Monday, December 21, 2009

Selling 'the Experience'.

Hello folks, it's Tim. Patti and I have been very busy with the shop these days and so as you might have noticed, it's been a while since our last posting.
Around this time of year it is common to think about all that has happened throughout the past year. Was it a good year? Did we accomplish what we set out to do? Could we have done things better? Are we still having fun? Patti and I have reflected on this often since celebrating the 2nd anniversary of Brickhouse Craft Shop on December 8th.
You might recall how I closed one of my previous postings where I explained how we got 'from There to Here':
I have often told Patti, 'what we are selling is the experience, what the customer is buying is the craft.' We hope our customers enjoy the experience, whether it be the music, the crafts, or the time they spent chatting with us. We hope that they will do like Patti and I did and take if from Here to There...
Recently, over the past several days I have been in the shop helping Patti with customers. There were 2 occasions when customers let us know that they were in fact 'taking it from Here to There.'
One customer commented about a previous visit to our shop when she especially enjoyed the music that was playing at the time. Patti had showed her the CD and written down the artist and title. On this recent visit, the customer told us that she was able to find the CD and bought a copy for herself - and another copy to give as a Christmas present! This wouldn't ordinarily be unusual but in this case this was a CD from which I heard one song on the local NPR radio station in Austin, Texas - in 1994 - and have never heard any of this artists music on the radio since. Patti and I have 4 CD's from this artist and enjoy all of them. I consider this a 'pearl' and I was very lucky to be listening to that radio station at the right time. This is part of the Brickhouse 'experience' we provide to our customers and we love to share it. Much of the music we play is from lesser known artists whose music is hard to find so it makes it special when we discover it and even more special when we can share it.
Another customer commented about a previous visit to our shop when Patti and I were chatting with her and told her about a really awesome restaurant we discovered in Round Top, Texas. We showed her the book that the owner and his family wrote somewhere in the mid '90's. It was part autobiography, part cookbook, included many pictures and was totally fun to read. On this recent visit, the customer told us that she was able to find the book and bought a copy for herself, read it from cover to cover - and even made an apple pie using one of the recipes! Again, this wouldn't ordinarily be so unusual but here's some background: At the time, Round Top had a population of 79 - really - that's what was on the sign as you entered the town. Royers Round Top Cafe was originally an old gas station - one of those with 2 gas pumps - so this gives you an idea of the size. Bud Royer and his family managed to prepare some of the most incredible meals - including pies. Bud had a passion for whatever he did and his family shared his passion for the Cafe. We found out it was not a well kept secret and you could expect a long wait to get a table. It was a special place for Patti and I and we enjoy sharing the memories. And we were glad to know the customer was able to get a copy of the book.
So, was it a good year? Absolutely - it's always good to celebrate an anniversary!
Did we accomplish what we set out to do? Absolutely - you've just read some examples of what Patti and I want to provide to our customers -beyond buying handmade crafts, they are taking some of our experiences 'from Here to There'!
Could we have done things better? Absolutely - you should see all the Post-It notes!
Are we still having fun? ABSOLUTELY - Patti and I love making our crafts. And with our incredible (and tired by this time of year!) crafters from across the USA and our customers - this has been more fun than we ever dreamed it could be!
Remember, 'Enter as Strangers - Leave as Friends.'
Patti and I would like to wish all of our crafters and customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Going Fast

Tim and I have been so busy at The Brickhouse Craft Shop. Time is flying by and I have so much that I want to bake cookies but I think my Christmas baking will start AFTER Christmas..I just don't have enough time to do some baking now. This morning we are going to the Food Bank to volunteer and then it is home to open the Shop. We were busy in the Shop yesterday which is unusual for a Wednesday. I need to restock and move things around in the Shop. We have been selling lots of our wonderful snowmen...I could kick myself for not ordering more of Beryl's snowmen..Yesterday we sold the last one! Beryl told me that she is working on new goodies for the Shop...I cannot wait to see what she has for us!
On Black Friday Tim and I had a visitor in the Shop. Susan from Henny Penny's came to visit us. Her son, Sam, drove down from Benton with Susan....Tim and I were so excited to see her walk in the door...she is the nicest lady and her son is so nice too...he was enjoying reading all of our funny signs! Tim and I were lucky to visit her Shop a few months ago. She has the neatest Shop and wow is she talented..her quilts are gorgeous!
Then this past Saturday during our first snowfall Kathleen from K's Kronicles and her husband, Bob drove up from Myerstown to visit our Shop....I enjoyed talking with Kathleen and meeting her and Bob....such a nice couple!
My cookie baking may have to wait till after Christmas BUT not putting up our tree! We are planning on putting the tree up today...FINALLY! Oh so much to do...not only are our Snowmen in the Shop going fast so are the days. They say time flies when you are having fun and YES Tim and I are having fun. We love being Shop owners and we love our customers/friends who have made our 2 years at The Brickhouse a wonderful experience...we thank all of you who have stopped by our Shop or our blog....Thank you and may you all have a Wonderful and Blessed Christmas.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


It seems like forever since I "blogged". I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. Tim and I have been so busy with the Shop....working like Santa's elves!
Some new signs that we have been working on.

And our Crafters have been busy creating lots of goodies for our customers.

We are always bragging how we have the nicest customers in the world..many who have become our friends. Well, the same can be said about our "Crafters"...the best CRAFTERS in the world!

If you love snowmen..we have them...but I must warn you they are quickly disappearing .....Disappearing because they are quickly finding new homes.. so stop by and see them before they are all gone. Indian Trail Pottery has wonderful Pottery for your gift giving or maybe as a gift for yourself...I know I am eyeing a few pieces that I want to buy! Bob, The Master Potter, is working on new pieces for our Shop...stop by and see all his beautiful pieces of Pottery. And our candles and tarts are the best in the area...sorry there I am bragging again! This weekend The Brickhouse is celebrating our 2nd year anniversary. Make sure you stop by and say hi..... we are offering a Special Anniversary discount to our customers.The Brickhouse Craft Shop may be small but it is filled with the best Handmades... Handmade in the USA......please stop by and visit like this handsome boy did..he is one of our favorite's! When you stop by you will see for yourself why we love to brag about our Crafters.