...converting a shopaholic into an entrepreneur...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Curious Customer

<--Some of my Festivity family during the busy holidays!

While I have been a bad-blogger, I have been working diligently at my full time job in retail at Festivity. Since I have mostly blogged about Duet, I thought I would catch everyone up on some funny happenings during the store hours of 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM. (most nights*)

I have worked in retail since I was 15 years old, so it's hard to imagine what could surprise me now. I am just lucky to come into contact with some very very special** people in this world. I have compiled a list of questions that I get CONSTANTLY at work and formed a brief description:

1. What grade are you in?
?! I am 23 years old. But I have formed the graceful answer of "Everyone tells me I look young, and I think that will be a nice compliment once I turn 30."

2. Did you know the fitting rooms were locked?
Nope, we just carry these keys on our arms so you know who works here. Please, crawl under the door or continue yelling at me about this terrible "inconvenience" but as soon as you get in there, feel free to stuff tops into your fake Gucci bag.

3. Do you have a tip jar? (said by 16 yr old girl wearing her new dress out of the store)
This is a new one. and no, seeing as I did not refill your drink, load your groceries, or scoop your icecream we do not have a tip jar. I should start saying yes, but only if you put it in my bra strap.

4. Are you hiring?
my response "Didn't we catch you and your friends stealing in here several months ago?!"

5. Is this a clothing store or a home goods store?
Have you ever been to Anthroplogie, or really ANY department store ever? If we would have to choose one or the other I would say neither and claim our store as an amusement park.

6. Do you have a restroom?
No, we don't have a public restroom. ( disappointed/ridiculous face) Would you ask to go use the restroom in Michael Kors? And once the rep told you no, would you tell her you were about to "wet yourself" Come on.

7. I left all my clothes in the fitting room, that's okay right?
This means you left everything on the floor or inside out on the wrong hangers. But thats okay, one day I will take a picture of the mess you leave and send it to your entire tennis team. Wealthy women are the WORST about this.

*We are open from 10-7 M-W and TR-S 10-8. Our customers can't seem to get over this one hour time difference and go crazy. Every week.

**By special I mean people that have purposefully chosen to step out of normal social boundaries and act like a fool.

Chelsea and I working late nights to get product out.

Recently, we had a mother and daughter come in with a shirt to exchange. She explained to me that the shirt was a gift (therefore no receipt), but it was damaged by a pen mark. As soon as she pulled it out of the bag, I remembered the garment. We noticed the tiny damaged spot and put the item on mark down. I had to be the barer of bad news and tell them their friend bought not only a top on sale, but a top that was damaged. The item was a final sale, so we could not take it back. The mother stared at me blankly and said "But this was a gift, and we can't take it back to them, what are we supposed to do with it?!?" After some verbal wrestling and manipulation she convinced us to let her exchange it. Whatever, who cares. It was her attitude that bugged me the most. I have received PLENTY of terrible, ugly, or broken gifts. I put them in the back of my closet and go on my merry way. It was not our stores responsibility to replace a bad gift. I had to remind her that she had not LOST any money in the deal. and all we gained was two hours of helping her daughter find something out of our "tiny" selection. Whoever marries her daughter is really in for it.

<--A little yoga behind the counter

In other news, I have a brand new nephew, Walker Davis Smith! He came one week early and we are so glad for it. He is truly a blessing from the Lord.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Picture This

