I’m a bit late on everything this year, but I’m finally happy with the way the NYC calendar turned out and it’s available for sale now. Find it on our website and on Etsy.
Speaking of NYC, it’s election day and we’ll be getting a new mayor today. The democratic candidate who lives in our Brooklyn neighborhood actually, is most likely to win. I don’t know how any other New Yorkers feel, but I think it’s so strange that we’re getting a new mayor today. I’m pretty sure I felt that way when Bloomberg replaced Giuliani in 2002, but it’s not often we get a new mayor here in the city; there’s only been five in the last 40 years.
Say what you will about Bloomberg and some of his more crazy proposals like his big ounce soda ban (which I was amused by and secretly hoped would pass just because I was curious to see if it could), but the guy worked for free for the last 12 years. I mean sure, he’s a multi billionaire and doesn’t need the salary, but you gotta have big love for this crazy city if you’re willing to do an often thankless job for basically nothing in return except for a legacy and a part in NYC history. I didn’t always agree with some of his policies but I did appreciate how he tried to raise the quality of life here in NY with smoking bans in public places, bike lanes, car free plazas, and recycling among other things (oh, I know he tried to get composting going here in the city this year, but that is a huge effort considering just how big the city is). Is NYC a better place to live than it was 15 or 20 years ago? There’s always going to be a debate on that one and with a city this big, you’ll always get polarized opinions from its citizens, but personally, despite or aside from the fact that the city has gotten more expensive to live in, I would say generally yes.
I think us old time New Yorkers like to romanticise the old days of New York and see the graffiti covered, gritty and seedy New York of our childhood with rose colored glasses of nostalgia. But that New York, despite how much we “pine” for the old days before gentrification took over and before the last two mayors turned NYC into a Disney-fied version of itself, was not really fun at all. It definitely had more character and flavor and we didn’t know anything else at the time, but hindsight makes us look back and see how far the city has come, for good (and bad).
Mayor Bloomberg, I will miss your calm inducing sweater ensembles during your televised press conferences to the people of NY during times of crises like the hurricane. It’ll be weird, for awhile, to hear someone else’s voice and see another figure up on that podium when we tune in for press conferences. It’s a new era.
PS. The New York Times did this fantastic interactive piece a few months ago on how Bloomberg reshaped the city over 12 years. It focuses only on the topology of the city, but very interesting nonetheless.
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Had a rare free day from work commitments yesterday so I took care of W&S business that’s been hanging over me since the holiday rush is now basically a little over a month away. Reordered product labels, took stock of inventory and finally listed the 2014 Year in Food Calendar. A little late this year, but here it is. Available in our Etsy shop and on our website.
I get asked quite often where I get my calendars printed. I print them in-house, trim the pages one by one with an exacto knife, collate the pages together with a bellyband, then slip each one inside a cello sleeve. Pretty sure I do a lot of things like this in the least efficient and most time consuming way possible. But hey, at least you know it’s handmade.
Last year when I held my fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy relief through my NYC calendars , I literally spent the whole month of November printing, trimming and and running to the photo store – sometimes twice a week – for emergency ink and paper runs, in addition to ordering supplies online. It was pretty maddening. It got to the point where the paper guy at Adorama would see me coming and just hand me the boxes of paper that he had in stock (although I could only carry 5 boxes out with me at a time because of my back issues). At one point in January both Adorama and B&H Photo started limiting the boxes of paper that you could order online and then it went out of stock completely. I’m pretty convinced that 98% of the reason why that happened was because of me.
And oh yes…NYC calendars…I’m trying to get it together…I don’t know…we’ll see…
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Ahhhh Fall. The season of everything pumpkin, crispy mornings and the best time for Farmers Markets. Never mind that September is the transitional season of confusing footwear, (although I think I’ve conceded to the fact that I might be putting away my sandals for good at this point. Oh, high heeled clog sandals…how I never wore you this summer, ah well) I’m all for tying on scarves and leaving the house with a jacket on. The nights are legitimately cold though as soon as the sun goes down, but it makes sleeping all the more delicious when you can cozy up to a comforter.
Now that Fall is officially here and we’ve settled back into familiar routines, we’re looking ahead to holiday planning stuff which does bring about the anticipation of stress – but not yet; let’s enjoy a few more weeks of Fall before we get ourselves too tied up in holiday angst.
Pumpkin Ginger Sandwich Cookies are now back in our shop and available at weekend markets for the Fall season (we’ll be at the Dumbo flea this Sunday). Earl Grey Hot Chocolate Mixes are now back in stock too.
