A Chocolate Affair!

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If anyone knows Yadder and I we love to throw parties and hosting events gives us a real thrill! So we thought to celebrate our new found business relationship with EP Infusions, what better way to acknowledge it than by throwing a party, right!?

In my previous post I introduced this new chocolatier from Montreal that is making major waves with beautifully wrapped and delicious chocolate bars, as well as an entire suite of equally delectable goods! If you are a chocolate lover then this party would have been for you! Aside from the melt in your mouth mini cheesecakes, savoury sliders, mini bahn mi, flat iron steak with salsa verde and poached pear tartlets that were among the few party pleasing canapés served, there was an entire space dedicated to midnight sweets and indulgences that would have your inner-child going crazy!

A huge thanks to Inspire Event Studio for the magical decor, Alex Ferreira for all his work with branding and design, Christina Cheng for media and PR, and the entire MBM family for pulling off a truly memorable event!

If you missed out on this one be sure to stay in touch for future upcoming events, to make sure you and your crew get a chance to be part of these unique experiences! Check out some of the pics taken that night by Nadia Fareed

New Product Alert!

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As part of our effort to extend our furniture decor into a lifestyle brand we brought these delicious chocolates made by a chocolatier based in Montreal. We had first come across EP Infusions on one of our many shopping trips and we fell in love with them! Immediately we thought; we need our customers to experience their handcrafted chocolates and other goods.

On your next visit, you will see them available in store and we can let you know more about this new creative.

New Window!

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At last our long awaited rebranding has arrived and we could not be happier! Thank you to our Art Director and Graphic Designer, Alex Ferreria (aisfordesign), he curated this beautiful modern look. We wanted something that would show our energetic personalities  as well as represent our growth and progression and this does that and more! With that in mind we thought to simplify and de-clutter by abbreviation, MBM. We hope you guys like it as much as we do!

Authentic Market Fresh!

 Photography by Nadia Fareed   www.nadiafareedphotography.com

Photography by Nadia Fareed  www.nadiafareedphotography.com

For those that don't know, Yadder and I grew up in Kitchener Waterloo and our community neighboured the St. Jacobs Farmers Market.

For us, it was where we went every week for groceries! It was where we would gather fresh market goods like milk, eggs, cheese and bread and bring to our families in Toronto whom longed for farm fresh goods, so fresh that the eggs were still warm from the hens right through a 100km drive to Toronto!

Since we have moved we longed for those wholesome elements of farm to table goods, so we felt nostalgic when we returned to Kitchener Waterloo and brought some of those goods back to our shop in Toronto. Now you can have St. Jacobs farm fresh jams, chutneys, honey, maple syrup, BBQ sauce, peanut brittle and much more! Drop by for your goodies!

TJX Journey Part 4: @ the Store

We had hoped that we would eventually find one of our pieces in store, to see its final destination, however our buyer informed us that our items sold faster than we could find them!

We were enlightened to meet people who visited our store to tell us about their discovery of our goods in Homesense. From this venture we received a few online orders for additional items to complement their MBM finds from Homesense.  We even had an interesting experience when we met a couple that had attended our friends wedding shower and to our surprise had purchased one of our coffee tables!

It is the best feeling in the world to know how something you created impacts another. At times we think it's just furniture, what significance would our furnishing make to someone else? Our customers remind us that each person has life events that take them on a journey unknown, (even when it comes to decorating your first home!) It is that journey and all of the experiences along the way that make it profound. The items collected along the way symbolize those successes and that is what people hold on to!

Thank you to all of those that have chosen us to be apart of your journey! And to those we have yet to meet, we are excited to join the ride!

TJX Journey Part 2: Fruits of Our Labour

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So.... This was a lot more than we had bargained for, but we remained thrilled to have the opportunity. In sum, three 53 foot trucks arrived at our store to pick up their products.

Here's a glimpse at a fraction of the products delivered. With getting everything ready we were unable to get images of everything.

 

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Let's just say, many lessons were learned! (I'm pretty sure I mentioned that already, but that's the nicest way to put that this was insanely alot of work) Now that we got a chance "to breathe, stretch, shake" we are ready to do it all over again, but we are smarter, stronger and well prepared.  Wisdom is knowledge, that cannot be bought. 

TJX Journey Part 1: The Sample Drop off

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The day was rainy and overcast, but that didn't stop our ridiculous excitement! We were at the TJX Corporate Office and bubbling over with nerves to submit our furniture samples for their consideration.

We checked in with reception and were given a pair of visitor passes. 

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The TJX/Homesense buyer came down and escorted us to their presentation room where our items would be on display for their team to review. Prior to this we had already had an opportunity to pitch our products to the buyer and her team visited our store to get the full MBM experience. 

