Happy Halloween!

Best wishes to you, your children, your friends, and your family for a Happy Halloween! Unfortunately, storm Sandy may have made it not too safe for the little ones to be outside to go trick or treating back east - In New Jersey, Governor Christie has officially postponed Halloween until November 5. In New York, the Greenwich Village Halloween Costume Parade has been cancelled. Curfews in severely damaged areas continue. Newark New Jersey Mayor, Cory Booker shared this thought: "Battered but not beaten. Without power but not powerless. We stand strong. We stand together. We will persevere." No matter where you are or when you celebrate it, have fun but please stay safe.

 I have been off-line from blogging the past few days because I'm recovering from some oral surgery I had. I'm looking forward to handing out candy to-nite, and see all the cute costumes. I won't be able to chew on chocolates, so I'll be relying on a chocolate shake or ice cream later on to-nite :)

 Thanks for stopping by...
Have a Happy & Safe Halloween!



The New Times here in Phoenix recently released its list for "Best Of 2012" - And I'm thrilled to see the monthly vintage shop - Sweet Salvage - made the list! The New Times said, "Every month, we strive to make a little more room in our apartment in hopes of squeezing in a new vintage find from Sweet Salvage. The d├ęcor shop opens its doors every third Thursday through Sunday with a new theme and fresh merchandise. To its sprawling Seventh Avenue space, shoppers flock to find globes, signage lettering, metal lockers, and large pieces like reupholstered couches and chairs, tables, desks, and, well, just about anything else you might desire. Items fly fast, so be sure to get to the store as early as possible if you want first dibs on the decorative wares." And that is the truth! 

A wonderful mix and merge of vintage fashion and decor...

I've been touring (and doing a little shopping) at this monthly vintage pop-up market since July. I've gone on various days during the four days it's open. Last time (in September) I had gone on opening day in the morning and it was as c-r-a-z-y as Black Friday!! This month, I went around 5ish on a Friday, and it was not only quiet, but so spacious; they appeared to have been wiped out (in a GOOD way!!) See last month's theme: Wicked Faire - all Halloween and Fall inspired... Next month's theme reminds me of my Holiday Home from 2010: (See Simple Comfort & Joy ) - probably because it will be called "Comfort and Joy!" Here is my tour of the October French Market theme at Sweet Salvage...

 Chipppy and milk finished furnishings plus menswear inspired finds from bow-ties to ticking stripe chairs...

Glamorous finds in noir and a unique chandy in a bird cage display... 
Plus two black glass goblets I HAD to have :) 

Lots of lovely grey linen pieces...

Gorgeous shades of deep greens on glazed amphora vessels, old books, a velvet slipper chair and a fabulous chippy finish on a buffet...

4648 N. 7th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ

Congrats to the team at Sweet Salvage!
Looking forward to the November months install:
Comfort & Joy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Target Misses The Bulls-eye For Nate Berkus Store Set

Last week, I had posted "New From Nate Berkus.I, along with many others, have been waiting to see more about Nate since his show was dropped in May this past Spring. When I had seen he would be launching a new book plus a new product line available at Target, I got excited and was looking forward to it. As the launch date for Fall got closer, I started keeping up more with Nate's new line coming into Target. Everywhere I looked, the date and the product info was consistent: In Stores and On Line for Target October 21. I saw this repeatedly on Facebook posts, tweets (#NateAtTarget), Pinterest, shelter magazines, Curbed, CasaSugar, The New York Times, Parade, Good Morning America and ---the list goes on. My local newspaper (The Arizona Republic) had also written an article about Nate's book and commented on his line set to debut at Target stores on October 21.  However, when I went to my local Target store at 6pm on Sunday evening of October 21, no merchandise was set, no signs were up, and the 4 associates I engaged with had no clue of what I was talking about. It wasn't until I said, "Nate Berkus was the interior designer for Oprah", that one person said, "Oh, I know who you're talking about."

Come again?? HOW is it that a huge retail chain doesn't educate their associates on product knowledge? Don't the stores have meetings to communicate what products are new, launching, and where they will be located in the store? If they don't, how is an associate suppose to intelligently give guidance and customer service to their "Guests?? I worked in retail long enough to know the drill - this product line was NOT planned over-nite - It took the corporate "Gods" (the ones making the bucks) to cross their T's and dot their I's (to save their asses) when it comes to ensuring a big name brand made the right choice in setting their product in their stores.

For at least the past nine months, corporate had to have had a team working on the Nate at Target project. And they did a wonderful job flashing the hype across social media channels since Target announced in May Nate's product arrival in stores for October 21. But there was a tremendous break down when it came to the store execution. It's not winter, so I know no blizzards held back the timeliness of the deliveries. The stores HAD TO have had a "target" date for when the shipments should have arrived - even if only arriving last week. Target also must have shipped the cartons with a bright colored label, to help stock personnel differentiated this product for store stock, plus they must have also had a staging are to house the assortment prior to the floor set. And because it's so imperative to have the advertised product on hand, I know Target wouldn't be merchandising it on there floor until the morning of the launch, or set it the night before.

What has me baffled is I find it hard to believe, no store managers, no district or regional personnel contacted the stores to ensure they had received the merchandise? It doesn't take a phone call or a store visit to ensure these days: The simple solution to this lack of follow-thru is: Take a picture of the set, and even before that point - communicate what is missing so there is reaction time. Back it up a step further: Have a checklist and communicate to associates new products and their location for set in the store.

Comment on Facebook from Frisco, Texas:
(and yes - it was in all caps, so this person was also quite peeved too!)

