Posts Tagged ‘small business’

Hello 2015! New adventures on the horizon

Welcome 2015 -- dogs in hats

Holy cow.  Welcome to the new year.  2015 is going to be amazing.  I can feel it.  I suppose I’m a tad late with this post, so let’s catch up.  Christmas was filled with all kinds of family, lots of travel, and a great deal of fun.  We celebrated our 1-year houseiversary and rang in the New Year with good friends and dogs!  Mine is the one with the hat.  Luckily my friend brought him an NYE date.  Aside from all the celebrating, I’ve been working my tail off because I have a big announcement!

I have opened a small space for my shop, The Brass Giraffe, in a monthly tag sale event called The Vintage Tin Can!  Shout it from the rooftops, baby!  I’m pumped!  I couldn’t be more excited or more worn out.  I’ve been working since the end of December to design my space, gather inventory, and sew, sew, sew for my studio collection!  Now you see why the blog was neglected!  The store had their grand opening on January 23rd.  I’m lucky enough to have a few hundred square feet to call my own alongside 35 other vendors.

Over the holidays, I went to a popular tag sale in Fallston, The Painted Mill.  I was blown away by the creativity.  I was kicking myself for not being a part of such a creative endeavor.  I had previously worked another market with the owner of The Painted Mill, but when she opened her new shop a year ago the timing wasn’t right for my business and my health.  So a few days later, when I discovered that a different person was opening a similar style shop just steps away, I felt like the stars were aligning.  This little area in Fallston was turning into Tag Sale Haven!  My handmade handbags and vintage style made the cut over at The Vintage Tin Can!  Suddenly weeks were flying by as the sale was fast approaching.  I was running on pure adrenaline stocking my space and fighting through some of the worst back pain I’ve had in my life.  Setting up a space while wearing a back brace is neither fun nor fashionable.

I meant to post teaser photos.  I meant to make an announcement.  I meant to sleep more than I actually did.  Basically, my life turned into retail prep full time!  Even as I write this, I can see our fully decorated Christmas tree in our living room, so being behind at home is an understatement!  It took many hours and the help of my family and fiance, but we pulled it together and it was incredible!  Honestly, I can’t thank you all enough for your help!

Take a look at the transformation of my space….

Blank slate at The Vintage Tin Can!

Blank slate at The Vintage Tin Can!

Brass Giraffe at Vintage Tin Can - Progress4

My father and fiance hard at work stapling fabric to the wall.

Ready for the molding!

Ready for the molding!

Brass Giraffe at Vintage Tin Can - Progress

The wall is complete!

The final product.   Ready for the January 2015 Grand Opening!

The final product. Stocked and ready for the January 2015 Grand Opening!

It all came together brilliantly.  Thank you for your help Mom, Dad, and Dillon!  I couldn’t have done it without you!  To the customers who shopped the sale or stopped in to see what it was all about, I appreciate your support!  Sabrina Barney, the store’s owner, has put together a fantastic group of vendors.  Her passion for this vision shows through in the hard work she and her family have put in to transforming the space.  The group of vendors in the store are some of the most caring, talented, and wonderful people that I’ve met in a long time.  It’s a pleasure to be working alongside them.  To say that January has been busy is an understatement.  It was truly an amazing experience and I’m really looking forward to the one in February!

I’m overwhelmed with excitement to be involved in a creative community.  A few posts back, I was talking about my lack of inspiration for vintage clothing and was debating where I was headed.  I can now say that The Brass Giraffe will be merging the two worlds of vintage and modern style.  My goal is to bring together curated vintage pieces, both in fashion and home decor, with handcrafted items — starting with my handbag line.  I’ll be steadily working on my own line, designed and produced in my studio, with the ultimate goal of launching a full blown, online shop for the vintage loving, modern woman.

Please excuse our mess over at The Brass Giraffe.  I haven’t been updating online as much as I’d like and our website layout is not my favorite thing at the moment.  I think a facelift is in order as I reinvent my shop!  Stay tuned.  I’ll try to chime in with some posts more frequently! Thanks for following along!

For the most recent updates on The Brass Giraffe — Find us on Facebook and Instagram.  Also find out about The Vintage Tin Can’s upcoming sales on their Facebook page!

Introducing, The Brass Giraffe Studio

I hope that you support your local and favorite small businesses year-round, but today is designated as Small Business Saturday to encourage everyone to shop small for the holidays!  This particular Small Business Saturday marks an important milestone in my own business endeavor.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am a designer and I own a vintage shop, The Brass Giraffe.  Well, as of today, The Brass Giraffe will no longer only be known for vintage!  I welcome the launch of The Brass Giraffe Studio, a place to find handcrafted, one-of-a-kind, high-quality accessories!

The Brass Giraffe Studio

It is something that has been in the works for awhile, but after a burst of recent inspiration I decided to take the leap!  I always saw the future of The Brass Giraffe as a full online boutique and today I took one step closer to that goal.  Currently, the studio is only carrying our house line, Gilly Lynn, which I design and handcraft exclusively.  Eventually I hope to expand this section to include other independent designers and artisans.  Go for your dreams.

Bohemian Diamond Clutch: by our house label Gilly Lynn

Bohemian Diamond Clutch: by our house label Gilly Lynn.  Find it here.

So while you’re shopping small this holiday season, stop by our website The Brass Giraffe for vintage and be sure to visit the Studio for handcrafted designs!

Are you shopping small for the holidays?

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Handcrafted Mountain Clutches

I’m currently working on a handbag line.  Did I mention I’m a designer as well as a vintage shop owner and blogger?  I’ve sold a several pieces, had accessories featured in boutiques, presented a clothing collection at Baltimore Fashion Week (2011), and was featured on Baltimore’s WJZ Morning Show.  I’m trying to tailor my design aesthetic and really figure out where I want to go.  Easy right?  I wish.  Flashback to the million dollar question: what do you want to be when you grow up?

So here are two handbags that I’ve designed and hand crafted with my industrial sewing machine. They fit the bill for the mountain theme on the blog right now, so I thought it was appropriate to show them off and get your feedback.

Southwestern Pattern Fabric and Leather clutch - Handcrafted by Amanda Gill

Southwestern Pattern Fabric and Leather clutch – Handcrafted by Amanda Gill

Hunter Green Mountain Wristlet by Amanda Gill

Hunter Green Mountain Wristlet by Amanda Gill

These two pieces were cut from the same fabric and feature hunter green leather on the back with a leather wristlet strap.  I’ll have to get a snapshot of the entire print of the fabric.  It’s huge — which is wonderful because it allows for design freedom and maybe a massively printed tote bag.  The larger clutch features an orange lining with 3 interior pockets.  You need to be able to separate your stuff!  The wristlet features 1 pocket.

I was originally designing under the name Gilly Lynn, but lately I’ve been wondering if it’s time to merge my work with The Brass Giraffe or go with something a little less feminine in case I want to venture into a men’s leather accessory collection.  I’m a woman and a designer, so it’s only naturally for me to change my mind every now and then.

I want your thoughts!  Seriously, what do you think?  Do you like the fabric?  Is it something you’d carry?  I know I would, but I want to hear what you think.  What do you want out of your clutch?  What do you look for specifically when you pick out a handbag?  Oh, you love it so much you want to buy one?  I think we can arrange that… 

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