OMG my hair!... heading into month three of lockdown & 25 years in business.
Celebrating 25 years
In celebration of reaching our quarter-century milestone, and since we can't have a party to celebrate any time soon, we are offering a 25% discount sale off ALL CASHMERE, JEWELRY & GREETING CARDS from May 16th through May 22nd. ENTER CODE ANNIVERSARY25 on the checkout page to get the discount. We've never, ever, ever done this kind of sale before, so it's a pretty big deal to us. Heads up! Moving forward, inventory changes will be happening, so if you are in love with certain cashmere colours we suggest you snap them up asap as they may not be available in the future. Our vibrant ponchos, scarves, and wraps add a pop of colour and luxury to the everyday athleisurewear style we have all become accustomed to these days. Got a zoom meeting coming up? Throw on one of our poncho's or scarves to bring colour and style to the camera and you're good to go, No need to change anything south of your outfit. Right now, it's all about the chest up wardrobe that matters.
Hunter & Annabel, 1995 Annabel 2019 & self quarantining ...If you'd like to read more about our story, please click here.
How did 25 years fly by so quickly? From the day I bought my printing business and set it up in my basement guest bedroom in West Vancouver to today, working out of my much nicer studio in Dunbar, during a Pandemic, so much has changed and yet so little has changed. The soul of my business is all of you, the customers, the cheerleaders, the followers, the loyal supporters, and encouragers, encouraging me to keep at it, even when I wanted to stop, quit, sell or retire. I can't thank all of you beautiful souls enough for the privilege of filling my cup full of love and support. You are a pleasure to serve, to buy for, to befriend, and to know.
Fast forward to today, 25 years later... OMG, my hair!
When the Pandemic hit in March and the world was immediately put on lockdown, I honestly had no idea it would last as long as it has. But now, going into month three, the reality is here and my hair is living proof. When you're fifty plus years old, hair that becomes too long is not your friend, unless you're one of the lucky Cindy Crawford like people that can still carry off long hair. Simply said, we start to look OLD. The solution... scissors! At first, I was a scardy cat about trimming my own hair, still traumatized from the time I cut my own bangs when I was five.. I would take forty-five minutes to do a piddly, unnoticeable trim. But now, after eight+ weeks of practice and training, I trim off a little every Monday morning with confidence and delight, thinking to myself "I can't believe this is my new normal". The secret is to cut it when it's dry. I feel that during these unprecedented times you can pretty much do anything out of character and it's no big deal. My stepdaughter cut her hair as well and it looks fantastic. And she went all the way cutting off five inches! Try it. It's quite liberating. p.s .but don't get me wrong, I am now at the begging level category with my hairstylist to get in line for a proper cut and highlights. This ombre look I've got going on has got to go!
What have you done with your time?
Recently one of my friends said to me, "I have completely wasted my time during this Pandemic. Now I'm busy with work again and I realize I have gotten nothing accomplished during my time off." She was, of course, exaggerating and is a complete overachiever, but I heard what she was saying to me. She wished she had done more.
This will happen to all of us. The time off we have right now, either spent with family, roommates, or even alone is something that will not last much longer. It is historic what we are going through. What have you or do you plan on doing with this time? Having time at home is so very precious and rare. Remember to make the very most of it, however, that looks to you or whatever you choose to do. But do something because the "rat race" will return and this "stay at home" time will become a distant memory. I have learned to appreciate not feeling so frazzled, busy and overbooked like I was pre-pandemic and hope I can keep some element of this new vibe I've got going on when the world re-opens. It's quite peaceful, don't you agree?
OUR WEBSITE Due to the fact that online shopping is now the only form of easily accessible retail shopping, I realized I needed to concentrate on making our online store as enticing and competitive to shop on as possible. I noticed all of the promotions and deals that were being offered on other websites so came up with a favorable discount plan which I have been meaning to do for months. We now have a designated DISCOUNT CODES page, found on our home page. This is where you can go and see what discounts are currently being offered when you stop by to shop online. Some of the discounts will change regularly, and others are here to stay, like the bulk ordering Greeting Card discounts, that you have been asking for for years. Has anyone else realized that sometimes it just takes being forced to stop your life and stay home to finally get sh&t done that you've been meaning to do for years?
