Fifteen years ago, I opened Red Barn Mercantile. Ten years and ten days later I opened Penny Post. Time flies when you’re having fun. Or in the case of a pandemic, when you’re hanging on for dear life. The one question I get asked most often is what made me want to open a store. There were two reasons.
First, I love to solve problems. Though not life altering or threatening, helping someone pick out a gift for a loved one is a good kind of problem to solve. The way I look at it we aren’t just helping them find a gift or stationery or a sofa, we are helping them connect with people. You bring a hostess gift to a party where you’ll make new friends or find the love of your life. Stationery is used to send sweet missives to loved ones near and far or to thank someone for the job interview that might possibly change your future. A sofa is the anchor to your home where you will make many memories. It’s not just a thing it’s a mechanism for meaningful connection. At least that’s the way I see it.
The second reason is I love to bring people joy. Retail is in my blood. When I lived in Tulsa after college, I was at the house of a board member from the non-profit where I worked. She had the most marvelous collection of antiques. I still remember the bathroom with floor to ceiling vintage and antique pictures of American flags. It was incredible. When I mentioned to her that my late grandmother owned an antique store in Tulsa, she naturally asked her name. When I told her Dorothy Dean, her face lit up. She then, with absolute delight and pride, proceeded to show me each piece she had bought from her. My grandmother brought her joy. I wanted to do that too.
This September 17, we are bringing the joy! I hope you will join us for our 15 and 5 year anniversaries. To mark the occasion, we commissioned one of our favorite stationers, Fugu Fugu Press, to make a limited edition tote bag. For only $10 each tote gets you 20% off anything you can fit in it at both stores. We know how easy it is to get notecards and pens in a bag, but we will be on hand to help make pillows and throws and pottery fit as well. Make as many trips to fill up your tote as you like! If that wasn’t enough, we will be giving mini bouquets of flowers from Blue Ribbon Flower Truck when you spend $75 or more at Red Barn Mercantile and Goodies ice cream when you spend $50 or more at Penny Post. We are celebrating all day in so many ways. Time flies so come and join the fun!