Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

If you follow us on Facebook then you have already been reminded of this. Today, Brickhouse Craft Shop celebrated it's fourth anniversary. That may not seem like a lot of years but Patti and I had no idea what to expect when we opened our little shop 4 years ago. In 4 short years though, we have truly been blessed to be able to do something we absolutely love - and share it with the best crafters and customers we know.

We realize that we have what some may consider some unfair advantages in the world of small business: we own the business, including the building (which is on our property) and most of the crafts - we do have some crafts on consignment - but from the day we opened we committed to not carrying any debt. We have no employees other than Patti and I. We don't pay rent or have a payroll to manage. Yes, our shop is very small but it is a legitimate business that the state of Pennsylvania recognizes and awaits our Sales Tax filing every 3 months. So while I will admit that our situation may be a bit unusual for these reasons, any good business person should be able to develop a business plan that positions them to succeed.

So why then do so many small businesses fail within the first few years? There are a number of reasons but I can tell you one very important reason a business won't succeed or survive is that they lose focus of the heart of the business. It doesn't matter if you offer a product or a service - if you focus on making money rather than making customers - you have lost focus of the single most important piece of your business.

Over the past 4 years and to this day, we continue to grow. We still have new customers visiting us. We still have customers who have been with us from the start. We never stop listening to our customers. Patti and I had a clear vision for what our shop would be about - what it would look like, what we would and would not sell. But we are not afraid to change if we feel it is right for the Brickhouse - and our customers have helped us along the way.

Obviously we know that our crafters are critical to our success as well but we believe they also realize how important the customer is. So today Patti and I want to especially thank all of our customers for making our Fourth Anniversary possible. We know that each day we succeed - it's because of you!      

Friday, November 25, 2011

In the Morning Light

We wanted to share some pictures of the Brickhouse Craft Shop porch in the morning light. The pictures in the previous post were taken last night after we finished decorating. We really like how it looks but at night it looks so cozy. You all should stop by and see it in person and do a little porch sitting.


So cozy!

Yard Sale Find~Glass terrarium that I scored for $10!
We filled it with greens and lights.

stack of old suitcases

old chicken crate with an old rusty trough sitting on top

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Bittersweet in a rusty metal wall pocket

Close up of the rusty metal pocket

I absolutely LOVE Bittersweet. We have a local lady that is making some wreaths for the Shop. She just delivered these beauties! When you drive up to the Shop and you see the one wreath that is hanging on the Shop...well that one is mine! 
This one is mine! I couldn't resist, I had to buy it!

 Yep I bought looks right at home here at the Shop....BUT the other beauties are looking for a home. Stop by the Brickhouse and see these bittersweet wreaths in person.

Back In The Saddle again....

I am back in the Blogging Saddle again! This weekend I realized just how much I missed Blogland and all the nice people Tim and I have met. I have a confession....I feel that I may have become a boring blogger...yes me, has been known to happen. So instead of boring all of you, I took a break from blogging, but I am back and I will try really hard to not bore you to tears.

 The Brickhouse Craft Shop is NOT a boring place these days! I don't think that Tim and I realized, when we opened our Shop back in '07, that we would still be going strong and having so much fun. The reason we are having so much fun is all our customers that stop by...they make what we do so much fun!

And the reason we are still going strong is because of our wonderful Crafters/Artists that fill our little Shop with the BEST Handmades ever! Yep I said "ever"! They are the BEST and we love them and their wonderful goodies.
 If you are in our neck of the woods we would love to have you stop by and visit us. I promise not to bore you like I just did with this blog post.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fall vs Winter

Fall is in the air for this upcoming weekend!

Winter was in the air last weekend.

Part of a tree that fell in our driveway during the snowstorm.

 We had a rare October snowstorm and our Craft Show at the Harvest Festival at  ARMSTRONG VALLEY WINERY was rescheduled for this upcoming weekend, Nov 5~6. The Weathemen are promising a fabulous Fall weekend...SO we would love if you stop by there this weekend and visit with us and the other vendors that will be selling their wares.

After this weekend, we will be Decking the Brickhouse out in Christmas splendor....make that Prim Christmas splendor!  

Wait till you see the perfectly prim Christmas goodies that we will have for you!

 Shop Local for your Christmas gifts....and support Made in AMERICA crafts!  And starting next week, we will be Open 7 days a week until Christmas Eve!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Now what?

