Topping It Off

This post will cause one of two reactions:  Yea!  Only two months until Christmas!  Or…No, no!  Not Christmas decorations already!


As owners of a niche’ specialty shop, our seasonal calendar  is two months ahead of everyone else’s.  So, yes, we are decorating already.  Our annual–and this year our last–Christmas Open House is November 21, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  That date may sound early for Christmas, but in the “trade,” it is actually a bit late.   But since this is our last promotion before retiring from the shop, we held it at a time both of our children could be here. 

Specialty shops must reach the market before they are enticed away by the convenience of malls and cluster retailing.  In order to promote our unique, one-of-a-kind, collectable and discounted gift ware, the Christmas Open House is a one-day confection of home-made cookies and the culmination of a year’s work.  In the picture above, I am topping off the Red & Gold Elegance Tree in the barn’s great room.

The Christmas Open House for Farm Grove Collectables will top off twenty-six years in the specialty retail business.  It is a bitter-sweet experience, but we intend to go out as we came in–with quality and integrity.


About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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