Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Extended hours tonight!

Need to shop for holiday gifts before the storm comes in tomorrow? Belle Sirota, D'Lightful Candles & Stitchworks A to Z will be open until 10 PM tonight.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saturday Demonstrations!

Jan Rabinowitch will be here in the shop this Saturday, December 13, demonstrating and talking about fused glass techniques! Stop by and say hi if you're in the area.

And next Saturday, December 20, Rita Juhlin will be here to demonstrate wire wrapping and chain maille technique.

Hope to see you in the shop!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Upcoming Events!

Some upcoming events for Belle Sirota:

Black Friday!

Friday, November 28

Belle Sirota will be open at 7:00 AM to kick off the holiday shopping season

Festival of Trees

Check out the Belle Sirota booth at the
Festival of Trees/Festival of Gifts!

Vancouver Hilton, Discovery Ballroom

Friday, November 28  9 AM - 9 PM

Saturday, November 29 9 AM - 3:30 PM

Sunday, November 30  10 AM - 4 PM

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

KINK Radio

Belle Sirota is now on KINK radio's green team!   The information about our shop is a little outdated, but we're honored to be listed on KINK's website.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Celebration!

Lots of fun things happening here today!

Face Painting by Diane Trapp
Call for an appointment if you'd like to have your face painted!
(503) 240-5984

Trick or Treating & Free Carousel Rides
3:30 - 6:30 PM today

Halloween Party at Belle Sirota
7 PM - Midnight
Meet some of our artists, have some food...

Scream at the Beach
7 PM - midnight

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Did you see Diane on tv this morning?

If you live in the Portland area, I hope you got the chance to see Diane Trapp of Illusionary Designs on Good Day Oregon (KPTV, Channel 12) this morning!

Diane explained the process she uses to create her masks and showed some of them off.  It was a fun segment, and part of it is here.

We'll be open until at least 9:00 tonight for your shopping convenience.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Masks on Good Day Oregon tomorrow!

If you live in the Portland area, check out Good Day Oregon tomorrow, Wednesday, October 29! Diane Trapp will be demonstrating her mask making techniques and showing the wonderful masks she and her sister Connie have made!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Masks at Belle Sirota

Halloween is almost here...and we have amazing masks by Diane & Connie Trapp!  We still have a good selection, but they're selling quickly.  Here's a few favorites - we have more on our website and in our shop!  Stop by and see us if you're in the Portland/Vancouver area.

Rainbow Mask by Connie Trapp

Bunny Mask by Diane Trapp

Ladybug Mask by Connie Trapp

Eye Mask by Connie Trapp

Dragon Mask by Connie Trapp

Wolf Mask by Diane Trapp

Monday, October 13, 2008

...in which several things dripping in cuteness are mentioned...

Halloween is in full swing here at the Jantzen Beach Mall - Scream at the Beach is going strong, although tonight is one of their few dark nights this month.
We have reached a full fifty artists in the store- many very talented people have joined us- let me give you a run down of some of my new favorites.

  • Lynne Curran dropped off her first creation just today! She crochets major cute witch hats and tis the season! The hat in question is child sized and fringed with purple eyelash fabric.
  • A new wire worker Rita Juhlin has joined us - she does wire wrapped precious gem rings as well as some chainmaille bracelets. Her work is super!
  • New items from Zeldaloo arrived in time for Halloween! Most of her creations, including a fabulous witch, are gracing our North window. :)
  • Masks from the world renowned Trapp Sisters are flying off the shelves. Connie and Diane are joining us weekends to face paint SATB goers. Last weekend my whole family joined in the fun.
  • SOAPYLOVE is here! Soapcicles are fun and totally bath friendly- we have several seasonal scents as well as a dozen of her regular scents (although there is nothing regular about them). See them at www.soapylove.com

Thursday, September 18, 2008

OMG- Where DID the summer go?

