Well, what a different world it is here in southern Arizona! We’re (FIVE YEARS and) six months old now and honestly, we’re still trying to find our footing. The seasons are so backwards here! The first few months we were open were better than we forecasted and, while we “expected” (silly us!) Fall to be good from the first sign of cooler temps, like it was in Taos and Santa Fe before that, it has been a slow-slithering sneaky snake, instead. Without being too glim, I will admit that we are counting down the days ‘til you all start asking for Christmas cards, which is always the first sign that people are in the mood to do some shopping.
We’ve had so many inventory epiphanies since we opened here that it’s hard to know where to start as far as “what’s new?” Luckily, the ever-accomplished Ellie recently put together a best-sellers list of the past six months so I’m going to share bits of it with you.
#1: As always, THANKFULLY, let us breathe a collective sigh of relief and gratitude that it’s Vintage. I say that because everybody and their brother with an Insta-page sells vintage now. But I digress. By “vintage,” we mean anything that isn’t new or isn’t furniture. We average, as we have since the day we first opened, five pieces of furniture a month. Not enough to have it take up anymore of our square footage than it already does, but enough to beautifully complement the rest. Just as we planned.
#2: Hold on to your hats because this one caught us by surprise as well…next is APPAREL. We didn’t see it coming, either. When we were in Taos, we sold t-shirts and the occasional sweater or hat to accompany it. When we leased this amazing space in Tucson, I instantly envisioned the back room as a mix of old & new clothing and voila! That’s what it is (accompanied by jewelry and apothecary) and we’re so glad we took that leap because now it’s our bread & butter! Coming in at number 2, we’ll naturally continue to grow this department. We’re seeking out more specialized vendors like Classic Rock Couture and higher-end products like premium denim and hard-to-find brands.
#3: Which is really no surprise, is CARDS. I don’t like, and have never used, that “we’re better than everyone” kind of advertising but on this one point, I’ve always been direct. WE HAVE THE BEST CARDS. If for some reason you don’t know, they’re all woman-made, sometimes by a one-woman-show operation, and I consider several of our makers to be good friends. I’ve built these relationships over the time we’ve been open, and I truly cherish them. We have cards made in my native New Mexico and have sought out some made in Tucson. Having grown up in a Hallmark store, our card section is my pride and joy.
#4: Drumroll please………is CANDLES and/or FIRE! That clever Ellie grouped these things together because, well, they really are sympatico. We sell matches and lighters because we sell candles, and we sell candles because we personally LOVE THEM SO MUCH! The Tatine Candles completely rock our world but we also sell Paddywax, some Skeem, some seasonal and tapers for cozy candlelit dinners (yes please). One thing we do not sell is locally made candles. We have vowed to leave that to the local candlemakers who have shops and pop-ups all their own. HOWEVER, we sell 100% responsibly made candles of soy or coconut that are either free-standing or come in a REUSABLE VESSEL. No jars in the trash or recycle bin for us! We’ll burn that baby down to a nub, wash it in the dishwasher and then use it for jewelry storage or a cocktail glass…whatever the case may be!
Finally, #5: (we’re combining this one too because they’re pretty one-in-the-same) is Apothecary/Accessories. So – soap, lotion, hair claws & clips, sunglasses (HUGE seller in Arizona!), socks for you or your dude, lip stuff, nail polish, etc. This category, to us, consists of add-ons & impulse buys but hey, we’ll take it!
So, there you go! Robin said this blog reads like a report to the shareholders (HA!). I just thought it was captivating info that would be fun to share. As always, we’re growing, changing, rolling with the punches bowls. I believe in small business retail, obviously, but I also believe in adapting to what the people want. So if you want more vintage tchotchkes & chapstick with sunscreen and less throw pillows, that’s what you’re going to get. We know better than anyone that we’re in a different market now so we’re going to do our best to fill the needs of this community. THANK YOU for coming along for the ride!