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Highs & Lows – 2018

Farewell, 2018. Hello, 2019.

It was a good year. Fast but good! Here’s a few moments that really stand out to me when thinking back on 2018.

I turned 25 – High

Wow, am I really an actual grown up? Yep. I turned 25 on January 25th 2018. I even wrote a post about it –25 Life Lessons for 25! Aaron & Kelbee made this day special for me.

Classic Cottage Co. Expanded… AGAIN!! – High

Yep, we had the opportunity to expand the space we we’re currently renting so we did so! This gave our customers a little extra room to shop while allowing us to stage more inventory.

I Felt Alone – Low 

It was a Summer Night when the reality hit me – I’m the only one who still lives in this area. Once upon a time, I had a father, mother and 2 sisters live in the Auburn, Al area. We grew up here. Everyone went their separate ways. I stayed in a town full of memories. I felt very alone.

I Planned for an Online Store – High

Yessss!! The thought alone excited me. Aaron and I spent ENDLESS hours planning for our online store. It was the conversation every Sunday at our favorite local Italian restaurant. It would be the BIGGEST expansion of Classic Cottage Co. YET!

He Canceled the Store – Low

Real low. I was furious.

I totally see why Aaron made the decision. I had been planning for nearly a year to open the online store and didn’t make the jump because of fear and anxiety. I had all the support in the world – Aaron and really no excuse. Aaron and I were paying monthly fees for a store that didn’t exist yet. It was all just a big dream with even bigger fear.

One day, I tried logging in to the admin of the online store and it had been canceled. I was furious. I called Aaron. Aaron explained that he had canceled it months ago because we were paying for something that hadn’t been used in months.Worst of all – I was so embarrassed it had been canceled for month and it took me that long to even realize. Geeze. I was so angry but baby it put a fire in me. Within weeks we had items listed and were ready to go. I think Aaron knew the fire I needed.  I realized fear had be robbing me so I…

Launched an Online Store – High 

You. Better. Believe. It.

I’m so proud to say Classic Cottage Co. Online launched on September the 4th. Funny story. We actually hit the “go live” button and made the announcement on social media on the way to our friend’s house for dinner. At this point, I wasn’t wasting time or waiting for the perfect time. When it’s time to GO, you GO!

I had no clue what I was doing. Didn’t know the first thing about shipping items. Not to mention shipping items worldwide! Ha, Aaron and I quickly learned though!

Talk about a high – I was on a freaking mountain. Since then we have shipped out more orders than we ever imagined. PS – thanks for that!

We Nearly Lost Oscar – Low 

One Sunday morning, we woke up and Oscar was sick. Aaron rushed him to the emergency after hours vet. It was an up and down roller coaster. After much prayer, money and few weeks, our little Oscar was back on the mend!! Thank, God!

My Instagram hit 30K – High 

Say whaaaattttt???? Yes! Maybe soon I should write a post on IG tips! Instagram is a part of my business. I was so thrilled and appreciative of reaching this milestone!

Wow, that’s actually a good bit of highs and lows! All in all, it’s been a good year. Aaron and I totally invested everything we had into building our life and a business. The year FLEW BY!

Cheers 2019!

Winter Decor

I’ll admit I’ve never really decorated our home for Winter until this year. I found this little transition of Christmas to Winter to be fun. I kept things VERY simple and spent zero cash.

I think it’s okay to keep out some of your Christmas decor but here’s my tips – eliminate the red and switch up where you had certain items. For instance, the thick knit garland around my tree is now being used on this book shelf. I also reused the white glitter picks from my Christmas tree. I feel that both of those items scream cozy winter.

Along with keeping out my garland, I kept out a little faux tree. I simply changed it up by sitting it in a galvanized bucket. Pine is winter-ish, right? Now I have a little green without rushing straight into Spring.

 Speaking of winter pine, I clipped some fresh pine from our Christmas tree and added it to a vintage crock on our farm table. Ummmmm, free!!! So far the little needles are hanging in there. If you do this, be sure to add water to the bottom!

So that’s what I did for my Christmas to Winter transition. Check out my recent post – Ahhh, My House Feels Sooooo Empty to see what else I’m up to during this Winter!!

Ahhh, My House Feels Sooooo Empty – After Holiday Home

Some of us dread it. Some of us love it. It’s the after Holiday emptiness of our home. We’ve had orange decor and pumpkins, turkeys and acorns, and Christmas trees and garland. For the past few months our homes have felt festive and full. Suddenly it feels empty.

