Many concepts of the
"store design on a shoe string" can be applied to your own living
area-so let's talk about it. I have been able to exercise almost
everything I have learned in my life time to this one shop.
The challenge to do this on almost a
"no budget" was the most exciting endeavor of my life. The "preliminary" Grand Opening of the
first Bath & Body Apothecary went better than expected - there were no
store name signs up yet, but the "Dream" a "sub-title" font series
[I grabbed at some airport gift
card store and whacked other passengers trying to fit them in an over
head compartment bin with the "Believe" text seen on the interior.]
Needless to say
many people thought the name of the store was "Dream." Not
on purpose, some gift bags said "Dream" also and that was funny. I
picked a name, Bath & Body Apothecary, as clear as possible to what is being sold at the store.
to Buy Apothecary Products
The real Grand
Opening will be around Labor Day Weekend for reasons mentioned in the
previous article. As far as the store name, we plan to go
to Michael's Craft center and get 16 inch fonts-paint them bright red
and set them up across the top-saying Bath and Body Apothecary.
For inquiring minds who want to know - the Dream font is 6 inches
tall. This project will be under $100 and look very stunning.
All projects I discuss here were under $100 and came out stunning.
of people ask about the bright red umbrella's. They spin in even
slight wind and that was an unexpected bonus. I was after a
very whimsical "Mary Poppins" feel-on the exterior and grabbed two
a local store for $4 each. I then threw silk flowers I grabbed
from a local store to fill the umbrella's, all in one complimentary
but contrasting color so it would draw attention.
"The outside is still being designed
to be very consumer "interactive" where they are moved to "think"
about things before they even get to the door." You
can buy a pink umbrella, for example for a child's bedroom-fill it
with flowers and maker it "take off" for under $10.
it upside down and throw dried Babies Breath in it. Baby's
Breath is cheap and voluminous floral filler for what you pay-and
dries upside down well. I would even spray paint the Baby's
Breath white after it is dried and then use it as a filler.
One of first
items most people notice is the flowers they lean over to smell. Inside
the shop we watch them and take bets. Some claim they can smell
the flower while their partner protests they cannot smell a thing.
See, scent is VERY subjective. VERY! Yes, they look very
real but they are silk. Next
week we will start scenting them. When I got here-the area was vacuous
of any flowers and only offered tons of bushes, and some weeds.
I did not have my usual mega budget for landscaping-so I did this for
under $100 also. With a ton of floral wire in hand, my support
staff and I secured silk flowers to the shrubs, bushes and a few
trees. I had actually done trick in FL when I was too sick to
water anything in 2006. A movie set designer taught me this "illusion" and
then I noticed Disney employs the technique. The key is to buy silks that look
real to begin with, try to match the type of flower as close as you
can to the type of leaf so it looks believable, as well as hide the
mechanics of the wire, when necessary-with green floral tape. "I have
never seen that type of flower on those bushes" is often heard outside
and so funny to hear it said-some
people are perplexed and must reconcile what they are seeing to what
they are sure they know-in their head.
ficus became a purple hibiscus, a tall rag weed looking set of trees
became a Japanese Cherry Blossom and a Yellow Crepe Myrtle. How
I did not get sumac is beyond me. One bush sure looked like it
was sumac for sure-but I was already well into it when the shiny
looking leaves seemed alarmingly familiar. Anyway
the view from my office is now AWESOME!
Regarding the painting of the building, I only did bright trim to a
white building. Later I did add some real hanging baskets to
give a sense of realness. Petunias are always a best best, as
well as Periwinkles and Red Ivy Geranium to maintain the "London"
feel. The mail box was $17, a black one I spray painted high gloss red
and that really is a subtle focal point. I drew a "B" in glue
and dropped glitter on it-to add royalty to my mail box. The
next addition, when we can figure out where to hang it-is a Radio
Flyer Bike filled with silk flowers hung as if it is flying to the
moon. We will literally "hang" a moon behind it-and maybe some
glow-in-the-dark stars. This just promotes the notion of whimsical and relaxation.
I did get a wagon and also filled that with silk flowers I got on
sale. I cannot wait for Christmas which probably starts in June
Another outside fix
will be to pressure wash the wood path ways and cement walk ways.
Again, under $100, this will really brighten up the landscape and
offer a feeling of "clean" and "new." I do plan to add more real
flowers, and I will do it in large Galvanized metal buckets when I do.
That is economical while charming and serves a mobility purpose-in
case of hurricanes, quick re-layout on the cheap and for other viable
reasons. I guess a few topiary's on each side of the porch
and benches are next. I plan to get two benches off Craig's List and
spray paint them UK Red with gold trim-if I can ever get two benches
that look a alike. The last thing I should note was red cypress
mulch was the first thing to cover barren areas. Cypress mulch
also serves to deter bugs-and yes. It was $33 to buy ten bags.
Sound Track! You
bet we have a sound track for the Apothecary! Inside and outside.
The outside includes the bells of St. Paul's Cathedral in London and
Canterbury as well as Scottish Bag Pipe material. Inside is U-2,
Green Day and the like. That will be posted soon!
My first customer
was a 12 year old whose Mom owns a flourishing Oriental
trading company in Old Town Spring.
I allowed her in to
privately shop while we were not open yet and I was actively turning
other people away. "Well, why was the kid allowed in?" I was
taunted by adults...[my point exactly.] I was in no rush
to meet the public straight on. Her impressions were very
interesting. I find most teens are the best insight in marketing.
Anyway I wanted the store "Christened" by the heart of a child and so
it was. We have seen many teenage buyers since then, and a
few "wishing they could afford" usually get handed the item.
