Tuesday, October 25, 2005

ticking off the to-do list

If I were really dedicated to journaling, I would write an entry every night recording what went on that day in the preparation for the opening of Habitat, so that in a year, three years, five years, John and I could look back and laugh about how much we didn't know, how many mistakes we made, the small things we got frustrated about, and how much fun we had doing it all. I do like to journal, but I'm not dedicated to it. Or maybe I just prefer not to cut any further into the minimal hours of sleep I'm getting already.

It's only 11:30pm though and John and I have decided we're done working for the night. My bedtime for the past 3 weeks has averaged 1am, so I figure I can spare a few moments of journaling tonight.

We checked in our first shipment of shoes tonight -- what a thrilling feeling! The lucky vendor who was checked in first? J Shoes. Mostly because they were the boxes filling up the back room (all the rest are currently in the middle of the store) and we needed to get them out of boxes and onto the storage shelves to make room for more shoes. Checking in the shoes was awesome (made things seem real in a whole new way); learning how to check in shoes was not awesome. Being the anal person I am, I felt like I needed to familiarize myself with how the POS (point of sale) software worked on my own (read: I'm the lame person who actually attempts to read how-to guides) rather than letting John show me what he'd learned so far. Well, after an hour of just trying to figure out where the sample/practice database was on the hard drive, I said, "Forget it (not that nicely)...we have work to do." John gave me a quick tutorial and we made quick work of the J Shoes inventory. As if anyone who reads this blog hasn't already gathered this, but we are going to be selling some stinkin' cool shoes! Every box I opened I said, "Oh my, I have to get these shoes!" I'm warning you now -- don't come to Habitat unless you plan on walking out with a new pair of shoes. You will not be able to resist.

Today we also ordered the FLOR carpet tiles to make the lounge area and the trying-on-shoes area more comfortable. Last night I was talking about how we needed to order them the next day in order to get them in time for the opening and my friend, Katie, mentioned that she had seen a store around the corner from Habitat that sold the tiled. John decided to check it out before we ordered them online, and I could kiss him for taking the initiative with that because he scored us an amazing deal! Plus, we get to support a fellow retailer in the Crossroads.

I also mailed out the second round of 300 grand opening invitations that our friend, Hannah, designed. I'll tell you, tracking down addresses is no small job (I feel like I'm getting married all over again). The invitations should be in people's mailboxes by Wednesday or Thursday...only one week before the grand opening event, but it's the best we could do. So if you're reading this and it's Thursday and you haven't received your card yet, don't feel left out. It means I didn't have your address b/c trust me, I sent an invitation to every person we know (and many we don't).

Well, that's enough boring details of my to-do list today. If you were looking for a laugh and didn't find it here, then check this out (probably only funny if you know these two).

Saturday, October 15, 2005

fabulous friends & fabulous fridays

Even though this is a belated update to last week's First Friday, I still wanted to share that John and I felt it was a huge success. The street team models were fabulous and very well-received from the people passing by. We passed out over 1,000 (probably about 1250) sliers and got 181 people to sign-up on our mailing list. Obviously that is shy of the lofty 500 person goal I mentioned we set. Our less-crazy-and-more-realistic-goal was to get 10-15% of the people we passed out fliers to to sign-up, so we definitely surpassed that goal. We could not have done it without the support and help of so many of our friends. Whether you stood in a window for 5 hours, braved the cold to pass out fliers, stapled posters to poles, or chatted with perspective customers, we want you to know we appreciate you. This was one big step forward to our dream being realized. Only three weeks until the big night of our grand opening, so rest up and get ready to do it even bigger next time! Thanks to Hannah for taking photos (click on view a slideshow to see them all) of the event since John and I did not remember to take photos.

Below are the second round of sneak peak photos. These are farylrobin -- very unique and pleasing to the eye. This is the line most tempting for me to want one of each style.

Bisque -- Can velvet look any better than this?

Tetra -- I love the inspiration from men's ties.

Tickle -- metallics are starting to take on a more muted tone.

Charla -- Wedges are going to be around for awhile ladies.

Pesky -- I love the Victorian look of this boot.

Myria -- I mean honestly, does it get any better than this?

We received our Fornarina order this week, so more sneak peaks to come.

Friday, October 14, 2005

death cab for MY cutie

So tonight on our way back from Nebraska Furniture Mart (yes, at 7pm on a Friday night we decided there is no place we'd rather be than a big-box furniture store...we fully admit we are lame), Margot began her cry-whine-moan routine that John and I have noticed has become normal behavior for her lately.

"Why does she do this everytime we get in the car now?"

"I don't know. Let's see if some music will calm her down."

"What's in the CD player?"

"Death Cab. Maybe if we turn the volume up loud enough we won't be able to hear her whine."

As soon as the music began, Margot turned her head out the window and became eerily quiet.

10 minutes later...

"Do you find it interesting that she hasn't made a peep since we put in this CD?"

"Our daughter is a rockstar."

If you'd liked to view a slideshow of the rockstar dancing to Plans in her pjs go here (click on view as a slide show and move the scale to 1 second for the best effect). I'm sure no one else will appreciate the show as much as I do, but it was fun to learn how to do this on flickr. Here's one of the few clear snapshots of how the rockstar has started to welcome the day in the morning:

Thursday, October 06, 2005

sneak peak

So it looks like I've become a once-a-week blogger. It's not because the novelty has worn off for me (although I did wonder if that would happen), but because Habitat trumps blogging right now and I don't have enough brain power left at 1am to pull together a coherent thought.

This has been a fun week for John and I because we've started receiving shipments of product. It's so exciting to open up the boxes of shoes, belts and T-shirts (so far) that will soon be lining the shelves at Habitat (and hopefully flying off of the shelves!). Thankfully, we received some shoes in time for the October First Friday tomorrow night (I wrote about First Fridays here if you're curious about what they are), so we'll have members of the Habitat Street Team modeling shoes at the store for people to get a sneak peak before our opening in November. Plus, many of our friends have volunteered to pass out handbills to get the word out and encourage people to sign-up on our mailing list. We've heard estimates that 3,000-4,000 people visit the Crossroads on First Fridays, so our goal is to get 500 people signed up on the mailing list tomorrow night! It's a lofty goal (12-17% of the potential crowd), but what's the point of setting a goal that is easy to reach?

For those of you who won't be able to come tomorrow night, here's a sneak peak for you of some of the shoes the Street Team will be modeling (please forgive the unappealing background of my kitchen counter...I didn't have time to give a lot of thought to layout). All of these are from P.F. Flyers -- the most casual brand we will be carrying. They've been around for many, many years and have recently come back to the forefront in the marketplace with their updated styles of shoes they've been selling for a long time.

The Grounder Lo in distressed brown leather and light blue leather:
The Number 5 in cream leather and tan suede:
The Center Hi in black canvas and navy leather:
Center Hi Limited Edition in eggplant(?) and hot pink, complete with art:

P.F. Flyers sent us all these shoes for free for promotional use for First Friday, which John and I thought was pretty cool (and we think the Street Team members will too). I'll take pictures of the other shoes that will be modeled tomorrow night, so there's more sneak peaks to come.