There are so many questions so I am open to hearing any suggestions you might have.

Monday, June 22, 2009

So we took a long weekend to the east end and had a relaxing time. On rainy Saturday, will it ever stop raining!, we took a ride out on HWY 27 to the Clam Bar and had delicious lobster salad piled high on a potato bun. I chose to accompany mine with a nice glass of local white wine, it was just what the doctor ordered. I read many, many magazines and laughed a lot with our friends, it had been way too long.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Today I am looking back at how far we have come. This was the scene in the shop a little more than 2 weeks ago. I still can't believe that they got it all finished and we were able not only to open on time but to be "done". I have said it before but the space was a total transformation, ever inch was worked over.
This was the first weekend in quite some time that I didn't have to work either in the shop or for the shop. This is the way it should be!

Friday, June 12, 2009

This isn't the best photo but I thought it was so cute I had to post it. Noodle was helping us to merchandise the shop before we opened but he spent most of the time peeking out between the papered windows, he was fascinated by all of the legs passing by.
On this train of thought (no pun intended), you would not believe the sea of humanity that flows by the shop. They say over 500,000 people commute through GCT a day and I think that doesn't include all of the tourists. Everyone is in such a hurry. My advice, slow down and smell the Pamplemousse!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New York Times

Howdy.... well here it is! Follow the link for the full Monty.
You would not believe the amount of folks who came in this morning because of seeing the article. I want to give a big shout out to Rima Suqi, a friend and a fantastic writer who freelances for all the best publications, for landing this for us. "Thank you"!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Because there is so much glass used in the displays and all of the windows it is really hard to get good pictures.... it's prettier in person!
The differences between the two shoppes is palpable.....
One is a living, breathing entity within a larger beast and the other is it's own little oasis inside an even more gigantic universe. I have to say that so far the customers at GCT are so much more polite, interested and willing to partake in a little retail therapy than their downtown counterparts. I haven't abandoned my first love but this new affair is mighty tempting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New York Times photographer using Douglas as a prop for a Horse Chestnut.... maybe Doug's hand will be in the Times!

Monday, June 8, 2009

So a lot has happened in the past week.
By all accounts it's a success... On Saturday the Times came to photograph it for this Thursdays Currents section, we are very happy about this.
On Wednesday we had one of our vintage British telephones stolen from right under our noses... professional shoplifters are out and in force in GCT. Well at least they have good taste.
More photos to come.

For Ed and Steve.... the finished cash wrap, before all of the merch.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Simon has nothing on Douglas.. This is our first window, designed by Douglas, and it's a show stopper~ I love the double entrendre of it. HELLO, it is for you!
Well here it is, finished and ready for action. Today was opening day and I am so happy to report that at 7:45 we had to open the shop early to accommodate the awaiting public. After 12 hours in the shop I am beat and ready for bed, I'll post more tomorrow. Goodnight!
Cursive New York in Grand Central Terminal is now open for business!!!!!
I'll have tons of pictures up tonight..... stay tuned, it looks fantastic!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The new and improved front door view. 
MK and I scraped all of the front windows yesterday. You would not believe what an emotional moment it was to finally see into our new baby.  Here MK is Windexing for her life!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just a reminder of how HIDEOUS the place was before we got out hands on it..... we start to merchandise tomorrow evening, so you'll see a drastic change sometime late tomorrow evening. Stay tuned!

The floor to ceiling window shelving units were installed yesterday. I can't wait to see them with all of the glass shelves installed and full of merch!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Live blogging from the new shop.... computer, register and Internet all up and running. What a feeling!
Everything is covered in dust, yuck, will it ever come clean?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We just got home form GCT, it's 11:30pm, and the doors behind the cash wrap are installed and lookin' fine. It's so weird to see it progressing almost hour by hour now. WE OPEN ON MONDAY! it's crazy!!!!!!! We have  a lot of work to do.