Tip: Compliment my design and it is yours whether you can afford it or
not. Insult me and they are seriously expensive![This is by no
means an acceptable standard marketing or accounting practice-but sure
works for me.]
we did open, I found the adults are typically awesome, actually, and I
have no clue what I was worried about because I had been a recluse for many
years. Still, I totally am in love with kids-until about
the age of 16. I will listen to them all day long, and everyone
should. Because I have ran into a few bright, but
disadvantaged ones, I will have a "lab party" two times a month.
I will lay out all materials to make soap, salts and stuff-and we will
make whatever they want. They can wear white lab coast and
everything. I bet they come up with some of our best bath and
Prior to this, I was not going to offer classes. I have tons of
books and DVDs I wrote or filmed. Because of the spark in their
eye and thirst for attention and the ability to be competent at
something-I am doing "lab time" with whoever shows up with a white
shirt. Heck we may even paint their names on their shirts
to be professional about it all. I will write more about "lab
night" it also gives me the chance to re-live my lack of childhood, which is
what my whole purpose in Old Town Spring has been about.
also show the kids how to take photos of their product and slap them
on eBay and sell them. "But, oh, why hurt little children?"
Well, because they do hit 16 at some point. :) So "preventative
punishment." Seriously, eBay is great for
an over all lesson, and pretty cool to see someone buy your product..
We will post on Etsy also, because Etsy would support this project.
are doing great. Three people out of four buy something and I think
that is unheard of here. I am not sure-but my staff who formerly
worked in this town said so. But to get there was a tad harder
than I thought. I finally had to put that slogan on my forehead.
What does it mean? Control distractions and keep your focus on
your goal is the root meaning. "If I did not have a basic
blue print BEFORE I got here, of every detail I wanted to do-it would
have plopped a failed." The cold pond in which I jumped would
have chilled me out of any vision I did have for the community and my
own personal goals. When thrown in a pond of people, you WILL
forget why you came, what your dreams were, maybe even your favorite
color and first dogs name. A few piranhas
were in my way -who
worried my shop would drop income at their shop. Just a few-out
of over 100 who welcomed me, but I am too sensitive and easy to get
"going" and derailed. Distraction
costs you-and their hidden goal is to gob your time up and make you
doubt your own self... [Sounds sew much like husbands huh?] So
they can achieve their goal, that you fail to succeed at whatever the
town USA. Why? Distraction and some
The VAST amount
of other people in business who will tell you "No one makes it here.." or "People
try to set up a shop and it does not work...." So I would ask
"Your shop is open, it appears to be working...who is "no one" and
"some people?" Anyway, you know where I am headed with
this...... Anyone who even TRIES a business is GREAT by me.
Whether it worked or not-they tried and they had a dream. Those
who never try anything, can only be our stealth critiques-and that is
usually all they ever are. Successful people do not gossip-EVER.
They do not have time, and it is often counter productive. I
have been around many and it is not a trait of any person whoever
succeeds. If you start hearing gossip-you know the generator of it is
not a person to aspire to be around. It is harder when that
person IS a relative. I get e-mails about that all of the time
and I do not have that issue. If you do, try to talk to them or just
change the subject every time they do - and always point out what they
are doing. They will tire of you pointing it out, or you will
tire of them and find a way to distance yourself.
was able to snap out of the "distract them until they fail" game by
keeping the note by me" that said Finish the Painting." Within
hours of staying to that goal-I became done with many things I felt
previous would take a lot of time, or just could never do as exhausted
as I was getting. Guard your time and your ears. Take
breaks with inspiring people, even if can only be e-mail. I
rotate my buddies so I do not burn one out. Successful people tend to
be busy people also. Finish
photo to the right is our 'celebration' bath seltzer that smells like
birthday cake and fizzes with multi-colors in the bath. Very
fun, it also is packed with shea butter as are all of our bombs and
Details about the
actual products and marketing techniques in the store will be in the next newsletter.
Ringo a dog flown in from Katrina.
of his owner and
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favorite blogspot. See
Deborah Dolen on YouTube and her last book written
London Apothecary and
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Visit Deborah on Facebook
http://twitter.com/DeborahDolen or BlogSpot
http://deborahdolen.blogspot.com/ Buy Natural Liquid Soap! It
is much safer than commercial brands.
Natural Liquid Soap for People or
Natural Liquid Soap for pets.
Click to Feed a Pooch!
web site that feeds an
amount of pets needs more clicks to maintain their advertisers.
Doris Rumery, a friend of mine in Daytona, FL-sent me an e-mail to
click to "feed a pet" because a humane society type company needed
more clicks to maintain advertisers. Right behind her e-mail was
ten more-from other top executives-NASA, Boeing, Cessna,
Cornell, Berkeley...and so I checked it out. This e-mail made it
to almost any woman over 40 around the world so I had to wonder if it
was a farce and just want our e-mail data bases? No, it is
for real and that web site should do excellent.
The site I read to figure authenticity out was here.
Create a folder
in your e-mail called "Donations" and e-mail yourself the link below.
Every month or few months try to go in and click. This is an
EASY, FREE and LONG term way to help these folks as I am
SURE they may fall into the same predicament by autumn and every
quarter until the economy gets back on track. This promo has worked
well for them-let's try to save them from having to do it all over
again in a few months! If you have a web site, link them to your
site. It can only help your web rankings and they sure will have
traffic now-which helps their Alexa ranking and what they can charge
for advertisers. Let's feed some animals!
The Hyperlink is so long to their site-to click to give, just press
this. When you get in that link-from there you can
copy and paste from your web browser into an e-mail for yourself.