PHOTO ALBUMS I don't know about you, but I am behind in my photo albums by about 15 years. It stresses me out just thinking about it. I found a giant box of old photos and spent the time to look at each and every photo (two of each photo actually, remember those days?). Boy, did it ever bring back memories. I was emotionally exhausted after the eight hours I spent creating two new photo albums (of only two years worth of pictures). It made me happy and sad looking at all the photos of my four lives. Pre-marriage, first marriage, divorced, second marriage. Can anyone else relate? I've taken an emotional breather and will get back to tackling it again, one day...
My girlfriend on the other hand just completed 100+ hours (not exaggerating, she wins) creating a beautiful digital frame for her mother's 80th birthday. She uploaded all her favorite photos onto the Aura App and the finished product is displayed beautifully in the 8" x 10" digital photo frame. The great thing is when you give it as a gift, you give the person the password to the App so they can go in and delete (what can I say, we are all vain) photos you don't like and add more photos to the frame yourself. The app is called @aura www.auraframes.com
MANUAL LABOUR One positive thing to remember is that Covid hit us right as Spring was about to arrive. Can you imagine if it hit us in the darkest days of November? That would have been so unbelievably depressing!! So because of our fortune of having Spring and Summer ahead of us, there is so much to do in our gardens or with our planters. We have been doing a lot of manual labour. I think it makes us feel more in control of something since we have lost control of so much. Gardening seems to be the theme right now. We ordered four yards of soil (from Lawn Boy 604-322-8771) for our garden and I've got to say it VERY rewarding looking out at our rich black soil and all the Spring plants, along with our new vegetable garden happily growing, all lush and green.
WATCHING + LEARNING I've found the extra time on my hands has been really great for learning more. I've taken Illustration Tutorials, a Bookkeeping Webinar on Inventory Control (fun times), trying to get educated more on how to tackle Menopause (see below) and have become addicted to watching cooking videos - Vegan Chef @erinireland is my favorite, her voice is so soothing, and she does all that cooking with two little kids in the background, so impressive... But I have not taken up cooking or baking myself. I just seem to eat other people's baking. Thanks for all the sourdough Natalie., my thighs love you.
READING There's nothing better than reading a good book, don't you agree?
I thoroughly enjoy reading Educated by Tara Westover. I couldn't put it down. It is a mind-blowing and unbelievable story. Don't google it or her. Just buy the book and read it. I'm 100% sure it will be made into a movie one day (when Hollywood eventually re-opens...)
An easy read business, tips, and advice book I just finished was Pretty Good Advice by Leslie Blodgett, the founder of bareMinimals make-up. She would sell $1.4 million of product an hour, yes, per hour, on the QVC shopping channel, then sold her business for $1.8 billion. She writes very candidly and speaks my language completely. For all the entrepreneurs and salespeople out there, this is a very useful book to read.
The next book I've got on order is American Dirt, by Jeannie Cummins. Everyone is raving about it and I can't wait for it to arrive. (I don't use a Kindle, I prefer reading paper books. I am the PaperQueen after all.)
"American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our time. Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope."
GIVING BACK Vancouver's Giustra Foundation (@giustrafdn) has generously been financially supporting a COVID-19 Emergency Feeding Program along with the Food Stash Foundation @foodstashfoundation, Vancouver Food Runners @vancouver_food_runners, and Savoury Chef Foods @savourychef. My friend Lara Dauphinee , Giustra Foundation, and Anna Wallner, Savoury Chef, are integral parts of this endeavor. When I saw what they were doing, I wanted to be part of it too, so I reached out to see if they'd like some inspirational cards to be given along with each meal. Four thousand cards and meals later, (yes, they made and delivered 4,000 meals to people in need!!), it warms my heart to know that I was a teeny tiny little part of this venture and hopefully brightened the recipients' day with a card of hope and inspiration to put on their wall while they're all enduring this scary and weird time in our lives.
