Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shopping for a Building & Other Little Rock Adventures

I got to be neighbors with my "old" neighbor, Jen. I lived in the house behind hers for about two and half years.
  So if you follow my newsletter or my facebook page you probably know I was in Little Rock last week. I try to get to Little Rock twice a year and this was my Fall trip. I participated in the Hillcrest Harvestfest on Saturday which is always fun! It is a great little show I've done for the past two years in my old neighborhood.

  The rest of my time was split between meeting with friends/artists/business people, shopping for a building to house my retail store (when we move back), working and teaching at Argenta Bead, and doing a little hanging out with friends!

  I found some really beautiful buildings in LR. One of my favorites was the old Buice Drug Store building on Markham in the Stift Station neighborhood. I got a chance to walk through the space and immediately fell in love with it. It is really large though, there is a second retail space beside the drug store and an apartment that spans the length of the building. This space is for sale for $360,000 and that is probably way out of my price range as a first time investor. I have tons of ideas flowing through my head... The building itself needs a lot of repairs and restoration. I am not completely giving up though, Matt and I are going to research business grants for women and for historic buildings to see if there is any way this could work out. Even if it doesn't it is really exciting to dream about. 
  If the drug store space doesn't become mine (which it probably wont) I think I narrowed my decision down to the neighborhood around South Main St. I feel like there is more parking and more business in this up and coming pocket of Little Rock. We will see though... so much research and so much planning is in my future!

The old sign for the drug store.
Inside of the drug store, original built in cabinetry. How perfect would those be for jewelry display? I'd also like to have a museum type display of antique buttons in honor of my Grandmother. :) I also love the original ceiling and while I was in there I noticed the original wallpaper is on the walls above all the wood work.
Beautiful building detail. I just had the best day walking around downtown LR. Peeking in windows and wondering about the businesses that used to thrive there.
A much more appropriate building for a first time investor. The price is feasible but it is only around 400 sq. ft. It used to be a barber shop... not sure if it is way to small.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Judith and James - Jewelry with a Cause

  Remember back in May when I posted about my friend Jennifer's trip to Africa? I introduced you to her and told about what her intentions/goals were for her trip. You can find that post here...

  Anyway, Jennifer is back and she has some incredibly beautiful jewelry designs by the women she employees in Nairobi. I met with her this morning and purchased my first batch of these lovely earrings. All the earrings are one of a kind and are made with African fabric scraps. 

If you are interested in purchasing a pair please email me, They are $25 each and will be making their debut in my booth at the Hillcrest Harvestfest this weekend in Little Rock!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cobaltian Calcite

  A friend gifted me a piece of this amazing mineral a few years ago and I fell in love! I made a necklace and everyone wanted to buy one until they found out what the price would be!! :)
  Well, last year at market I found a beautiful strand of this mineral in pendant form and immediately snatched it up. I have small pieces, medium pieces, and large pieces. The necklaces are ranging from $80 - $150 each at the moment. I haven't made any intricate designs, mainly to keep my retail costs down but also because the stone speaks for itself and is amazing on its own.
I just ran across this website for a Gem and Mineral Gallery in NYC... Thought it was interesting. Especially the pricing.
Here is a pic of one of my designs. I have more, so if you are interested just let me know and we can start a custom order!
This piece retails for $80. Message me if you are interested in purchasing.

Check out the website for more info on these minerals.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Belated Honeymoon

  Matt and I had a really amazing summer. We took a trip home to visit family in early July and then after that we were committed to house sitting in Norman until mid August. We never had time or extra money to take our honeymoon last summer after our wedding so I was determined to take one this year! So when he was done house sitting, we hit the road!
  We started out with a night in McKinney with our wonderful friends and their baby. From there we hopped on down to Austin to meet up with a new friend of Matt's and his wife. I was a little skeptical of spending all this time with friends but it couldn't have been more perfect. Our hosts in Austin were amazing and took us around to some great places! I even got to catch up with one of my old friends that lives there. Austin is HUGE! I had no idea it was such a big city. A cool city, but big.
  From Austin, we packed up and headed down to Port Aransas, TX to hang out on the beach for a couple of days. We stayed at the Oldest Inn in town, called the Tarpon Inn, FDR stayed here back in his day! It was a sweet place, very old, no tv's or telephones. They want people to escape city life while they are staying at the Inn. We rented beach cruisers,  ate some great food, ate some bad food, walked the jetty's, did some shopping and hung out with some locals. This small little beach town is very charming!
  After our two days at the beach we headed to San Antonio. I was excited about visiting all these places but I think I mostly looked forward to San Antonio. Once again, I found one of the oldest hotels for us to stay in. Our hotel, The Menger, was right beside the Alamo and very convenient to the River Walk. San Antonio is very charming as well. I really was impressed with all these Texas towns. Until this trip I had never been south of Dallas. We spent a lot of time walking around the river walk, swimming in the hotel pool, being tourists, eating good food, and enjoying drinks.
  We took some advice from our hotel bar tender and walked to the King James Historic District and found a good dinner on our first night. Day two was a bit more touristy... we got up early, as always, and walked to the Mexican Market, I heard it was the largest outside of Mexico City. If you know me at all, you know I love my imports.  It was hard not to spend too much money!
  From there we went to the top of the Tower of America's which was an anxiety attack waiting to happen and a complete waste of money. After that we were pretty disappointing and decided to go have a good lunch. We went to Boudro's Texas Bistro which was a restaurant I found by reading a blog a friend suggested to me. It was wonderful! Good drinks, great service, and delicious food! And a local joint. I was a bit disappointed in how commercial the River Walk was... to be so pretty and unique but to be so full of chain restaurants that I would never eat at. But, we found this local gem and enjoyed our time there. After enjoying a delicious lunch we went back to the hotel for a swim and then changed our clothes and headed back out for the evening. We stopped at the Hotel Havanna which was a suggestion by our Austin friends. This is the cutest boutique hotel with two bars, one downstairs and only lit by red candles, and one up stairs in a beautiful atrium that is naturally lit during the day time. We ended our night in a Mexican restaurant listening to a great local band, I never caught the name of them but the lead singer kind of sounded like Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.
  We had such an amazing trip. We were both ready to come home but after being home for a week I wish I could be back on our Texas Honeymoon.
A day of riding bikes. This was a great way to explore the island. We enjoyed walking but it was taking us forever to get places.
Our Inn for the stay in Port Aransas.

The boats. We found a restaurant/bar right on the docks. It was fun to sit and watch the boats.
Potters on Cotter. We stopped in this shop while on our bike ride. I didn't want to carry around a bag so we decided to come back later in the evening. We ended up taking a bottle of wine and shared it with the owner and hung out with some locals for a while. It was such a great time.

Margarita y Texas Tea
Table side guacamole. We did this twice on this trip... can you believe that neither one of us had ever ordered this service?
He never smiles for pictures... he is happy though :)

Our Hotel in San Antonio

Downstairs bar at Hotel Havana

Upstairs bar at Hotel Havana