I’m somewhere between love and dread when it comes to this after holiday emptiness. I love the simplicity and routine that comes with January; however, the house can sometimes feel a bit cold and empty. Here’s what I do to combat that empty feeling – I plan!

No – I can’t go to World Market and hit up the antique mall and buy a bunch of AWESOME pieces to fill the after Holiday void. Ummmm, can you say “budget”…Not to mention how pricy Christmas just was!! Nor do I even need to purchase extra “things”.

Instead, I take a step back and think of maybe a piece or two I want to invest in for 2019. Maybe a nice cabinet or large wall art. I focus on how I may could budget that awesome piece for 2019. Maybe you want to change out the coffee table. Well, now’s the time to start Pinteresting what you want and set aside a little money for it.

Also, now’s the time to do some DIY projects inside the house. Maybe freshen up the paint in a room (buying a can of paint can go a long ways in a space), change out a light fixture, or make a chalkboard wall. It’s cold outside so now’s a great time to work on the interior of your home.

Plan what you want your home to look like in 2019. Plan for any major purchases you’d like to make. When packing up the Christmas tree it’s hard to know if you should drown your tears in one last peppermint mocha or celebrate the fresh simple start with champagne. Girl, I say make a mimosa and start planning what your want for your home in 2019.

Christmas in the Kitchen

Kitchens are my favorite to decorate at Christmas time! I truly feel a kitchen is the heart of a home.

This year I wanted all the cozy kitchen vibes with lots of green trees and lots of warm lights.

Draping some lights across the white metal piece in our kitchen was one of the first things I did. I’m still loving the warm glow it gives…. secretly wanting to keep it up through Winter!

Next the evergreens! We hung faux garland across the sink window and put out little mini trees all throughout the space. Especially in the open space above our cabinets. We also added a little live tree on the island to serve as our little “family tree”. That’s been my favorite part of the Christmas kitchen decor.

What’s Christmas without a little red?! I pulled out the vintage Santas to give me a punch of  red. Nothing like a sweet classic vintage red. This also serves as a reminder of Christmas as a child because we had Santas displayed everywhere in our home growing up.

That’s Christmas in the kitchen!! Hope you enjoyed this festive post. Thanks for reading!

Addition to the Classic Cottage Co. Team

For a while, it was just me – hunting, painting and staging. Then Aaron started to help and we were able to accomplish triple. Yep, he’s just that good. Now we’ve added a third person!

Allow me to introduce another face behind Classic Cottage Co. – Meet Breanna!!

We’ve been thinking for months about hiring someone and each time we would think about it, Breanna came to mind. Right around the time we were ready to take the plunge and hire, Breanna was looking for a job.

No doubt, we can already see she’s a great addition to Classic Cottage Co.. Breanna has an awesome work ethic and is always a bright ray of sunshine! Oh, and she has a new found love for French Provincial pieces! 

Breanna will be helping us share behind the scenes on our social media, answering some support, preparing pieces for the booths, and helping with the online store. Yep, she’s gonna be busy & such a great help to us!

She Shed & Chicken Coop Christmas Blog Tour

Hi! I’m so glad you made it over to my blog and I’m excited to share the chicken coop with ya! Some of you possibly came from The Little Green Bean blog and if you did, welcome!!!

So I waited a minute too long to deck the halls of the chicken coop this year. I had a plan but I couldn’t find any fresh garland or wreaths in our WHOLE TOWN!! AHHH!! It turned out okay though because it forced me to be creative and I saved money!

I found myself at our local farmers market on my journey to finding those items. They were giving their tree clippings away for free! (Tip – I think most places that sell Christmas trees do this!) So Aaron and I grabbed some and threw them in the truck.

Once I got home I simply decked the coop with pine tree branches! I stuffed them on top of the coop and in a planter beside it. These pine clippings really brought life to our little coop and they were FREE! YASSSS!!!!

Next up, I added a red wreath (which I’ve had since my very first apartment) and a joy sign that was out in my shed! Bam, the chicken coop is now festive!!

If you found this inspirational, be sure to check out my friend at The Pickled Rose!

Christmas in the Workroom for $10

Yep, we made Christmas happen in the Classic Cottage Co. workroom. Many hours are spent in that workroom of ours so we decided to make it festive for the Holiday season!

Our small business functions on a small business budget so we wanted to play this Christmas decor game smart! I turned to my trusty favorite for me this season Target lights. Simply draping these lights around our chalkboard gave an instant Holiday glow. Not bad for $10!