Here are just a few samples of the cards we donated. Similar cards are available online.
Maintenance & Menopause
Pre-Pandemic we had a plethora of "maintenance" options to help us feel better, prolonging the aging process that sneaks up HARD in our fifites? Anything from haircuts, highlights, manicures, pedicures, eyelash extensions, waxing, microblading, cool sculpting, filler, botox, laser therapy, cold therapy... It's endless the options we used to have. Now that we are going on month three of nothing, nada, the bar has been lowered and the truth is out, right there, smack-dab in that mirror, looking right at us each and every morning I can now see what I truly look like, with no hair colour or age-defying remedies. My true canvas is now visible. Wow. I've come to determine that menopause is a huge part of the aging process. I've been following a menopause expert who has enlightened me on so much more than I thought I knew about the subject. Her name is Dr. Barbie Taylor and you can book one-on-one online consultations with her to discuss your personal goals and issues. Good Lord women have to go through a lot!
I have suffered terribly from insomnia for the past couple of years, another lovely menopausal symptom, which wreaks havoc on my life. I feel like a zombie during the day after sleepless nights. I usually wake up between 12:30am to 2am and stay awake for a couple of hours. Is anyone else suffering from this and what remedies do you do to help you sleep?
Ordering Food (Yes!)
Foraging for food, aka grocery shopping, has become very stressful during these crazy days of pandemic life. And to make matters worse, when you finally psych yourself up for the task, and it really has become a task, geared up with masks, hand sanitizer and gloves to hit the stores, you may find yourself facing a forty-five-minute line-up just to get into the store, and then finding many items sold out.
An easier alternative is to support the smaller, local independent stores so that they have a chance of surviving longterm.
Chef Claire - Curbside pick up and delivery of fresh and frozen foods.
Columbus Meats - Our next-door neighbors are Italian and referred us to Columbus Meats. Fabulous quality and prices. 1310 Nanaimo Street 604-253-2242
Hotro - Organic Meat, Poultry, Soups and more. 235 East Broadway 604-876-8755
Birds and the Beets - Fresh sourdough and cookies, granola and delivered to your house. Contact Heidi at email@example.com to place your oder. The sourdough bread is FANTASTIC!
Sysco - For bulk food shopping consider ordering from Sysco. They have had to adapt since all of the restaurants that they normally supply to are closed. They are now offering consumers access to many products previously only available to restaurants. Online shopping
Parthenon Market - Fabulous cheeses, olives, spices, oils, everything Greek of course, and a bulk food section that you can pre-order and they prepare for you. 3089 West Broadway
Spud - New Stay Home Grocery Boxes.
Granville Island - Go first thing in the morning or around 4:30 pm. Both times seem to be great. No customers, tonnes of parking, walk-in, shop then you're outta there!
Come and shop at our Studio!We have re-opened our Dunbar studio and are booking up to three people at a time shopping appointments. We have hand sanitizer, Perrier and champagne and the Studio is Covid-Clean. Our gorgeous assortment of jewelry we imported from Paris, Greece, Turkey, Spain, and Monaco are all ideal to wear for Zoom calls and FaceTime meetings! If you're comfortable to make an appointment to come over, please contact us.. Otherwise, online shopping is always there for you, 24/7.
A LITTLE HUMOUR
Which tile are you today?
Thanks for reading and take great care of yourselves. I miss seeing you all.
Hilarious…..you have a grand sense of humour. I am like Mona Lisa with the bundle of hair but next Tuesday, only 2 more days I have a private one on one with masks with my Fairy Godmother Hairdresser. Oh yes, I am ecstatic. A real hand written card is in the mail for you, written on your own beautiful stationary and fancy lined envelope. Keep well, keep healthy. All this shall pass and with a little luck we may come out of it with more love in our hearts for our fellow men. (or maybe not)