In October 2001, I opened my first retail venture, The Good Life, in the Wayzata Village Shoppes, a mere 1,200 sq. feet of retail. It was my dream, a passion and an adventure. Over the years, I expanded upstairs, doubling my space and adding an Artists’ Gallery where we had some great art openings. When the economy crashed in 2008, we had to make a hard decision and we ended up closing The Good Life the following March. But with faith and good fortune it gave birth to my newest venture ~ anne & friends. Now after almost 10 years of brick and mortar retail in Wayzata, it’s time for an intermission. This is my Thank You to hundreds of People who became longtime customers and friends. Each and every one of you have made a difference and put us on the map as one of the dwindling “independent retailers” out there…THANK YOU! Your support, ideas, referrals and purchases have kept us going despite a sluggish economy.
When anne & friends opened at The Wayzata Bay Center in November 2009, I changed the business model to 100% consignment. We were offered an attractive temporary lease. I thought we were popping up for a 6 week Holiday Season and it turned into a great run of 21 months. I didn’t know that I would come to love the Wayzata Bay Center as I do. I’ve learned that it is a community space. We have “walkers”, “little dancers” and “pancake wait liners”. We have piano recitals, elementary art shows, indoor farmers’ markets, estate sales and “train mo-modelers”. There is a sense of history in this mall…if these walls could only talk. While it is the end of an era, it is with great anticipation of newer places and spaces that the Wayzata Bay Center will shutter its doors this fall. It has been a GOOD home for all of us. The new “muni” is open across the street. Superior and Lake Streets have been improved and have become more pedestrian friendly. The site is ready for redevelopment.
The beloved Original Pancake House (OPH) is open through August 15. Presbyterian Homes, the owner and developer of the Bay Center Redevelopment project have been excellent and friendly landlords. They have invested financially in the marketing and promotion of The Bay Center during these tentative times. But they have finally asked the remaining businesses in The Wayzata Bay Center to close July 16 to ready the space for the next steps. It is bittersweet that I must announce the last day for our “brick & mortar” space is JULY 16. We will be here through July 31 for Artists to pick-up their wares and for us put our displays in storage. And then what?
Expect to find us online with a new e-commerce site (under development). The new website will be “my favorite art picks” for sale. In the meantime, you can find us on Facebook. In the coming weeks, I will announce my new blog, where you can follow my travels and adventures. I will be heading to Kansas City to see my BFF – Lori and then to Mt. Dora, Florida to spend a bit of time with Mom…along the way, I will be treasure hunting, junking, antiquing…all in search of inspiration for my jewelry designs and mixed media art.
Jewelry design is where this all started for me in 2001 and it is what I will return to in 2011. My jewelry designs have evolved from simple beaded bracelets to a fun eclectic mixed metal style that is very wearable, stylish and affordable. I will be focusing on branding this new line of jewelry and showcasing it in Galleries along my way.
Before I hit the road, you can find me at the following sales/events this summer.
Mudd Lake Furniture Co. – Junk in the Trunk – July 22 – 24, Watertown, MN
Otten Brothers – Junk Market Style – September 8 – 10, Long Lake MN
My goal is to re-open a smaller retail and studio space in the Spring of 2012. Keep an eye out for me and let me know where you would like me to pop-up!
Here is where I need your help! We need you to gather up your family, friends and business associates and make a trip to anne & friends before we close. Think birthdays, think hostess gifts, think Christmas in JUNE/JULY! We support 100+ local artists and we need you to open your checkbooks for a proper send-off. This isn’t about a sale. This is about supporting local artists and designers and fine craftspeople. Fill the gift closet, get ready for the holidays early, select a piece of local art for that special space, buy a bunch of handmade cards. While there are some items on sale and there is a small clearance section, this is not a storewide sale. We are trying to put some dollars in our artists’ pockets to weather the sluggish economy. So shout it from the Mountain Top! We will have a “send-off” party on Saturday, July 16. Follow us on Facebook for more details.
So finally, a heartfelt thank you to everyone! Thank you to my customers, my Facebook fans, fellow retailers, the press, the chamber of commerce, the artists and my good friends and family that have been a part of this 10 year journey. And a special thanks to Oliver…he warms my heart everyday as “shop dog”…I will miss our daily shop adventures.
A special shout-out to Corrine, Ken, Lori, Peter, Diane and my Parents for all of your support these past 10 years! I could not have done it without You ALL!
Onward…to a new adventure. I am NOT going out of business. anne & friends will continue selling online, blogging, facebooking and making jewelry to sell online and at art shows. I have every intention of building a kickin’ online store specifically with MY favorite one-of-a-kind PICKS! I will be on the road, making jewelry, treasure boxes, blogging and learning how to shoot photos for the website. I want my creativity to soar. I will be available for creative consulting projects…the skies the limit.
I will hit the road mid-September…Kansas City & Florida here I come! Please stay tuned for the next anne & friends event or storefront!
Have a great summer!
anne & friends