Sunday, January 31, 2010

Big Business for Little Business (and Moop hearts Miller High Life)


As you all know, I am a small business owner. I am also a bit of a sports fan (basketball, really). I also like beer. So, I was super excited to see all of those things come together in a big big way! Have you all heard about the Miller High Life campaign for this year's Super Bowl? They have decided to give their ad spots to small businesses...really small businesses. It's a pretty extensive campaign, too. They have a complete website highlighting each business and their owners, links to their shops as well as the ad campaign that will run during the big game...the most expensive advertising spot on television!

I've said before, small is the new big, and it's great to see the big guys trying to navigate that. Don't think I'm naive, I know it's a Miller High Life campaign and they know the value of what they're doing...the big corporate pat on the back for supporting small business while advertising themselves. In this case, I'm okay with it. Those small businesses are going to benefit more from this campaign than Miller will. Miller itself is supported by so many small businesses all over the world. The collective big-ness of every small bar, restaurant, cafe, frat house, etc. that supports Miller High Life is substantial. It's kind of like a big thank you to all of them while also giving a few small businesses an unparalleled opportunity - it's like winning the business lottery. I think it's great and I just might drink Miller High Life during this year's Super Bowl to show my thanks to such a huge company for supporting businesses like my own. I just want to add this one last thing: Miller High Life, when you do this ad campaign again next year, you should consider Moop. We're very small, don't mind being on camera and would love to be featured. Just think about it...ok?!


p.s. if you follow the links to "the other guys" one of the businesses is Jerry's Records, right here in Pittsburgh! And, another is Robert is Here, the most amazing fruit stand my family and I frequented all growing up during trips to south Florida.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Decorating with lemons



We have been in Pittsburgh for just about 7 months. When we arrived, we did the best we could to get things up and running hoping to minimize our down time. Everything came together nicely and it felt workable enough. One thing we have learned from the last several months running a high producing studio in a store front space is that you are always on display - often feeling like you're in a fish bowl. It was beginning to get to us. So, we rearranged (partly in preparation for a third sewing station..for our new assistant who will be starting soon!!) and we added some trees to the windows. They form a screen between the street and us without covering the windows with curtains. It's amazing how much a few trees can completely change the feel of a space. We added a HUGE schefflera, a plant whose name I can't remember and a lemon tree! We're growing lemons in the studio! This will be a fun experiment.


The next phase?? Custom building all of our shelving and parts storage....though, don't expect photos on that project any time soon...we're still sewing 7 days a week completing all of the orders in queue (if you're waiting on an order...it will arrive soon!).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Help for Haiti



Hi All,
Just wanted to let you know, we've donated a Market Bag to the Haiti Relief Fundraiser sponsored by Jenn from IndieFixx. It's set up like a silent auction of sorts. You can leave your bid in the comments section of the auction page. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to The Red Cross International Response Fund. Jenn has already raised $1521 of aid - let's step it up and see if we can raise that much more! Our auction ends tomorrow, so get your bids in now!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

I double heart Chicago

We just returned from the most fun two days away in Chicago. It was so great! We arrived on Friday afternoon and stayed at The Blackstone. It was so beautiful and comfortable I would have been happy to not have done anything else but lounge around the hotel. I was feeling a little stressed to be gone from the studio for 2 days (we're so behind with orders, sewing and sewing and sewing 7 days a week). When we arrived and walked into the room, all of those worries vanished and it felt so so good to be away from everything. Even though I still had a few hours of email/web work to do before we could do anything else, I was so relaxed that it didn't matter.

After our bits of work were done we spent the evening wandering around the city, had a great dinner at Rodan then headed over to The Empty Bottle for the Joan of Arc show.


The show was sold out before the doors even opened and it did not disappoint. I met a number of Jeremy's pals for the first time - it was great to finally do so. It was, as promised, a variety show - with 12 acts, each playing for 15 min. sets, complete with a charming emcee. Jeremy's set was great! He played with Todd Mattei. Then, about 2/3 of the way through the night, a BIG surprise happened....Tim, Mike, Davey, Victor and Sam made their way to the stage and Cap'n Jazz reunited!!!! They were announced under the penname Local Cover Band and I was so happy to be there!

We started the next day with brunch at Flo's. Every time I have been there, I have left feeling as though I have just had the best meal ever. No exaggeration. Then we walked all over Wicker Park for some exploring.


We stopped in a great furniture store called Stitch because they had the Gus couch I've been wanting. Seeing it in person made me want it even more! It definitely lives up to the hype. It is so well made and beautifully designed.


I checked out the Renegade Shop (fun to finally see).


I bought a coat from Penelope. After spending a long time trying things on and wanting everything in there it has become one of my favorite clothing shops. They have a nicely edited collection of all my favorite brands.


We stopped in Alliance Bakery for Macaroons (they were delicious!).



Then we wandered over to Quimbys where we bought a few new books, one of which I can't wait to start reading, Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing and the Erosion of Integrity.

It was a great trip, full of everything I wish I could do on a daily basis. In short, the perfect weekend getaway. Let's do this more often, ok!?!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Joan of Arc Presents:



If you happen to be in Chicago this Friday night, Jeremy and I will be at The Empty Bottle for the Joan of Arc CD release compilation variety show featuring many past and present members of the band. Jeremy will be playing and I'll be watching....come by if you can!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Help is ON the way!

I am happy to say, we have just finished our hiring process and have two fantastic new additions to the Moop studio! We will introduce both to you as everyone settles into their places and roles. I can't tell you how much of a relief this will be. Jeremy and I have been working non-stop since we relocated to Pittsburgh almost 7 months ago (I can't believe that much time has passed) and are looking forward to work days shorter than 15 hours (which has been my average work day for the last 3 years!)...it won't come right away, but we can see it on the horizon. YAY!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Favorite recent reads


Admittedly, I am in a stage of life where I do not get much opportunity to sit down and read books. Instead, I/we listen to audio books all day long while working in the studio. It's a great way to keep us (*ahem* me) literate. We joined Audible last year and it has been well worth every penny.

One of the most thoroughly entertaining books we've listened to has been Julian Rubinstein's, The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber. I fell in love with the main character, Atilla and all of his habits. It's the true story of a Hungarian bank robber, a hockey goalie, Transylvania and a country in transition. You won't regret sitting down to read it or spending a few days listening to the audio version (which is read by the author). And, if you're like me, you might briefly romanticize whiskey...until you drink too much, then you'll regret ever drinking the stuff.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Straps


For all of you who received a Letter Bag for Christmas but did not get the option with the adjustable/removable strap (or for those of you in need of a replacement strap) - we've just made it possible for you to order one - woo woo!

You can find it in our shop in two length options. The standard length is what is sold with The Tote, The Porter and The Letter Bag. The extended option gives you an extra 7 inches.