Ok, so I got me this old cupola and now what can I do with it? Any ideas?  I am thinking that the roof is copper....someone decided to paint the roof and I have plans to remove the paint....but no other plans/ideas for it.
 I woke up one morning recently and there was a note on my kitchen door, asking me if I was planning on throwing the cupola away and if so the "note writer" wanted it. I wonder what the "note writer's" plans were for it???? :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Are You Ready?

 Are you ready for Christmas? I AM!  I know what you are going to say:" Halloween and Thanksgiving haven't even arrived yet!"  I know, I know....but I am SO ready for Christmas! I want to take ALL our wonderful Christmas/Winter goodies that are arriving almost daily here at the Shop and take them out of the boxes and start decorating the Shop! So tell me...are you ready for Christmas?
I want to thank everyone for the comments on our last blog post about the tarts. I was having problems leaving comments so I couldn't respond to each of you but I do thank you all for your comments.
Tim and I want to let you know that on Oct 29 and 30, The Brickhouse along with other vendors/crafters will be taking part in a craft show at the Harvest Festival at the Armstrong Valley Winery in Halifax, PA.  The Shop will be closed on those two days but you can find us at the Winery...we would love to have you stop by our booth at the Harvest Festival. We are hoping for a perfect sunny Fall weekend for the event...let's hope Mother Nature comes through....we don't need anymore rain here in Central PA!
Hmmmm....speaking of rain has me thinking about SNOW...I am so ready for the first snowfall! ARE YOU READY!?

Saturday, October 1, 2011


 Which do you prefer to buy and why: the tarts in the bag or the tarts in the plastic cups?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunrise at the Brickhouse

           When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breath, to
think, to enjoy, to love. ~~Marcus Aurelius~~


We had a beautiful sunrise this morning at the Brickhouse. Can you believe today is the last day of August? I don't know about you but I think this Summer went by so fast, which is fine with me...I LOVE FALL!  Tim and I hope you enjoy many beautiful sunrises. Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Light House

Maybe we should change the name of our Shop from the Brickhouse to the Lighthouse. We have been busy creating new lights for our customers and I thought today that Lighthouse may be more appropriate. Here are some of our newest Lights. 

Autumn Lights.

Our Frost on the Pine lights

Bowlful of bulbs! Our pumpkin bulbs.

Monday, August 15, 2011

See what's new

 We have been stocking the Shop with some new goodies. And in the next couple of weeks we will be displaying all the wonderful Fall Crafts. Some of our friends here at the Shop are busying crafting away on Fall and Christmas..yes I said know it is only 131 Days, 11 hours & 45 minutes...but who's counting? WE ARE!  

~~Snowmen are starting to arrive at the Brickhouse~~
 We Love the Fall and Christmas Season at the Brickhouse and so do our crafters, they told us that making Fall/Christmas goodies are what they love to make! SO keep checking back to see when new things arrive.

Here are just a few pictures of what is new at the Shop.

~~Such pretty pendants!~~
Stop by and see our lights..handdipped right here at the Brickhouse
 You are going to love our new lower prices on our lights!

~Such a sad face..but oh so CUTE~

~~New from Indian Trail Pottery!~~


We  are so happy to introduce you to a new member of the Brickhouse Family.....Nancy Binns and her wonderful wood carvings! Tim and I met Nancy when we did the craft show at the Armstrong Valley Winery. We fell in love with her and her carvings. And we are pleased to announce that the Brickhouse now carries some of Nancy's carvings! Stop by the Shop and see Nancy's Santas and ornaments.....we know you will fall in love with her carvings, too. And you can find Nancy on FaceBook at: Nancy binns-Folk Artist-Woodcarver. We told Nancy that we wanted to brag about her and we asked if she could tell us a little about herself....We are pleased to introduce you to Nancy Binns:

Self taught folk artist, I began carving in 1985 after seeing some carvings by a West Virginia carver, inspired to create and since then have been carving regularly. I enjoy carving Santa's and have found a whole world of collectors with an amazing variety of the big guys.

My carvings are whimsical and have a feeling of humor, probably like me, never too serious and always looking for the brighter side of life.

I have carved thousands of Santa's as well as ornaments of birds and Christmas themed hanging keepsakes. They're all over the world.....standing on shelves and gathered for children to mark occasions.

Each carving is unique and one of a kind, carved by hand over a few days, then painted and signed. With a sharp knife and an idea a character is born to go off in the world, hopefully to create a smile and last a life time.


