When I decided to open Joie de Vivre, I had no credit history. My only potential bankrollers were my parents, and they were kind enough to make me a loan. After I was able to pay them back, I wanted to get them a very very special thank you present, and as they were both dedicated bird watchers I chose the Reuge mechanical singing bird music box pictured above. We sold Reuge boxes here years ago, when they still produced a "lower end" line. (and lower end did not mean cheap!) One of my early Gift Show joys was visiting the booth of their sales representative, the charming Alice Sturzinger, and looking at all the amazing mechanical boxes that were truly way too expensive for the store. The singing bird box was one of those, at the time it would have sold for $2000. (Now the least expensive version of same is more like $7000) Anyway, I took a deep breath and ordered one to give my parents. Thirty years later - it sits on my piano - I couldn't bear to part with it, and convinced myself that my parents would never love it as much as I did. A rationalization yes, but probably true. I had discovered more than one special gift from the store "downstairs" in their rarely used basement office. I don't remember what I gave them in its place, but they were happy. And so am I! (For a video performance, visit our Facebook page.)
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.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Sundays are kind of different at Joie de Vivre. You get the feeling that people are just out for a stroll, amusing themselves, looking around. Of course sometimes someone runs in with a specific item in mind that they need right then and there, (today it happened to be a ceramic giraffe tile) but that kind of specificity happens less on Sundays. Today, we had several serious browsers, couples who came in and spent an hour or more just looking around at things. I always like it when we can hold someone's attention that long. Some people walk in, take a look and are out in five minutes. And to be fair, I know that our merchandise is not going to be of interest to everyone. But it does make me happy when people really browse - or as the dictionary says "survey goods for sale in a leisurely and casual way." I tell them, as I tell everyone, to let me know if they have any questions. "Oh, we're just browsing," is a common response. People often seem to feel that if they are not looking to buy something right at the moment, they shouldn't interact with us. So I tell them that we like browsers - and do not discriminate against them. We are just as happy to answer their questions as we are anyones!