Monthly Archives: July 2015

Pies. Not Pants.

It is rare for more than a few days to pass before someone stops into PJP, looks around, and says “Oh!  I thought you sold jeans here!”



Never once in the process of choosing our logo or our exterior sign did it occur to either of us that the “pies” written on the rolling pin would be difficult to read from a distance.  That said, I suppose that if you were driving by at 30 miles an hour on Buttonwood Drive and you just happened to glance over, you could possibly mistake us for Peggy’s Jeans…and not Peggy Jean’s (Pies).  (And as a side note, if we were ever to get in the business of selling jeans, we would name it Peggy’s Pants, because we like a good alliteration.)  (And demand the return of the bootcut jean because skinny jeans makes no one feel good about themselves.)

Jeanne brainstormed a great way to decorate our front window AND reinforce the whole “pies” part of the game.  I spent about 37 minutes working on this craft on Monday before waving the white flag and letting her take over.  She quickly finished up and today, and she and Mac set to hanging it up.  Now, even from Buttonwood Drive, you can clearly see that we have pies…not pants.



And if you are of the crafty persuasion, these are pie tins painted with black chalkboard paint.  Then Jeanne outlined the letters in chalk and filled them in with bronze chalkboard paint.  And then she attached them to an antique ladder that we bought a year ago.  And she and Mac hung the ladder up with jute rope.  If Pinterest offered a Triple Crown, I think Jeanne would win based on “chalkboard paint”, “antique ladder”, and “jute rope” all in the same project…





Do You Sell Pies?

One of the biggest issues that we’ve struggled with since opening PJP Buttonwood is the visual merchandising of our pies.  Even in the very best of circumstances (a PJP fully stocked with pie boxes of all sizes AND every pie variety sticker), we have found our customers aren’t always exactly sure what pies are available.

Most new visitors walk through our front door and proceed immediately to our front counter and ask if a) sell pies, and b) if so, what sort of pies, and c) are those pies available for sale.  And then we point out the entire wall of pies for purchase and new customer usually says “oh, I didn’t notice all those pies!”  And then 30 seconds later, said customer says “what are the prices of your pies?”  And that the customer has to ask about the available pies or the pricing is an epic fail on our part.  Imagine what we could sell if both of those pieces of information were quite apparent upon walking into our store?  Hmmm…

Suffice it to say, we’ve known for a quite a while that something needed to be adjusted.  But what?  We couldn’t quite decide or chose a course of action.  We knew undoubtedly that the natural color of the wood display and our kraft pie boxes blended together…



Taken last August, this picture shows our display unit with several nine-inch and baby pies but you may not notice them.  It also highlights our VERY FANCY Avery stickering system that we used at the time.  I am actually embarrassed for us when I look at that picture.

Jeanne has had some ideas for the past few months about a display unit upgrade.  And because she built the display unit and because she is far better at this sort of thing than I am, I was pretty much willing to go along with whatever changes she suggested.  And when she said “we could paint it”, I said “um, sure…sounds great”.  We conferred with our friends at Johnston Paint & Decorating, chose a color, and promptly did nothing about it for four months.  We are nothing if not consistent in our approach.

Until yesterday.  Yesterday, Jeanne spent all day working on our new display and oh, I AM SORTA IN LOVE WITH IT.



You’ll note a massive color change.  You’ll also note a consistent home for each type of pie.  And behold pricing information written on chalkboard tape…



We have a few more tweaks in mind, but can we all agree the improvement is intense?  And let’s agree to file this entire project under “Stuff We Should Have Done Months Ago, Thanks For Asking”…


We (read: mostly Jeanne) spent the day working on two new PJP projects.  I bailed out early because I’m incredibly impatient, but hopefully I’ll have some pictures of the big reveal tomorrow.

As a rule, I work to avoid places like Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s.  My favorite sort of crafts are the ones that I pay other people to do.  If I do go to those stores, I get really competitive as I watch other shoppers load their carts down with fabric remnants and tacky glue and those containers that come with 1,000 beads and a roll of twine.  Within 15 minutes, I’ve convinced myself to purchase the items needed for a craft I’ll never make.  (Here is where Behind-The-Scenes Tech Guru Jason makes a snarky reference to my Christmas cross-stitch extravaganza.)  (Hint:  no cross-stitch was ever completed.)

But when Jeanne suggested a project today that involved chalkboard paint, I was compelled.  If you haven’t spent 37 seconds on Pinterest in the last six months, then you should know that chalkboard paint IS THE THING.  I don’t really understand the craze because it works on the assumption that I can paint well AND that I have fancy handwriting for the fancy $8 chalkboard markers.  And that I have the motivation to change said fancy chalkboard with said fancy marker on the regular.  And basically…no.

But Jeanne does have those things, which is precisely how I found myself standing in JoAnn’s this afternoon with a pint of chalkboard paint, four foam brushes, and a jumbo chalkboard marker.  And the grand plan for our afternoon was that I would work on chalkboard painting and she would work on the second project that was far more complex and in need of expert care.

Here are my notes from a failed crafter:

  1. If you ever decide to paint some pie tins with chalkboard marker, it will go on completely unevenly.  I bet Pinterest doesn’t tell you that.
  2. Chalkboard paint doesn’t dry quickly…even if you put said pie tin in the oven at 200 degrees for eight minutes.  Ahem.
  3. Jeanne needed to supervise.  Apparently she overestimated my abilities.  I’m not sorry.
  4. I did five of the 12 pans before leaving to get a cold brew coffee from Starbucks.
  5. I never finished the other seven pans.  Sounds about right.

Apparently, Jeanne worked until well into the evening because she has perseverance and can ignore the siren call of Starbucks at 4 in the afternoon.  I’m super excited to see what she accomplished.  And super excited to see how many times I’ll need to wash my hands to get the chalkboard paint of my OPI Dark Side of the Moon manicure.