2012 in Review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for our blog. Isn’t that cool?

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Reading their report got me thinking about our year-end, and some of the highlights of 2012. Besides starting our very first blog that had over 1000 views (WOO HOO!), we celebrated 18 years as a shoppe. That’s a really long time! I could have raised a kid in that time… oh wait, I did!

Another thing that stuck out in my mind was the wild popularity of metal art this year. Both indoor and outdoor art flew out the door all year long. I could barely keep up!

We had quite a few sales and events this year, but by far, our most popular was our first ever Black Friday/Small Business Saturday Facebook coupon for 50% off one item! It was a huge hit! We’re so glad that many of our loyal customers and Facebook fans could find a deal for Christmas.

Speaking of Facebook, 2012 brought hundreds of new fans, literally! As of right now, we have 419 fans of the shoppe. That’s over a hundred more than in 2011. I really enjoy sharing photos from the shoppe with all of our fans and being able to communicate about specials, changes in hours and general decorating info. I hope you’re enjoying it too! I look forward to what 2013 will bring! If there’s anything you’d like to see more of on Facebook, on the blog, or in the shoppe for that matter… just leave a comment!

Another year on the books, and another one on the way! What a blessing to be able to help amazing customers make their houses into homes every day!

See ya next year!
Julie

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

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DSC02433It seems like we’ve been waiting all season for snow, and now it’s finally in the forecast. Lots of it! It’s kind of a love/hate thing: snow on Christmas makes my heart merry, but then the logistics of a snow storm and all the things I have left on my to-do list crowd into my whimsical thoughts.

For those of you who haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, you should really stop in tomorrow before the storm hits! You never know when you’ll get out again! Ok, you’ll probably be shoveled out by Saturday, but why wait until the last minute, right?

Much of our Christmas stock is 30% off! You can shop for those people on your list who haven’t been 30% offcrossed off yet or wrap yourself up something from Santa! We’re happy to help those elves that need some shopping advice too. Just send them in with instructions to ask for Julie!

Wishing you a white Christmas!
-Julie

How I Decorate for the Holidays

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One of the most frequently asked questions I get in the store is about how I decorate my own home. Since I’ve had a little time at home recently, I took some photos to show you!

Since we are sharing this new blog, I thought this would be a great place to put my holiday home photo album! Almost everything in my home is from the store (a perk of the job!). Please feel free to ask any questions you have on design or questions about your own holiday decorating. I’d love to hear from you!

Merry Christmas, from my home to yours!
-Julie

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13 Reasons Candles Make the Perfect Gift

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Sometimes you have a hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list. No wait… usually you have a hard-to-buy-for person on your list.

Candles make great gifts for a number of reasons. Here are thirteen:

    1. Women and men both enjoy fragrant aromas – hence perfume AND cologne.
    2. Candles bring a sense of warmth into a place. And who doesn’t need warmth during our Iowa winters?
    3. Batteries not included, and that’s ok! Most candles don’t need anything more than a flame.
    4. However, if safer is what you’re looking for, we do have a variety of newer types of candles that run on power.
    5. Candles are calming. A calming aroma can soothe the heart and relieve tension.
    6. The sense of smell is highly related to memory. Smells bring back memories.
    7. Smells can help create new memories too! What tradition do you want to carry on with the help of scents?
    8. You can match a person’s candle to their favorite food showing them that you really know them.
    9. Aroma and dim lighting are totally unconscious relaxation mechanisms that go back to when we were able to light a fire in the mouth of a cave and see if it was safe to go inside. Apparently candle relaxation is ingrained in our brains.
    10. You can add a candle to just about any gift basket and make it better – bath basket, reading basket, cooking basket — you name it, there’s a candle for it.
    11. If you want the smell without the smoke, you can opt for wax melters.
    12. If you want the smell without any heat at all, there are reed diffusers.
    13. Candles make good decor – it’s like two gifts in one!

Do you have any other great reasons candles make great gifts? Please share!

Happy Gifting! – Julie