Change

Change is a magnificent thing! It would be false to say that anyone is not going through change right now. it may be good or bad change. But BAD to who? All things that change in our life our planned by the Lord Most High, and to quote Vernon Whaley: 

“Some of us are afraid of change. But, God is in the business of transforming us into His image—changing us—through our worship of Him.”

Changes happen everywhere. Usually its needed. But you can look at the synonymous definitions, that don’t make change look too bad: “renovate, convert, restore, switch, mend, and even re-establish or refurbish“.

To be genuine, changes happen here at The Desert Cottage all the time! It freaks us out, makes us sad, makes us wonder things like “Why isn’t our magnificent new business thriving as much as we would like it to?” 
“Why are people leaving their space?”
“Why don’t people shop more!”

Somehow these questions pop into our head once we have a business and can actually begin to ask ourselves that, even though we were once in the spot as the SHOPPER who was like “yeah RIGHT am I spending $40 on a shaving mug!” (I actually overheard a woman who desperately wanted an Old Spice shaving mug with a BRAND NEW soap and a brush, and it was one I was selling!) Hmph. I also was once standing by a gal who picked up my penguin beanie and turn to her friend saying “OMG gurrrrlll look how cute this is!!!!” *flips over tag to look at price as I smile at her* She shoved that beanie at me like a kid playing hot potato! (thats cheating by the way; no shoving, kids.) She was obviously distraught. And so was I.

Does that mean to change all your prices? Change what you are making to bring in more customers thus more revenue? I don’t think so. In this journey we are on at The Desert Cottage, we are learning that the “positive” change that WE want will come slowly if its meant to be. We need to nurture this shop like a little bubba but also work it like theres no tomorrow. Thats my opinion at least.

I would love to get feedback on how you think that we as business owners need to think and consider changing things. Do customers ACTUALLY notice a high speed changing atmosphere? (Think different themes and motifs every possible season; different services offered [food in-shop, catering, party hosting/planning], taking away the sitting area for a season) How have things become stagnant with you before? Changes in advertising? Pricing? Merchandising? E-commerce? 

Our store is great. We have a faithful customer flow, a wonderfully welcoming atmosphere, and insanely talented vendors! I am curious to see though, what do we need to do to make successful changes?

To reference the above quote, these changes are obviously for the best. Because its molding the store, transforming the store, into the way the REAL owner of this store wants it to be. We will continue to worship Him and give Him the glory for this cute little store and pray it is used to the best way it possibly could be! 

First Official Flea Market at The Desert Cottage

Well, Day 1 of the Flea Market was nothing short of a success! It was also proof that God answered our prayers! At 3:00 am that morning (5 hours before we began), it was POURING down rain. And it was COLD. But when it was time, the sun came out and the people came around! Yay!

Ok. So there are a lot of pictures. But we had a lot of good stuff!! #sorrynotsorry (Instagram addict gone wannabe blogger… so what)
Enjoy!

Image

Image

Beautifully patterned pillowcases, aprons, bags, coin purses. She also had Anthropologie inspired sweaters… (and WHYYYYY didn’t I take a pic?!?? Ugh.)

Image

Adorable bows for all seasons :)

Image

This vendor brought hand beaded bracelets with intricate design and workmanship.

Image

Scentsy is always ultra delicious. (To smell.)

ImageImageImage

This vendor totally deserved 3 pictures! I loved her style and I LOVED her product. I have very dry skin and very chapped lips, and when I put on her homemade goat milk lotion, I felt like I had just gotten a spa treatment! Her soaps were also luuxxxurrrioussss. Oh P.S. I didn’t put the lotion on my lips but I was planning on it when I bought my bottle. And then somehow I got distracted and the lotion never even got bought! Boo!!!! :(

ImageImage

This special friend of ours sold collectors’ Precious Moments items, along with INSANE cake pops. Holy smokes. Look how darn cute she is! (The vendor, not that Smore’s flavored glory in her left hand.)

Image

We had a specialty in hand sewn bandanas! These are great for working and keeping hair out of your face, keeping warm while snowboarding, or of course, keeping out the June bugs whilst cruising on the good ol’ hog.

ImageImageImage

Another three-pic-er! SUPER talented crocheter graced us with her presence and her PRESENTS (yay) at our flea market. I seriously think the beanie, purse, and scarf sets are SO CUTE for a little young lady who loves to look sassy and put important things like Barbies and Pez in her purse.

Image

So what if I told these ladies that I needed four almond roca samples to take inside to my family and ate them all by myself?

