Tuesday, June 26, 2012

La Vie en Rose Logo - THE ONE!!

This is the winner!!!  The logo that you liked the best!  (The box isn't around it that's just the way it copied over!!)  Thank you to everyone who left a comment, it really has been a HUGE help getting all your ideas, help and support.  The designer finished it today and it has gone to another designer/printer to be used on all stationary and signage.  Now that I have the colour and logo finalised I can get the stamp made up (for stamping the bags).  I can also order bags and tissue and gift wrap etc.  This is SO exciting!!!!  I LOVE my new logo and I think it really suits the shop (and me!).  

Thank you dear blog friends!

Sending you lots of hugs,


Sunday, June 24, 2012

La Vie en Rose Logo

Nearly there now!   Waiting for a few more comments on the bag and stamp before the verdict is in!!  In the meantime would you mind helping me again??  Please???

Still got to decide on logo although we're 99% there but thought I would ask you to select your favourite before it goes to print.  The logo is SO important as it will be going on everything - signage, stationary, advertising, bags etc.  So I really want to get this right.  Could you please pick one of the following that you think works the best for the shop, I would be SO grateful!!!!

A:  Grey Rose with 4 leaves

B:  Grey Rose with 2 Leaves

C: Pink Rose with 4 leaves

D: Pink Rose with 2 Leaves

E:  Plain Font in Rectangle

Thank you all SO much for helping me out with this!!!!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Paint for Shop

We have a winner . . .

Blue Grey

Thank you all for leaving your comments!   I think most of you liked the Blue Grey the most which is what I hoped you'd all say because I LOVE this colour.  So phew!  that's the paint taken care of!  I have so many decisions to make at the moment - all very pleasant ones I have to admit - that it's easy to overthink every little thing!  So it's been great to get all of your opinions, thank you.

Also, regarding the bags, most people suggested stamping the bags - I LOVE this idea!  My husband suggested this too!  As you all said they will be unique and it  gives the right vintage vibe, so I'm going to go with this too! 

Now, do I go with plain brown Kraft paper bags with a dark brown/black ink or a cream bag with a blue grey ink???????  Decisions, decisions!!!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Shop News

Hello everyone!  

First of all I would like to thank everyone for all your wonderful comments and emails about my new shop.  It is SO nice to have such great support and good wishes starting my new venture.   So a BIG thank you and I want you all to know how much your kind support is truly appreciated. 

I have been crazy busy since my last post, but I'm loving it!  It is so exciting seeing everything come together.   I'm expecting deliveries of stock  the end of this week with more coming next week.  The shop has been painted but I still have to decide on the trim colour for the outside - the perfect shade of grey-ey, blue-ey, green-ey is eluding me thus far!  Some of the Farrow & Ball colours looked so perfect on the colour chart inside but the minute they went up outside they turned completely different hues!

On the positive side, my new phone line has been connected and Broadband set up in the shop - yay!!   I also engaged a lovely woman who is designing the new website and has finalised the logo.   The graphic designer is working on signage and stationary, so it's getting there.  My visa machine is on the way, insurance bought, small warehouse found - as you can see, I have been very busy!

Actually, finalising the logo was quite tricky.  I must have looked at hundreds of images and fonts over the last two weeks before deciding on the final layout.  I LOVE it, can't wait to show you everything, but want to wait until things are a bit more 'finished'.

I've also been looking at paper carrier bags for the shop.  The plain ones are a bit blah, the ones you can get custom made with your own design are very expensive!  What's a girl to do??  Any ideas for bags??  If you do, please let me know!

Also, need opinions on the outside trim colour.  As you know the shop will have a French, faded, vintage/Brocante kind of vibe so which of the following colours do you think work best???

A:   Blue Grey

B:  Green Blue

 C:  Dark Grey

 D:  Light Taupe Grey/Dark Taupe Grey

 E:  None of the above!!

 Can't wait to hear what you think!  

