Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shop Remodel

This is what the classroom looked like before we remodeled this summer. Not very inviting, is it?

This is what the back of the shop looked like before the same remodel. This is where we process our mail order and work on block of the month kits. Can you imagine how we got anything done?

This is what the classroom looks like now. It's more organized and inviting than before. Don't you think?

This is how we've organized our fabric for the block of the month clubs and mail order department. It's amazing! We can actually find what we're looking for.

This is what our Block of the Month kit storage area looks like now. It's such an improvement that people don't believe me when I tell them it's only half done.

So this is what we did during the month of August and part of September. My daughter Melissa, who is studying interior design, got together with Amber and I to come up with a solution to our disorganization problem.

In my humble opinion, Melissa did a GREAT job with this. It's totally organized now and so much more efficient moving around and getting mail out the door for customers. It was almost worth all the agony we went through getting it done. I totally LOVE all the room we have. As lovely as the after pictures are, I don't think that the transformation for those of us who work in this space can be adequately captured in a few photographs. Just know that we love our new environment and enjoy working in this completely organized and totally functional workplace as we serve our online customers!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Our Baby Bailey

Our little dachshund, Bailey, went to sleep in his favorite bed last night and never woke up. At 16 years old, the vet says that in dog years he was between 108-112 years old. He had a very full life and died peacefully, yet it's still sad when a treasured member of the family passes on.

This picture was taken 16 years ago by the breeder who gave Bailey to us. Bailey is the little guy at the top right in the photo. The way he came to us is pretty interesting. You see, Bailey was the treasured pet of our daughter Dannielle. At 10 years old, Dannielle was a dog person trapped in a cat family. And believe me, with seven cats on the property, these felines were in no mood to be entertaining a dog!

One day, a customer came into the shop with a basket full of puppies! Cute little things, really, but dogs nonetheless. For Bailey and Dannielle, it was love at first sight. Dannielle really, really, really, REALLY wanted to take Bailey home, but pure bred dachshunds can be very expensive and we just couldn't afford him. Reluctantly, Dannielle put Bailey back in the basket and he eventually went home with someone else.

A few short weeks later, the breeder knocked on our door. In her arms was little Bailey. It turns out that the man who originally purchased Bailey abused him terribly. The breeder found out about it, snatched the dog away from him, and brought the little guy to Dannielle. She told Dannielle she was giving her the dog because she knew that Dannielle loved him dearly and would take good care of him.

So that's how Bailey came to live at our house. The cat people in the family (and the cats) eventually adapted to him being there and decided to trust him. He eventually stopped having nightmares and decided to trust us.

Dannielle and Bailey were constant companions and good buddies. When she went off to college, he missed her terribly. The reunions at school break were always something to see. Yet, when she moved to California, we decided that Bailey should stay with us. We said it was best because this was the only home he had ever known. Secretly, it was because confirmed cat people let a dog into their heart and couldn't let him go.