Saturday, April 28, 2012

The. Big. News.

No pictures, is a no-no in blog land.
If I posted pictures, I wouldn't be able to write this post.
As of Jan. 1st 2013, we will be closing our doors.

I know, right?

The interesting thing is that I tell you this with a happy heart, and a serious plan for the 2013 season.

Now sit back and read, take it all in and I apologize for the length but I have to tell the story.
(or maybe that's enough for you and you are free to go)

Just before the economy tanked in 2008, we were at our all time best.  Movin and groovin making big plans and having a grand time... bills paid and pockets full.
Truthfully, I am very proud that we withstood that test.  It's not easy, especially when you rely solely on the tourist industry and four months of business to make or break you... and who takes a vacation when your retirement fund has gone up in smoke?

Anyway, we've been treading water and keeping up with the game. However, there was a point when I realized that treading water was taking the joy out of the business... then glimmer of an idea entered my thoughts.  "What if you closed, what would you do?".
Curl up in a ball and cry for years, and live a life full of regret, silly!
But this got the process rolling.

If I didn't have the day to day shopkeeping to deal with, what would I do... what do I do really well?

(read that as if a big booming voice was speaking to you)

So here's the plan:
I am going to make Viva's Vintage Market my business.  You may be familiar with the Farm Chicks Show, Junk Bonanza and the like... Door County is ripe for such an event, and I'm just the person to do it (if I do say so myself).   Every July we will continue to put on this vintage market, adding to the event classes for the creative soul making an entire weekend out of it.
 (my mind is spinning at the things we will do!)
I have two fabulous locations in mind, but that will come later.

Did you know that at my home I have a very cool barn and a great big field for parking?
Big plans going on for that as well, but you'll have to stay tuned for details.

Here's the other side of the story.
Door County is beautiful... stunning, all on it's own.  All on it's own.
However, as hosts to a tourism industry, things have become a little "tired" around the county.  We are in transition.  Very typical and natural incidents have contributed to this.  Those who blazed the trail for DC letting us ride on their coat tails and successes, are deserving of rest and reward, and should be able to depend on those of us who owe it to them and the county,  to step up and make things happen.

That being said, we are in transition and I am seeing a handful of wonderful places being created by the next generation that thrills me!  It's a slow process, but it's happening.

So. Viva la Cottage will be a very happening place this season.  We'll be focusing more on the "vintage" theme so you'll get the feel for next year, and we'll have post cards available in June with all of the dates for 2013.

And one more thing...
The more personal struggle.  An article was written over the winter calling Sister Bay the "dead zone"(off season that is), which is unfortunate but true.  Am I contributing to that?  I know I am letting people down by closing... major gut wrench.  If you know my shop, there is not anything in the county that would replace that fix should you need one.  I'm really proud of that, but at the same time guilt is creeps in.
What it boils down to is my love for Door County and realizing that I need to step up and work as hard as I can to be a draw, create events that are new and different... and give my heart to the place I call home hoping to give what I've taken over the years.

Okay.  Come and see us this season, events are planned and over the top.

 Hey, in January I will do a tell all post with stories reflecting over the past 16 years... should I start the snake stories (oh yes, there's more than one) or the man washing and waxing with the shop's water hose in the parking spot right by the front door... or the man who skidded, gravel flying into the parking lot and honked until his wife came out (they had to be a least 75 years old) or the man who used my bathroom, mentioned to me on his quick way out the door that I need a plunger and have a "blessed" day....or should I wax poetic about the tour buses where all the old ladies disappeared into the bathroom and I was missing dozens of luxurious soaps?  Or.... the really old guy who was a band leader in his day that propped himself at the top of the stairs snapping his fingers and shaking his hips belting out show tunes and had us all grinning from ear to ear?

Don't even get me started about Carol.
Or Peter.

Lots of love and hugs to you all... you've meant the world to me over the years, and cheers to things to come, for all of us.
All of us.



  1. I am super happy for you! I will miss your store. I have been in this business for over 30 years....Since I was 12 years old. I too have many "are you kidding me?" stories. But that is the nature of the ANY retail setting (I worked for many major companies too. Gap Daytons). I really hope you don't share the stories. I know it would make you feel too... but we are in that kind of business and those are the things we put up with. Venting is good...but maybe not on a blog. Tourism is our living. The good, the bad, the ugly yet they are our customers. So I hope you reconsider the "snake" stories.

    1. Hi Lisa, I only tell stories that are funny and curious! Would never write anything hurtful. I love my customers! And the snake story is a doozy, and no one was hurt... not even the snake!

  2. Nah, tell the stories! :p I can always use a good laugh! Love those snake stories! :D

    1. Emma!!! You know the snake story is a classic. I laugh every time I think about it. Keep those beautiful pics of the boys coming. They're precious.

  3. WAIT!!!! I just read to the point where you said you were in Door County! We have a home just south of Sturgeon Bay and will be there in a few weeks. Do you have a shop there? I'm so sorry if I'm asking questions that I should know the answers to. Good luck with your new venture!

    1. Yes! We are just before Sister Bay on Hwy 57 and Q. Our neighbors are Chelsae Antiques and the Door County Bakery. Come and see us!

  4. Hello!! I'd LOVE to be a part of your vending ventures. I'm in Door County a lot and think it's the most wonderful place on Earth (i know, i know i don't get out much). :-D But truly, my family vends at Junk Bonanza and Junk Bazaar in Chicago, Hawthorne Hill Farm in New Berlin, Elkhorn Flea, etc. It's our passion!! Once you get that far, please email us at as we'd love info on dates, prices, etc for vending with you and your fabulous group.
    Good luck this last year and congratulations on your next journey. It will be hard work, but so fun. I'll be stopping by as much as possible until you're closed :)

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  6. For goodness sake!! A blog without stories?? What is the point of a blog if not to have a connection with the blogger? And what better way than your marvelously entertaining stories?!! Flying snakes and all!! We love you and wish you the best and know that anything you do will be fantastic!!!

  7. Hi Angie!
    Reading this late. Hate to see shop close, but I understand! Calling on small "ma & pa" independent retailers for years(Sales)let me see how hard it is today to make a long-term go of it. That said the other doors you will open, as you close this one sound exciting! Jeanine and I support you 100%+

    As for "not getting started" on Carol & Peter...PLEASE DO! Like them both immensely and want it all!

    Your FROGGY friend in Cedarburg

    1. Mr. Froggy,
      Thanks for the kind words... and like your "better half" it's time to make the right move. I will miss the store so much, especially having visitors like the two of you.

      I will have to let you in on Carol and Peter as I have a million stories... more to come.
      Thanks, Jeff.


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