Friday, October 31, 2008

From the Owner . . .

Thanks to all of you who took the time to make suggestions for the new and improved Novel Approach. I read--and enjoyed--all of them and will say more as time permits. Today’s topic is: The Crop Room. In summary, you want a wider, larger, less cluttered, better arranged, more user friendly room with more seating, more work space, more comfortable chairs, and refreshments.

We agree with it all! We improved our refreshment selections. M&Ms were, are and always will be on our “menu.” Canned soft drinks are still in the refrigerator, and there’s a fancy new coffee system. Please, help yourselves. We’ve changed some things we hope will reduce our clutter. As for the rest . . .

The crop room is about all it can be--there is no more space. (Several suggested we take over what was Toddler Town. That is a GREAT idea, except that I can’t afford the extra $3-to-5k rent, unless y’all want to contribute to the cause!!!)

We’ve had different table arrangements in the past, but what we have now is the best. It lets us seat more people, with an adequate amount of work space, than any of the others do. The crowding on the floor and on the tables is not under our control. We can’t do anything about it, but YOU can. You can bring less with you. Before you get upset, let me finish!

One night I watched a young woman struggle to bring in 3 large rolling totes, a luggage cart with 3 plastic crates strapped to it, and several tabletop totes. Since the crop time is usually less than 6 hours, I wondered how much of it she realistically could use? Think about what you usually bring and how much you actually use. Is there anything you can do without? If everyone brings even one less item, there will be a noticeable increase in table and walking space.

I am not saying you can’t bring as much as you want with you because you can. I’m simply saying what I’ve been thinking about. I hope you will consider my idea. If you like it, try it. If you don’t like it, don’t do it.

Mary Lou

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We Are Finally OPEN!

After much anticipation- WE ARE FINALLY OPEN. We are so excited for you to see the new store. Also, we would like to thank ALL of our wonderful customers and reps who came help arrange merchandise, rearrange merchandise, and unwrap paper... we couldn't have done it without you.

On Saturday we will have our bag sale (and the crop room is FULL of goodies to fill the bag).

We will have our Grand Re-Opening sometime in November with door prizes, make and takes, etc. but we just could not stand being closed one more day!

We have lots of new stuff and more on the way, just bear with us a little longer as we get the boxes unloaded.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Future Looks Bright

Well, we can FINALLY see the light at the end of the tunnel! Our contractors finished last night, and we finally have the place to ourselves to start putting the shop back together! Yes, folks, we are planning to re-open our doors next week on Thursday, Oct. 30. You are going to LOVE our new look! Now, keep in mind we are still figuring out what we DON'T have, so bear with us as we continue to re-stock. The GRAND re-opening will be later in November, with make-n-takes and door prizes!

Many of you have offered to help us get ready to re-open. Next week, on Tuesday, Oct. 28 and Wednesday, Oct. 29, we would LOVE to have help dusting shelves, putting out merchandise, and opening paper packs (woo hoo!). We will be here between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm both days.

On Saturday, Nov.1, we will be having our much-anticipated HURRICANE SALE! Many of you loved our "sack sale" last November (our answer to Black Friday). This time, the crop room will be filled with merchandise that Ike left a little rippled, splattered, or wrinkled, but still very useable! You will be able to fill a paper bag for $25.00 or one of our canvas Novel Approach bags for $100.00 (yes, you can bring your own, but it is still $100.00)! Keep in mind that most of the merchandise is new stuff that we had JUST put out before the storm, so even though you may get it for a great bargain next week, you may see the same lines (if we reordered them) out in the store for full price.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone! We have missed you all!

Melissa, Sue, Karen, and Mary Lou

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One Step Forward...Two Steps Back

That is how we have been feeling when we leave the store each afternoon lately. Today, we woke up so excited because we thought we were one step closer to getting the store back in order... until we unlocked the front door. Imagine our shock to find MORE of our new ceiling tiles wet with rain water from our new leaking roof... sigh again. We placed a phone call to our property management company and started cleaning up the mess. Then after lunch when we were "un-earthing" our Accu-Cut dies that we had stored in our kitchen area, guess what we found.....yep, more mold (and yet another call to the property management, they are on speed now). BIG SIGH !
On the bright side (behind all that rain), we did get our front counter about 50% completed, about 99% of our slat wall installed and all of our Accu-Cut dies back on their shelves. We are truly grateful that there were only two steps back today, it could have been much worse.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Patience Is A Virtue???