These days things are very exciting for Duet. The most exciting (and fun) adventure yet, was the photo shoot we had Saturday! I met our amazing photographer at Festivity one afternoon. After browsing Sean and Amanda Photography's portfolio, I knew I picked the right folks! Then I chose Emily Gregory and Shelbie Cowart to be my fabulously, fresh faced, beautiful models. They did this out of the kindness of their heart, snacks, and maybe the fact that they are now the face of my brand. :)! Saturday started out really rainy, but before we knew it mega watt smiles and bright lights were shining everywhere! My sister, close friend Stephanie Gilkers, and I styled the girls in very 'vintage/romantic/simple' outfits that allowed my jewelry to POP. Shelbie and Emily wear everything so beautifully from head to toe, and have wonderful chemistry together! We had several outfit changes (game day, bridal, dressy) and a founders picture featuring my sister and I and her beautiful bump! Amanda, the photographer had some amazing tunes and an amazingly calm spirit. She handled our chaos and extreme A.D.D. with great patience. Sean, Amanda's husband, had the grand task of shoot all of my current inventory for Duet's new website. It was so tedious and he did a great job. Here are some pictures to get a feel for the day...

A little crowded but we managed to fit everything we needed.

My apartment transformed into a studio.

Founders! My baby mama sister and I.

The first shots...

Shelbie and Emily and their amazing chemistry.

Shelbie modeling Evelyn. Yes, the necklace is named.

My dream shot.

My wonderful incredible photographer, Amanda and I! :)

We truly got some beautiful shots of my jewelry and the girls, but I mostly feel like we created a 'feeling' for Duet. That is something that's priceless to me. I am forever grateful for everyone for their hard work on Saturday. I would not have been able to accomplish that with some plan ole' 'iPhone photography'! Keep an eye out for all of the pictures on Facebook and my new website coming soon!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

25 Things or Thoughts

I did this on Facebook in early 2009 and I thought it would be a good blog post! I'm not sure if they compare/contrast well, but they are interesting to read. I am hoping to post more often!

" 2009
Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. you are obviously exempt if you have already posted.

1. There are about a million other things I should be doing right now: sleeping. studying...

2. My family is by far the most important thing to me. They are my 4 best friends. and without fail are the most amazing, giving people I have ever met.

3. I want to be an aunt, but not a mother. and possibly not even a wife.

4. I worry about everything. I over think everything people do and say. apparently, this is called general anxiety disorder. who knew.

5. I didn't believe in soul mates until I met my friends. They accept my odd, crazy, anxious ways. and I accept theirs.

6. I am absolutely terrified of the dark. and scary movies. and spit. and snakes (even on tv)

7. Marley Bear Rozelle is my yorkie pom poo. except she doesn't look like a bear anymore, more like a cat. She is really smart. Really fast. and does not listen to me whatsoever.

8. I think roommates are fun and a wonderful way to get to know someone. Mine are diverse and refreshing.

9. I have never played a sport, ever. Well actually I played soccer when I was six, some kid made fun of my name at the first practice and I quit.

10. I eat condiments on everything. If I can't dip my food in something, I probably won't like it. My diet basically consists of chicken. and wraps. with chicken in them.

11. Apparently, I am a messy eater. Recently I realized where I got this from- DAD!

12. Legally, my middle name isn't May. My mom had a completely natural childbirth and somehow wrote "Ann" on my birth certificate. BUT we didn't notice this until several years after "MAY" had stuck.

13. I am really sentimental. I tell everyone I love them, and tend to think once I have met you, we are already best friends. I like to talk a lot, sometimes I make people uncomfortable.

14. I'm not a very good driver, but I make up for it by driving slow. (or atleast I like to think I do)

15. I was absent more days in high school than I was present. I am still working on this.

16. The first bible I ever owned was given to me for my 19th birthday by two of my best friends, Mandy and Kristen. I am still learning a lot about my faith, and am considering myself a work in progress.

17. I can cook, but I don't. I can clean, but usually don't.

18. I like to people watch. It is kind of an obsession. I look at peoples blogs and facebook pages quite excessively. and I could sit in any public place and watch people. I get this from Grandma Janet.

19. "You are a catholic and if anyone ever saw your parents liquor cabinet they would believe it." - Kristen Funchess

20. I love to dance. but mainly by myself, no grinding.

21. Money burns a hole in my pocket. If I have it, I will spend it. Very simple.

22. I love to travel. I would go somewhere every weekend, break, summer if possible.

23. Along with my biological sister, God gave me over 200 sisters who constantly blow my mind with their outstanding motivation and hearts.

