Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rainy Days

Wow, two days of blogging in a row. This could become a habit. As a child of the 70s, I grew up before answering machines, caller ID (or call forwarding or call waiting), remote controls (wired or wireless), cell phones, VCRs, CDs, cable TV (then only HBO for what felt like forever), and of course computers and the internet. So this "blogging" stuff is still kind of alien for me. I had a diary at points in my life, so I suppose blogging can be similar, or perhaps it's more of a cross between a newspaper column and a diary.

Regardless, here I am, attempting to ride the wave of the present, and, quite possibly, the future as well.
So I was thinking this morning, as I awoke to see if I had any other "followers" (that sounds so cultish) on my blog or my website, how nice it was to have this connection to the outside world on a dark and cold rainy Sunday morning. What on earth did we do in the "olden days" before the internet...especially on a rainy day? No googling or youtubing. No facebook, twitter (still can't figure that one out...yet), or myspace (which I hear is SOOO yesterday). No emailing. No blogging. No online shopping. I did enjoy some Loony Tunes cartoons for quite some time, though once I hit about age 11, the thrill was gone. But today is different. With a connection to the world wide web, in a nanosecond, we can be in touch with a friend on the other side of the globe. A few clicks and we can find a rare item we need or a collectible we have been seeking. Out of herbal tea, moisturizer, vitamins? Click and you will receive. Yes, it is good to get out. Taking a walk on a pretty...or is still the same today as it was years ago. We need to move our bodies and breathe and live. Staying in one's "batcave" clicking and perusing incessantly is certainly not a healthy place to be. Imagine, though, that by saving time and gas and energy on a rainy day to take care of your weekly errands and holiday shopping, you could have more time for your morning walk, your yoga practice, a trip to the gym.

So on this rainy morning in Atlanta (or a clear crisp Summer night for my Aussie readers), take a moment to click and connect with the outside world before you even leave the house. Stock up on some vitamins or groceries, get some holiday gifts taken care of, and reduce to need to drive all over town. Then throw on your yoga pants or some walking clothes and breathe, stretch, and move. It's all good.
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

What economic crunch?

Well, after much resistance in a blog created for the sole purpose of blatantly self promoting my online business, Family Jewels, here I am. No promises. I may not post everyday, or week, or even month. I tried with newsletters and little personalized emails to regular customers, and while I am probably one of the more rare types of online merchants one would find when perusing the 'net for goodies, I'm not good at long term commitments in this arena. However, here I am. For those of you who don't know me, a quick version would have to include the following:

I opened up a little shop called the Family Jewels around 1985. I specialized in vintage jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. I was 20 years old.

The shop did very well, and after a few years, I not only became a single parent to a great little boy, but I also moved my little shop to the trendy downtown Decatur Square where I stayed for about 10 years. The shop was stocked, every nook and cranny filled with authentic, unique, and affordable jewelry and collectible, purchased from local estates, collections, and around the globe. Other than New York City or Los Angeles, shops like this were (and still are) a pretty rare site.

In 2000, I closed my store to be a stay-at-home/working-mom...the internet was in full swing, and after a few years of dabbling with eBay and Yahoo auctions, I decided to focus solely online.

So, Family Jewels became

Same phone number, same Decatur/Atlanta GA base, same proprietor. Above all else, I've continued to offer the same authentic and interesting vintage and antique jewelry and accessories with the same superb personalized customer service.

Over the past (nearly) 2 and a 1/2 decades, I have seen the economy rise and fall, yet something I have observed from a very personal level, is this: for the most part, antiques and vintage items are recession proof. Really they are. Yes, eBay and the internet have made certain things go from ultra-rare to everywhere, and prices for some things have fallen while others have risen, overall, you still get the most bang for the buck when buying previously owned antiques, uniques, and collectibles.

A jewelry store chain at the mall may have that "deal"...carat diamond earrings for $49.99 or pearl earrings for $19.99...but what are you really getting? My experience is that you generally end up with a mass produced, substandard quality item that you will see over and over again, not to mention the fact that if and when you decide to sell or upgrade, your item is generally worth pennies on the dollar of the original "sale" price.

Conversely, on my site, as well as many other online sites, for the same amount of money, you can not only find something unique and special, but often, after time it will at least retain, if not appreciate in value. Other benefits include the fact that you are engaging what I have heard called "elegant recycling", you are supporting small business, and you get to buy directly from the owner of the my case...that means Moi!

So, in a time of transition...a new president for the U.S. in January, economic challenges for many, housing and credit crunch, big bail outs for big businesses and corporations, and an ailing earth suffering from industrialization, global warming, limited energy supplies, what better time to recycle. Shop from home, click and buy, and better yet, find reputable family owned online businesses (like mine) to at least give a chance first....then if all else fails, gas up the Hummer, brave onto the highways to risk getting mauled at the mall, and then...and only then...check out the large chain stores!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

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