And this is the last weekend of voting for the American Made Awards. I’m fairly sure that we won’t be moving to the final round, but wow…thanks for all the votes so far! Have a great weekend!
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We’ve never done this before! Enter a contest and ask for votes, that is. But if you do so feel inclined to throw some votes our way (or 3 or 4) for the 2nd annual Martha Stewart American Made Awards, we’d really appreciate it. You can vote everyday until September 13th and I promise that I’ll only ask this once (maybe twice) for your vote – because you know how pushy I’d feel beyond that (I would make a terrible campaigning politician).
I attended the awards ceremony last year in October for the first ever American Made awards and it was a really nice celebration of small businesses in America, I must say. Plus I got to wear a dress, hang out with my friend and stand next to the oysters pretty much all night.
p.s. the American Made site has been pretty buggy on and off since voting started on Monday, so if you are unable to vote for various random reasons, please try again. Thanks for all your support, as always!
p.p.s. We’re still in the Pacific NW, but headed towards the coast and north with little cell service and wifi. This should be interesting. Have a great week and holiday weekend!
Posted by Jenna | 14 Comments
Our annual summer sale is here! 20% off all our shops including our website, our Etsy shop, and our print shop. Use code SUMMER13.
We’ll be closing up our online shops as usual for a few weeks from August 15th to September 4th, but we’ll be stocking up our retailers before we go. We have three more markets this summer – August 4 & 11 in Dumbo and August 17 in Fort Greene. We’ll be back again for the Fall Flea season starting September 14 and every weekend until the close of the outdoor season in late November.
Mark has been taking the girls to the Flea more often now that they’re older. If we’re in a childcare bind for the weekend, it isn’t a big deal now to take them for the day. They love going to the Flea and pack all sorts of activities to occupy themselves for the 8-9 hours that they’re there. Such a difference from when they were toddlers. I couldn’t think of a worse place to spend the day with the kids than the Flea when they were younger. It was just too stressful trying to chase after two little kids, often in opposite directions, and one who barely just learned how to walk. They wanted to touch everything at all the booths and I’m pretty sensitive about the kids getting into other people’s stuff or taking too many food samples; I don’t expect anyone to tolerate that just because they’re kids. These days, the girls know how to respect boundaries and other vendors’ wares and Mark lets Mia walk around a bit by herself, buy lunch or take Claudine to the restroom. As for helping Mark out at the Flea…well, it’s more like “helping” and not really helping, but that’s ok. Sometimes I think Mark enjoys the company.
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School is winding down for the kids, and with it comes a long string of end of the year performances, good bye gatherings and that bittersweet feeling that another year has ended. The girls are both happy and sad that there are less than 2 weeks of school – happy because they’re looking forward to a few weeks of camp, outings to the pool and the beach, and our trip out west. But sad too because they’ll miss their teachers and friends. I feel the same way. Summer vacation holds a different kind of rhythm in our neighborhood. The mornings don’t bustle quite as much like our usual daily walks to school alongside throngs of other neighbors headed the same direction. It’s not uncommon to miss our neighbors and friends the entire summer. Schedules are different; people are away; the days feel slower.
So we’re halfway through the year already. Despite my better judgement, it’s hard for me not to assess the year so far. What I have learned in the last 2 months, however, is that it is indeed possible for me to be content with a less than busy work schedule and remain calm through transitions (though admittedly, there have been times when I have had to work really hard at it). I have also learned that despite whatever decisions I have made, remaining open to opportunities can bring forth some unexpected new things. I think back to this “Life, lately” post I wrote back in March when my schedule was very different than it has been recently. Funny to read back on that post because I guess I *have* learned not to worry so much in my free time and just enjoy life.
But the thing is…there really is no free time when you’re running a business while raising a family, is there? And that’s where I’ve had to learn to change my perspective and count all the things that I do for the business as “work” even though I don’t invoice for my time. I have been working and I have been busy the last 2 months, and what I have seen manifest is something that we knew all along. If I spend more time on the business, we make more sales. There was a moment this week when I felt an overwhelming gratitude for our customers, especially those who have supported us from the very beginning and continue to order from us 5 years later. Thank you so much for helping us live out this dream.
ps. We found these flowers on the ground at the base of a tree on Governors Island the other week. The identifying plaque on the tree simply said “tulip tree”. We have never seen a tulip tree before!
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