Image

I love these little sports bracelets! Don’t they make you want to wear them when you go to cheer on your son or daughter’s sports team? Or maybe even wear them while you watch your team on TV for good luck ;)

ImageImageImage

Above in the suitcase were crochet earwarmers, clutch, bag… an exquisite display of all of Laila’s Charming Creations’ scarves. A close-up on her mannequin shows the fringed infinity scarf that is TO DIE FOR. Holy COWL! (eeeheheeeehehe)

Image

Cutest little hair pins for your little cutie! Also from Laila’s Charming Creations.

Image

Origami Owl was present at our flea market. It was a hoot having them with us. (someone stop me!!)

Image

Some sweet vintage military and baseball memorabilia!

Image

That gorgeous hearth did not last long!

Image

This rocking chair was so cool, I wanted to paint it and recover the cushion! But it also had such a cute cabin-y feel to it. It made me want a cat to sit on my lap! (psych)

ImageImageImage

Some shots of the shoppers doing their thang! We are so excited the Flea Market helped generate new business for the store itself.

Image

We had a photographer come and set up a photo booth. Family Christmas photos were taken right on the spot, edited, and printed while you shop! The husbo and I got our first married Christmas photo taken here! We plan to send it out to our friends and family! The photographer was really talented and sweet as a cupcake! (Stay tuned for a follow-up post that shows that Christmas photo along with some pretty ludacris photos of me and my husband sign dancing on the sidewalk getting some attention.)

Image

The absolute SWEETEST part of the day when Felice, Bronx native, veteran cutie pie, strutted in from outside and boasted about the meatball he had just tried. My mom was tickled because she made them! Then, mother’s Italian accent instinctively came out as they exchanged stories about family and heritages. “And I HATE when stupid Americanos call me FUH-LEECE! It’s FE-LEECH-EH!” He spoke with the passion (and volume) that I grew up around, so I welcomed this man and his stories wholly.

 

Image

“Do you wanna see my mother?” *pulls out a real paper photo* “She was a strong woman.” There was something so nostalgic and precious about a REAL wallet-size photo. Not an iPhone 4 size photo. Not even an iPhone 5 size photo. And the picture was so well preserved. You could tell that photo meant something to him… probably  because of who was on it. It made me realize that society is ticking in a different direction, not necessarily bad (always), but it’s different. I want to leave imprints like this man happened to leave on every person he interacted with that day. The climate in the room was just warm and happy when he was in it, barking in his Italian accent, throwing his hands in the air while telling stories about his family. I wanted to call him Nonno!

Do you have any stories or memories about an “old-fashioned” person that have stuck with you?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

A.K.A. Christmas shopping on the nuttiest day of the year….. DRUM ROLL….

Image

Yes! Plan to come in on November 29th, Black Friday! We will be open from 8:00am to 6:00pm.

  • Coffee, tea, homemade sweet treats will be served
  • GREAT PRICES!

:::FEATURED ITEMS:::We will be appealing especially to the party planner this year. The Desert Cottage utilizes it’s wide open entryway to centrally display the unique products in store… and it’s done quite exquisitely!

  • Serving trays, platters, stands, bowls, etc.

And also hello? How did I not know until TODAY about “Small Business Saturday?!” How exciting is that! Is it because I don’t watch any TV besides ? We at The Desert Cottage really want to give our community a chance to know their very own town’s small businesses offer the services of a large name business AND the same (if not more) fun and crazy intense crowded shopping!

Watch this video, and do me a favor. Comment and let me know if YOU knew about Small Business Saturday!

Oh and another favor…

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 30TH!!!!!!!!

This is also the first day of our 1st annual Flea Market. We will have outside vendors IN ADDITION to our regular vendors! At our Flea Market, you will find:
Scentsy, Origami Owl, Cornwarmerz, and many, many MORE!

For all my local peeps, please be sure to spread the word! Our name is getting out thanks to wonderful people like you. We truly appreciate that.

Will YOU spread the word??

Two Less Lonely People

 HAPPY 30th ANNIVERSARY TO THE ANGELS I CALL MOMMY AND DADDY. Still. I don’t care.

  Image

Amidst the sappy snuggly sugary sweet stories I am about to share, I promise this will somehow to relate to our store. Actually, let me just get it out the way right now. My parents own The Desert Cottage. There. Just kidding.