I know, I know, I haven't blogged since July! My total slacker bad! It seems like it was just yesterday I posted last. Then again, it seems like a year ago.
Things here in Belle Sirotaland are going well, August was HOT and our sales were too! We recruited new artists, got amazing things from current artists and are moving towards our big, big, big Halloween extravaganza!
Scream at the Beach is coming, it is official and HUGE! SATB is a Haunted House of national renown that has been here on Hayden Island since 2001; in previous years the haunts have been located in empty storefronts outside the mall, this year, they are moving inside. We will be invaded with six haunted houses, a haunted carousel, concerts and many more events. Inside the store, we will have decor, costumes, and facepainting by the famous Trapp Sisters! They have also deliviered a slew of Mardi Gras and animal masks, just in time for the big event...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Stuff Happening!


We are just bursting with more new things, which I will list out in a minute, but I wanted to talk about our store space and ideas for expanding. Our little store was once a cigar store, so it has a room that was built to be a humidor, to keep the cigars at a constant humididy. We are going forward with our plans to open up that space for retail space and classes! One of our local artists is a very accomplished beader and writes for Bead and Button magazine. She is interested in using our store space for classes of her own, which I think would be a great addition to the classes Renee and I offer. I am excited to organize the room and get it looking great for retail use too. Right now it is storage, so it is a bit messy. In the next few weeks we will be applying ourselves to getting it straightened up. :)
Okay, how about all that new stuff I teased you with at the beginning? Here we go:
  • Tanner Glass sent us some awesome paperweights, magnets, wine bottle stoppers and a few other things. These are neat, neat, neat! Renee has a love thing going on with the fortune cookie paperweights and I think the magnets are tres cool.
  • This Is It! sent us some more journals. One didn't even make it out on the floor, I bought it right out of the box! We got great spiral bound journals, several more large books and a great selection of the small books too. I love her work and admire her eco-friendly approach. She also did a special order journal lightning fast for us too.
  • Did I mention Teague Beads last week? Even if I did, they deserve another mention. What did we get? Well, lampworked cufflinks, pens with a big lampworked bead inserted in the barrel and the cutest lampworked ornaments. You have no idea how hard it is to lampwork a hollow creation that large. Amazing!

I think that is all for now, since I can't think of more. I am going to be at the Gem Faire here in Portland this weekend, doing one of my other jobs, selling lampwork beads for a lady out of San Jose. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Time Flies When You Are Working Hard!

So, I noticed that I last posted 6/15-ish, which was two weeks ago! It is amazing that time just zips by like that! An update for you of things new in Storeland:

  • Connie and Diana did visit, bringing garden crow masks and a couple other one time specialty garden people. One of the crows found a new home the next day!
  • Jeanne brought in a delightful selection of floral arrangements. She puts together artificial flowers and containers in an amazing way. You must stop by if you can and see what magic she brings to the world of unreal flowers. I'll see if I can't get a few pics up here too.
  • Amethyst Soaps have arrived!! If I seem over excited, it is only because you have not seen these things! Realistic soaps that look like turquoise and amethyst- just flat out amazing!
  • Teagues Beads has arrived- they do great glass ornaments, bead pens and cufflinks. I love increasing our "man items", it helps keep the store well rounded.
  • Julie from Gems and Treasures has sent us another shipment of little beautiful hair things. It makes me almost want to be more girly, almost! ;) She has new calla lilly hairpins that are so pretty. I just want to grab the "toe girls" going to the nail salon next door and tell them, "hey, these are perfect for you!" I think me running screaming down the mall might not work the way I want in a customer service aspect, but I can imagine, right?
  • Sky brought us some cool hair sticks to go with his hair clips and other things. I took some of his things with me to the Recycled Arts fair in Vancouver this last weekend and the Oregon ornaments sold very well. btw- that was the best show for me ever! The recycled nature of it meant that I couldn't bring all my items, only the ones that featured broken china. I sold about thirty pendants! I will be on board to do that show again next year, that is for sure.
  • New chocolate flavors have arrived. Melissa from Missionary Chocolates brought in some new babies, including mint, peppermint and blueberry. Her five truffle gift packs are perfect for that hard to buy for person.