In the world of fast food, fast cars, fast weight loss, and fast money- why can't there be fast construction??? We are ready for the store to be OPEN. We feel like we are playing the walnut shell game where you shuffle the ball around and hope you choose the right nut. That is what we have been doing with all of our merchandise and fixtures for the past few days trying to work around all of our subcontractors. I must say it is a dance of sorts.

To top it all off, just when we think our construction is coming to an end - We find more remnants of Ike in the form of mold in two other places of the store, our NEW A/C starts leaking on our NEW ceiling tile which drips onto our NEW carpet, we find that water has settled under the bathroom floor, the workers in the space next to us spilled water on the floor which flowed under the wall and into our space, AND our backdoor lock broke... ALL ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON!

Enough complaining, we truly are thankful that we even have contractors in the store doing the work at all. Our property management told us that if we had waited on them, we would still be about 4-6 weeks out. But we feel that since there is paint on the wall and carpet on the floor we should be open for business......sigh!!! Oh the plus side, it IS nice to go "out to lunch" with your co-workers :)

I will leave you with a few pictures of us around the store. I also want to thank all of you that have lent us a helping hand, brought us cookies and kept us in their prayers. It is TRULY APPRECIATED.

Friday, October 3, 2008

How to leave a comment.

It has come to my attention that a few of you reading this don't know how to leave a comment for us. Well, I am going to try my best to give a quick tutorial. Please keep in mind that it is 2:45am and I am up ONLY because our new kitten decided it was hungry (forgive me for any mistakes). It looks long and drawn out- but it is very simple:

1. At the end of each blog that we post (next to the date and time the blog was posted) will be how many comments have been left so far. Click on that.

2. A screen will come up that has the comments that others have left for us (on the left) and a box on the right that says "leave your comment". This is where you type all of your lovely comments :)

3. Below the comment box you must check your identity (only on this blog, not in real life).
A) If you choose Google/Blogger you must sign in, this is a free service that only takes a second to do and will make leaving comments in the future a LOT easier. With this feature you will also be able to be a "follower". This gives you the option to automatically receive a quick e-mail from Google when we post a blog. I highly recommend this because we won't always post a blog AND send an e-mail to our mailing list.
B) Open ID (I have absolutely no clue on this)
C) Name/ URL: This is where you just tell us who you are.
D) Anonymous: This for the scaredy cats who don't want us to know who they are, but everyone is welcome to leave a comment.

4. At this point you can >"publish" your comments for all to see, or "preview" what you said to see if it is correct.

OK, I hope I have cleared up some confusion about blogging. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail the store and I will try to clear it up for you.

Moving right along....we got paint on Thur. and will get carpet Fri. (and maybe into Mon.) Everything is coming together so well.
Karen and Melissa went to Florida to a mini-convention to take some wonderful classes as well as buy new merchandise to fill up the store. They will be home Mon. eve. Please keep them in your prayers.

By the way, the picture below is what we mean by we can't find anything in the store right now. EVERYTHING in our store is in this room and the smaller sticker room behind it. So when you call us (during a scrapbooking emergency), this is what we mean...WE REALLY CAN'T FIND IT !

Well, it is 4:10am and the darn kitten is alseep on my lap, so I am heading back to bed! I will try to post again with more pictures.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Remodeling Has Started

It's early morning, but I thought I would give you a quick glimpse on the progress of the store:

Everyday we get a little closer to getting back to "normal"- what ever that may be. The crew has been hard at work making some major decisions, and some minor ones as well. We can't wait for you to see the new store.
We are starting to receive merchandise again, thank goodness, because I think we were all going through withdrawals not seeing our UPS and FedEx drivers (don't know if they felt the same about us as they were carrying in those heavy boxes of cardstock).
For those of you who have asked about classes and crops being canceled or rescheduled... We will call everyone who has signed up for any class or crop as soon as we "unearth" our sign up book (I will post a picture of that later). Most classes will be rescheduled, including our Breast Cancer crop, but if not we will issue a refund.
Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to check on us and the store. Mary Lou said it best...OUR CUSTOMERS ARE THE GREATEST.
I will leave you with a few pictures of our progress, and you are more than welcome to leave us with comments :)

Have a great day!