Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another Bend in the Road...

The minute I woke up on this sunny, but crispy cold, Cape Cod morning, I knew that Wayne and I would be forced to close a chapter in our lives (and I am not usually very good at that). So hopefully, this blog creation will provide a little therapy for me, as well as some interesting information for you. As a matter of fact, Wayne is at the shop we we had, as I type along with my trusty assistant, Boo Boo Kitty. (We have a system, I get the ideas and Boo nudges my arm and makes clumbsy attemps at adding his two cents by "paw typing".) Any way, the shop really is a sweet little place! But, like many of us, it has issues and a story...

One very snowy day in February, 2009, we treated ourselves to a break and went on a quick drive. As we pulled over to answer the cell phone, we noticed that a quaint little charmer had come up for rent! We suddenly became overwhelmed with excitement because, since finding out some very threatening real estate status changes regarding the cottage we were renting in Brewster, it seemed as though instead of snow falling upon us, it was sparkly little pieces of God's fairy dust. This had to be too good to be true! Are you kidding? We began counting all the reasons on our fingers...A few doors up from the Chatham shopping hub, which is a big draw, especially in the summer... located next to a busy restaurant with the popular Chatham A's baseball field behind...abutting a public parking area. The place seemed guaranteed to be bustling with car, bicycle and walking traffic!

So, here we are, about one year later. As yesterday's light snow becomes dirty in some places and melts a little in others, Wayne is moving out of the place that we painstakingly repaired, painted and charmed up with creative gardening vignettes, just brimming with all the cheerful flowers Cape Cod is known for. It seemed as though each little bloom held another high hope. But as the flowers began to fade into fall, so did a business that never really blossomed into the bouquet of success it was supposed to be.

One fall evening, I returned home with a heavy heart, after spending all day at the shop, feeling as though I had been put into an isolation booth. Since the summer help we had in our Karen's Garden Cottage Antiques shop in Brewster, had returned to her home in Colorado, my original plan was to split my time between both shops for the slower, off season. But rather than putting myself through all of that, I had (with Wayne's help) the presence of mind to realize it was time for me to return to my original shop, prepare for the holidays, and say good-bye to a place that disappointed me so deeply...Kind of like discovering you've been betrayed by someone you thought to be a friend.

So, you say, Karen what have you learned? Well, it's true when they say, "Things aren't always as they seem." We thought we had location, location, location. But when the trees grew full with leaves, it seem as though someone snuck in and set our scape on automatic "zoom-out"... It created problems with visibility. Also, we trusted the landlord who was adamant that he would never sell the property. Always negotiate a lease that states that the lessor will not be able to put up a "For Sale" or "For Rent" sign until the last 30 days of giving notice for terminating your stay. In our case, the sign went up during the crucial time we were trying to establish our business. We can't beat ourselves up over that. Also, although a bad economy can provide you with lower rent and other benefits, don't fall for it unless you are selling some sort of survival staple, i.e. food, energy, etc. Trust that little voice whispering some sort of warning in the background...If you can hear it, it's worth listening to! We should have never been two people with three shops. Somehow we forgot about a common phrase we hear and say almost everyday..."You do the math"! And most importantly, if you dare not to be a "Monday morning quarterback", as Wayne would say, you opt to take that opportunity to reach for the stars and it doesn't work out, don't consider it "failure"...It's a "learning curve". For after all; what are we if we aren't willing to learn?

In closing, here's a quote worth mentioning: "The bend in the road, is not the end of the road, unless you refuse to take the turn" ~ Anonymous
Pieces of Dreams
Below is a quick little tour and a forever memory!

We repaint all the vintage wicker we find.

Twig and floral window dressing - This was fun to create!

Sweet pieces of green and pink, including hand painted lamp shade.

Haywood Wakefield Wicker, 1870...Rare find.

Hand painted, yellow and white stripe corner cabinet, with various pieces of vintage wicker.

Fall 2009


  1. Your Chatham shop was a creative little masterpiece and certainly a bend in the road worth taking. We now look forward to seeing the brewster shop in "full bloom" this Spring!


  2. Your shop sure was cute. I love the things you filled it with. Great displays. Sorry it didn't work out for you.

  3. Ohhh...that's too bad that you had to close it! It sure is cute and a place I would have loved to visit if I was visiting that area!

  4. your shop looks charming, and a place i definitely would visit if i lived anywhere near. i hope things go well with the one you're keeping.

  5. Thanks for your kind words and being so loyal!
    As Always, Karen

  6. What a charming little shop! you created such a beautiful space there! I'm so sorry it didn't work out but now you can put all your creative energy into just one place~:) chris

  7. What is an "item of interest?"

  8. Hi!

    An Itmem of Interest is something that is a marketable item (such as jewelry, artwork, some sort of collection, wicker, other furniture, etc.) that is vintage, but not necessarily "antique". You never know what someone might bring you or what you may find while treasure hunting, that people are looking for or that we can make into something else. Thank you for your interest! Karen

  9. Thank you for the definition. I always thought that was just a nice way of saying “Junk Shop”. Keep up the great work. I just love your stories.