Thank you,


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Starting Your Own Business

 I have been very busy since my last post!  We've got a lot done!  'We' being my husband Niall, our eldest son Aran, myself and the builder.  In the shop the walls have tongue and groove timber panelling, the floor is down and the electrics have been tidied up.  All the timber work has one coat of primer as well, so now there is mostly painting to be done - which is my job!  After that my husband is making the shop counter and some shelves and then we'll be ready for stock!!!!

Speaking of stock, I've spent the last couple of weeks pouring over catalogues picking out furniture and accessories to sell in the shop.  This really is the fun bit!!  So many beautiful pieces to ooh and aah over and praying that future customers will love them as much as you do!!  I've put through some orders and they will hopefully be here (fingers crossed) by opening day - which is still to be decided!  

Starting your own business is exciting and a little bit scary.  It is not for the faint hearted.  By nature you have got to be a risk taker even if (like me) you are starting a small venture with low risk.  Starting a new retail venture, especially in these challenging times is not easy.   But the worse thing that can happen is that it doesn't work and I have to close in a years time.  A lot of people say this when you start a new business, however no one points out the flip side which is the best thing that can happen is that you will have enough customers and sales to make the business viable and that you will be extremely happy doing something you love!   However, it is a chilling thought that a high percentage of new businesses close in their first year (gulp !).  As Confucius said - 

"Opening a shop is easy, keeping it open is an Art".

For me it's a risk I'm willing to take.  I would rather try and not succeed than never try at all.  But to ensure that my business has the best chance of success, I have done everything I can to prepare!  In case any of you are thinking of starting your own business I thought I would note down a few of things that really helped me on my journey so far.  

I would definitely buy at least one book that walks you through the process of starting your own business before you make the leap.  I bought and read 'Starting your own business in Ireland' by Brian O'Kane, I thought it was excellent.   Any good start your own business book will guide you through the basics eg sole trader v Limited company, tax, VAT etc.   These books also pose questions that you may not have thought of before and really make you think and write down your strengths and weaknesses etc so that by the time you finish the book you should know a) if you are the right type of personality to start your own business and b) how to go about it.

As well as reading a few books, I also attended a 10 week start your own business course with my local enterprise board.  Again, as with the books, I found the course invaluable for getting information specific to my area, general business advice and tips and it was really nice to meet with the twelve other people in the group every week who were in the same boat.  

So, read the book, attend the course and do the business plan.  The business plan is a MUST before you start a new business.  Whether you're looking for finance or not, you must know your business inside out BEFORE you start! Having to commit all your thoughts, concepts, costs and figures on paper is the best way to figure out if your new business will work in real life.  

You cannot know your sales (I'm talking retail here) before you open the door but what you can do is estimate your costs (quite accurately), then you can work out how much you need to break even and cover those costs.  Even knowing what this figure needs to be will give you a good idea whether you can see your new business working or not.  If you're convinced then you are well on your way to actually starting!!

At this business plan stage another thing I did was make up a Mood Board.   I got a huge card and cut out images from magazines that fit the vision I had in my head.   Colours, fonts, shapes, actual products you want to sell - anything can go on the mood board.   Again I have found this to be an invaluable tool as I keep going back to it for inspiration.  It also helps me stay focused when I'm ordering stock as I only buy items that 'fit' the style of my shop.   It also helped me pick out colours and font for my logo design. 

The following photos are all from my 2 mood boards so they're not the best quality as I was taking photos of cuttings from magazines but I thought it would give you a good idea of the feel of my new shop and what I'm hoping to create.

 Mood Board 1

 Mood Board 2


There will be a lot of French painted furniture . . .

. . . and some floral textiles - faded - of course!

 a little romance . . .

 some garden furniture and accessories . . .

 . . .  a lot of green-eyey, blue-ey greys . . .

 and some French glass and ceramic ware . . .(love those glass shelves)

some more faded floral textiles . . .

some more painted furniture . . .

 some metal furniture . . .

 a little crystal . . .

and as the shop will be called . . .

       La Vie en Rose
 some beautiful roses . . . I cannot wait to open the doors!!

“Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”Confucius

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