Archive for the 'Small Business 101' Category


service interrupted.

Today is Summer Solstice and I try to remember how many times I have marked this occasion with pretty pictures on this blog.  5 times, 6 times?  Admittedly, I have been painfully absent from this site, there would be just so much one could upload and write about, especially during summertime. And I have not… I’m way too preoccupied these days!

photo credit: Naomi!

photo credit: Naomi!

Instead, I am stealing a photo from the shop’s website – it showcases not only Portland nature but also three lovely outfits by SkunkFunk.

If you have made it this far, then you might also want to hear that I might not update this site much in the future as I am shifting my focus back to education.  Education in the school-type sense:  I am going back to teaching.  Kids this time, not grown fashionable women. I am entrusting the store into some capable hands who will certainly continue what I have started. 🙂

I promise I will continue to now and then showcase great fashion and let you in on my adventures in that realm on this blogsite.  As the posts won’t be very frequent, consider installing an RSS feed on your device – that way I connect with you when I do write something!



charting the store progress

The other day, I had a couple of friends requesting pictures of the new store. While I have been diligently taking pictures and posting them on facebook, I realized that these friends are not singed up there and need their pictures elsewhere.

So here we go:

Maybe it should be noted again, that we decided to give the NEW store a NEW name, as we are merging SOFIA and YedOmi in this NEW creation. Citrine is a beautiful golden colored gemstone which stands for prosperity and happiness (YES!).

After much deliberation and number crunching, we came up with this design for the neon sign on top of the store. This is a preview of what the sign will look like.

Our  new storefront. It is south-facing with about 40ft (12m) of windows.

Here you can see what the colors of the store used to be (pale yellow).  We also decided to replace the brown linoleum floor.

The walls after we painted. They are now a creamy white with golden/yellow accents.

Floor laying in progress. We chose a bamboo look.

The window boxes got a light gray color.

At the time I am writing this, the floor is done. The outside turquoise trim is now white and the front door is being repaired. A once blocked window is opened and I will put up my big ‘ole IKEA shelf up this afternoon.

Doing this is as much fun (or more) as Easter Egg Hunting. Especially when the sun is out.


the countdown

At the end of this week, we are going to be able to start working on our new space!


2937 E Burnside

Portland, Ore 97214

I am so excited!

… and I promise to post pictures of the progress!

It’s about time this gal re-emerges from my basement:

She’s been telling me that she is bored.


SewPo handmade sale, 3/26!

I will be participating in the handmade sale this coming Saturday, March 26!

Join a bunch of local peeps showcasing their wares!

Among other garments I made, I will also have my latest projects for sale – the short hooded jacket:

Perfect as a layering piece for Spring.



this is what I’m after

It has been a particular slow day at the store.

As I was getting my afternoon coffee fix, I talked to R. and we both agreed that we have long given up on ‘claiming’ that we know what makes a day slow or good.

Forget the weather: we can have killer days during a heat wave.

Forget other neighboring events: people show or don’t NO MATTER what else is going on.

You can even forget the economy: loyal customers come to the neighborhood stores, not matter HOW much $$ they have to spend.

(I LOVE those people!)

So, this is number 1 of what I’m after (- to keep me AWAKE):

Lately, I have been pondering the idea of a mobile store (I’ve talked about it here and here)

Portland is full of mobile food establishments;

what it is lacking are mobile retailers.

Check out this gal on facebook: Lodekka

…which makes number 2 that I’m after (to keep me EMPLOYED):

We’ll see.



When you have lot of time on your hands, you start wondering… and pondering… about where the next step is going to take you.

Having been back for exactly four weeks now, I once more appreciate and value the time that I have given MYSELF. I let myself be. I let myself drown in time for myself. Invaluable.

And now, what is the perspective?

I realize what an incredible group of people I have here. (that also comes after the realization that I have NEVER lived anywhere – besides my folk’s house – for THAT LONG) Knowing people makes it easier to pick up the thread.  My old customers are coming to find me and I have have plenty of work to do, which is VERY nice.

It is so nice to be back in a store, having an open door for people to come in and hang out. Admittedly, it is also hard to have a store and all the expenses that come with it. Lately, I have been toying with the idea of a mobile store that I can park somewhere and sell from a variety of places. And then drive it back to my house when I want to be gone.

Because ‘going places’ is addictive.

I live so close to the airport and see the planes taking off and coming down; my car is in the garage, it is easy to get in and go; I hear the trains blow their whistle.

So I wonder how I can can combine the two. And ponder my options.

Stay tuned.


Gotta love free advertising!

One of the perks of being in business for a while is that people notice you.  Your business is still in the phone book, the website still works, email gets answered and customers talk about you.  Word gets around.  This is especially important to a small business owner  (LIKE ME) with not a whole lot of money to spend on advertising.

So it was much to my pleasant surprise when I got an email from the fashion show organizer at the Portland Women Show.  She wanted me to show 12 outfits at two (TWO!) shows.  At first, I was so baffled that I did not even answer her.  Me, my little SOFIA?  Then I thought – HECK – FREE advertising, go for it!

I actually had a lot of fun looking at all the models and fitting them with my clothes.  Most of them are 5ft 10″ at least – when do you get a chance to show off beautiful clothing on REAL models?  Their hair and make-up professionally done?

So off to the show went twelve outfits – AND I DO NOT EVEN HAVE TO BE THERE!

The Portland Women Show runs from today until November 1 at the Convention Center.  The fashion shows are at 1PM, both Saturday and Sunday.  And while I do admit that the hunks at the Firefighter’s show might be a bigger attraction, do check out what SOFIA has to present – some of which is here:

AKN black skirt

Hazel blue blouse Anni Kuan fuzz skirt

kersh red dressNTS jacket Rapti shawl

Flickr Photos


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