A week ago, we turned the lights off, locked the door and tried to not feel too guilty about leaving our shop for a full week. We headed in a new direction...the Lower Rio Grande Valley, visiting South Padre Island, as well as, further stops West. New sights and new sounds were just the refresh we needed, plus time to recenter as a family.
The world is so big and so small, just the same. Truly, though, after a fun-filled week of discovery and relaxation, our Nest was a welcomed site!
Places we enjoyed:
If you liked my Mother's Day tour of the shop, you'll love this walk thru (from our Walkthru Wednesday series) where I show you my picks for Papa!
I still consider myself a novice, but I really want to share what I've learned so far. All butterflies need our help, the more we over develop and the less we plant native and diverse plants, we will continue to chip away at their evolutionary fiber. So, I'm kicking around something for the fall; something to blend gardening info specific to butterflies and information on how to raise them, including monarchs. Let me know if you are in?!
For now, I want to leave you with a few great resources that I found super helpful:
Milk glass lovers...take a look! We added a few beauties to our collection this month:
We're down to the wire...Mother's Day is Sunday! Earlier this week, I started to hear the usual "she has everything!"or "she's so hard to buy for!" I expect it, and I really do take it to heart to find unusual and meaningful gifts to help take the pressure off of you. Here's a quick trip I filmed earlier today with a few of my favorite go to choices:
I also want to add, particularly when giving to someone you may feel never likes what you give them (that's tough!); take the expectation out of gift giving. I know we all want to wow the other person, but when we give, it is one of our greatest acts to let go for the betterment of another.
An additional tip I recommended in selecting a gift, especially for someone you may not know that well (say a future mother in law), give something that says something about yourself. A candle that reminds you of a pie your grandmother made for you as a child, a vase with flowers because you remember your father giving something similar to your mother, or even your favorite novel. A gift with a story grows wings, becomes less of just another thing but rather an experience, memory you now both share.
Most nights, including last night, after I get home from the shop, spend time with my kids, put them to bed, I get back to working on my store. Last night it was both developing products and strategies for the next few months. Though I'm running myself ragged, it's quiet and I can finally think...and somewhere in my research last night this lovely nugget pops up to remind me why I started this journey.
If I've never told you this, I was in my twenties in college pursuing a degree in Interior Design. And as together as that sounds for a young person, I was completely ambivalent about this path. I was in a place in my life that I was pressured to "pick something already!" I should of been listening to my gut, because I actually did know what I wanted to do. Every couple months I found myself on Magazine St. in New Orleans, walking from independent shop to independent shop. Meeting retailers, each with their own story...dream. I particularly loved shops that offered items that, I as a poor college kid, could afford; not everything in the store was low priced but I could at least walk away with a treasure. I told my mother half way thru my degree that I wanted to open my own store and sell items that anyone could find at least one thing they could afford and treasure. I should preface this and say my mother is completely supportive of my business now, but in that moment, she said "absolutely not."
So, I did become an interior designer, for a better part of 10 years I worked in commercial design with nationwide clients and million dollar budgets. Of course no one will tell you in school, that there will be nights you'll stay up trying to find the best toilet seat and light bulbs for a facility that services the mentally ill and could use the wrong design to commit suicide. I respect someone has to make these decisions, but I knew I had to find my own path soon...as this job was literally killing me.
One morning, on my drive into work, I called my spouse, I was literally in tears, and it just flowed out of me...the entire concept for this store and it's name just came out of my mouth. It's funny how when you say something you actually become accountable for it - in about 3 months we bought the building we're in now, and about 18 months later we opened Nest.
Fast forward about 10 years, I probably work harder than I did as that interior designer ping ponging from deadline to deadline, but it's the most rewarding thing I've done. And yes, just as I wanted to do as a twenty-something, I curate a shop that anyone at any budget can find something. It has literally made my day for a child to bring me a jar of change they saved because they can buy something from my shop. I've helped people put back the normal in their lives after the area flooded twice last year with our furnishings and accessories. And just this week, a customer called for anything with a cardinal. Knee deep, in my stock room unboxing Christmas because that's the only place I'll have one, I find a cardinal garden stake, today it's at a relatives funeral.
These are more than things we sell, these are the treasures and proof of our lives together and love we hold for one another. Sometimes I do forget this, at night, when my feet hurt from standing all day, upset from someone I couldn't please, burned out, but someone like yourselves will walk in the next day and tell me, "What a beautiful store" or "this is just what I needed" and I can't thank you enough for being part of my why.
This month the collection is in the pink! I'm in totally love with each of these pieces featured here as they hearken Spring with a lightness and whimsy!
This retro ribbed vase is a stunner we just acquired; I think its an easy pick for Mother's Day, especially for the girl that has it all.
It's becoming harder to find these, but - hooray, this is a flour sack bag. Manufacturers in the 50's and 60's began to print fun patterns on the flour sacks for their customers to use as a free incentive. Don't you wish they'd continued?!
And I can't believe I even found this amazing quilt. About a twin size, it's in pretty good condition. Also hand pieced in a lovely double wedding ring pattern but what makes this piece so nice is a lovely scalloped edge and the amazing paisley fabric on the back! This must of been made for a very special person because quilt backs of this age are typically pretty plain, as they put their work and good fabrics on the front.
Featured in this post:
I'm coming off an amazing 24 hour buying trip, more on that later! But I just had to pause and say thank you guys for making our Earth Day Make and Take Event so special!
For those that participated, we made these cute chalkboard pots and planted pollinator friendly plants. We used my newest color, Pothole, of my own chalky finish brand of paint, Cottage Nest Paint. I love our paint but even I was amazed at the coverage this black has...and yes it worked really well as a chalkboard finish.
The star of the show was this guy tho, a Giant Swallowtail butterfly that I had pinned all my hopes on emerging for the big day. Thankfully he agreed and it gave me an opportunity to share the work I am doing to raise and conserve butterflies. All butterflies are in a decline, so to share this amazing animal in our Monarch Waystation was beyond special.
If you liked this event, please share your thoughts! Also, we have plans for a special Fall event that will have another eco-friendly focus to it, so keep watching and reading for details!
We're celebrating Earth Day this Saturday at our shop and Monarch Waystation! This Saturday we will be hosting a Make and Take, where we will use our Cottage Nest Chalky Finish Paint to make chalkboard style flower pots and plant a pollinator friendly plant. All free of charge just for joining us!
Also, *fingers crossed* we hope to release one of the Giant Swallowtail butterflies we've been raising. We have one very close to emerging but it's on butterfly time, not our time. Either way, we will have caterpillars and chrysalises on display for any curious guests. And here's a little background on this season's first generation of butterflies we are raising.