Thursday, June 28, 2012

Aisle Runners

Hey everyone!

Summer is a time for weddings, and for me, that means that summer is also a time for custom aisle runners! If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you've seen me post previously on my custom aisle runners on Etsy here. If you haven't been reading that long, just a quick recap: I've been making custom aisle runners since my own wedding in 2009. Included with the cost of the runner is some monogram design work. You can see all sorts of examples either by clicking on the link above, or by going to the custom aisle runner listing on Etsy.

So, I'm busily taking aisle runner orders in addition to working on Gather, and I was thinking about a few designs I haven't posted here on the blog yet. A couple of these date back to 2011 {clearly, I'm behind}, and all the photos are just iPhone pics, so they're not the best, but I did want to share them here.

If you, or anyone you know, might be interested in having a custom aisle runner created for them, send them my way or have them visit my Etsy shop. My goal is also to have a sample ready for the July Gathering, and to take custom orders in the store as well. We'll see how that goes in addition to everything else!

I hope everyone is having a great week! It's ridiculously hot here this week, so I'm hiding out in my office and in my cool, air-conditioned house. Looking forward to fall already!

Have a great day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

My World {via Instagram}

Hey everyone,

My world has been moving so quickly the last few weeks that I can't keep up with it all! Sometimes I just go back through photos I've taken or notes I've made to remember what all I've done. I really wish I was keeping up more with my Project Life album so I could look back on that...but, I will get it caught up once things settle down {and having page protectors that hold Instagram photos will really help!}

Anyway, I thought I'd share some photos from Instagram over the last week or so. Starting first with some things I've purchased at auctions that will eventually {after a lot of love} be for sale at Gather.
A really great buffet I got an auction on Saturday. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Croquet set from the same auction. This is the only time I remember going to an auction knowing I had to win the bid, no matter what the final price was. I was dying to have this one.

Dry sink from an auction last weekend.

And corner hutch to match. I'm excited to see how these turn out.

Really great stool I got at JunkStock this weekend. I bought it out from under the girl who was taking admissions. Literally...she was sitting on it.

This is one of my favorite purchases too, a vintage baby bed. I wasn't even sure this was for sale at the auction on Saturday, but I told Mike we had to get it.

I've been making an effort to take a little bit better care of myself than I have the last month. I'm trying to set limits and not work constantly. Here's a few pictures from that effort as well:
I found this potted hydrangea at Trader Joe's last week. I never buy myself flowers or plants because they die too quickly. But this was such a great buy, and I needed some pink in my life. Now I want more!

My dear friend, Mary Pat, opened Drizzles this week, and we went to the grand opening this weekend. Mary Pat made my wedding cake, she's my go-to person for all things cake & cupcake related, and she made the goodies for the opening of Gather. Check her out if you're in Old Towne Bellevue {or if you just want a really great baked good}.

One of my bosses had a birthday this week, and I made a memory board for her. This is a horrible picture {I was rushed}, but it was a fun project that I enjoyed completing.

Got this amazing bracelet from Painted Pineapple this weekend at Junkstock. I really really really hope to see more of her amazing jewelry in the future!

Mike & I took some time on Sunday to do fun things that we normally haven't had time to do. We did a little shopping {this photo is me waiting on Mike to try on some clothes}, visited Drizzles and had yummies for breakfast, sat and watched some TV, and then visited our niece & nephew for some cuddle time. It was so nice to just have a relaxed Sunday...and even though we were on a schedule, and still did some work at Gather, we made time to just enjoy the day together.

Speaking of Gather, two updates....
1. The giveaway is still going on at the Gather facebook page. Like our page if you haven't already. Share it with your friends. Once we get to 100 likes, I'm giving away a gift certificate. Who doesn't want free stuff?
2. Our next open day is July 14. Mark your calendars. I'll be sending Facebook event invites {another reason to like us on Facebook}. The store is going to be packed with goodies, I can't wait for you to see it!

Okay, that's all. Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What I've Learned

Happy Monday, everyone!

I wanted to quickly post today, and the thoughts that have been running through my mind lately are centered on all the lessons I've learned the last couple of weeks. Yes, I've been focused on the store on this blog - that extends to real life as well. It's basically all I talk about. So, friends, family, and readers, I apologize for my single-mindedness! The coolest thing about this whole experience {other than actually opening my doors Saturday morning} has been all the things I've realized about myself. Some good, some not so great...but ultimately, lessons that had to be learned.

