Thursday, 30 June 2016

Let's Talk About Frank...PART 1

The 30th of December seems like a long time ago now but that days events affected such a large part of the Deeside community that many of us are just recovering from the damage caused. I will do the refit in a separate post.
Just to take you back, like many others, I was distractedly clinking my way round Costco stocking up for the Hogmanay celebrations, when a frantic call came from the Milton shop. It was just after midday and Lynda informed me that  the River Dee was as high as she'd ever seen and it had burst it's banks. I had seen on the news in the morning that Storm Frank had affected Ballater but I didn't think for a minute that we would be in any danger. I quickly set off to the shop, Prosecco, peanuts & profiteroles bouncing about in the back of the van. On arriving at the Milton of Crathes, it was shocking to see the water already flooding The Wee Boorachie pretty badly. It had just reached the doors at the burn side of our building but still, I was confident it wouldn't come into the shop.........20 minutes later it was seeping under the doors.
Starting to come in the door...

....45 minutes later

The speed at which the river rose was frightening. On my hands and knees trying to disconnect all the cables that run the computer while water was lapping at my feet made me feel like I was in a low budget disaster movie.

Just about at the highest level
The last pic before we abandoned ship

We had to leave the shop at 4.30pm as it was dark and getting dangerous wading about in bum-deep water. I don't think the impact of what had happened really hit home until the next day. The water had totally receded and it was like it had never happened (apart from all the devastation). 

The flooring was forced up by the water

The building then had to be stripped back and allowed to dry, which took around 4 months, then the refit could begin.  I finally opened the doors in mid June, the shop isn't fully opened but I needed to get trading again. I have realised that, since speaking to customers old and new, the loss of stock is what concerns most people, but honestly that is the thin end of the wedge. The stock is the quantifiable, replaceable thing, what is truly devastating is the loss of business. Suddenly there is no revenue coming from the business, the staff lose their jobs and you have no income and the longer it goes on the worse it impacts the business. Rustiques at Inverurie also flooded in January, with the water table rising the basement flooded continuously for 8 weeks! We were able to trade but the whole region seemed depressed and subdued by what it had just gone through. 

As time has gone on, it has became apparent that the business couldn't survive with the revenue from the Inverurie shop as trade was decreasing week on week. This has lead me to make a decision. As I desperately try to get the Milton shop fully operational with its new improved workshop and demo areas, I need to put all my efforts (and what energy I have left!) into it and make it successful again, so sadly, I am closing the Inverurie shop. Frank & the economic downturn was too much for my wee business to cope with.

A heartfelt thanks to my nearest and dearest family who have got me through these past 6 months. I also want to thank all who shopped at Inverurie, please come and visit us at Milton! Lastly, to "my girls", the staff who put up with my disorganised chaos and kept the shop looking great, we can say we tried.


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Add Humour to Your Home

What is conjured up in your mind when you hear the descriptions "pleasingly distasteful" or "so bad it's good"?  I'll give you a clue, starts with K. Nope, not that well known American/Armenian TV family, it's a genre and movement that comes in and out of favour and currently it's on the rise. It's a style much beloved by hipsters and the middle-aged alike, KITSCH is cool man!
Budgies, not just for Nana's

But, as with every reincarnation of a trend, the 2016 version has it's own definition.  Lava lamps, for example, they are what most people see as kitsch. Yeah, well they were kitsch immediately after the first one was switched on in all it's globby, glowing glory in the 1960's.  Nouveau kitsch is about being bold and confident. The idea is not to turn your home into some sort of 1960/70's shrine but to introduce fun, humorous and stylish additions to your home that are conversation starters, memory jolters and classic designs. 
Where to start when the high street is awash with second hand shops?
Flamingos, eccentric elegance.
Think about your parents or grandparent homes, the 
items that are still in our memories from childhood and that you have possibly loved and loathed in equal measure for years, then think "ooh, how great that would look in our lounge/hall/toilet". My own foray into the world of kitsch is a 1960's radiogram. It has the most wonderful mechanism and the sound is pretty impressive, playing records is just such a treat.
My own Radio Gramophone
My tip is 
 GO BIG, go bold. A small coupling of wooden deer maybe authentic 70's style but they'll have the impact of a limp handshake and frankly, look odd.....unless styled well. Place under a large glass cloche or group with other interesting items. 

Create a cloche collection like this great one from Cathe Holden

Create a Kitsch corner. Be confident. that none of your friends would have the balls to display a large nail and string picture in their dining room!

My Top Nouveau Kitsch Must Haves:
1.  Ceramic animal ornaments, grouped together.
2.  Flamingoes. In any shape or form, as long as they are big. And pink.
3.  Macrame. Plant holders, door curtains or hanging owls.
4.  Nail & string pictures, particularly of sailing boats.
5.  Pineapples, not necessarily the plastic ice bucket kind.
6.  Cacti. In any form.
7.  Any working mechanical/electrical gadget from 1960/70.
8.  Aprons when at home (not the wipeable kind). Try it, you will be a convert.
9.  Retro glassware.
10.Photo albums. With actual photos. With comments. And pages.
A trio of pineapples, because, why not!