Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our First Ever Sale!

If you were a fly on the wall of our back office at Huff Harrington Home, you might have overheard snippets of the following conversation this past week:

“So I think we should have a sale.  Wouldn’t that be fun?”

“Totally!  Do you think we could serve Champagne?”

“We always serve Champagne!  Why not?”

“Well I’m not sure that you serve Champagne when you’re doing a sale.  Kind of defeats the purpose of sale, you know.  But OK if you think it’s a good idea …”

“I do.  But what will we put on sale? We’ve never done a sale before.”  True,  although technically we did have a frame sale once at the gallery and it was a big success, because we donated some of the proceeds to Juvenile Diabetes.  "Remember these photos? Could we use them again?  They attracted a lot of people!"

Remember these pictures from our one and only previous sale?
"No, no … the girls are much older and mature now, and would never accept to have their photos featured again.  Besides, we’re not selling frames!"

“How about item #3621.  We’ve got plenty of them.  Should we put them on sale?”

“We can’t do that!  We’re going to be ordering them for the fall and Christmas.  And they sell like crazy.”

“You’re right.  I guess we need to figure out what hasn’t sold, and put that on sale.  Like item #4502” (and under her breath, “You know, the one you insisted would fly out of here …”)

“Hmmm …. I’m not so sure about those.  Still think they might fly out of here!  But what about the gorgeous Directoire walnut desk (that you bought)?  That would probably do well!”

“Great idea.  OK, we’ll put it on sale.”

Interruption from Emily …

“Sorry to bother, but what is the price on the walnut secretary from France?  I have someone dying to buy it but the tag fell off.”

In unison,
“You mean the gorgeous Directoire walnut desk?"  Exchange guilty furtive glances and mutter quietly,   "We didn't really want to put that on sale anyway, did we?"

“Ok, Ok.  But if we’re going to have a sale, we have to find a bunch of things to put on sale!  Let’s go for a walk around the store and figure it out.”

At this point, if you were a fly on the wall, you would follow us around the store picking out all sorts of goodies for our upcoming sale, and listening to back and forth discussion on each one.  But you get the point!  Everything is a discussion.  No feelings are ever hurt.  We always take turns.  And at least one of us is happy with every decision.

Here are some of the sale goodies we picked out  along the way …
Gorgeous, to-die-for toile bag that we happened to spend a fortune on in France!  It was $350 and it's going to be $265.
Darling orange leather accoutrements handmade in the South of France, now 50% off.
And keeping with the orange theme, some of our favorite orange lacquer cubes that are just so stylish and elegant and a little retro, and were $875 each now $595.
"So how are we going to promote this sale?"

"Well, the girl in the frame worked really well for us the last time.   Do you think we could try it again?"
"You mean, like this?" (Thank you, Emily!)
Is this a good tactic?
"Hmm ... maybe not.  But what about this?  All of our gorgeous Flora Bella tunics will be on sale, and who best to model them than our favorite cover girl?"
That's better!
And so a Sale is born and here's what we agreed to:  Over a hundred pieces are going on sale (with some of us kicking and screaming, but never mind about that!).  Yes, on the bubbly.  Yes on the three day time limit.  And yes on having fun, of course.  Cheers!

Ta ta ...

PS:  The nitty gritty:  The sale starts Thursday at 10 a.m. and will end at 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 4th. It's 3-day-only sale.  No other discounts apply.  No returns or exchanges.  Sale does not apply to previous purchases.  Over one hundred items on sale, but it is Not a storewide sale.  Sale applies to Huff Harrington Home only.   No art is on sale.  There.  We've said it all!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Soirees at Huff Harrington

