Happy New Year! We hope that you and yours enjoy a very happy & successful, creative & colorful New Year! We are thankful for every little thing that every person has contributed to Anthology - not just in terms of dollars and cents, but in terms of the moral support, the appreciation, the kind words, the creative inspiration... the list goes on. We closed out 2009 today and are happy to report tremendous growth as we have learned much about running a business, have stretched ourselves as artists, have filled in spaces on the walls and in the drawers, and, yes, have even increased our sales (double digits, no less) compared to 2008. Thank YOU! Thanks to the many artists who share their work and fill our shelves, thanks to our customers who appreciate the collection we've gathered and our hours of hard work, thanks to our friends and family who provide such support and patience, thanks to this amazing and inspiring world, and thanks to every little ounce of creative energy.
Just last night a customer came into the store and said to me, "I love this place. There is such care everywhere, everything in it has such heart. It makes me a little misty-eyed." And honestly, people tell me things like that EVERY single day! Wow! Am I lucky or what?!
And really, all I was intending to say here on the last day of 2009 was thank you, but of course, there are other things that come to mind. Chief among them is looking ahead to 2010. Sachi and I are already busy thinking up some new projects, both for ourselves, and also for the craft table. We will be going to the Craft & Hobby Association trade show at the end of January. We are greatly looking forward to the trip, and not just because it is in southern California (though that doesn't hurt). Last year, we found lots of new art supplies and project ideas and inspiration and we can hardly wait to see what we bring back this year! I'm also hoping to add to our craft party selection and have been spending a lot of time browsing online. So many things to see and do! Martha Stewart.... well, it's Martha, what do you expect? I've found a number of possibilities and, quite frankly, am a little overwhelmed with all the things to do, but I managed to focus long enough to make these little goodies. They seem like an appropriate activity for the new year so we'll have them at the store just as soon as I gather all the supplies. Super simple to make, but how fun would it be to have a bowl of these as party favors? Ta da! Martha used felt but I like to create a double-sided effect using some of my many quilt scraps. Now I just have to decide on some suitable fortunes to tuck inside.
And finally, I wanted to share an excerpt from my holiday letter here because it seems fitting:
so she can stop worrying about whether it will happen or not. - Brian Andreas
There is something tremendously rewarding about taking a big risk such as starting a business. Besides the financial risk, there is a great degree of vulnerability that many people are not sensitive to. Yes, it can be painful, to open oneself up so publicly, to risk the criticism, the lack of understanding, the disinterest. It is especially tempting, as an artist and an introvert, to just stay holed up in my studio. But in pushing myself to lean, to reach, to connect, I have been met with such enthusiasm that the fall has a soft landing. Daily I have people tell me how much they love the store and how much they’ve been inspired and I feel truly fortunate to be able to play such a role in so many people’s lives.
& suddenly there was music everywhere & it went on for a very long time
& when I finally found words all I could say was thank you. - Brian Andreas
I am grateful to all the people in my lives who share their music, their passion, their art, and inspire me to share my own.
The world is filled with amazing inspirations, opportunities and fortunes; I hope you find the best of them in the New Year!