Dear Friends, Customers, & Supporters of Bloom & Bee Swanky,
I'm Amy Bradshaw, Proprietor. Many of you already know me well from shopping in my store over the last 8 years. This letter is a heartfelt and bittersweet one for me to write. I know it is long, but I hope you will read it and share this news with your friends.
I'm writing to let you know that December 21, 2013, or thereabouts, will be Bloom & Bee Swanky's last day of business as a brick and mortar retail store. I know! I'm surprised, too. Sharing this news of store closing with you, and more importantly, WHY we've decided to wrap up this incarnation of our business vision is really important to me.
Can I tell you a story?
Thirteen years ago, I began my full-time career in retail. I did my first booth at a flea market while I was still in college. I then did numerous shows and at one point had 5 antique booths simultaneously across 3 cities in Texas. I also worked in a store, and I learned the beloved business of vintage retail from my then employer Dolly Dameron Scott of Shabby Tiques, which was followed by a successful full time e-commerce site ShabbyTiques.com.
Eight years ago November 1st, I opened the doors to Bloom & Bee Swanky, the last 6 years being in Downtown Waco. This shop, which so many of you have come to know and love, has been the physical embodiment of my taste, my way of seeing the world, my love affair with all things timeworn, and my best creative work to date. It's inside the walls of this store that I learned the art of 21st-century-shopkeeping with a vintage point of view. Inside the walls of this store, I created a community of people who share my love for all things vintage, including a team of phenomenal swanky shop girls. Inside the walls of this store, my husband Matt (who many of you also know) and I put in many long hours together, taking care of our customers, building our dream, and making sure you got to experience it the way we envisioned it.
The past few years of maturing as a retail boutique owner, for me, have been both sweet and challenging. As Matt and I round the corner toward forty (I know!), we are finding our attention being drawn to other aspects of our life together. We have a strong desire to start a family (we've been married for almost 15 years now). We want to travel together and do humanitarian work. And quite simply, we'd like more personal time, together in our home, with our extended family, close friends and time to make deeper relationships with our church family.
Together with Matt, I have made the decision to transform my retail vision into a new form. I have always felt "called" to do deeply creative work, to get my hands dirty, to find and share the beauty in old things. I will NEVER stop appreciating vintage things.
But for me, the new vision I'm holding in my heart involves closing the doors of this store. Our lease is up and we know this is the right course of action.
On one hand, closing the store is sad. We will surely miss the daily conversations with so many of our regular customers, and the special visits from out of town folks who make it a point to stop in to Bloom & Bee Swanky on their way through Waco. We will miss unpacking battered cardboard boxes of wonderful goods from our travels and delivered to the store on pallets. We will miss discovering the independent artists, designers, and makers whose amazing creations we've loved showcasing through the years. Many of those talents are now best bee friends and part of our forever bee swanky family (you know who you are). We will miss the over-the-top holiday events, when we filled the store with Live Christmas music and no one could leave without a piece of tinsel trailing from their shoe or glitter stuck in their hair.
Yet, even though we will miss all of these special people and things, the truth is, we see Bloom & Bee Swanky as a Downtown Waco success story.
As any small business owner knows (especially those who have owned an independent brick and mortar retail store), retail isn't the easiest vocation on earth! And let's be honest: we know the U.S. economy isn't what it once was. Our customers feel the changes just like customers do anywhere. But despite all of this, YOU -- our customers, our friends, our staff (we've proudly employed over a dozen hardworking people over the years), our downtown associations and civic organizations, our neighbors, our family (blood and chosen), and our Waco community -- have made it easy for us to share this beautiful vision with you for the past 8 years. Now it's time to open up space in our lives for a new calling. A fresh vision. A new take on the work we feel called to do.
Once our doors are closed, Matt and I are looking forward to the following from this 24/7 retail career: the lifestyle shift we've been craving for a good while, more time together (right now, Sunday is the only day of the week we have together and we're usually making and painting furniture or making deliveries!), attending our nieces and nephews activities, becoming even more active as first responders and taking some humanitarian trips (we have some already planned and we just can't wait).
Personally, I see and feel so much divine timing around me right now. As I have quietly and privately started the behind-the-scenes work of wrapping up accounts and sharing this news with my staff and vendors, all of the sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, I've been presented with some pretty awesome opportunities that I never saw coming. Opportunities to serve and create. Opportunities to grow. Opportunities to be involved in our community in a new way.
Now rest assured, the VISION and the EXPERIENCE of Bloom & Bee Swanky are not completely going away. I always have my eye on the retail landscape, and I see that the national trend in vintage retail is toward "occasional stores" -- special events where retailers pop up with the very best assortment of their wares you can imagine during special times of year. (Think: barn sales, shows, fairs, holiday bazaars, etc.) I will also be conducting estate sales on occasion and have 2 already scheduled in the VERY near future.
I invite you to stay on the Bloom & Bee Swanky email list so I can connect with you and let you know where and when you can get your next vintage fix.
For Now, bee sure to stop by the store for some huge savings. We are already starting to sell things at 20% off and everything will go!!!
If there is one thing I really want you to hear, it's this: I'm not going anywhere. The store is closing, but I'm not leaving this town that I love. I'm here and you can bet you'll see me pop up somewhere else in a glimmer. I can't say too much yet about my next big project, but you better believe it'll be something lovely.
Okay, actually, there are two things I really want you to hear, and the second one's this: a HUGE thank you, from the bottom of my heart. For all you've done. For how you've encouraged and supported me and this store. I am blessed! I couldn't have done it without each and everyone of my incredible and might I say the most talented staff in Waco (especially Debi and Beverly the longest running Swanky Girls and now Laci who will bee sticking it out with me to the last day), my family and YOU!
