rena's retail adventure

on the road to having a real live storefront, and what she found there.



It's amazing what can happen in a month. We have a storefront lined up, we do final paperwork on it tomorrow, and get the keys by Friday. The store has a phone number. It feels incredibly official when you start paying for utilities and planning new postcards and business cards :)

There is another thousand tasks to do but we are definitely getting to the fun part. It's going to get evil expensive pretty soon but it will be worth it!

The store selling space will be small at first - around 350 square feet. When we make it through Christmas and it gets very slow, we will do some demo and remodeling and open up the space to maybe twice that size. 350 doesn't sound like much, but that is twice as much space as in the Brooklyn shop!


storefronts in SF, i don't have one yet. but i'm looking.
i bounce between focusing on the new venture and trying to deal with the current one, with sodafine. the latter seems more important now, especially since i'm moving so soon!

but - i am looking at a small space in hayes valley and a big one in upper market/castro. it's hard to plan my fall orders for a store that doesn't exist yet, in a location i can't be sure of. i must just trust that my suppliers can handle some tardiness this year.

good news is that rent seems to be cheaper. that will help since my apartment is not cheap, and there is NO space for a shipping office this time. nor a craft room. i'm all business, baby!


hello, testing 1 2 3

wow, i am responsible for a dormant blog! i feel so ashamed..

anyway, if anyone can help out, i need leads for an apartment in san francisco, preferably under $2K if that is doable, and that takes dogs...and also for a storefront. yes, help bring RD SF to your neighborhood! how convenient will that be. send me pics or phone numbers, peeps..

so. i'm packing the house, and figuring out how to redo the store in NY with erin sodafine. it is gonna kick ass! am also trying to figure out the partnership vs LLC thing for the SF store. so much going on this month.



there seems to be a backlash now against design with a capital D. so weird! it is finally getting attention on a widescale level but is sometimes seen as 'safe'...this in a world where framing a cherished silkscreen poster from a show is seen as 'genuine'. i am not passing judgment, i just think it's an interesting thing going on right now, and there is some element of design versus craft, even male versus female. it will be even more interesting to see what the design, or Design, landscape looks like in another year.


april update

long time no blog. finally met ms kpoene' for real and she reminded me of this nearly dead blog...i don't mean for it to be that way. is there a whipup for store owners? that's what i would like this to be.

the light outside is weird, as if it is about to dump rain on us. i'm waiting for a shipment of umbrellas, actually. timing is everything.

let's see...i took a vacation. it was great! 10 days of not thinking about the store at all. well okay, maybe 5% but that is a big improvement. i was recharged for a while, and then worried, and now i'm inundated with product and projects again. summer is supposed to be the slow time but i have this feeling it won't be. can't reveal any details now, but soon.

i think i have finally outgrown my 9x27' space. it's not like we don't move product, but it's never as clean as i'd like it to be here, i can never find anything in the back, and i can never ever pee at work, because the bathroom is also the trash and recycling storage room, and they only pick up twice a week, etc.

observations of late: it's hard to buy for guys, they want things for different reasons than women. this is obvious, but maybe not if you analyze it a bit. a guy will or won't buy something based on a mix of factors - color, pattern, size but also the "is it too girly" thing which women don't have so much. they also like to think in, or buy in, sets or kits. they like to know technical details and what something is for. women are a bit better about repurposing...they tell ME what something is going to be used for, if they buy it, all the time. men also shop in price ranges, and they don't want to appear cheap sometimes, either for the gift recipient or maybe to me, the gal selling it to them.

i am generalizing but a lot of this is true.

more observations - people buy different things online than in the shop. but people check the site first, and then they come in to shop, so you have to put up a broad range of product, even if you know it won't sell online. our store is so important to the business! the more pictures, the more someone "knows" what you are all about, and that is going to drive whether or not they want to buy something from you. mystery does us no good.

that's all for now. lisa congdon arrives saturday, we are going to have a good time, rain or no. the party is going to be fun. i might actually roll up our rug and move the table to the basement to make more space. you can't get more than, oh, 15 people in here at once, it's like a cattle car. i just hope nobody breaks or steals anything.


bad habit

when i'm frustrated, i go on etsy and buy something. it's bad! i used to wait and hit a store and buy a lipstick or something, but now i get little artist books or handmade prints. derek just rolls his eyes when i bring these things home.

...this is a lead-in to say - i bought 2 things the other night from etsy! the occasion? launching the new site on the new webhost (which is giving me worst-case-scenario problems) and panicking that there is a slowdown at the store and that i will be in italy, on vacation, for 10 days. it sounds good but that is pretty much 10 days w/o contact with the shop. laura is wonderful and it will all be fine but oh my. worries. also we have to find a dog-sitter. and oh, i really ought to submit my tax stuff to the accountant before we leave. and set up quickbooks with the new bookkeeper. etc.

you would think leaving town would be a good thing but...i am really good at putting the work down, you know what i mean?

but when i return, i'll start promoting Lisa Congdon's show, and it will be warmer, and we should have spring clothing shipments in, and folks will want to buy bags, and it will be alright.



Yikes. So, I just moved my website from one host to another. Also, I moved to a new shopping cart, so every page URL is now different. And every link to a page on the web will be broken! This is almost a reason to never do anything so stupid. In the long run it will be okay but people will have to relink a lot of stuff. Any product page on Stylehive, or from a blog...yikes, I'll say it again.

I just hope February/March is a good time to pull this off! Time will tell, as will my stats page and web orders...