Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boutique Proud

Moment of silence as the drumroll commences.......

Your favorite happy hour lovin' and chocolate eatin' boutique is expanding south to Oregon. Mapel in Leavenworth is bursting at the seams and giving way to a 2nd store at Bridgeport Village in Tigard Oregon. Not to be redundant- but just to clarify- Mapel is opening a 2nd store called Mapel Boutique- and we are So Excited (stressed... but ExCiTeD).

We're opening the Day After Thanksgiving. Located @ 7453 Bridgeport Road Tigard Or 97224. We're across from the parking structure and storables.

We will now entice you to visit our 2nd location by sharing the new collections we're adding onto our assortment @ the Bridgeport store.

You can look forward to:
 Charlotte Tarantola, Beautiful, Elegant and extremely special & interesting Cardigans. Love.
Suzi Chin by Maggy Boutique, New York Designer offering designer dress' at comfortable prices
Retro Brand, Let the college rivalry begin with this retro inspired collegian tee collection - Go Beavs!!!
Michael Stars, Who Doesn't Love Sparkly Knits, Yummy Cashmere Sweaters & ultra luxe Layering
Threads 4 Thought, All Eco Friendly Organic knits for men & women

For the last few weeks we've been busy running around like Chickens with our Heads Cut Off.

So, although we are Boutique Proud; we don't have alot of time to blab on and on about our new store.

Instead we need to be painting, steaming, tagging, decorating and stressing. Below are a few pics of the storm before the calm.

These are some pics of the space prior to move in, painting and softening up the aesthetic

Brandon's dining room has temporarily been Mapel's dumping ground until we got keys to the new space

That's all the pics you get... the rest you can see for yourself when you come visit us this holiday shopping season.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MANDI! Mapel Employee by Day, Designer by Night!!

I never thought I'd own a jewelry design business.  I'd always been a singer and actor, so design had never figured into my life.  I liked fashion: Vogue Magazine, red carpets at awards shows, dressing how I felt like dressing.   After I got married about 10 years ago, I happened upon a job at a bead store and picked up some skills.  I liked color.  I liked composition.  And I made some gifts for friends and family.

One family friend really liked my stuff.  She was funky, fun, and statuesque, and I did some custom pieces for her.  She insisted I get my license and get my stuff in stores because other people liked it, too.  So another family friend helped me start my business.  At this point, I was going through a divorce and it was very empowering to have people like what I was doing and want me to succeed.

I came up with my business name one day working at a natural fibers clothing store, and luckily, nobody else in the state had it.  "Earth, Wind & Wire" was perfect for my designs:  "Earth" for the earthy, African influenced stuff, "Wind" for the more delicate and ethereal pieces, and "Wire" for all the wire I loop and wrap; hours of sitting on the couch beading, looping, cutting and shooting wire everywhere!  Gives me something to do while I watch my crime shows:)

I keep my designs simple and go with my gut.  It's exciting to say, "I need earrings for that outfit," and be able to make them.  This semi-instant-gratification is addictive!  I love to see the potential in a bead that looks boring or tacky, then incorporate it into a piece that gets compliments.  I think all women are beautiful, and if putting on a special necklace makes them feel more gorgeous, more power to us! 

We all need a little retail therapy, and bead shopping usually fills my need to impulse buy.  It takes money to make money, right?  And working at Mapel definitely inspires me to buy...

I have had my business since 2004 and have been profitable every year - either through doing jewelry shows at people's houses, outdoor festivals, or selling wholesale in stores.  But it's time to grow!  I am working with a local web designer to get a porfolio going online, and soon will have an Etsy storefront.  Jewelry has always been a means to an end to me: something I enjoy that fuels my other passions.  So, a lot of my sales will go toward a very cathartic album I've been working on for 10 years. 

So, do what you like, like what you do.  Make work fun if you can, and never let anyone squelch your passions!           -   Mandi Wickline