24. I love the clothes and culture of the 1920's. If I could be born again, I would live in The Great Gatsby.

25. I like to buy shots. for everyone. every chance I can.

Kristen has more about me....

26. I can somehow spend over $9 in one trip to Taco Bell.

27. I have moved about as many times as she threw up in fourth grade.

28. I thought it was Mardi Gras when it was New Years. and was named Ms. Mardi Gras 2009. I am still waiting for my sash by the way.

29. My kids (which I'm not having but Kristen is convinced I am) will be wonderful disasters that her kids will think are the coolest kids ever. and that scares Kristen.

30. When I'm awkward, I feel the need to tell people, which makes it funny. and this happens frequently.

31. One day, Kristen will pay me $500 an hour to shop for her, along with a million other people. and that is what I will call a career.

32. Gatorade is my source of energy on the weekends, and basically the week too. Blue Gatorade.

33. My day would be boring without Blackberry Messenger and the smiley faces on it. and my 14 contacts.

34. When I was 16, we went out of town for two weeks. On the first night someone put a catfish in our mailbox. Needless to say when we got back, after record breaking heat.. it kind of melted/molded/grew insects. My dad was really happy. My yard has also been forked, but never rolled.

35. My drunk name is Molly Rainforest. She steals stupid things, double fists whiskey sours, and will corner you to talk about life. She also will buy a round of shots. and act like she can afford it."

Today's 25 Things About Me'
1. I am currently doing laundry at my sister's apartment, because I do not have a washer and dryer at my apartment. Every month I say I am going to buy a set, but my money seems to go to other "necessities"

2. I have completely changed my life over the last year and a half. Location, Occupation, Appearance.. It was completely necessary, and the scariest thing I have ever done.

3. I am going to be an AUNT at the end of May. It is by far the most exciting and joyous thing that has ever happened to our family. It will be interesting to see how our "over 21" lifestyle adjusts with an infant.

4. I'm still not sure if I want to be a mother or a wife. I am hoping that God will lead me to someone who will make me believe in these things. I'm not holding my breath.

5. Following up from number 4, I am completely single. There is so much to be said for being independent at this time in my life. I have learned so much about myself.

6. I live in Buckhead in Atlanta, GA. But I stay so busy with work I don't get to do all the fun things around the city. I think I might need to make a Bucket List for this summer.

7. My room has to be arctic temperatures when I sleep. If I am hot, I won't sleep.

8. I think half of my diet lately consists of cereal and icecream. So satisfying. My roommate is trying to expand my world of cooking, but I am very resistant to it.

9. I've had 3 iPhones. 4 iPods. and 4 digital cameras. I am just really bad at keeping up with things. Although, my current iPhone serves as all three.

10. I travel a lot to see friends and family. The relationships in my life are important. My parents taught me that jumping in the car and driving to see the people you love is simple.

11. I'm growing my hair out to my butt.

12. I get a medium French Vanilla coffee with cream and sugar and two frosted sprinkle donuts at Dunkin Donuts every morning. It makes me SO happy.

13. I'm not a fan of traditional exercise, but I love anything outdoors. Hiking, camping, rafting, canoeing, climbing, frisbee golf..I'm lucky my dad is constantly planning stuff like this for us to do!

14. I love to dance. Although, I have no rhythm and I can't clap on beat. Anyone from Phi Mu theme night can attest to that.

15. It might surprise many to know that I am really informed on current events and into politics. I think that being informed and finding your own answers is so important.

