Sunday, June 15, 2014

What is the Atelier?

I'm getting super excited about how we're going to transform our current space in a collective market. I wanted to take the time to share our vision and what the space currently looks like (in case you've never been in). If you are thinking about applying (and I hope you do), following are some FAQ's and pics of what we'll be working with:

What is the Atelier at Frenchtown? 

Atelier is the French word for "workshop"...and since we're located in the historic Frenchtown district, we thought that was an obvious choice for this new shop. A portion of the space will remain a workshop for RDFCo. and for our Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint workshops. 

The rest will be turned into a collective market featuring local artists, handmade vendors and vintage finds. We're looking to bring something new and different to this little shopping district.

The Atelier will be open the first full weekend of each month on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to coincide with other monthly local sales events in Frenchtown. We will happily open for appointments outside of the monthly sales event, in addition to special pop-up events.

What's the inspiration/vision for the Atelier?

I'm always amazed by the artistic and vintage community in St. Louis. There's a ton of small shops that sell on Etsy and local seasonal craft fairs. Or, they may have taken their business a step further and done larger markets and events. There's alot that goes into having a brick and mortar. We've made alot of changes in our lives to do it. And, we're fortunate to be able to really try and make a go of it. Now that we have some extra space, I love the idea of giving other small businesses the opportunity to sell in a bigger space and get a taste of what it's like.

Since becoming a MMSMP retailer, I've joined a group of inspiring shop owners. Two that I really admire are Abbe Doll of The Cottage Collective and Chad and Brandi Dressen of Carver Junk Company. They have created inspiring occasional shops -- if you are thinking of applying for a space at the Atelier, this is what we're aiming for!

How will my brand stand out?

We really want the Atelier to serve more as a marketplace and not like vendor booths. As much as we can, we will be blending and staging items together, creating little vignettes. We will be selecting vendors with an established brand, identity and look. You will be encouraged to have your own tags and signage.

This will also be our vendor's space. For the most part, our products will move to Main Street. We will probably have a table or two of ours, but for the most part, our product line and items will not be competing with yours. If we need some filler, we might bring stuff down as needed.

Who will be doing the staging?

Us. You. Everyone involved! We want our vendors to feel like the space is as much theirs as it is ours. We're looking to get a great group of people in who love to decorate and stage their products. I'm hoping we can all work together to make an amazing space. If that's not your thing, no worries. Your products will be blended in to create a cohesive look!

How will by brand be advertised?

Vendors will be spotlighted on our website, Facebook page and will have prominent acknowledgement in the store. We also plan on having Atelier promotion at our Main Street location. Also, the local businesses along Second Street all work together...we all carry everyone's marketing/business cards and send customers to the shops along our street.

What products are you looking for?

Since we focus on home decor at RDFCo., we'll do the same at the Atelier. However, we're also looking at bringing in smalls, like jewelry, bath products, etc. Shops currently in Frenchtown have a lot of antiques, painted furniture, and salvaged items. We want to bring in some vendors that are a bit different to compliment the other shops.

If you still have questions, feel free to email me at I also invite you to come out and take a look at the shop and chat with me. We'll be closing the application period at the end of June, so we can quickly get things ready for the first weekend in August. Click here to apply.

Friday, June 13, 2014

RDFCo. Presents....

Are we completely insane?

I think I've asked myself and Jeff this about 238 times this week. The answer: Yes. Yes we are.

Just as we were settling in at our Frenchtown shop, we're excited to announce that we'll be moving to Historic Main Street! In a few weeks. Eek!

Since we opened in Feb., one of our most frequent customers has been Dan Hobbs, who owns Fox and Hound Antiques, along with his wife April. They are opening their second location on Main and had some extra space. Jeff and I had already been talking about our next step and what we wanted/needed for RDFCo. Late night dreaming turned into serious talks turned into this...

Isn't this little courtyard amazing? We'll be renting the "barn" portion of the Hound's new space (the back, lower red section of this building). The courtyard is also shared with JOYS. The event planner in me is already scheming on what all three of us can use this space for.

Here's a peek at the inside...

We've got a ton of work to do and questions to why won't that light come on?

But, I think it's going to be awesome. Our businesses are both unique and are going to blend well together. I can't wait to see what it all looks like in the next few weeks!

So, what does that mean for our Frenchtown space? It will remain Jeff's workshop for building tables and I'll host my milk paint workshops there. We're also opening the space up to local handmade artists and vendors to create a unique, collective market:

The Atelier will be open the first full weekend of each month on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to coincide with other monthly local sales events in Frenchtown. We will happily open for appointments outside of the monthly sales event, in addition to special pop-up events. We are currently looking for, if you are interested, check out our website.

More info will be coming soon. A late June/July opening for our Main Street shop is planned and we're hoping to get the Atelier off the ground in August.

All of this couldn't be possible without the amazing support of our customers, family, friends, neighbors. Every purchase, mention, Facebook share helps. Thank you!

I'm also beyond lucky to have a Hubbie who will dream with me (in addition to his full time job) and works so hard to make it all a reality.