Welcome Nancy, we are so happy to have you join our family here at the Brickhouse!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fall Issue of Mercantile Gatherings

The Fall issue of Mercantile Gatherings just arrived at the Brickhouse! I quickly paged through it...looks like a great issue! Stop by the Brickhouse and pick up a copy!


We are having some issues with our Facebook page for the Brickhouse. Hopefully, FB will get the problems fixed and we will be back to posting updates on our Brickhouse page. In the meantime, for our local customers..WE ARE OPEN TODAY  10~5. Stop by the Brickhouse today and visit with us.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lititz Craft Show 2011

Anyone going to the  LITITZ CRAFT SHOW  this Saturday August 13th? If you do, you MUST stop by our friend, Teresa's booth. You can find Teresa and her wonderful "wares" at Broad Street, near the corner of Broad and Main...right near the Bank. Her space number is E 4~5. Here is a  Map  for the Show. If you don't stop by Teresa's booth you will be sooooo dissapointed...she has the Best Prim Treasures......oh and wait till you see her wooden pieces! When you stop by her booth, tell her Patti and Tim sent you!
Now if you are not planning on going to the Lititz Craft Show you can always visit Teresa at  these upcoming Shows  here in Central PA:
 August 27th, Corn Festival in Shippensburg, PA & October 8th,  at the Hartslog Days in Alexandria, PA
If you can't make it to PA, you have to stop by Teresa's BLOG and see all her goodies. She has an Etsy shop...we are sure you will fall in love with her talent....we have and so have our customers here at the Brickhouse.
Teresa if you are reading this, we wish you much success at the Show this weekend....have fun!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

So, What's a Good Day at the Brickhouse?

Hey Folks, it's Tim. I know - it's been a long time since my last posting on this blog. But now I have something worth discussing. Patti and I have been asked this question by more than a few people over the past several years - especially lately with the tough economic times we're all going through. Fellow crafters, shop owners and just curious folks ask us: 'So, what's a Good Day at the Brickhouse?' Well, we've been debating whether we really wanted to share this with everyone and we've finally decided that the time is right and you deserve to know. So here goes, we're opening our books and letting you see just what a Good Day is here at the Brickhouse.  

A Good Day at the Brickhouse is...

...When a customer visits us - again! We hope this means that they enjoyed their last experience here - but if they have a question or concern with a past visit or purchase, we're just as glad that they cared enough to come back and let us know so we can make it right.

...When a new customer visits us! There are a few ways this happens, but many times it's because another customer told them how much they liked their visit with us. So many times we hear, 'my friend told me about you', or 'my sister said I would love this place', or 'my wife said just stop there and buy anything - I like it all!' This makes us feel like we are still doing a good job, that people like us and they are telling their friends.  

(On the back of our Sales Receipts that our customers receive with their purchase is an old cliche' that I remember from working in my familys' General Store: 'If we please you, tell your friends. If we don't, tell us.' That saying has been around forever but it's simple and we like it and it reminds us how our best advertising gets done.)

...When a customer shares a  laugh - or some tears - with us. Many of our customers feel very comfortable when they visit us and they share many funny stories and good news. They have also shared sad news with us and we let them know that they are not alone during these times. In either case, we often share a handshake, a pat on the back, a hug or a kind word when it is needed.

...When customers that don't know each other start chatting and laughing like they are old friends. You'd be suprised how many times this happens!

...When customers bring 'future shoppers' to the Brickhouse. We've had customers bring their babies along for a visit. We've had customers bring their young children along for a visit. We keep a candy dish on the checkout counter for the young customers - OK - the candy is really for anybody!       

...When one of our crafters stops by and customers get to meet them! Here at the Brickhouse, we are all about connections. Connecting the crafters and their crafts with our customers - and when they actually get to meet that is even better! 
Looking back, Patti and I can't believe how many Good Days we've had here in the few years we've been open. So maybe some of you are disappointed but we really don't measure a 'Good Day' by the number of dollars made - instead we measure a 'Good Day' by the number of new customers and friends we make.

So, now you know what a 'Good Day' is at the Brickhouse.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Frost on the Pumpkin

My creative juices are flowing today! I started the day making snowmen and now I am ending the day making lights. Introducing our newest lights..... "FROST ON THE PUMPKIN"

These look nice even when they are not lit..the "frost" makes them sparkle
It was a challenge sprinkling the "frost" on the lights....I am thinking this will be a two person job. I may have to recruit Tim to help me :)