Wednesday, February 2, 2011

the pretend boutique

i've been avoiding this post.
because it's a little embarrassing.

but then i decided
it has a good
moral to it.

so here goes.

a little while before Christmas,
a couple of my girlfriends and I were
having one of our "girl nights" and we
came up with the idea to have
a Christmas boutique.
robin is a super talented photographer, but
she is so humble and not sure about
marketing or selling her
framed photos.
{we're still trying to get her on etsy}.

christine is just the nicest
person you'd ever meet,
and, by her own admission,
not super "crafty",
but she's always up for a fun gathering.
and she is the most supportive friend.
she decided she would help us.
she'd be the official greeter and
server of apple cider to the
crowds of customers
flocking to

robin's beautiful angel photos.

we didn't have much time to pull this off.
we decided to have it at my house
and robin and i both
worked frantically to get
our items made and ready for display
and sale.
{christine spent the whole week before
at a science camp in the rain with
5th graders. brave girl.}

and we were ready.
the displays looked great.
i had my calculator, notepad, and
little stamped brown bags ready.
robin was all set to
go with her inventory book near by.
she also brought her sister-in-law,
who came with really cute
"quiet books" that she
hand makes for little ones.

of course we had to have food
for us.
and drinks.
we had cheese and deli meats,
crackers, nuts,
fresh fruit,
yummy sweets,
tea, coffee, bubbly water.

our advertising was comprised of
face book shout-outs,
word of mouth,
a nice sign at the top of my street,
and a craig's list ad.
oh, and a cute "boutique" banner strung
across the front porch.

so there we were,
all ready to go.
and no one showed up.
no. one.
i'm pretty sure no one
was even home in my neighborhood
that day.

we were all feeling pretty discouraged
at that point.
christine was drinking baileys with her coffee
and nursing a cold {remember the rainy science camp?}
robin and i decided to spike the apple cider
with the rum.
and soon we just started to laugh at ourselves.
not because of the liquor.
just because there we were with all of
our high hopes
and dreams of this super successful boutique.

at one point robin decided that
we needed more advertising out front.
so the four of us lugged this life size
carved santa from my front porch to the sidewalk
and propped another sign on him.
the whole thing just got us to laughing,
the kind of laughing where you feel
like you might pee your pants.
i commented that my neighbor
across the street
{mind you i've only lived here a couple months
and don't know anyone that well yet}
was probably watching us from her
upstairs window,
making comments like,
"look at those silly girls, they
are pretending to have a store today..."
that just made us all laugh even more.

later on, inside, we had a little meeting
about what had gone wrong.
and robin took notes.
we decided that our wares are
we just lacked customers.
which is kind of important when you're having a boutique.

not to be discouraged,
we decided that we will not give up.
next time we just need to start a little
earlier on the advertising.
and robin suggested we do it at her
house because she lives in a busier neighborhood.
the idea that we came up with is to
do a spring or summer boutique
and try to invite more local
and really advertise better.

i suggested that we needed a name for our event.
robin's sister-in-law said,
"well, why don't you just call it the
pretend boutique?"
which made us all laugh again.
but we decided that we really do
like that name.

the point is that
it all worked out
because we ended up having such
a good time together
visiting and laughing and just
being silly girls.
and we encouraged each other.
which is what friendship is really all about.

this summer or spring,
we will be having
the pretend boutique
in robin's backyard.

the first of many, i hope.

p.s. you're invited; please come!

p.p.s. robin's site isn't up yet,
but you can email her at

1 comment:

  1. how funny--you know this happened to us before and now you know how to set up shop!! See, you learned something!! Plus, the memories--that is priceless. Don't give up! Maybe you should call it the "Pretend Boutique" and write a version of the story on the back of a biz card. I went to one boutique in CA. when I lived there and it was in a home & I love it!! I bought some fun stuff.
    Once people find out about the event {& yes advertising months beforehand will indeed help!!} Don't give up!


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