Comment on Facebook from Wisconsin: 
Cher Falkner: "My local Target only had one end cap that they were just putting out this afternoon. Department manager said there was a distribution problem and product is coming in late."

Comment on Facebook from Pennsylvania:
(and TOTALLY agree! Nate DESERVES better!)
Thom Mullins: "Really disappointed with Target's rollout of the Nate Berkus line. Three stores I visited in eastern Pennsylvania and they only had a few sets of sheets, and a shower curtain. When. I asked at one store, they said they haven't put it out yet. At another store they said it was hung up in customs and the third just had blank stares. No signage, no big splash. Nate deserves better."

Another Facebook comment from California:
Kimberly Angst: "I went to three Targets yesterday and not one had your line . I emailed Target and asked for call from the District Manager in Monterrey CA."

 My ONE response from Target, this morning on Twitter
(after commenting on Facebook & Twitter last night and this morning)
 "Sorry the store team members didn’t know about our Nate Berkus Collection. Order online at: . - Julie" -- I responded But that isn't the point to go "shop on line" when it was advertised to be available IN STORES - and nothing at all was.

Someone in merchandise execution & communications at Target corporate headquarters needs to be held accountable for this HUGE miss of the bulls eye at Target. It wasn't only my Target (in the 85295 area of Phoenix), but on Facebook and Twitter,  a few others had shared their disappointment of no Nate merchandise in their local Target stores either. I didn't expect the entire line - but I did "expect more" of the associates product knowledge and a taste of the product to see. Ironically, Nate's book is called "The Things That Matter", but apparently at Target, none of those things are: follow-thru, execution, timeliness or standing by what they advertise. What does come across as mattering at Target is name dropping: from Michael Graves to Liberty of London to Missoni to Patch NYC, and now to Nate Berkus. It seems as if Target already passed up the hype of Nate's line, and is off to hype-up Holiday with Neiman's and the launch of Taylor Swift's CD: Red... which is, if I were Nate, what I'd be seeing right now. Nate deserves better - maybe Nate should consider shifting his product from Target line to JCPenney.

From Nate interview at the New York Times - about product at Target:
"The line will have a long life. I’ll be able to constantly refresh it. I don’t want to totally overhaul every season. The whole is focused on accessories and objects. I see every horizontal surface as an opportunity. A lot is drawn from pieces in my home that I’ve been collecting over the last 25 years."

This wasn't the post I intended to be writing about for Nate's product launch at Target. I very much relate to and enjoy the Nate Berkus style. I also have been a customer (guest) at Target for almost 20 years now, which is why I am so incredibly disappointed. 

From the store (above)
to my home (below)

Last week, on the day of Nate's book launch, I was able to just easily walk in to Barnes & Nobel, ask an associate for the book, and she not only knew what I was talking about, but with a smile on her face, she brought me to the table the book was merchandised on. THAT is merchandise execution and customer service done RIGHT! What about you? Did your local Target have the new Nate line set? Or was Target already sold out when you went in the store? which that too is another issue at Target.

Sorry for the rant - I think they only other time I went off on poor store execution was I post I wrote about a closing Pottery Barn store in Miami (see Shop Tour: Pottery Barn Shocker). I'm sure the Miami Target stores and the stores up in New York or Chicago areas back on the east coast had no issues for launch or set. But even-though I'm (now) located in the Phoenix area of Arizona, it is one of the Top 5 Cities in the US, so why drop the ball here? Hubs texted me and said no Nate at Target in Casa Grande either - They told him, "Maybe tomorrow." What kind of a launch is that?

Thanks for stopping by...
Have a great week!

Seasonal Changes: Decorating for Halloween and Fall

I really enjoy changing the mood of our home for the seasons. I do this by creating seasonal vignettes at focal points in our home. But rather than just running out to a party store to buy the latest Halloween decor trend, for example skulls, birds and now owls, I mix thrift finds + everyday decor and  make a few of my own. Since what I make is created from more everyday-like items, I can keep them and reuse them in my Halloween decor for years to come. Having a display form allows my seasonal decor to merge fashion + decor at home: I dressed one of my forms with a custom skirt (made by friend Jose Vasquez), torn black gauze, strands of pearls and my fave over-sized black flower pin. A feather wreath I picked up at Goodwill for $2 back in February completes the third floor Halloween vignette, reflecting in the leaning mirror on the stairs and visible from the living room. Since it's been too hot here to really use the third floor, I covered the furniture with white sheets so we have a haunted third floor (plus it will keep the desert dust away now that windows are open!) Bats I cut from card-stock (3 years ago) fly in clusters up the stairs from the second to the third floor...

Accessory update inspired by the Crate & Barrel Fall catalog: these urns where white - now I painted them flat black & antique gold...

Dollar store gauze and found branches painted flat black add to the spook factor...

Needed more black candles, so I painted a few of my white ones I already had...

See my post:

Coming down the stairs to the secon floor... The living room, I set my "faux" mantel on our low profile media unit and a few seasonal touches on the shelves...

 Mixing everyday decor items plus Halloween decor to create my "faux" mantel...

Camel throw - perfect for Fall from Goodwill for $3.

 More found branches - the one in the center was actually white and I had previously used for a Christmas tablescape (back in 2009). I refreshed the branch and candle holders by painting them black satin & gloss...

Switching the mirror and removing most white from the living room helped change the mood from Summer to Fall... And this year, I tried a new mix (see my Moodboard Monday: Plaid & Leopard!) I'll be sharing shortly - so stay tuned!

For more Halloween & Fall decor, see also:

The DIY Behind Creating a Dramatic Fall Entry Stoop for $50


 Have a spooktacular Fall & Halloween Season and a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for stopping by!

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