MIMI-TORIA"S DESIGNS ONLINE Square Market Online Store

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Trunk Show at Marishka's on St. Germain


Located in St. Cloud, MN, this boutique style shop, is tucked away in a beautifully restored building in the downtown historic shopping district on St. Germain Street.  Marishka's is located at: 811 West St. Germain Street in a thriving neighborhood of eclectic shops.

Mary Franke, the passionate shop owner will greet you with a smile as you enter the front door and you will leave feeling like an old friend.  The warmth of Mary and the atmosphere of her incredible shop will send you off vowing you'll be back soon.  Her unique treasures in vintage, European antiques, repurposed treasures she picks for her shops, boutique style gorgeous clothing lines for both women and men, scarves and fun accessories, home furnishings new and vintage, home accessories and up to the minute updated jewelry keeps you coming back.  Most items are one-of-a-kind, so when you see it and love it, you buy it.

Right inside the front door there was a beautiful Fall Harvest display of hand created velvet pumpkins in which real stems from last years pumpkins were used.  They are all the rage online, but Marishka's was my first introduction to these lovely designs located on the bed in the above photo.  They are gorgeous...

Mary has a great eye for detail and merchandising her shop...the photo above with the  fresh produce nestled on the straw bale, with the pumpkin sign beckoning behind,  is an example of her talent.  Her merchandising is layered beautifully and there is always a scene waiting to be discovered in her store.

Home furnishing accessories, some new, mostly vintage and usually gracing a lovely patina on them.

Mary offers both soft and hard furniture pieces in her shop. 
 Note the incredible original brick wall in the background...

Beautiful wood floors adds to the ambience...

Lovely one-of-a-kind home furnishings...

She carries multiple lines of jewelry, as well as artist created designs in which she hand picks.   She carries accessories such as purses, scarves, belts and other fashion finds which are also tastefully hand picked by Mary, to accent and enhance the clothing lines that she sells in her shop.

Mimi-Toria's Designs Jewelry
will be coming to her shop November 18th.
Mary also searches out MN artists and I am happy to say I will be her featured Artist at her shop during the upcoming St. Cloud Fall Art Crawl, in the downtown shopping district in St. Cloud.  It will be held on November 18 from 5-8 p.m and I will be doing a Trunk Show in her shop during this event.  

Marishka's is a perfect match up for my Mimi-Toria's Jewelry and it will be great to be working with her.  As you can see Mary uses vintage displays to feature her jewelry she has for sale and it is a perfect fit for my vintage redesign jewelry I create.

There is a great area in her shop that has wonderful clothing for sale too.  The shop has four different distinct areas as well as the most gorgeous changing room ever.  I love her changing room.  See photos below.

The lovely changing room!  My personal favorite spot in the store...

I love this sign and exposed area in the changing room...
you can't fake this look.

Some examples of the beautiful antique furniture you will find peppered through out her shop.

Below are some photos of the Mimi-Toria's Designs Jewelry pieces 
that I will be selling at the 
Trunk Show 
at Marishka's
811 West St. Germain Street
 on November 18th from 5-9 p.m.

I hope to see you at the Trunk Show, but if you can't make it then, be sure to take the time to stop on in and check out this downtown gem in St. Cloud.  I promise you won't be sorry you did.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ETSY and Thoughts about Customs

Every heart has its passion,
Doing what you love gives your spirit wings.”

author unknown

Did you know that I have an ETSY store?  Trying to get it started, but I am still working on orders from the last two events in September, as well as custom orders I've had backed up for a while, so it's been very hard to get enough items extra to list in my Etsy store too.  

I also have 2 Trunk Shows that are coming up in November that I am designing jewelry for too, as I need to have a good variety of product for each of these show dates.   Mark your calendar...

The first one is:
 November 11 & 12th
Antiques Downtown
Elk River, MN
(held in conjunction with their anniversary sale at their shop too)

'A wise person once said, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work another day of your life”.

Obviously, this is a generalized statement, but truly if you love what you are doing, it really doesn’t seem like work.  For me personally, when I am designing jewelry on my own, and not a custom commissioned piece, it does not feel like work, as it’s something I love to do and feel so blessed to be able to freely create. 

However, sometimes when I’m doing a custom design as per a customers specifics that it can become work, if I’m not inspired by what I am to create.  I find balance is the key in my design business.  I have chosen to say “yes” to some of these custom designs as a service to my clients, but it isn’t something that I would choose to do over the freedom of creativity that I usually have when I just let my found elements/beads and baubles inspire me to design with them.  I often find it a struggle to get myself creating these custom orders.  Do you find this the same for you and your business?  If so, what have you found to be effective to get yourself motivated to create someone else’s vision?

Truly, it isn’t that my vision is better than someone else, or better the wants specified from a customer, or anything like that.  It just is that then my creativity feels like it's put into a box.  Yes, the box may be large, or it may be very specific and concise.  Nonetheless, this box so to speak, is a specific set of parameters, and as an Artist I find it sometimes squelches my creativity.  It’s not that eventually, maybe a really great piece is created for a said customer, but it takes me longer, and I find I need to have the elements I’m creating with in my possession for a longer amount of time.  Than suddenly one day, a design inspiration may strike me, and I can start on the project commissioned.   Or, maybe I’ve run out of time allotted and I just have to bite the bullet and design, inspired or not.  I find this to be the worse case scenario.  How about you?  Do you have any creative exercises to deal with this portion of your business?  Or do you never choose to do custom orders?

As a customer, how does this affect you?  Do you get impatient with the wait, when dealing with people such as myself that struggle to create under a set of parameters?   Or does the end result outweigh the frustration of the wait?  I’d love to hear the feedback from you all. 

Please, don’t anyone think this is intended for you….
It is not!

I am at my cabin for a 24 hour period and have been working on jewelry orders, as well as just some free design work (my own creativity at work), and was editing some photographs of photos I’ve not ever gotten around to editing, when this blog post jumped in my head.  It is NOT intended to apply to anyone in the past that I’ve designed custom pieces for, nor is it for any I’m working on now, or in the future.  Just some thoughts I wanted to explain and also wanted to get feedback from other Artisan followers as to how they handle custom orders and their creativity.  Also, would love to hear from past, present and future customers as to how you feel and/or handle it when you are on the waiting side of this.

On a side note...  I cannot take any custom requests through the end of 2011.  Time to get caught up on back logs of customs.  Sorry...

Stay tuned for future post on the upcoming Trunk Shows.  The second date is: November 17 & 18th in St. Cloud, MN at Marishka's on St. Germain.  A lovely boutique style shop located downtown St. Cloud.  I will be the featured Artisan on November 17th as part of their annual "Art Crawl".  Mark your calendar...

Have a great day!
And be blessed ~

Gretchen :)

Mimi-Toria's Design Jewelry Style