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Hillary Clinton IN Anthology

Hillary shops local/small/women-owned
Hillary shops local/small/women-owned business. Getty Images / Scott Olson


You can't make these things up, right? On Monday afternoon, I was working at my parents' house (they are the ones with the internet connection) and their phone rang a couple times, then my phone rang a few times - all unrecognized numbers from out of the area. I let them go to voicemail. Then my parents' phone rang again and I realized it was the same number that was just on my phone so, just in case it was Mom calling from someone else's phone, I pick up. Someone asking for Sachi, says she from the Clinton campaign. I figured it was soliciting donations so I wasn't exactly forthcoming. She said it was work related so I directed her to call the shop. She said she's been playing phone tag. That's about as helpful as I was. Sachi, by the way, had already left the shop because she was on her way to poll worker training.

It turns out that the Clinton campaign was trying to reach us because Hillary Clinton was coming to Anthology!

(Now, if I had been more helpful, it is possible that I would have gotten to meet Hillary Clinton which would have been pretty awesome, except for the fact that I had yoga at 7 pm and thus justified wearing yoga pants all day long plus my face is really peeling from the sunburn of last week's vacation. Not exactly sure I want that as part of Getty Images.)


The CNN reporter called us a "hipster knick knack store" but "Hillary goes shopping" is not enough of the story. I know, it's a great publicity stunt - stop by a small, local, independent business which is run by two sisters - it strikes all the right notes, hits a lot of target demographics, and all the politicians know it and do it. After all, Scott Walker goes shopping. He buys sweaters for $1 at a national corporation. He mentioned getting all his Christmas presents at the outlet mall. See any difference? He is thrifty and going to save us money, after all. Or was he? How's the long term deficit and revenue picture looking for this state again?

And I have some friends who claim that there is no difference between the Republican and Democrat parties, and I'm willing to grant them some points as far as large organizations whose partial aim is simply to ensure their success/profit. But I have spent the last five years here in Wisconsin, with a Governor who, when he choose a publicity stunt, does so at a private business which most likely donated money to his campaign and is expecting an exponential return on their dollar in the form of tax breaks or however it is Scott Walker is redistributing Wisconsin's assets. I have spent these years with the Republican party and as far as I can tell, the majority of the citizens of Wisconsin are not benefiting. I'm not impressed. I think the generosity with which you live your life and the success of other people begets your own success and I think the Democratic party is better at that than the Republican party is. (Now, I really believe that who you vote for President is really the teensiest thing that you can do to create the world we want for everyone's children and I think that a person really has to do a lot more really hard work to get things done but I still think there is an effect whether there's an R or a D in an office). I'm pretty sure that someone on the Clinton campaign knew darn well that she was going to find "keep calm and vote Hillary" buttons at our shop and it isn't exactly a secret about where we stand. But still, even if it is a calculated move on the part of an experienced politician (which they all are at that point in the game, be real) who knew she would be welcomed when she arrived, we are still a little giddy - think of all the places she has been and the people that she has met, and she came to our little store!

arrivals in review

Already into the third month of the year! Thinking about spring break... but also Mother's Day and graduation, summer tourist season... and that just brings me back to Christmas again. It's early enough in the year yet that I don't know what the holiday window is going to be so I'm spending a lot of time thinking about popular products, trends and themes. Can't wait to see what it will be! I'm planning the next couple windows including a market-themed window and birds and flowers for Mother's Day. I'm particularly loving these block-printed cards and seem to be using them in many of our spring windows. 


In a few weeks we are heading to Mexico for Spring Break... too cliche? But it will be warm and there are beaches. That's pretty much all I care about this time of year. Though spring is already starting to make its presence known, this is the time of year I repeat to myself the maxim: "no planting until after Mother's Day," which means there's a chance of frost until then.

Of course, the retail calendar being what it is, we're already thinking spring thoughts. I had an early customer (from the UK) ask about Mother's Day cards and I'm starting to run out of room in the drawers so I did some card rearranging this morning and put out the Mother's Day cards (though at the back of the store so if you aren't ready, you can just avoid them). Sachi and I are starting to make our wish lists for New York and the National Stationery Show. As always, we are eager to see what we see.

In the meantime, we've kept busy with arrivals: washi tape, Rifle Paper Co. florals, necklaces, journals, stickers & more.


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The coloring book trend is still going strong and we've continued to work on pulling together an interesting assortment. Animals with Jobs is currently sold out but the Evolution of Beyonce has been restocked, all the way from Canada.

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We''re definitely gearing up for summer tourist season so much of our focus has been on Wisco goodness, including cut-out felt key rings, Wisconsin beer bottle candles from Oshkosh, and adding to our t-shirt collection. 

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Sachi's Madison alphabet is back from the printers (on paper)(yet to come in dish towel form).


She's also working on some new Wisconsin holiday cards and a Wisco birthday card. We were inspired by a recent trip to Fond du Lac - Sachi was sketching up a new design on the car ride home.



After several months of nagging Sachi to make Wisconsin birthday cards, I decided I should practice what I preach so I made a few, including on using the constellations (which are also at the printer for what I'm sure will be a lovely screen print with white and metallic gold ink on navy paper). My other constellation print is also on its way to the printer so we should have a nice assortment for the summer.




Besides work in PhotoShop, I've been playing with  twinkling watercolors. I'm playing around with 2x2 squares, which will, presumably, turn into a 2x2 book for my holiday book trade.




Oh, and of course we are making buttons. No Trump buttons, not even as a joke.


Sachi and I are both preparing for upcoming workshops at area libraries. We recommend checking out the Bubbler workshop calendar as there are many more offerings beyond just ours. Sachi will be doing hand lettering and hoop embroidery; I've got paper flowers. As practice, and also because our doorstop was getting a little raggedy, I added more flowers to the pot on Sunday which was a nice springy task for such a cold rainy day.



I inherited some retail superstition from my last manager so there are a few plans in the works that I don't want to discuss in too much detail - suffice it to say they mean more cool product for the shop. Stay tuned!