Well, I've just returned from Iowa with a vanload of stuff to use in the store, and some awesome vintage jewelry components to give a new life. It was a short visit, but well worth the time--both materially, and to just spend some time with the folks. Mom and I had a lovely girls' day on Monday. She wanted to show me all the great gift shops they have in Pella. They have a lot of gift shops in Pella. It's a little Dutch town complete with windmills and a Tulip Festival (which was the first weekend in May). She introduced me to one of the owners and told her about my entrepreneurial endeavor (which at first was embarrassing, but then Barb was gushing about what a great idea a green gift shop was--something Mom had not been entirely convinced of until then). You see, I think she wanted to show me all the cool stuff I could sell, if only I wasn't going to be so green. For everything she showed me, or mentioned, I countered with a greener alternative. Either I changed her mind, or she just gave up.
After our tour of quaintness, we headed out to the Tassel Ridge winery for a little tour and tasting. Then we stopped and looked at plants at a couple of greenhouses and went to a well-deserved lunch. Oh yeah, and I got her to go to the Pella Thrift Store. This is just short of a miracle. She has amazing potential in the thrifting arena--she knew I was looking for vintage Pyrex refrigerator dishes, and she spotted some before I did! And she hid any grossed-out feelings she may have been having. She even approved of the vintage bassinet I bought to use as a display for my baby section! Who said you can't teach an old broad new tricks?
One of her Mother's Day gifts was that I reconditioned her butcher block table. They got it about 28 years ago, and it was starting to look tired. One of my potential (and now certain) vendors had sent me some samples of their natural furniture cleaning/conditioning products, so I took the butcher block conditioner to them for a trial. Wow. Howard Naturals is now on my A list.