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?
PLAN AND HOST SPECIAL EVENTS.
(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.
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.