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 ( 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 ( 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.