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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Just a Taste of Things to Come

And, by that we mean, things that will come to Joie de Vivre ! We are almost done with our Gift Show buying, looking at quite a hefty stack of orders, and thought it might be fun to publish a little teaser of "soon to arrive" items. So - here goes! Bags of dinosaurs. Bags of Firemen. Bags of Girl Stuff, all from Spitfire Girl. A unicorn hand mirror. Year of the Snake baby flatware set from Beehive Design. The ultimate snowglobe - all snow! A volume control pacifyer from Fred. Horse candleholders. Massage pens. (tried and quite relaxing!) A box of 100 postcards, all with a different Jane Austen quote, and a cookbook of modern art styled desserts. Plus - new items from the actual Museum of Modern Art. Jungle animals made out of - old flip flops! And really, that's just a bit of it. We always come home energized, excited and looking forward to showing you all the new things in person, and this show has been particularly fruitful. Plus, as always, it's wonderful to hang out and talk and exchange ideas with our fellow shop owners and vendors - a very nice community. One more half a day of buying, and we'll be home.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gift Show !

Joie de Blog is once again at the New York Gift Show - and living the truth of what I tell people in the store all the time: "You never know what you'll find." For instance, I might not be totally surprised to discover some nice new flower vases . . . or some horse candleholders . . .but I really was not expecting to find a necktie with a hidden flask . . . or an all glass unicorn hand mirror . . . . or mercury glass (faux mercury) vases in the shape of scientific lab beakers . . . and this was just part of day one ! Excited to return to the show tomorrow - and to eventually show the folks at home our finds. And will try to remember to take a photo or two to post as well . . .. .

Monday, January 21, 2013

Four Years Ago Today

We were watching a truly historic event - the inauguration of the first black President of the United States of America. I actually hauled my old television into the store, and set it up so that we could watch the event live. (pre Joie laptop!) It was also historic for another reason - it was the day we got to see our beloved Backwards Bush Countdown Calendar run down to zero - second by second by second. We set one up on top of the television and there was much cheering. The whole day felt like a party, actually. (And I thought I would post a picture of said decorated television, but I forgot that the computer I had then crashed a few months later and all pictures were lost) Today is a lot more sober - but it's still quite a moving thing to listen to the speakers and watch (on laptop) the photos of everyone down there in Washington. We have our faults, but - we're really not such a bad country!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Do You Remember Me?

These days the Joie blogger spends a lot of the day in the back of the store, sitting at her desk, wrestling with paperwork and orders and computers and things. It's more fun to be out front - but there's stuff to be done. However, she is called out from time to time - for lunch breaks, if it's busy, or a friend drops by, or if no one can find a price or answer a question about a card or item we sold twenty years ago. And sometimes she gets the message - "someone wants to say hello." Intriguing of course . . . but often when she emerges, the person standing there at the desk poses the dreaded question: "Do you remember me?" This question instantly throws the the Joie blogger into a panic. The person is beaming at me expectantly, waiting to be recognized - and sometimes, I just don't recognize them. Of course, sometimes there's a very good reason - like the young man who asked to say hello the other day. He mentioned how this was his very favorite store, and how much he had always loved it while I scrutinized him trying to place him. Then he told me that the last time he had been IN Joie de Vivre, he was - seven years old ! I felt much better after that and we had a lovely conversation. Yesterday, there was another "do you remember me?" - a case where, as it turned out, I hadn't seen the person - the former boyfriend of a former friend - for over twenty five years. On learning his identity, his voice did sound kind of familiar. Anyway, as I have now revealed an excellent way to put me into a panic, I plead with future drop ins - if I look blank - take pity on me - don't make me guess - tell me who you are!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

You're Doing What?

An interesting aspect of being in business as long as we have is - your suppliers start retiring! Of course, some of them sell their businesses, or pass them down to family members, just like in the good old days. But some businesses are more dependent on their owners, and we just got a "that's it folks!" notice from one of them. It was from Robert Held Art Glass in Canada, and the letter said that at the age of 70, Mr. Held had decided to spend some time doing other things besides making beautiful glass. Happily, he was accepting orders through January so we will have his paperweights for Valentine's Day again. But, we've been selling his work for years, and his retirement will leave a hole in the Joie de Vivre glass department. We will be attending the Gift Show and Craft Shows in the next few months and will look for new glass - but we won't find anyone making anything exactly like he did - that's both the beauty of drawback of handcrafted work - it's one person. And that's similar to little stores like Joie de Vivre as well. Someone might buy this store if I ever decide to retire (which IS possible someday!) - but what they will do with it would inevitably be different from what I did, for better or worse. That's what makes your typical owner run store interesting - everyone has such different taste, and such a different eye. Anyway, we wish Robert Held well on his new adventures and have decided to forgive him for leaving us without a good source for heart paperweights! !

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Life's Little Mysteries

What does these things have in common? A magnetic dancing ballerina. An eyebod (strange little fellow that holds reading or other glasses.) An Eiffel Tower snowglobe. A set of poseable magnetic circus figures. Well . . . two are magnetic. And two are made in Austria. But - besides being 4 items that we sell at Joie de Vivre, what they have in common in they are top sellers on our website. We have many many items on our site - far from everything we have in the store, but lots and lots. And as I was going over the "sold out of state exempt from sales tax" slips from December this month, it struck me how in almost all of these cases, we sell more of them from the web than we do in the store. Of course it's because people are searching for them, and we have them and evidently few other websites do as we come up right at the top when you search. Still, it's curious - why those four items? We'll never really know - but it's just one of those fun, but somewhat random bits of knowledge that we thought we'd pass along to you !