Speaking of chalkboard, I grabbed my chalk (I’m such an artist. NOT!) and drew out a simple (VERY SIMPLE) tree. Note – If I can do this you can too!! This bit of Christmas cheer was free!

Next, Aaron and I went all over town looking for fresh pine. We needed a wreath and garland for this project and another we have coming up. We soon found out our community is out of garland and very limited on fresh wreaths. This actually worked out for the good. While on our search for garland we went by a farmers market and they let us have the Christmas tree clippings for FREE!! Tip -I think this is pretty common for places that sell live Christmas trees! So I grabbed my floral wire and and formed a little wreath from the clippings. Now I’m glad everywhere was out of garland because it forced me to be creative and saved us money!

Between these little festive touches and a peppermint candle, you have Christmas in the workroom. I didn’t even realize we only spent $10 until after is was finished. A little Christmas can go a long ways!

Making Money with a Vintage Booth During the Holidays

I’ve been in the industry for a few years now and I can tell you the Holiday season can be a little slower for antique dealers/pickers. Sad to say, but I’ve heard many dealers say they have a hard time paying rent during the Holidays, much less making a profit for the work!

I try to be very strategic when it comes to Classic Cottage Co. during the Holidays so that I not only make rent but bring home a paycheck! Here’s a few tips!

Christmas Decor Stocked

People are buying all things Christmas right now. Look at the big box stores – Target can barely keep it in stock. Wednesday I had a good day at my largest booth location and most of the items that sold were CHRISTMAS!

If it’s out (& priced right) I’ll sell something Christmas-y just about every day this time of year.

Keep it Festive

Yep, that Christmas decor serves another purpose too. It makes the booth feel festive which in return makes people happy which leads to jolly ol’ buyers!

Tip – All the Christmas decor does have a price tag!

Style those Christmas decorations in your booth as you would your home. This not only keeps the booth looking pretty but shows buyers how to use your merchandise. I shop all year long for Christmas items so I’ll be fully stocked all season.

Bring Out the BEST

Sure, everyone has Christmas on the brain. Sure, everyone is spending all their money on Christmas gifts. Use this to your advantage!!!! Those same shoppers are making a mental Christmas wishlist as they shop. I’ve seen wives spot a vanity or buffet and the husband show up the next day with a cash in hand. Now is the time to bring out those beautiful pieces that that would make for the perfect Christmas gift.

Fresh Pine Wreath

A simple timeless way to add holiday cheer to your home is with a fresh pine wreath! You can use it inside or out – either way it’ll have that little space smelling and looking like Christmas time!

That’s why when Artist Wreaths  reached out about sending us a wreath for the Holiday season – I said , “SURE”!!  There’s nothing like fresh pine during the Holidays.

The wreath we chose was the Cedar Roses & Red Princess Pine Holiday Wreath. I was attracted to this wreath because of the sweet cedar pine roses. I though those were a creative combo on a Christmas wreath. It has just enough neutral with a great pop of rich red. The wreath was delivered right to our door looking very full and fresh! It was the same type of treat as getting live flowers but this is prettier, larger and will last longer!

Over all, I was so pleased with my wreath from Artistic Wreaths! I think it makes for the perfect festive touch on a door, window or above a bed!

 Hope you’re already enjoying your Holiday season! Be sure to check out Artist Wreaths!!

Preparing for Christmas at Thanksgiving

Yep, I know it’s a debate. Truthfully I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. I’m talking about the topic of decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving Day.

Let me start by saying, it’s all about the traditions and what makes your heart happy.

For this reason, my halls are already decked for the season on Thanksgiving.  In my mind, Nov 1 bErin’s the whole season of Jolliness. Part of this is because it’s how I was raised, so it’s tradition. Growing up, our home would already be decorated for Christmas on Thanksgiving Day. It felt so festive!

This week I’ve been asked several times if it was okay to start decorating for Christmas even if you host Thanksgiving. I say TOTALLY! We’re hosting Thanksgiving and the house is already very festive for Christmas!

I’m styling my table with classics such as gold metals, candle sticks, and ironstone to blend Thanksgiving with Christmas decor.

Just wanted to write this blog to say if it makes your heart happy to begin enjoying the Christmas decor, go ahead. On the other hand, if it makes you’re heart happy to wait, that’s okay too!

As for me, I’ll be enjoying my Thanksgiving dessert beside the Christmas tree.

PS – These pics are from Thanksgiving last year!

-Karlee