You have made owning Bloom & Bee Swanky one of the very best experiences of my life.
Hello Blog Readers! I am doing an EBAY run and for the next week will be posting many many items up for auction. These are not necessarily things you would find in our store but more specialty or collectible items. Please click HERE and check back often! Our seller ID is Amybeth101 .
You will find things like...
We have thousands of items in our inventory, so if you are looking for something old and unique for a Holiday Gift, please let me know. We may have just what you are looking for! Oh and we still have time for guaranteed Christmas Delivery!
We also still have some great ornaments left in the shop. Take A little look and don't forget about our late night shopping this Thursday with Store Wide Sales. Check back here tomorrow for all the details!!!
Every Thursday from now until
Christmas, beginning tomorrow Nov. 29th, The Swanky Girls are staying open late
for your shopping pleasure.
Nov. 29th - We are one of the
spots hosting the Central Texas Wine Tasting, featuring wines from 6 wineries,
great food, live music and more. Patrons will ride the old city trolley busses
from location to location.
Tickets can still bee purchased in advance by calling
us at 254-753-2292 or stopping by our shop in person. It benefits Meds and
Foods For Kids. www.mfkhaiti.org.
donating 50% of everything sold from 6:00 - 9:00pm back to the
charity. So come out and shop, drink, dine and bee Merry with Us while
supporting such a worth while cause!
We've cleaned out the back of the shop and are opening it up and filling it up with almost everything! You will have to dig and stuff will bee piled up in boxes, under tables and everywhere.
Some things you will find... Old Iron Beds Old Bottles Fabrics Jewelry Glassware Dented and Dammaged Store Items Holiday Items Clothing Furniture in need of a little love All Kinds of House Hold Items Craft Items Ceiling Fans and Light fixutures Old doors, shutters and a few architeutre items ... so much more
It will all bee cheap cheap cheap and priced to sell, so don't miss it!
This is a CASH ONLY Sale and on Sunday everything left will bee 50% off. It all must GO!
It will bee held during normal business hours - No early Sales
Nearly Everything In the Summer Ellis Jewelry Collection is now 40% off
Save 20% off our Entire Vintage Linen Collection Including our Vintage Euro Shams Now only $28
Save 20% off all Vintage Clothing and our racks of Vintage Lingerie and Gussies
20% off ALL Candles
50% Off all Vintage Lamp Shades
30% off all Stationary
20% off ALL In Stock Bedding
30% off all Clothing
Selected Furniture Markdowns
30% off ALL Designer Pillows including our Newest Shipment
the below photos are just a sampling
I am such a dodo and completely forgot to take out my camera at the show as usual. I have people sending me some more pics and I look forward to sharing them with you. These were taken near the end after many things had already sold. Last Weekend at the Hico Homestead Antique Fair...
We still have this Giant over 9 feet long vintage metal table with a new zinc top
Is she not the cutest? The Highlight of the show! I have never seen this breed.
We will bee set up this weekend at the Homestead Antique Fair in Hico, Texas. If you have never been to this show before you won't want to miss it. It keeps on getting better and better each year. We are taking a load of mostly all never seen before merchandise with lots of metals and an industrial flair including a spectacular vintage all metal zinc top table over 9 feet long! You can find us in the building right across the street from the Homestead Store. Seeing Mike's and Brenda's beautiful store is worth the drive alone. From Waco it is straight up HWY 6 into Hico. See their website for more details and check back here next week with photos from the show.
Beginning Immediately and Continuing through the Summer months
Our New Hours are:
Thursday thru Monday
10:30 - 5:30
Sunday 1:00 - 5:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
I can't believe how longs it's been since I have made a post. I have been super busy with so many new projects I'm super passionate about and will share with you what I have been up to and where I've been soon.
Here is a clue to where I have been most recent.
Can you Guess where I am? Take a look at the mountains in the background.
Wonderful Custom Whitewashed Farm Table with bread board edges
made from Local reclaimed wood $895
Vintage Primitive White Bench $79 SOLD
Set of 6 Fabulous Dining Chairs $359
3 HEAVY Metal Old storage Bins - $59 ea
Old Concrete Garden Statue $179
Grey Painted Vintage Modern Mirror $65
Church Alter with open shelving in back $359
Old Tool Caddy $45
Wonderful Old Framed Floral Print - $98 SOLD
Vintage tangerine Floral hat - SOLD
Vintage Tangerine Scarf - All Vintage Scarves always $2 ea
Vintage White 6 drawer Chest - $289
Vintage Necklaces $12 ea SOLD
Newly Linen reupholstered Vintage Chair - $295
We have several of these zinc tables in stock
Originally from Wisteria our price $395
This Handsome Man Just Arrived $25 SOLD
Wonderful Old Metal Grey Fold Out Desk - SOLD
I LOVE this old hat $30
My favorite thing in store are these bee hive wall sculptures. As I was walking around snapping photos of whats new, I started taking photos of all the lovely finishes found all around me. I leave you with textures that intrigued me on all items currently available for sale. Enjoy!
You are invited to step into the inspiring world of Bloom & Bee Swanky! Established in 2005, and presently and proudly located in Downtown Waco, within a historic building, next to the Dr. Pepper Museum! Our Home Furnishings Vintage Boutique was created to showcase offbeat antiques and vintage inspired items always keeping the past in mind. Discover something distinctively unique in one of our cohesive vignettes for YOU and YOUR HOME! Anything you see featured from our store may bee available for purchase by calling 254-753-2292 10:30 – 5:30 CST.