16. I come from a family of dog lovers. I have Marley still, while my brother has two labs, my sister has a maltese, and my parents have a maltese and a lhaso apso. When we are all together its a zoo. I don't like cats, and when people tell me they are "cat people" I usually say "Oh, that explains so much" ;)

17. In 2010, I started my own business, Duet Accessories. Next month I will have a full website, and within the next six months I am hoping to have the financing to open a boutique. This is hard, complicated, and time consuming, but it is fulfilling a life long dream.

18. I love to buy gifts for people. I love the buy things in general. This is something I have to watch very closely. I tend to spend a lot, save too little.

19. I'm not afraid of the dark anymore. I've been through worse, and conquered it.

20. I would pay a hefty fee for just ONE afternoon on the refuge with my friends. In the last year we have moved all over the place. I think we are doing an excellent job staying in touch, but its the little things that I miss.

21. I feel like everyone around me is getting engaged, married, or pregnant. I think its hilarious that NONE of my best friends would touch those words with a ten foot pole. Fierce.

22. Chelsea, my roommate, and I work together. We spend an outstanding amount of time together. I still love her, and I am happy we challenge each other. and that we speak in Russian accents to each other.

23. I love anything antique or vintage. Anything upcycled or recycled. I just like taking something old and making it new. I also believe that 50-70 years ago people had much better taste than we do now.

24. I am walking the 3 Day breast cancer walk this year with my cousin, Jenny, in honor of Kaye. I am beyond excited to do this.

25. I'm the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. I am clear headed and moving forward. I have great people in my life, no "fluff" :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Marching to the beat of my own drum. (Just happen to be tone deaf)

I have come to the realization that my posts will be few and far between. I know all 3 of you who read this are so disappointed. Not only do I struggle to find a topic for my posts, I do not have a single moment to sit and ponder until I think of an interesting one. BUT I promise to atleast make an effort.

Lately/recently/currently/sometime/a while ago; (I have a bad concept of time right now) I have been up to a lot! I am still working at Festivity, a local boutique here in Atlanta. My location is a few miles out of the city perimeter in the suburbs. (compare Dogwood in Flowood) We are gearing up for our "crazy" holiday season, stocked to the BRIM with clothes, clothes, and more clothes + tables full of "wonderful" Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas goodies. I don't really decorate for holidays, and see absolutely no excitement in buying a red and green cookie platter with Rudolph on it. So I am trying to stick to what I know.. clothes, accessories, jewelry, styling mannequins (they don't talk back), and studying the inventory/transfers/reorders (all the numbers). Everyone on my team is amazing. Together we create the ideal fun and hardworking environment everyone wants. Including dance parties, karaoke, fashion shows, therapy, lunch buddies, and your occasional fake accent or two. ;) With the holiday season coming on the customers are getting crazier and crazier. I have learned to take each and every one of our sweet precious angel customers with a grain of salt and smile sweetly when their ten karat diamond ring is flying in my face and the iPod is drowned out by shrieking. This is almost always the case when we inform our customers of our return policy ("Store credit or exchange only. no refunds.......I'm just the messenger..Yes ma'am I understand that you were too oblivious to read the sign, your receipt, or listen when we told you as you checked out...I am very sorry we are losing you as a customer.") I work full-time, but in retail that includes nights and weekends. So its usually ten days on with about one day off somewhere in the middle. I am learning the phrase "sleep when you're dead" currently applies to my life now, especially if I want to see people, do social things, travel (ha), run errands...

Since I have so little extra time I am squeezing Duet and jewelry making in here and there. I try to do something for my business everyday, even if it is just a small task. A few weeks ago, I participated in a wonderful event "Pink and White Gala; A gathering of girlfriends" a girl's night in support of breast cancer awareness. I was a vender, with my very own table (woww!!) The week before I literally did not sleep trying to get everything made and all of my display ready. When I finally got to the event (after getting lost, and then going to find my mother who was lost) I was so excited to have all of my work displayed! I realized then how much work I put into Duet! I got so much wonderful feedback, and met some really amazing women that night. I am currently working on custom orders, and selling things from my inventory. My style keeps changing, and I am just going with it. Duet is taking me on a wild, but very sweet ride.

