Aug 20, 2006
Chicago Space is no longer just a space - it is Elizabeth House!
As you can see, the space has transformed into what I saw all along in this crazy head of mine. I am always excited when what I "see" in my head becomes a reality. Now, if only the success and fortune I "see" in my head would become a reality....but I must say, my life in my head is pretty fun. This Chicago space houses all of my custom work, higher end European pieces and a vision that is hard to express in my store, located in St. Louis.
I painted everything you see painted, except the wonderful antique French bed...that is all original. The bedding I custom designed as well as the chairs and love seat. While working for 3 long, long days and nights on this, one can lose perspective and appreciation. I just wanted to get it done and back to my store. After much needed sleep and rest, I downloaded my photos and it wasn't until that very moment, looking at my computer screen did I really see what I accomplished. I get tired all over again just looking at the photo! But, I am happy. I am fulfilled. I am content. What more could I ask for? I am blessed - my gift to create was given to me...it doesn't belong to me. I am suppose to share it. I only get to borrow for now until I am called to do something different. My biggest blessing? Having friends like you who cheer me on.
Thank you so much for your encouragement, support, and well wishes. I will post more photos after this posting, as again, this dang site wouldn't let me do it on this posting.
Okay, I will answer some questions that people have been asking me:
Why expand to Chicago?
Well, I wanted to try another market. Now, I have no idea if my style or vision will take in Chicago, and if it doesn't then I will just move my inventory back to my St. Louis store. I also wanted to try a higher end market. As much as I love St. Louis, it is pretty dang hard to make a living here. The cost of me producing my custom bedding, furniture and so on is not cheap. I must price accordingly to cover my costs and to make a living. That is hard to do here.
Are you going to move to Chicago?
To be honest, I just don't know. At the moment, I have no plans. But, there is one single philosophy that I truly live by: I am open to any and all opportunities that may come my way. Now, I always do my best to weigh the effects of such opportunities, but I have finally decided that it is really okay not to have all the answers before moving forward.
Where do you get your stuff?
Ha! Wouldn't you like to know??? :-) Actually, I get it through hunting, contacts, and just plain ole work. I lived in Europe for 6 years, know the markets pretty well, and I have contacts to help ship my furniture.
Are you going to open a store in Chicago?
That is something I've thought about, but again, I have no plans at this time. For now, I just need to see if this even takes off. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. I will just adjust accordingly. I know absolutely no one in the Chicago area and it would be hard to start all over in a new place. But then again, I didn't know a single person here in St. Louis either.
How are you going to manage both St. Louis and Chicago?
Good question. Actually, the store in St. Louis is up and going. The space is in Chicago is located in an existing store, Vintage Pine, which is ran by the owners. They will handle my sales. I will need to keep it stocked. Now that would be a great problem to have: having to make numerous trips to Chicago to restock!
You design, consult, own a store, have a space in Chicago, do professional photography, and now you are a contributor to Romantic Homes magazine...shouldn't you just pick one avenue and just concentrate on that?
A good friend, whom I respect highly asked me this question. Believe me, I think about that very thing every single day. But you know what? I always come to the same conclusion: I just don't want to choose. I want to do it all. I really do. Now, actually doing it all is a whole different story. That I haven't figured out yet. But my interests and passions are sprinkled in many different areas: design, writing, photography, selling.....I have always, always been this way. I do wish I could change it. In fact, I actually envy those individuals who just knew in high school that they wanted to be a lawyer or a banker, or an engineer. I really had so, so many interests, so many passions, that I just could never, ever just pinpoint my interests down into a single profession. I always joked that I will have to live to be 150 to do all that I want to do.
When do you sleep?
Yes, I actually get this question more often than any other question. I do sleep, really. But, I live on less sleep than most. I always have. As I age though, I find that my energy level is dropping some, which bums me out. And about every other month, I have a "recharge" day. I can flop on the sofa, watch TV, nap, and snack with the best of them. I will do that for about 24 hours, no phone, no socializing. And then I am recharged and ready to go again!
So for now, I will try to post more photos of my Chicago space. Please share my blogsite with your friends. Out of all the goals that I may have, I have always had one goal that is at the top of the list: To inspire women to live their passion through my designs and my adventures. Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me happier than when I get an email, phone call or letter from a total stranger telling me that my website, newsletter, blog, or magazine article inspired her. What an absolute honor to be in that position.
And what an honor to have you take time out of your day to see what else is going on with this little store owner.
from my house to your house,