We had the party vibe going all over the place last weekend and what fun it was.  The fete got started Friday night at Huff Harrington Home with a little gathering we co-hosted with adorable Ally, the creator of "From the Right Bank" blog. We've been following her Frenchy-inspired postings for quite a while and it seemed like a perfect fit to throw a fun party with her at Huff Harrington Home.
Here we are with Ally.
Not only is Ally a major Francophile (endearing her forever to us) but she also loves art so we were delighted and honored when she asked if she could raid the gallery to create one of her "art walls" (for which she is extremely famous in blogging circles) at Huff Harrington Home. Of course we gave her carte blanche at the gallery to pick and choose what she wanted to use.
Ally with her masterpiece of an art wall. We're thrilled that all pieces came from our little gallery.
Ally's unbelievably creative and we loved what she picked and how seamlessly she arranged it on the wall.  She gravitated to works by French artists - and American artists who love all things Francaise. The wall looks like it belongs to someone who has been passionately collecting art and paintings for years. (For a very entertaining and  informative glimpse into Ally's famous art wall process, click here on her blog.)
We also thought it would be fun - and fitting - to give away three nights at the Paris apartment - and we weren't surprised when we were inundated with business cards for the drawing. Just to make everyone squirm a little, we waiting till the last possible moment to the drawing.
Everyone was excited about the possibility of winning three nights in the Paris apartment.
We stayed with our beloved Frenchy theme and had plenty of champagne and our favorite summer beverage, Lillet, on hand for our guests.  Soiree, based here in Atlanta, did our nibbles along with our very nice and delicous neighbor, STG Trattoria.
Lillet and champagne kept us all refreshed throughout the evening.
We had fluffed like crazy and the store felt very festive.
We love this vignette that channels all that hot orange and pink.
A pretty French piece that we dolled up with a carnation pink interior.
Our guests mingled, chatted, browsed and sipped.
Checking out the books on our newly arrived and totally crusty antique library table.

The ladies always gravitate to the jewelry.
Love these Frenchy nautical stripes on Megan Dean and Kelly Ottinger.
Emily and Sarah (with Ann in the middle) helped keep us organized.
Emily and Sarah (with Ann in the middle) helped us out throughout the evening.
Lots of fun mingling.
Finally, it was time for the drawing.  We gave everyone a five-minute warning:
Five minutes left!
...and then pulled the lucky winner!  Jeff Kamen, a longtime friend of the gallery, was the winner and we think we're just as excited about it as he is!
Meg, Jeff (the lucky winner), Ann and Ally.
Our summer soiree at the store was a blast and we loved seeing  the dozens of smart and cute bloggers, media, designers and clients who came out on that rainly night to say bon soir.
But the party wasn't quite over yet.  The following day was July 14th - Bastille Day! We always celebrate this French holiday at the gallery and this year was no exception.
It's not our Bastille Day show without our adorable accordion player, who goes by Jacques for the evening.
The gallery was beautifully hung with dozens of new paintings by artists who are either French or who just simply adore France.  We were especially excited to have the works of our talented (and very fun!) workshop students who accompanied Nancy Franke and Bill Davidson to Provence to paint, paint, paint and paint some more.
Elizabeth Lines and Rhonda Feldman who painted in Provence.
Debra and Tom McDavid.

Artist Melissa Payne Baker with her husband, Rick and their new arrival, Payne.
The refreshments.
We always expect a good crowd at this show but this year, it was wild.  We got so crowded we had to entice some guests to stay outside for a little while. We plied them with wine and they were wonderfully gracious about it.
This was the first time we've ever had a line to get into the gallery!
We're off the party circuit till the fall!  Bon ete...


Monday, July 9, 2012

Our Container of French Fabulousness Arrives...