On the real, I will begin with how much I admire my parents and how they have been able to work together for so long. They owned a mortgage company for almost 15 years together. And worked there together. Full time. Most people hear that and hear SUICIDE. I could imagine why they might think that, but that imagination is as far as it goes. I witnessed firsthand their relationship at work, integrating both personal and professional lives into this business; firsthand, meaning, as soon as I was able to decide I would rather work WITH MY PARENTS than attend public high school, I began to assist my dad at 15 years old. Not to mention, my sister and cousin worked there too. Mom, dad, babies, cousins, friends. This place was a great business, but also deluge of RELATIONSHIP. Maybe that’s why it was a great business.

As we all know, the market took a you-know-what, and so, the company closed down. After many YEARS of steadfast prayer, thought, and acknowledging each other all the while, The Desert Cottage became a feasible twinkle in their eye. I emphasize “years” because I even remember saying to my mom “Good grief, Mom just pick something and go with it!” It was her patient spirit and obedient heart that won in the end and blessed us all. Not only was she patient and willing, but so was my dad! They were truly in it TOGETHER. Now being able to look back, I can say: A) I learned myself a lesson; B) I want to be a couple like that; C) It’s no wonder I would happily be conjoined to the hip of my entire immediate family (would that be weird?). Oh and D) God’s way is the absolute best way.

My mother is the Proverbs 31 woman. The Desert Cottage is proof. My father is the antithesis of the man in 1 Timothy 5:8, that a man who does not provide for the members of his household has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. He has always been our family’s hunter and gatherer, just like he was created to be.

Now. I think we should revel in the NUMBER OF YEARS my parents have under their belt. THIRTY! 30! Trenta! Holy smokes! I have been married 7 months, and you know what? It’s not easy. Not that I presume we wouldn’t make it to 30 years, but it makes me appreciate that longevity even more. The small, yet matchless experiences in 7 months are but a glimpse of what is to come in the next 29 years and 3 months. It can be kinda scary to think about, but seeing it firsthand for 23 years and being completely CONFIDENT on what matters most in a marriage, we will make it just as much of a success. I truly pray my children grow up to love me like I love my parents. It’s immeasurable.

Thank you, Mama and Daddy, for being the examples you are. You have made our lives wonderful. By “our” I mean everyone you have ever met. I am proud of you both for making it 30 years, growing a family who loves the Lord and loves each other, and running what is now TWO businesses together (yay)!

So there you have it, for those of you who wondered what the owners were like. ;)

Who would have thought.

This morning, I woke up, and…. wait a sec. Let me preface this oh-so-profound first blog post of mine.

The past couple of weeks my husband and I have been talking about productivity, both in our spiritual lives and in our personal (namely business related) lives. To begin, we have understood that individualistically, prayer needs to be constant (1 Thessalonians 5:17). That is something that will always need practicing and perfecting. Additionally, prayer needs to be communal (1 Thessalonians 5:25). We have been ACTUALLY actively praying for the people we say we will pray for, on top of making an attempt to bless complete strangers with the love of Jesus by taking advantage of the “meet and greet” time before the sermon, and let them know that we want to pray for them after the service. That was kind of scary at first. But new things always are. And now that its not new and intimidating anymore, that’s something we know we will continue to do for (hopefully) the rest of our lives. I’m sure there will be lots of posts illuminating the experiences we have with this journey. So, getting our spiritual lives rolling toward some consistency… check!

Now. Personally, I have been dying to start a blog that was organized to reflect the new store my parents opened up: The Desert Cottage. It has been a dream of my mom’s for years that has finally come to fruition. I know she is busy. I, too, am busy, but I enjoy writing and I love sharing our lives (including trials, shortcomings; along with triumphs and victories) with others so that they may be touched and excited with us. I have been so thrilled with her since the store-birthing process began… and I do feel that this is my contribution in nursing the newness (sometimes in the diminutive sense) into something grand. I prayed, and God told me to HELP. Huh?? Who?? With what? Even thought I couldn’t understand, I would never discount that what He was telling me was for my good and for His purpose. Apparently the aching in my bones (aka big mouth) progressed to the point that the intimidation would no longer stand in my way; I texted a few friends, who immensely helped me by supplying me their insights on starting a blog… turns out, its not too difficult! Login created, title created… BOOM. Now, the discovery at hand is that I am HELPING my sweet mother in promoting her store and doing something that we both have been longing for for quite some time now: sharing the beauty in the things we make, the ways we feel, and the sights we see.

So, bear with me as my first posts aren’t filled with magnificent tips, links, “buttons” (whatever), plug-ins (yeah right), and whatever else I do believe will take some time for me to master, but thankfully, I was born to be a bona fide chatter monkey and already LOVE sharing with you the thoughts in my head and heart.

Start a blog… check.