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.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Next year will be Joie de Vivre's 30th anniversary - (get ready to party!) - and ever so often these days, we find ourselves wondering just how long Joie de Vivre will go on. No immediate plans to close - don't panic anyone, but as some of our friends and aquaintances out there in the real world of regular jobs start talking about retiring, we can't say that the thought never crosses our minds. But today, the Boston Globe ran an article about a local toyshop owner who is still happily working at - age 99!! She has been running her business since 1939, and is hoping to celebrate her 100th birthday in her store next year. Her name is Ethel Weiss and she says running that toystore keeps her young; one look at her picture and we think she definitely looks like she'll make it - she looks happy and full of life. So who knows - maybe Joie de Vivre will still be here in . . .2051! We have at least one employee who says she'll still work Christmas - she's young, she'll only be 90 then. And in the meantime . . . we would like to congratulate Ethel on her years of community service. If there was ever the perfect time to use this expression, we think this is it: You Go Girl!"
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Still at the New York Gift Show. Sometimes I look at things for several years, loving them, but not sure if I should order them. Usually my reason is price - they seem too expensive. But at this show, I capitulated and ordered these free trade, made in South America, alpaca octopuses (octopi?). I love them. I've picked them up many times and had a hard time putting them down. I hope Joie's customer's will love them as well. But I figure, if I can really really love something for that long . . . I should just take the plunge and order. And I realized that I do that with other things as well - you look for a few years, and suddenly think "why aren't I just ordering this wonderful item?" I talked to a few vendors about this today and they laughed - all knowing customers who had gone through the same thing. So - coming this fall to Joie de Vivre - amazingly great alpaca octopuses, crabs and lobsters. We hope you will love them as much as we do! Worst case scenario - they all come home and live with me!
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Joiedeblog arrived in New York today to attend the New York Gift Show. (A show which for no apparent reason was recently renamed "New York Now!" with much accompanying hoopla - though no one we've talked to - other buyers, exhibitors, sales reps etc - think this change makes any sense and the show is the same as it ever was. We do digress but I guess the supposedly snappy new name makes someone feel like they're of the moment and exciting .. . .) Anyway, I ran into some buyers who have several stores in New York who visited me in Cambridge a few months ago. While they were at Joie de Vivre, I shared with them the sourcing for a few of our popular items that they were not familiar with. When they spotted me walking the aisles today, they rushed over. "You're our hero," they said. "The No Button you showed us is now our best selling item! We're selling over a hundred a day!" Wow! It was a best selling item for us when we first got it in a few years ago - and to us, a best selling item might sell a couple of dozen a week. In the big leagues, they're selling ... 700! And therein lies one of the many differences in running a store in Manhattan as opposed to Cambridge. Honestly, I'm not sure I could keep up that pace .. . .. I'm thinking I like our somewhat sleepy town! They proposed that maybe I should be their buyer and I immediately thought - I'm not sure I could take the pressure. Who can really tell in advance that any given item will be that popular - or make such predictions on a regular basis? Over the years, I've found it to be a very tricky art, so, I think I will stay right where I am!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
When I wrote "In my Inbox" I realized I should say - in my actual physical inbox - we do still get (an increasingly little amount of) mail here at Joie de Vivre and we have an inbox to put it in. Said inbox often collects a variety of other items during the day and right now it is home to an otter and a sort of alien reindeer. The otter was a heating pillow. We sold it recently and the purchaser returned it saying her microwave had burned a hole in its skin - our first complaint of that nature and we suspect a very very powerful microwave. The little reindeer was spotted in our front zinnia garden a week or so ago. We brought him in to protect him from the rain, and left him in the front window in case a distraught child was roaming the street looking for him. However, a week brought no takers, so he made his way to the back room - and made an excellent companion for our burned otter! I guess I can't keep them in my inbox forever, but I'm enjoying their gentle company for the time being . . .
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
We have been selling the lovely solar queen for several years. A dignified small version of Queen Elizabeth, she stands quietly in her pastel colored (or should we spell that coloured?) dress and does her mini version of the Queen's subtle wave. Yesterday I went to the back to get a boxed queen for someone and was slightly taken aback by the first one I picked up. . . . it was something about that mouth - it looked not unlike - a vampire. Just another example of what we learned a long time ago examining our plastic dancing ballerina magnetic toy (click the link and scroll down to May 1st) - some of the people who paint the faces might not be doing their absolute best. Or in other words, it does not pay to look too closely at small plastic handpainted faces!