I have decided to leave the married couple's nest. It is time for me to stop living off of Holly and Davis and get my own place. I have looked at some places in downtown Atlanta; some of the areas are Loring Heights, Virginia Highlands, and Buckhead. Hopefully I will be moved out before Christmas. (when I say that I mean hopefully my parents will move me in before then while I am at work)

I am living in Bulldog Country, but the wrong one. HOW AMAZING IS MISSISSIPPI STATE THIS SEASON!???!!!!!!!!!! We are currently 7-2, ranked #21. I wish I was still at school to enjoy this awesomeness, but its still pretty great from afar. Especially since MSU beat GEORGIA and FLORIDA this season. What has happened to the SEC East? Anyways, I am cheering on my bulldogs all the way to our bowl game! (hopefully peach bowl for obvious reasons)

I will write soon. or later. call me. beep me. if you wanna reach me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Du·et -noun- an action or activity performed by a pair of closely connected individuals

I am sorry it has been so long, time management is my nemesis. I know everyone is just jumping at the bit to hear all about what I am up to. Overnight, I have become insanely busy. I have decided to give everyone a little background to the busy-ness/craziness that now consumes my life.
My sister and I come from a crafty home. Our mother loves fabric, ribbon, paint, and all things DIY. So over the years we have painted every room of every house we have ever lived in (all 8 homes), made pillows, costumes, and all sorts of crafty chaos along the way. Along with our love for anything that comes from Hobby Lobby, a strong fashion/shopping/style/clothing/trend addiction runs deep in Rozelle blood. Everywhere we go, Holly and I find ourselves saying "We can make that" or "If I changed this top to this..." While we both believe in great style, and can work a sewing machine well, we are by no means great or perfected designers. Saying that we only dreamed of owning a store to sell others designs, never our own. Last fall we decided to take a shot at making some of our own things for fun. We both had been seeing huge rings everywhere. Holly and I collected all the supplies and made two rings to wear out for her 27th birthday. That night was the debute of Duet. We were immediately obsessed with making the rings. For almost a year we continued to work on rings during our free time, never selling any just giving them away. I also started to make necklaces, hair pins, bracelets, scarves, and tops. Recently, I decided to post everything I had been working on- on Facebook. I have gotten so much great feedback from friends, family, and even strangers. I made a Facebook page and an Etsy so I could sell things. (Duet was becoming a money pit). Before this I was working with my dad to open a Duet retail boutique. We are still working hard on creating a great business plan and working with a lender from the SBA to try and open a location in Athens, GA. This is my ultimate dream!! So, lets combine all of this madness and ADD my full time job at Festivity. I LITERALLY do not have enough hours in the day!!
oh and ps: I'm on the lookout for friends in Atl.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Big Girl World

After much thought, I decided that it was time for a blog. I figure that I am full of enough interesting stories, photos, and fashion tidbits to entertain the six people that will read my blog. I am also hoping to start a trend with my friends and family. I am used to my friends and I being in a centralized location (Mississippi State). So now that I have friends in New Orleans, Hattiesburg, Starkville, Jackson, Nashville, St. Louis, and Europe, I worry how everyone will stay in touch. As a person who loves to write, journal, send cards, e-mails, and text messages, I think blogging is a great solution!

I picked out a timeline of photo's that give a pretty good idea of what I have been up to since I moved east to Atlanta.
Braves vs Rockies- Me, Holly, and Deanna

Cinco de Mayo - Coworkers
JenL, Me, Steph, and Caitlin

Girls Trip Orange Beach
Me, Kristen, Anna, Lori

Family Beach Trip Sea Grove, FL

Red Door Tavern- Friends visiting me!
Anna, me, and Lori

Pub Crawl in Athens- Me and Kristen

I will post later this week, I thought my timeline was sufficient for now. :)