I left off talking about that wonderful shop Vintage & Vogue. Once I decided it was time to move on, I started brainstorming about what I could do to grow this hobby into a business.
One of my first wild ideas was to do a holiday open house. But it wasn't just any run of the mill venture... I decided that I would gather other creative women & support their efforts as well as my own.
I look back on those years & think I was nuts! It was alot of work...very family-instrusive, but I had alot of fun! My little 1928 Queen Anne is an ecclectic mixture of new & old. My motto, "get rid of the new to make room for the old." I would devoid the 1st floor of all its treasures leaving only the furniture & create a "boutique look" throughout. It was warm, inviting & cozy. We had alot of fun spending time together, drinking wine & shopping!
My next step was to join the Wheaton French Market http://www.bensidoun-usa.com/ run by two savvy brothers from France. These markets offer a variety of wares from yummy pretzel bread, fresh cut flowers, lovely hand-made clothing to unique jewelry. So, I decided to take my "boutique" concept from the 1st floor of my little house to this open air market. It is alot of work, but also alot of fun. I love making a connection with people, talking about my work, sharing about our lives... this was a perfect venue for me! I still do the French Market, but not nearly as often. As I grow older, I find it more difficult to get up at 5:00 a.m. and do all that setup, so I have slowed down a bit.
I also made some great connections, friendships & memories by participating in a 10 years and still counting holiday open house at beautiful old McNeal Mansion in Elgin, IL http://www.craftyshops.com/cgi-bin/craft_show_direct.cgi?action=view_detail&cs_code=406&session_id=&order_code=&cat_value=&cat_name. While the owner & myself have fallen out of touch. I highly recommend it as a wonderful venue to find antiques and hand-made items. Not to mention the stunning old home it is featured in - well worth the visit & still going on this weekend!
And that's the end of the beginning, there isn't any more :-) BUT stay tuned for features in the People Who Have Touched My Life...Touched My Art Series. In these articles I will share about the wonderful people who have supported my art... the talented shop owners & savvy antique dealers of whom I have had the great fortune to build relationships with.