Welcome to 2018! I’ve been thinking a lot about the year ahead and where I want to see Fresh Digs at the end of it.
Long story short, my plan for 2018 is to make shopping at Fresh Digs the best shopping experience ever. Dare, I say, even better than shopping online?
Tall order, right? I mean, how do you compete with shopping in your pajamas and getting exactly what you want delivered to your door in two days? Not easy, but I feel like I have a shot.
But before I do that, first I want to thank you. Thank you for making it a point to come into Fresh Digs to see what’s new, to look for that special gift, to buy paint, to attend a class, to meet a friend, to find something unique for your home or just to get the heck out of your house! I couldn’t do this without you. We’re a team.
There’s nothing better than someone asking if they can take a picture of an item to send to a friend or daughter. Or when someone is standing alone at the Easy Tiger card display laughing out loud. My absolute all-time favorites are when people bring in out-of-town guests and show them around or when someone walks in, I ask if they’re looking for anything in particular and they say, “no, this is just my happy place”. There’s no better feeling.
So I’m not going to mess with that too much. HOWEVER, I will focus more on my first love – vintage, which means the front room will have more of my favorite vintage finds worked in. One of my personal goals this year is to release and re-home my many hoarded vintage finds. Plus, I think you’re all afraid of the backroom, which I don’t blame you as I don’t take the time to make it awesome like it deserves. That’ll need a re-work, too. Just not sure into what yet.
Don’t worry, cool new stuff and especially locally made items will still be here. I found so many things at market that I can’t wait to show you! And I’ll work harder to find functional, sustainably and (as often as I can) locally made pillows, quilts, wall hangings, candles, soaps, dish towels, jewelry, you name it to help simplify, organize and beautify your life. Things you’re looking for and things you never knew you needed (like sweary pencils). Basically, things that are lovely and hopefully solve some kind of problem.
And they must be affordable. I may be the only person who hates to go into Target. There’s nothing more infuriating as a small business owner than to walk into Target and see their low retail prices on cool stuff that I can’t even buy wholesale at that price.
BUT, what I can do is try to find a similar item that is close in price or was made locally. Maybe it’ll cost more because it’s handmade but it’ll be available right here in town and will have been made by someone right here in town. Win, win.
For those of you who just don’t have time or who are just not shoppers, I’m looking at you. I really want to keep it simple for everyone, so here’s my online sales plan. Facebook. For now, anyway. Facebook will be my rolling online catalog. The regular Facebook page with regular image posts and the closed “Tribe” page for more in-depth info and sales. Join if you haven’t already.
If you see something you like, comment under the item or private message me and I’ll send you a payment link. Pay within 24 hours and it’s yours. Pick up in the shop or we can arrange shipping. Kind of old school, but for now it fits in with one of my personal goals for 2018 which is to spend more time with my family. Running an online shop is a whole other giant business.
Classes and events! I want to offer more of those as a means for getting people together while learning a craft to unleash their inner creativity. In the past few months I’ve increased my class offerings - watercolor, crochet, needle felting and string art so far. I want to offer more!
In fact I’d love to offer you a chance to learn all of the skills that your grandma used to have or that you had in your youth. You know old-school crafts, like macramé, knitting, cross stitch, machine sewing, heck, just even learning to mend pants or sew on a button. You with me? If you can teach such a class or would love to attend one please let me know.
I also want to bring people together to help you live your best life. Yeah, like Oprah. Sounds cheesy, but also kind of great. We’re here for a short time, let’s enjoy it and learn from each other. You’ll see how I’m already working on that on the Classes and Events page of the website. I’m talking a quarterly non-fiction book club and classes on meditation, to start.
While I will continue to make donations to community fundraisers and events, I want to go deeper than that. I’ve already begun. I’ve got a partnership in the works with an awesome community member where we’ll uplift - through lifestyle and home design interventions - kids in our community who could greatly benefit from such things. This is the work I am most excited about. Stay tuned as I plan on sharing it with you and maybe even asking for your help from time to time.
I said that I can’t do this without you so here’s my request of you. Make a pledge that in 2018 you’ll strive to shop locally first.
Note the “first”. I’m not asking everyone to buy everything in town. I know that in this day and age no one wants to do that. I’m simply asking you to try to make a point to shop locally FIRST.
If you can’t find it here, then look elsewhere. And for all you eco-minded folk out there, just think of all of the boxes and excess transport you’ll be saving. (P.s. If you’re into recycling then check out the Effingham Recycles website and scroll down to sign up for the newsletter. It’s a cause dear to my heart.)
Lastly I’ve got to give a shout-out to everyone behind the scenes who makes it all possible! My husband, Rob Davies, for feeding me and keeping me laughing and putting up with my hoarding ways. My kids for putting up with my face in the phone or computer – this year will be different. My parents for all kinds of support. My mom for travelling with me, attending auctions for me, cleaning vintage hauls, manning the shop when I’m in a pinch or helping me organize. My dad who’s babysitter and Mr. Fixit extraordinaire plus supplier of any manner of transport and storage. Especially that storage bit.
I’ve learned that as a small business one of your greatest assets is your employees. Gotta give a shout-out to Anna for being there when I need her and for being able to fabulously execute my chicken scratch notes and do things I didn’t even know needed done. And newbie Brigitte, who’s learning her way around this crazy place.
How could I forget the artisans who keep me going? There are over 20 of them and counting. They make Fresh Digs the unique shopping experience it is and I couldn't do it without them. Whether making is their full-time gig or just a side hustle, their goods are what sets the shop apart from anywhere else.
I can’t forget Salina who started it all with me. Creating something from nothing wasn’t easy and I never could have gotten here without her being willing to take the plunge with me three and a half years ago. We parted ways in 2017 but her mark is still alive and well.
So that’s that. I know it’s a bit late, but Happy New Year!! Let’s make 2018 the best year yet!
~What’s next – the first What’s Inside edition of 2018. This one features a cabin retreat outside of Newton and the woman who built it. The life lessons she learned during the building of this family retreat will give you a new perspective on life. The perfect way to start the year.