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As her team reviewed the products and discussed we waited outside which seemed like an eternity, but really was more like 5 minutes LOL! We were given the thumbs up to proceed with their purchase order and everything was finalized.

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We were so pumped! We set up our accounts with TJX, contacted our vendors and started production! 

POP UP BRUNCH @ MBM Hosted by KAFFEBAR!

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Late this summer Kaffebar and MBM decided to collaborate on having a pop up brunch. We had an excellent menu which was curated and prepared by Kaffebar. To top it all off we had mimosas, and specialty coffees. It was a great turn out and a fun way to keep things energized and fresh!

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Since then we have had many requests, I guess there's an allure to having morning brunch in a furniture store after all, lol! Stay tuned for following brunch, lunch or dinner dates!

Marshall Mattress

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Early this summer we had a unique opportunity to assist Marshall Mattress (handcrafted in Canada, and sold at The Hudson Bay Company) in a photo shoot. The Art Director was Christina Cheng whom masterfully designed 9 different looks for Marshall's multitude of products. It was super fun and awesome to see our products sold at MBM in some of their final content released. In the photo above we have our handcrafted heather grey knit oversized pillows and our amazing hand-knit throw by All things I Heart. 

OOAK Spring '17

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Since we opened the store last year, it has been a whirlwind of opportunities flooding our doors! Thank the Lord! We were invited to participate in this years Spring 2017, One of a Kind Show!

Our experience in a nutshell, chaotic, but blessed! We had never done a trade show before so we were not prepared or aware of some of the challenges we might encounter. Some take always were:

1. Keep it simple and clean. Your display should be easy to assemble and clean in its design. We found that this kept the focus on our products yet it was bright and attractive to shoppers.

2. Get help! Recruit as many hands to help make the work light and manageable.

3. Network, network, network! Trade shows are a great place to establish new business contacts for future business expansion opportunities, so get outside your booth explore and meet people, and keep in contact via social media. Tapping into their social networks and vice versa can bring new followers and traction to your online and retail channels.

4. Set reasonable expectations. Have goals that are ambitious, however ensure they are attainable and measurable, so you can get a clear idea of how your business performed and if these types of ventures are profitable in all aspects.

Overall, it was a fantastic learning experience which provided excellent market research to know what our customers value in our products and how we can improve. If you didn't get to catch us at this year's show, stay tuned as we plan to be at Christmas 2018 show!

Auld Lang Syne

2016 has brought us so much as new business owners. We thought about how best to close off our year and we couldn't think of a more fitting way than to send a message of love and life to our friends and family.

One of our greatest highlights of 2016, as you may guess, has been the opening of our brick and mortar store. We are so thrilled to have been blessed with the means to be able to physically take our new business to a new level in this growing industry. We have also been able to establish strong business to business relationships both within our local Junction community as well as nationally.

Our greatest lesson has been that there is merit in tough moments. Tough moments are meant for us to learn and to grow from; and we truly have. We have learned that perfection takes time; that sometimes you have to take the loss; that branding is crucial; transparency is key, and compassion is always necessary to an entrepreneur's success!

Our greatest moment has been the heartfelt reception of us by our community. The connections and conversations we've had with numerous community members and longstanding Junction patriots over the last year has been tremendous, and we could not have asked for more support or a better response than the welcoming arms we were met with when we opened our doors. 

As we enter into a new year and a new chapter, we graciously accept our challenges  as we know they will come. We also graciously accept all the wonderful new things that are in store (pun intended!). 

Thank you 2016, and welcome 2017, we are excited to meet you! We truly look forward to sharing this new year with you. We wish you and yours all the best in life and love.

 

With many thanks and much love,

Stacey and Yadder

LAST-MINUTE HOLIDAY CHECKLIST

So this is Christmas, and what have you done?!

Christmas is four days away and we’ve been so excited this whole season as it’s been our first Christmas in the new store! While getting ourselves prepared, Yadder and I thought we'd really like to share some of the ways we've been able to stay balanced throughout this busy holiday season.

There are tight schedules, holiday parties to attend, grocery lists and dinners to prepare for, and of course, and entire home to decorate!  We still have gifts to purchase, cards to send, and friends/family to entertain. Sometimes finding the balance can be tough!

Below is a short list we put together of forget-me-not's and ways-to-stay-sane until Santa comes:

Make a list. Check it twice! 

Check-lists will literally save your life. Physically write your to-do list on a piece of paper, or as we like to do at {made} by madrigal, put it in your shared calendar with reminders. This helps keep you on track and minimizes your possibility of forgetting things. Also, sharing lists can help the family work as a team so everyone knows what needs to get done, and you can divide and conquer!  