So, if you are going to the Largest Fireworks Show west of the Mississippi, look for Renee at the Belle Sirota booth! We just got a great pink and black banner done that is going to be a standout at the show, I just know it. She has been working so hard to have enough things on hand for this show, I just know it will be great. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Update

Hi! This week has been super busy again, with lots of new arrivals and updated things from established artists. How about a run down:

  • Really great beadwoven bracelets (some with matching earrings) featuring real gemstones from Vancouver WA artist Shan Artisan.
  • Nutz-R-Us! They have arrived! Adding to the selection of yummies (we have Market Spice Tea and great local made vegan chocolates) are the Cinnamon Almonds by Nutz-R-Us. Give them a try!
  • A huge new shipment from Australian artist Rosanna Elizabeth- her designs are show stopping! This time we got fantastic bracelets and earrings as well as beaded hair combs that rock!
  • Very trendy necklaces by Designs by Abbi!
  • Another order of journals and cards by designer This Is It! These enviormentally friendly paper goods are so pretty and functional!
  • Renee (www.bellesirota.etsy.com) has been busy as a bee in the Spring making new beaded ornaments for the store! Her French Beaded Flowers are making a big splash for graduation too! Nothing like giving that girl grad a bouquet that will never fade!
  • New on the store shelves designed by us (the daring Belle Sirota duo of Renee and Tonya) are beaded hair combs, with hair clips and tiaras coming soon!

We just got added to the Jantzen Beach Center website (www.jantzenbeachcenter.com) which should help our traffic flow. We have big hopes for a summer of making new friends and influencing customers...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Welcome to June!

Well, it has been a long time coming, but I think Spring is finally here! Today is sunny and warm! Just in time for Summer!

This weekend has been great for the store. We had two good days in a row and received packages from two current artists and one from a new artist. We are working hard to make sure our inventory stays fresh and new, so packages are an exciting addition for us each week! So, we got new items from Rosanna Elizabeth (fantastic jewelry) and Tiffins Tidbits (handmade greeting cards), as well as vinyl purses, wristlets and make-up bags from fourteenlines (ooo! New Stuff!)

Today, Diana (half of a sister pair of local mask makers) stopped by to see the store. Not trying to brag, but she seemed impressed! We have these great soffets that cover our wall lighting, made of slat wall. I can just picture those masks hanging up there! They do costume masks as well as garden/wall art masks. I know they will grow wings and FLY out of here come Halloween. Anyone who is a kid at heart like me will buy them no matter the season. I am looking forward to seeing Diana and her sister, Connie, next week for our initial meeting. :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Welcome! I am Tonya, one half of a pair of crafty gals that decided to open a storefront that offers handmade artisan gifts. Renee and I are actively working day and night in our little place to create the best feel and atmosphere- sometimes with amazing results. I am going to "back up" so to speak and talk about how things started. We have only been open since April 4th, so I don't have far to go...

We had talked over Christmas about opening a store in Jantzen Beach Mall, since Renee had a mall cart there over the holidays. I didn't have the funds to start out, so I declined to get onboard. On or about my birthday (March 30) Renee called me. She was still working on getting the store off the ground and was wanting me to get involved. At that point I was better set financially, so I jumped in! (Life has not been the same since, let me tell you!)

Our first few days of partnership were hectic- we needed agreements, bank accounts, credit card processing, store fixtures and lots more. Since the storefront is in a mall, we have to keep mall hours, so once the store opened, we would never get out together again. After a couple false starts and one rude banker lady, we were ready to open.
Important points from this period:
  • always get business registered both federally and by the state
  • business contracts are necessary, though mumbo-jumbo
  • need bank account info before you can get credit card processing
  • takes act of congress to get bank accounts going
  • Try to stay out of Portland Store Fixtures as much as possible

Getting Started

Hi! This blog has been created to chronicle our adventures in opening a retail store that handles handmade gifts.