Dear Blog Readers,
We have become the kind of blogger we never wanted to be — the kind who has a "read our blog" button on our website but the newest post is months old. We blame Facebook for this — it's so much easier to write something there and we seem to have more followers there than we did here on the blog. Still, we can't quite bring ourselves to give it up altogether yet — so instead, we're posting this little note to explain our lack of current entries. Please do check out our facebook page, we think it's fun, if not quite as long form.
sincerely, the Joie de Blogger.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Curious Lists

My last sales slip of the day. I quickly wrote up the two items: Med School and Porn. As I was giftwrapping them, their purchaser laughed. "That looks funny on paper," she said. I had abbreviated both items - the long version would have been Med School in a Box and Porn for Women XXX (completely G rated by the way.) "We do write up some odd looking lists," I agreed, thinking how I'd been meaning to write a post about this for a long time. If you took our sales slips as pure lists out of context, they would be extremely enigmatic. Some recent examples: Chicken, monster, ninjas. Mouse, Kangaroo, Ego Booster. Food Face, lava, flip. Mind altering goldfish, coffee spill, mini slinky. Panic, Mxyklikker, Rainbow. Or with numbers: 10 car, 10 bubble, 10 boink, 10 fairy. Maybe we should start saving the oddest lists . . .

Monday, May 24, 2010

No Tipping!

Today, a very friendly and sweet young woman bought a set of mustaches - $7 - and a card. She asked if I would gift wrap the mustaches, which I happily did - then, she suddenly thrust a $5 bill at me. I quickly realized it was meant to be a tip - and a rather extravagant one at that - and I quickly refused. Every so often we do have people try to tip us for gift wrapping, but it is one of the things that we like to provide (except at Christmas, when we physically can't keep up - but that's another story). So, we had a little tussle - she trying to give it to me, me refusing it, back and forth a few times, until I convinced her that we REALLY don't accept tips. "But you're always so nice to me," she protested. My answer: its just what we do: we try to be as nice and helpful to our customers as we possibly can be. She finally believed me I think, and pocketed her $5, thanked me again and left.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Compass Necklace and a Confession

This post requires a confession from me . . . so here goes. Over the last ten or so years, I have been watching and keeping up with a soap opera - to be specific - General Hospital. It all started when my gym got televisions, and ballooned into a bit of an obssession for awhile - now under control - and yet, I sometimes check their website at night to find out what's going on. It only takes a minute to read - much less time consuming than when I (confession #2) used to actually tape the show and watch it at home at night if I wasn't going to make it to the gym. There! You all know my secret. Anyway - yesterday, I read the summary and saw this: Jason thanks Sam for understanding why he needs to protect Michael and gives Sam a present. Sam grins. Wow, it's even wrapped! She opens the box to find a small compass on a chain, meaning Jason will always find his way to come back to her. Sniff. Pass us the Kleenex, please. I immediately wondered if this necklace was the beautiful compass necklace that we sell, made by Lee Ann Herreid of Individual Icons. So, I emailed her to see if she knew. She didn't, but she obligingly watched the entire episode on Hulu and reported back: "It wasn't my compasss. Bummer, huh? It did not really look like a compass. It was all silver and really tall. They did not give a good view of it. I was trying to figure out of I could zoom in on it... red box, thin chain, tall silver... thing. Didn't look like a compass." So... false alarm, but briefly exciting, and, we have the real thing right here at Joie de Vivre.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New York City - Just Like I Pictured It!

I am here in New York for the Stationary Show . . . but arrived a day early to go to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair as well as walk around the city some. The ICFF is a wonderful show, full of wonderful design. All too many of the things I am typically drawn to there have price tags from $1000 on up . . . so, not a good source to find things for Joie de Vivre on the whole, even though many of the things I saw were certainly whimsical enough to fit our mix. Like the canned anti-matter and gravity from the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co . . . (these I would love to get for Joie but it's unclear if they wholesale) Then there are the wonderful globe lamps from Tom Dixon . .. these are perfect for Joie - except that $550 price tag . . . if you want to see these in person right in Boston, go to Scampo in the Liberty Hotel where a cluster hangs over the bar. Actually they seem quite reasonable compared to the $12,000 Barbara Krueger lamp I coveted at Moss! Anyway, tomorrow, on to the Stationary Show - postcards, books and plenty of things Joie de Vivre can afford.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our Dangerous Merchandise!

We love snowglobes and have been selling them for years . . . from the tacky touristy to the original Austrian glass and everything we can find that we like inbetween. Recently, several customers have told us that they were not able to carry snowglobes on to their flights - and a friend just sent me photographic proof of the reason why: They are DANGEROUS !

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

For Mother's Day - your very own instant infant! Okay, maybe she'd rather have flowers or chocolates, a jewel, a wind-up toy or a gift certificate from Joie de Vivre . . . but we wanted to write about our Instant Infant today, because . . . we have one prominently displayed sitting on top of our Mother's Day display, and yesterday a man saw it, did a double take, and started laughing. "I had no idea that was still around!" he told us. "I know that baby!" And he told us that - the baby who posed for the picture is graduating from college this year. So . .. that's how long we've been selling that item. Wow.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Story of Our New Button!

A customer from New York asked me recently if I remembered "The Last Wound Up," a store that sold — you guessed it — mostly wind-up toys. I certainly do — it's where I saw my first Tomy windups including the fabled jumping mouse still sold here at Joie today. Not only that — it's the store where I first saw THIS ! We were chatting about the store, which has been out of business for years — and which briefly had an outpost on Newbury Street — and she mentioned the bumper sticker they sold that said "Don't Postpone Joy!" And a light went off in my brain. We like to make buttons... what about a button that said... and now it's here! Come on in and get one!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Customer Is Right !!

This entry is not for the faint of heart . . . and we apologize for the disturbing image! A customer mail ordered a magnetic dancing ballerina. She was thrilled that we had them and we sent one off to her in California. A few days later, an email arrived. The customer was "very disappointed in the quality. The ballerina has totally misshapen eyes, her "lipstick" is all over her face, and to top it off there are missing spots of blue on her dress." I wondered if she was being a little fussy. Then, I looked at the photo. NOT being too fussy. That is one scarey looking ballerina. So, we went through our stock to find a better one . . . and . . . no luck. The ones that didn't have a gash for a mouth looked like they had black eyes. You don't notice if you're not holding one close . . . still, they didn't used to be like this. Who is painting these ballerinas? Yikes!