1. Moon River Chattle: Porter and I used to visit the store every weekend. However, all the weekends of late have been ruined by the dark cloud who haunts the cashier's desk. She knows nothing about the merchandise and acts completely exasperated at any question (relating to small tchotchkes, books or multi-thousand dollar flooring projects) that comes her way. For a sweet-looking faux mercantile store with wildly marked up prices, that ain't the 'tude that's gonna sell. But I'd had my eye on a wonderful, yet overpriced glass jug with a spiget for some time. Oh, it would make an excellent drink dispenser for the Raj on the Roof, I thought. So, I popped in a couple weeks ago to pick one up. $160 was a lot, but god, it was perfect for the party. She rings it up. $208. What?!!?!? "We just got these. They're $208 now." "But the price tag said $160! And you've had them for months." (I looked down and she had the $160 price tag in her hand). "It's $208. The price just changed." "Fine, then I'm going to have to pass." "FINE, ptawh!!!!!" I will never go back.
2. Sweet William: Porter and I dream of opening a real store. A store where we'd be there every day, speaking with our customers about our carefully curated merchandise with passion and excitement. When in Dumbo a few weeks ago, the guy at the Tivoli Home was so excited about his Scandinavian wares that he opened up an Ole Jensen familia tea pot and said, "It's really expensive, but you just have to see it. It's so beautiful." What a delight to see someone care. The woman who owns Sweet William in Williamsburg must care a lot about her store, too. She was an editor at Cookie and has fabulous taste. But you'd never know she had a vested interest in getting all those $80 organic baby t-shirts out the door. She's been cold every time we've popped in and actually kicked us out for walking in about 10 minutes before she officially opened (she hadn't bothered to lock her door and was just standing around). I understand why the Gap or WalMart won't open their doors early, but when you're a one woman show trying to keep a pricey boutique afloat in a sinking economy, let the customers shop.
(This series will continue as people who own or work for homey stores act like they were raised in barns).