Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

On the eve of Christmas Eve, we would like to thank all of our customers and neighbors that have come out to shop and share with us this season. In our unofficial poll of shoppers, we have seen people who are willing to shop around for things that mean something to them.

Fair trade is not so foreign a word this year, and hand-crafts are making a comeback. I love seeing people who are wrapping their presents in re-usable bags and giving local art as gifts. I really believe that if we take the time to shop around for things, we will spend more carefully and buy things we really need or love.

Christmas parties this year have taken on more meaning as people seem to really want to connect with friends and prop up each other in these tough times. This Christmas we want to take time to thank those that open their homes to us.

Last minute tips:
Alternative wrapping is the norm now - newspaper, aluminum foil, and paper shopping bags are all great alternatives.
Can't think of a gift for someone close? Burn a CD of your favorite tunes or songs that remind you of them. Music makes a nice gift that reflects your personality and doesn't involve big boxes and waste.

Friday, December 12, 2008

TSM at the WMNF Holiday Bazaar Saturday Dec. 13th

Just a quick note to remind everyone of the WMNF Holiday Bazaar and Record Sale tomorrow in Ybor at the Cuban Club. The weather report is sunny and cool! We will be set up outside with the food vendors and the music. Oh yeah! Live music! Not only do we get to commune with fellow WMNF lovers, we get to to listen some great bands.

According to the radio station's website:
10:00 AM Maggie Council
11:00 AM Juniper
11:40 AM Talk to Mark
12:20 PM Acho Brother
1:00 PM The Human Condition

Come out and support this great radio station, and get your Christmas shopping done in style. Where else can you shop to live music at one of the most beautiful historical buildings in Tampa? If you haven't been in the Cuban Club - do yourself a favor. Get down there. The tile work and those awesome stairway banisters are amazing! There will be tons of great records and books, music equipment, and artists and crafters. We will bring a few pieces of furniture for examples of our stuff, and lots of our fair trade ornaments and gift choices.

Hours are 10 to 5 - See you there!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Biggest Shopping Weekend of the Year

As the analysts tally their numbers and the big box stores sharpen their pencils, the holiday weekend was kicked off in our neighborhood with a sputter. Luckily I don't have to wonder if this last weekend was the biggest shopping weekend of the year for us. I know without a doubt that there will be better weekends to come. For one thing, we were closed. What? Closed? Didn't I just say this was the biggest shopping weekend of the year? If you weren't one of the many disappointed shoppers that visited us this weekend then let me catch you up. Our building is old. How old, nobody seems to really know that we've talked to. I will concede that old buildings have flaws and can occasionally let you down. That was clear on Friday, when we opened our doors to the flickering lights of an electrical problem. I had to use an extension cord to hook up our computer so that we could make a sale. When customers ask if you paid the light bill, nobody is laughing. Our landlord was incommunicado and the only shining light was our hero the helpful Teco electrician that offered me a flashlight while we diagnosed a nightmare of mixed up wiring. We made it through that in time to salvage the afternoon and have a pretty decent day. We have very patient customers! Then Saturday we arrived at our aging storefront to find a puddle of sorts on the floor... a very smelly puddle. After digging into the wall nearby in search of a source, I came to the realization that the water was coming up from the floor. We had not found a well, but noticed a sloppily patched piece of flooring with pinholes spewing water. My landlord of course did not want to pay weekend rates for a plumber, so I hastily volunteered to pound my way through the floor with a sledgehammer and locate the leak. What I found was some sort of old "soaker" tank according to the plumber that I met on Monday - two days later. I would like to imagine that if Target had a leak, they would have a plumber there about two seconds later, but the little guy is stuck there with a sledgehammer in his hand. Amazingly, no furniture was damaged, as we caught it early and moved everything out of the way. So eventually they fixed it, and now the leak has moved. It is now leaking in the store next door. The plumber will have to come back and dig again! We are still open, but I think we have solved the mystery of why no other businesses could make this spot work. How many mornings do you come in to a smelly puddle on the floor and a landlord that says it is your problem to deal with? Again, thanks for all your patience!