Monthly Archives: September 2013

Kickstart Us…

Are you familiar with  If you aren’t, it is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.  In short, someone with a creative goal in mind (opening a restaurant, writing a book, designing a new product, filming a movie, etc) can create a Kickstarter campaign and request funding from people all around the world.

So who cares?  Me.  And hopefully you too.  At the least, I’ve been a Kickstarter fan for almost a year now and have contributed some minor amounts to various projects (the minimum donation on the site is $1).  In each project, the creator develops a funding campaign of 1 to 60 days and determines the amount of funds needed.  The catch is that you have to raise all the funds in the designated time frame or you get ZERO. If the project doesn’t fully fund, anyone who has made a donation will have that amount returned to their credit/debit card.  Pretty cool concept, huh?

I’m sure it isn’t a huge leap for you to figure out by this third paragraph that we spent the majority of our weekend working on Peggy Jean’s Kickstarter campaign.  I’ll keep the details to the minimum, but our goal is to submit it to Kickstarter tomorrow for approval.  This typically takes two to three business days and then it goes live.  Here is the catch to Kickstarter…it merely hosts the funding campaign, it is up to the creator to develop the moment to the campaign.  When the campaign goes live, look for the information to come at you in every way.  Trust me when I say I will be completely without shame for the next 30 days.

As part of the project, the creator must make a short video about their project.  Suffice it to say, while mom and I would be EXCELLENT reality television candidates (Andy Cohen if you are reading this, call me!), informational video stars, we are not.  It took about 73 takes and I’m still unaware of the results.  My husband is editing it right now and I’m making him wear headphones so I don’t have to hear myself speaking.  I could stand up in front of 1,000 strangers and re-enact that entire video, but what is it about sharing it with every single Facebook friend and email contact that I have and I suddenly I seize up?  The moral of this story is that I believe so strongly in our plans for Peggy Jean’s, I am willing to blast a video of myself standing in front of a bucket of flour ACROSS THE INTERNET.  And if I believe that strongly, then you should as well.

In the meantime, I’ll be booking a hair color appointment and buying some Spanx in case Bravo calls.


What Would Mike Brady Do?

Admittedly, my knowledge of architects is limited to the fine design skills of Mike Brady and the awesome houseboat owned by architect Sam Baldwin in Sleepless in Seattle.  Today I got a call from Contractor Steve and he said he was calling with good news and bad news.  The good? No sprinkler worries…since we are under 3,000 square feet, we are not required to install a system.  The bad?  We need a set of architect plans to present to the city for approval.

According to Google, there are a surprising number of architectural firms in Columbia.  How do you begin to choose one?  Well, I based my decisions on the websites. Because well, I like pretty and shiny things.  First two firms had no answer.  It was Friday afternoon, so who am I to judge?

Third firm, let’s call it Firm X, had someone more than willing to talk to me.  20 minutes later I was convinced that this entire idea was an EPIC MISTAKE.  For the low low low price of $10,000 to $25,000, those set of plans could be mine.

WHAT????  Here are some things I could buy for $10,000 to $25,000:

  • A car;
  • A boat;
  • Sweet freedom from student loan debt;
  • Oceanfront vacation;
  • Approximately 768 rawhide bones for my dog.
Things I won’t buy for $10,000 to $25,000:
  • Architectural plans for a 1,000 square foot box that will have no walls.
Alas all hope is not lost.  In a total panic, I emailed Mel, our commercial real estate agent, and he immediately provided the name of the architectural firm in St. Louis that is actually the designated firm for the developer that owns the property.  All signs point to a number from this firm that ends with three zeros and not four.  Which is good, because it is, you know, a 1,000 SQUARE FOOT BOX WITH NO WALLS.
Absolutely nothing else productive occurred today except a whole lot of Pinterest pinning.  This chandelier makes me INSANELY happy.  Insanely.  Complete and total Industrial Chic perfection.  If someone asks me to describe Peggy Jean’s new look, I’m just going to shove a picture of this chandelier in their face.
If you are reading this and you designed this chandelier, call me.  Immediately.

220/221 Volts Whatever it takes?

I met with a contractor today – Steve from Columbia Craftsman – and we looked at our proposed location.  This is pretty much how it went down…

We don’t have a negotiated lease yet, but I will tell you that the space is on the southwest side of Columbia and is about 1,000 square feet.  I’ll also be able to skip to the new Starbucks that will be built this fall and I’m fairly certain all major business magnates base their location decisions on Starbucks proximity.  Ahem.

Do you remember the old Peggy Jean’s?  It was full of antiques and lace and plaid and the bakers wore chefs hats.  This Peggy Jean’s?  It totally flips the script.  We have a vision for the new space…industrial chic.  I’m fairly certain this term doesn’t exist outside of my Pinterest board, but it should.  To that end, think exposed ceilings, stone countertops, stainless steel workspaces, and a concrete stained floor to start.  I’m looking at lighting from a barn supply company and I love it.

Back to the contractor though…the very first thing he said to me was the noticeable lack of a sprinkler system.  Huh…good thing I brought an expert in, because sprinklers never occurred to me.  Beyond that, he actually thought all my requests were legit (and that never really happens to me).  Here is a quick iPhone shot of the actual space (the landlord is storing paperwork in there, so it is cluttered and the front windows are covered, so the light is blocked).

This picture is taken from about three feet inside the door, looking to the back of the space.  On the right corner is a finished bathroom.  So here are the tentative to-do list:

  • Stain the concrete floors
  • Finish out the walls and then paint and/or treat with a material…distressed metal? burlap? old wood?
  • Figure out the lighting situation…we need a lot of good light, but florescent lightening is high on my list of things I hate
  • Ductwork.  I can’t function without air conditioning.
  • Talk with the electrician…we need a ton of outlets
  • We need a front counter…concrete countertop without question, the base undecided though.  The contractor suggested corrugated metal and uh….no.  The goal is industrial chic, not a BBQ joint with peanuts on the floor.  Perhaps stone?
  • Consider the front retail area.  What to sell?  How to merchandise it?  Pie kits are a must.
  • Can we exist with just a Square Reader and no cash register?  Cash register is not industrial chic.
  • Neither of us feel the love for pie display cases…alternatives?
  • Signage?
  • Cool bench for waiting customers
  • Some treatment for the front windows – sounds like a job for Ikea
  • How do we update for our customers the current stock…chalkboard paint an area, or is that too overdone?  Tracking inventory real-time will be necessary.
  • Probably 1,392 other things I’m not thinking of…
Contractor Steve is checking with the city tomorrow about the sprinkler issue and what sort of permits we need to pull.  He should have a cost estimate for us next week.  I have absolutely NO IDEA what to expect.
November 20th…that’s our target open.  That gives us a solid week before Thanksgiving and Contractor Steve didn’t fall on the floor laughing at that timeline.  An online pie ordering system that is operational before that date is a must.  And an App. And a website.  And a Facebook page.  And a Twitter account.  And a Vine account.  And a Google + page.  And….what?  Hit the comments if you have ideas…