Who I want to be ..............

You know there are times that you just look at yourself and say ........"Hmmmm, I'm not liking what I see in the mirror!"

Well .... owning your own business is kind of like that at times.  We start out with visions and ..... as much as I hate the word .... those visions evolve.  And if you are not careful, those evolving visions can take you to someplace you never wanted to go!!  The face in the mirror that you don't want to be.

Enter the Summer Kitchen.  And enter Miss Eff's.  A couple of the paragraphs on the website say...........

Miss Effie's will remind you of your grandparent's farm.  The rolling hills, clothes on the line and chickens and ducks roaming our gardens will take you to a simpler era.  Relax with a glass of lemonade in our corn-zebo and remember a life from yesterday.  You are always welcome to bring a lunch and enjoy the sounds and sights of rural America. 

Look around and discover the special touches that Miss Effie has left for you.  From the tea cup tree to Miss Effie's vintage prayer flags.... Miss Effie wants you to remember your great aunt's china collection or your grandmother who always carried a lace-edged hankie.  Nap on the bed tucked in the garden.  Sit in the lath house.  Relax.  Put your feet up. Smell the flowers.

Lately, lots of people have been approaching me with product for the Summer Kitchen. I have received four emails alone this week!!  And I am definitely interested in seeing items but .... here are the rules.

Your items have to fit the feel and the product line that I want the Summer Kitchen to have.  I promised Walmart that I wouldn't sell a single item that they carried in their store!!!  So no tennis shoes, tires or sporting goods!  I can sell home-grown tomatoes or fresh eggs cuz WalMart doesn't carry that! Nope ... I can't be all things to all people.

I have always wanted Miss Eff's to be that unique, different place.  That place that sells things that you will never see elsewhere.  Things that a marketing/retail expert would turn down because they are too high end .... not enough profit margin .... too hand-made.  There is no market in tea cozies!

No demand for tea cozies?? What do they know!

I will never mass order items ... I want one or two things. I want them to be made locally .... less than 50 miles from my doorstep.  I want you to have something so special--- no one else will ever have it.  I want things with small details ....  Sherry's bag is a perfect example.

Look at the ribbon closure!

If you lift the green flap .......... you find a pocket.  But not just any pocket.  A pocket that is edged with a beautifully pleated ruffle.  Sherry could get $30 for her bag without the ruffle.  But that eye for detail is what I am looking for when I pick merchandise at the Summer Kitchen.

The feel of this cotton is amazing!
And the fabrics weren't grabbed out of bag but carefully selected to blend together and form a fun, flirty bag that you won't see anywhere else.

The list goes on ..................

Cassie's yarn demands that you touch it!

Farm Genevieve tags her yarn with a photo of some of her ewes .... and every skein tells you what sheep that her yarn came from.  (Don't ask at Walmart what oil well their acrylic yarn came from ..... Security will throw you out.  I'm just sayin'!)

And a flirty ruffle finishes the apron.

Dianna's beautiful aprons are made of designer quilting fabrics .... like Amy Butler.  Yea .... you can find cheaper ones.  But you won't find any more beautiful!

You can't see FullCircle Soap's Sweet Mother Earth ... but its there!

 Darcy's soaps have all natural scents .... filled with herbs, citrus and vanilla.  She carefully packages them with little shells tied to raffia on some scents .....  Colors coordinate.  And the feel that you get .... is FullCircle soap was the soap that Grandma made.  
Soft luxurious pima cotton.

Even our dishcloths and face cloths are knitted in fun lace patterns and tied like little packages with ribbon.

My vision was to have a shop filled with carefully chosen, hand-made items that reflected and evoked life on the farm early in the 20th century.  I will have nothing that Grandma wouldn't know!!!  

So .... I may turn your products down.  Its not that they aren't beautifully made or cute or useful.  They may not fit the vision of the Summer Kitchen.

And I am the one that has to look in the mirror.


Ginny said…
Well said, you have a special place and work darn hard at it!! It will always be a special place, just wished I lived closer!! Take care.
Anonymous said…
Maybe you should condense that post a bit and put it on the Miss Eff page, like how magazines put links to their writers guidelines on their pages. Maybe you could call it "Want To Sell In The Summer Kitchen?"

This was wonderful, btw.
Sherry said…
well said and beautiful. Thanks for the kind words - my fledgling self-esteem choked up a bit.
Miss Effie said…
Sherry ... your fledgling self-esteem should never choke up. Your products are BEAUTIFUL!! And I am honored to sell them here.

And thank you for your last post on your blog.

I am really going to miss you.
Anonymous said…
Great marketing plan . . . keep your vision clear. Your place is a delightful place to visit, just full of creativity and whimsical fun right down to you!

Cynthia T.
Miss Effie said…
Anonymous!!! Have I ever told you how much I love you???

You are truly the best.



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