ALBH Blog

Planning for 2014

If you hadn’t already heard, we’ve signed a new lease. We will be spending the early part of 2014 working on a new shop so we can expand and spread out. The good news is that the new shop will be 2 doors down from our where our shop is now . . . so there won’t be any confusion about where the hippy shop moved to. The even better news is that we’re going to have SPACE! We’re upgrading from 500 sq ft to almost 1900 sq ft. I have to admit that I’m a bit sweaty-palmed about all that space (and paying for it) but I’m even more excited at all the ideas that we keep coming up with. If you’ve been in our shop then you’ll understand that for as cozy as it is, that novelty wears off rather quickly when you get 3 or more folks in there.

We’ve been working on negotiations for nearly 2 years and have been talking to so many of you about it in the shop – I figured it was time to share some pictures so you can start getting just as excited as we are. What good is excitement if you can’t share it, right?

So here are 4 pictures of the space, in it’s current condition. It’s nothing but a skeleton right now, but oh how we have plans. And we’re so very eager to share it with you . . . each and every step of the way! After all – if it weren’t for each of you, we wouldn’t be able to do any of this. So thank YOU! And pardon the handsome Ginger that managed to photo bomb every single picture . . . he’s my favorite.

The Story Behind Our Logo

For over a year now, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to hear compliments on our logo although I can’t take much of the credit for it. It was a wonderful creation from the brains of my favorite marketing guru, Liane Caruso, and her team. We had our input, of course, and we wanted to share the history and significance of each piece of our logo. While most folks see one bright, colorful piece of art, it is actually a combination of many different pieces of historical significance from the hippy era.

The 7 different symbols that make up our logo are all featured in the main tree, which is the first item. Within the tree you’ll find a peace hand, a heart, a yin-yang, a sign for female, and a sign for male all surrounding a bird known as a Wandervogel.

Most of these I’m sure you are already familiar with and can make the connection for how they relate to a hippy shop. But let’s go through them all.

  1. 1. The Tree (and the butterflies and flowers) represents nature and all her glory. The hippie movement had at one point grown into a love and admiration for Mother Earth and seeing the beauty in all living things. Most iconic hippie pictures show girls with flowers in their hair and groups listening to music outside in the middle of a field.
  2. 2. The hippie movement adopted a hand gesture to represent peace. After all, actions speak louder than words, right? The gesture was originally called the “V Sign” and stood for victory. Think about if that weren’t really synonymous though – a world full of Peace would surely be a victory in itself!
  3. 3. The heart refers to the spiritual, emotional, moral and intellectual core of a human. Regardless of race or religion, at the very core we are all, in fact, the very same. The symbolism itself is quite unifying.
  4. 4. The yin-yang literally means “Shadow and Light.” It’s used to describe polar opposites that are actually interconnected. The origins are in Chinese Science and Philosophy and simply mean that the seen and unseen are complimentary forces working together.
  5. 5 & 6. The signs for female and male are best described together as the hippie movement was a generation of love and awareness. The symbols are astrological and have been used since the Renaissance. They were first used to decide gender in plants.
  6. 7. The most historically significant is actually my favorite part of the logo – the image of ‘Der Wandervogel. ‘ To explain the significance of this, we need to have a quick little history lesson though. We’ve all heard about hippies and the hippie movement and can make connections in some fashion to the 60’s and 70’s. But did you know that this movement was actually started in Germany in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s as a youth movement? This group made an entire social network founded upon cultural clubs that were centered on folk music. Dress was actually quite dull by today’s standards in both color and design as the focus wasn’t on aesthetics. The group adopted a bird – the Wandervogel – known for it’s “rambling, hiking or wandering nature” as it’s mascot and was determined to shake off restrictions of society, live naturally, embrace the freedom and share their individuality. It wasn’t until 60 years later that the movement made it’s way to the US and grew into the culture that we all now know and love.

Shop Local Holiday Contest

Every month we do something fabulous to our front window and while I’d love to take all the credit for it, I can’t. Actually, I can’t take much of the credit at all. My girls are WONDERFUL at coming up with ideas for spotlights and we have Billie who can paint like it’s nobody’s business.

With the window being such a group effort every month and with a bigger and bigger push towards supporting small local businesses every year, I wanted to do something stellar for our Holiday window. And what gets folks more involved in a window than a contest?

In addition to our tree and the gifts underneath, pay attention to the snowflakes that are hanging. Each one has a different logo for a local business in Roanoke. Some of the logos have the name of the business incorporated into the logo and some do not. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to identify each and every logo that is displayed in our window along with the business owner. Write them all down in order (the snowflakes are numbered) and hand it in to one of us. If you have all of the answers correct, we’ll put you in the drawing for a $15 Gift Card to our shop.

Want more than $15 on your Gift Card? How about $100? This one is going to be a lot more involved though! In addition to naming each of the businesses and business owners featured within our snowflakes, you also need to provide a dated receipt from at least 10 of them showing you visited between December 1 and December 20th. They can be any 10 you choose. For this submission, please include everything in an envelope with your name and phone number on the outside and make sure you hand it to one of us. If all of your answers are correct and all of the receipts are included, you’ll be entered into the random drawing for a $100 gift card!

All entries need to be submitted by Wednesday, December 21st. The drawing for the winners will be held on Friday, December 23rd.

Minnetonka, Baby!