{Our window display for the first Gathering}

Thought I'd share them here:
  1. I'm fiercely protective of my business. I have perfectionist tendencies in everything I do, and I refuse to lower my standards for any reason. I've put a lot of time, thought, and hard work into this business. I've sacrificed a lot for it already. I've learned that I'm extremely protective of my business and my hopes for its success and I won't let anything get in the way.
  2. I might actually be okay at running a business. I think I make sound decisions, know where to invest money and when to save it, when to ask for help, and when to trust my gut because I know something isn't quite right. I want what's best for the business and I want to continue to grow and learn as an owner.
  3. I have the best husband on Earth. This isn't news. Just confirmed through this whole process. I couldn't have done it without him.
  4. I have some of the best friends ever {again, this isn't really news, just confirmed}. They came from all over the area to support me on my first day. They shared news of my opening with their friends. They brought cards, sent flowers, wrote sweet notes, and so much more than I could have expected. I'm a very lucky girl.
  5. I will make mistakes. I already made a huge one, before the doors were even opened, and I'm already regretting it immensely. For a person who has {for the most part} lived her life without regrets...this is a hard thing for me to swallow. However, it's a correctable mistake, and with Mike's support, things will be corrected eventually. In the meantime, I'm learning a very hard lesson. {Rest assured, this mistake only affects Mike & me, not the quality of our products or hopefully our ability to keep the doors open to Gather!}
  6. There simply isn't enough time for me to complete my to-do list. I didn't get everything done I wanted to before the opening, and I suspect that will be the same for every day I'm open. But, that's okay, and I'm learning to make peace with it. I don't want to sacrifice my quality just for the sake of getting things done as quickly as possible.
There are so many more, but those are the key ones that are running through my head at the moment. Someone could have told me all these things before last week {or even before the last couple of months} and I wouldn't have believed any of them. So, I guess it's one of those things where I had to go through the situation to learn these things.

So, as I mentioned above, I haven't had time to do everything I said I would last time I posted...meaning, I never did close my Etsy store, and I'm still in the process of photographing a lot of products to get listed. For now, it will stay open as I know a lot of people are wanting to order aisle runners for summer weddings and I don't want to delay that for them. However, as soon as I get new products loaded, I'll be sure to put a note here on my blog and on the Gather Facebook page {www.facebook.com/gatherboutique}.

Speaking of Facebook, I'm doing a giveaway over there...as soon as I reach 100 likes, I'll be giving away a $25 gift certificate to Gather, so if you haven't already...make sure you like the page, and tell your friends about the giveaway as well!

Thanks again for all your support, friends! I'd be lost without it!!

Have a fabulous Monday!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Hi all!

I'm back...sort of... :)

Gather opened on Saturday, and let me tell you...it was one of the most exhausting, exciting, stressful, and fun moments of my life! We had a great turnout, met new friends, had a lot of fun and laughs, and even made some sales {which, I realize, is the point of opening a store}.

I was literally finishing up the last details as we opened, and still didn't get a ton of things done that I had wanted to, so I didn't get many photos of our displays. I have a couple of thoughts on that. 1) If you made it to the opening, then you got to see what everyone else didn't, and 2) there will be so many more new things and many more new pictures at our July Gathering. I can't even tell you how much stuff I had in the back that just needed to be finished up, so I know next month is going to be even better!

Here are just a few pictures I took with Instagram throughout the day:

My only regret throughout the whole experience was that I just didn't have enough time...I could have used one or two more days to get everything out onto the floor, and to take some pictures and maybe even shoot a video tour of the store. But...there's always next month, right?

Many thanks to everyone who came to support me on my first day...so many friends and family members showed up and made the day that much more special. Thanks to the village of Elmwood for welcoming me with open arms. Thanks also to Drizzles Bakery {opening soon!} for the yummy cookies and cupcakes - they were a hit!

In other {related} news, I'm closing my Etsy store for a few days to get things from Gather listed into my Etsy boutique so you can shop anytime. I will let everyone know when it reopens in case you're interested in taking a peek.

Our next Gathering will be Saturday, July 14 from 10am - 5pm!
I hope to see you there!!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Happy June! {A Gather Boutique Update}

Hi everyone!!

I've been completely absent from my blog for a great reason lately....Gather opens in just 8 days!! I can hardly believe it {in fact, saying that makes me feel instantly nervous and super excited all at the same time.}

I've been completely busy gathering finds, creating all sorts of party supplies, planning displays, and doing other logistical things that aren't nearly as fun. I'm really excited to see how it all comes together, and really wishing this last week would slow down so I can get more accomplished!

I hope if you're local, you'll be able to join us for the Grand Opening! {If you're on my mailing list, or just happen to be a friend or family, you'll be receiving the postcard invitation in the mail...if you'd like to be on my mailing list, let me know and I'll drop one in the mail for you!}

We're having fabulous desserts from Drizzles bakery {who should also be having their grand opening soon!}, and some giveaways throughout the day.

And, if you needed another excuse, don't forget this is the ONLY day we'll be open during June. Our next scheduled Gathering is July 14, which is a really long wait...and I would hate to make you wait :)

I'll try to get some preview photos posted throughout the next week, so look for more updates coming soon.

Have a great weekend everyone!