The phone rang the other day and it was our customs broker in Houston calling to tell us that our long-awaited container had not only arrived safe and sound in Savannah but had miraculously cleared US Customs in world-record time...and were we ready for it immediately?
After jumping up and down with joy and excitement, we set up delivery for 7 a.m. the following morning and got busy making calls to our reliable and nice movers and a couple muscly, strong Huffington teenager boys.  Then, we frantically started clearing a nice big spot in the back of the store to corral all the goodies that we'd be unloading the next morning.
Now, you have to understand that Ann did the shopping for this container back in April and we were all dying to see what she had picked out as she made her way through her favorite little markets and fairs in France. While she was buying, she'd tempt us with Iphone pictures like these just to whet our appetites:
"...and I just had to get this fabulous crunchy ladder - perfect for North Georgia lake houses, don't you think?"
"...I just couldn't resist these." (We didn't blame her one bit.)
".. and I got two of these - aren't they fabulous? Can't you just see them on either end of a long and elegant sofa?"
We all know that Ann possesses a killer eye and can sift through piles of junque to uncover the most lovely little treasures. And she's a whiz at identifying styles and woods and she definitely has a weakness for Louis XVI mirrors and old sparkly chandeliers.  So no wonder that we were really, really excited to see our treasures, like this Swedish buffet a deux corps.
This has initials and a date painted on it but they're so faded you can barely see them. Feels romantic to us.
We were ready to get to work.  As the sun came up, our gigantic 18-wheeler was already waiting for us at the store and our helpers arrived bearing coolers of Gatorade and water (did we mention it was a typical 90 degree, steamy and humid July morning in Atlanta?)
After we scrounged a bolt-cutter to cut the iron bolt that locks the container (note to selves: let's just buy one and keep it at the store...), Ricky and guys flung the doors open and the fun began:
The guys unloading an antique console that seriously weighs about a zillion pounds.
Eric Wagasky and Quinn Mohan, our adorable (and strong) Huffington teenager helpers.
There was lots of oooohing and aaaahhhing as boxes were unloaded and we went crazy with scissors and box-cutters. Ann had her list going and she was positively glowing with delight as her treasures arrived.
Ann checking her list (it's a little blurry but maybe that's a good thing because it was literally the crack of dawn.)
Every once in a while, she'd say "uh oh...I'm not sure what I was thinking with this one..." but we'd all end up adoring whatever the piece was. It really was like Christmas in July.  There was packing paper and boxes everywhere, we were all dripping with sweat but none of that mattered.   How could it when we were feasting our eyes on little vignettes that just kept making themselves:
We were feeling a little bit like our own little French antiques fair by the time these beauties showed up. We loved them propped on the wall outside the store.
Crusty antique sap pots that still smell of pine.
"Alarm clocks" kept showing up on our paperwork and couldn't figure out for the life of us what that meant. Here are the charming and sweet Frenchy clocks that we're all dying over.
Vintage hotel silver with the most gorgeous patina. Perfect for a stylish bar at home.
A lovely armoire has this inscription carved into the front: "Arts et Lettres."
The key to the "Arts et Lettres" armoire was nailed into the back of it. There was no way that key was going to be lost. What a nice, old-worldly touch.
Voila! The "Arts et Lettres" armoire all dressed up in its new home and full of the vintage hotel silver as well as new sleek nickel barware.
Ann kept telling us about this wonderfully old, very long crusty table with an iron base that she wasn't leaving France without buying.  She had sent us a picture of it and we were salivating over the thought of it:
The "very long table with iron base" that we were dying to see. Here it is when Ann found it with painted blue metal chairs that are adorable in their own right.
And here it is after we fluffed it: it's a spectacular library table...and we do humbly think the antique zebra rug looks great with it.
Needless to say, we've been having a blast this week fluffing, arranging and moving our mountains of buffets, shutters, ladders, accessories and armoires around - and we can't wait to show them all off.
A scrolly iron coffee table base from Paris.
And, finally...our very favorite little piece that now sits outside the store during business hours - and has been stealing all the attention with its very Frenchiness:
Une bicyclette made of French willow. We added the wine.
Ta ta.
p.s. This is a busy week for us...we're also hosting our fifth annual Bastille Day show at Huff Harrington Fine Art on Saturday, July 14th from 6-8 p.m. Hope you'll join us for this fun celebration: we'll have bubbly, nibbles and our favorite accordion player belting out lively tunes - all while surrounded by paintings that evoke the very essence of all things French. A bientot!