It has been said once or twice that I have a shoe problem. This may in fact be true, I do have an entire section of my overflowing closet dedicated to all things “sole” ful.  While the sheer truth is I would rather go barefoot- it isn’t quite socially acceptable in most cases. Therefore, when I must wear shoes- I wear really awesome shoes. I am not a sneaker girl, I hike in flip flops and spend the majority of my spare time in steel-toed boots – running EMS. My soft spot is for boots, ankle length, knee hi, cowboy cut, furry, suede, leather… I love them all. So when Heidi said we had some customer interest in carrying Minnetonka Moccasins I decided to do some investigating. What I found was simply amazing.

Minnetonka is a company that has been around for quite a while, since 1946 in fact. They have perfected the moccasin and in my humble opinion are spot on with their boots as well. From soft deerskin to supple moosehide to fantastic suede, their materials are top of the line and the products well crafted. I fell in love with the suede front lace hardsole knee hi boot- this shoe screams adventure! Many of the styles offered are unisex, and Minnetonka carries a wide variety of women’s, men’s and children’s shoes. There are also a couple of killer handbags- yes I am just as addicted to handbags as well. (They have a Hobo Fringe Bag that is screaming my name.)

Have no fear, we are not turning into a shoe store. One of the reasons we choose Minnetonka is because we can carry a small amount of their merchandise in the store and are able to order anything a customer wants from their catalogue. It’s a no-brainer! Come on in and check out your next favorite pair of shoes since it’s official . . . THEY ARE HERE

Amy + Oregon = Rainbows

So I went on an adventure vacation and journeyed to the great state of Oregon. Oregon is where my heart is – it is a beautiful, diverse state. I had my feet in the chilly Pacific ocean and later the same day in the snow on Mt. Hood. Long story short, I fell in love with Oregon and the kind people there. So as my vacation drew to a close, I looked for fun things to bring back to the shop. I was lucky enough to make it to Eugene Oregon’s Saturday Market- it’s a big deal. Saturday Market is an amazing outside market that showcases all sorts of amazing artists and free spirits.  I met some wonderful people and also discovered some super fun goodies to bring home. The first of which is quite amazing, introducing FRESH HAND-PICKED RAINBOWS! These fun and colorful rainbows are picked in Oregon by a very nice gentleman named Neil who uses the assistance of some super awesome stay at home moms to weave the magical threads together. I have a large one hanging in my window and I have named her Arabesque, she greets me with a flutter every morning! All the care required is some sunshine and an occasional trim. We have these rainbows in all sizes! We have one waiting just for you – what an awesome gift idea!

Paper Love

We here at A Little Bit Hippy strive to be conscientious of the vendors and in turn the products we provide to you. We are all about sustainability. As the self-proclaimed tree-hugger I was super thrilled when Heidi showed me the vendor info for Drops of Sun. Not only are these designs unique- they are all made from recycled or sustainable paper and recycled sterling silver!

This artist uses anything and everything; from old postage stamps to vintage magazine pictures. One of my personal favorites is a necklace made from an Irish postage stamp with a picture of Gandhi. I love the fact that the designer takes otherwise discarded bits of paper and turns them into an awesome conversation piece!

Come on in and see for yourself- it’s a big deal!

Wooden Magic

If I don’t write this blog post about our new awesome jewelry, Heidi is going to kill me. Usually, when shipments arrive at the store I do a little dance – this shipment made me jump up and down like a five year-old in a candy store.

So you know those really cool wooden earrings that people wear? I have been coveting them from afar for quite a while now. I however, do not have the gumption to have my ears stretched to fit the gauges. So I was thrilled when I opened the box and found an array of rock star wooden earrings- minus the pain! We have a great selection of wooden post earrings that will make you smile like a rock star without having to stretch your ears!

Along with the earrings we now have matching necklaces, some gorgeous bead necklaces with matching bracelets and some stellar wooden cuffs! These pieces are really incredible- the beaded necklaces and bracelets are in a great fall color scheme and the wooden cuffs add a touch of earthiness to your fall wardrobe! Some come on in and check out our jewelry case full of goodies!

 

New Zodiac Candles

What a great birthday gift these little zodiac candles are!  They come in a small gift tin with a lid. Zodiac-themed aromas are unique and appropriate for the person who has a birthday coming up that is hard to find that perfect, inexpensive gift for.

The Naked Soy candles are 100% handcrafted soy content and are specifically blended for your zodiac sign.

They are 100% dye-free and phthalate free. Woo Hoo! Another one of the benefits of buying Naked Soy candles? A percentage of the company’s profits are donated to help support national and local animal shelters and rescues.

The Next Life

A retailer that sells through every single thing they keep on hand in their inventory without any damages or “expired” styles is . . . well, my hero. But let’s face it, that just doesn’t really happen. So the question really becomes what to do with the stuff. Do you just throw it away? Do you donate it? If you donate it, how do you choose who to donate to?

For me, I found a place pretty close to perfect. At least for the remainder of 2011, we’ve decided to name Roanoke’s Rescue Mission as our donation center of choice. We try to spread the love around as much as possible and be non-judgemental when it comes to religious views. After all . . . we’re hippies. At least a little bit. :)

What hooked me about donating to the Rescue Mission is what they do with the clothing they are unable to sell: They recycle it. That’s right. They bundle up all their old goodies and ship it off for the fabric to be recycled. I learned about it from an article I found on Google and here’s the quote that sold me:

“The Mission sold 290,268 bales of unusable clothing in 2009, which is fabric that didn’t end up being tossed into the landfill said Clark. That material will be recycled into new fabric and paper. Not only does this effort bring in revenue for the Mission, it saves money by not having to dump over 1 million pounds a year of potential recyclables into the landfill.”

So who really knows – maybe the next order we place will be made from the items we’re donating today – in their next life.