No Last Minute!

While procrastinating feels great at every other moment throughout the year; exam studying, oil-changing, installing winter tires, etc., Christmas is NOT that time. If you wait for the last minute to buy that Christmas ham, you'll be stuck in lines curling around the block and end up with the tiniest, saddest one! Set yourself a reminder to have your ham picked up a week in advance! Trust us, you'll thank us later!

Prepare for the unexpected! 

Have some candles on deck. A few years ago, the power went out in the midst of us hosting Christmas dinner. With fourteen hungry and anxious guests, we waited patiently for hours around one single candle until power to our street was restored. Lesson learned. Of course we've shared and still share laughs to this day, but we've also since prepared ourselves! Candles, flashlights, matches? CHECK!

Enough Seats at the Table!

Another must-have are extra chairs for unexpected guests, dates, or that cousin that just loves popping by unannounced. A few affordable painted vintage chairs will feel eclectic while still bringing charm and character to your holiday decor.  Or our personal favourite is to pull that live-edged bench from the entryway or from the end of the bed to allow for more of a social environment and make sure everyone’s comfortable.

Take time for you! 

Lastly, make sure that you schedule time for yourself. Although the focus is on others, make sure to carve out a little "me" time. This is still important throughout the holidays. Even a simple 20 minutes a day will do! Catch up on your favourite blogs, finish that chapter in that book you've  been trying to read, sip your tea, and breathe! Whatever it is, make sure you are taking adequate time for yourself. You’ll stay sane, and stay festive right up until that turkey-coma hits after Christmas dinner!

We hope these tips have helped! Feel free to share some of your suggestions on how to stay Merry this Christmas!

 

With Holiday Love,

Stacey & Yadder Madrigal

 

 

 

Photo Cred:
1. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/…/9102a72ecf0996fb9cd4…

2. http://www.njfamily.com/…/995059_10154504771125160_84922125…

Christmas Deco Done Right!

Yes it is Christmas, and yes you are excited and full of Christmas cheer! Decorating for the holidays can definitely be enjoyable and bring warmth into your home. It is one of our favourite decorative moments for the year.

One thing we've noticed in decorating our home is that heavy colour in abundance can take away from the overall look you are trying to pull off. 

For instance, I love red, not so much Stacey 😊, but too much red in a room can make your room feel busy and perhaps overwhelming. Go for a pop of colour in certain areas instead. See my simple tips below:

1. Add a red bow for your mason jar potted-plant-centre-piece in addition to your red-trimmed napkins for your dinner table.

2.If you do love boldness in a room, go for a red-patterned tablecloth for your table. It will centre your room in your chosen color.

3. Or if you've chosen to go with poinsettias, use one or two only in your entry way as your guests walk in.

4. In your living room, have two or three of your decorative pillows in red.

5.For additional support, you can have your little-ones help hang a few red ornaments they've made onto your Christmas tree!

That should do the trick! Use accent colours sparingly but definitely enjoy yourself while doing it! After all, they're only accents!

 

 

Photo Cred:

1. http://www.comfort-works.com/

2. http://www.minimalisti.com/

3. http://www.cnroofer.com/

Christmas Deco with Garland!

Let me begin by saying, there was a time I never even knew it was called "garland". I just knew it as the stuff my mother and grandmother would wrap around the tree, or hang from the hearth at Christmas-time. It usually came in shiny red, green, silver, or gold and always left me feeling full of holiday-cheer.

Now that I'm older and have my own space, while I can appreciate traditional garland, I do love to get creative with how I present it at my home.

For this year's garland, I got my inspiration from the way Canada always seems to be rustic, woodsy, and warm in the wintertime.

For us Canadians, the holidays aren't just about Christmas, although Christmas is centralized to being that way.

The Canadian holidays are also wonderfully traditional; cold outside, and warm inside by the fire. I wanted something that brought these two very strong elements together for this Christmas. Thus, the burlap garland was born!

I especially love to wrap it around my Christmas tree to add that warm woodsy feel to my living room. I also accent my tree with yellow lights to make sure it shines bright!

This way Christmas remains traditional but also creative.

Multi-Colour Story

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Another fun project done for a client's dining room; multi-coloured chalk paint chairs. When we were approached with this project, we were asked that colour be brought into this room to make it bright and playfully cheery, and well... viola! We made colour recommendations, that would make each chair its own statement while compliment the other chairs and the existing decor of the room. Note: The Victoria Buffet (in the back, in the photo above), also a {made} by madrigal piece, refinished and wonderfully paired with this vibrant colour palette. It is awesome to see our clients overjoyed with the finished product.

{made} in Toronto

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As we mentioned in our previous posts, last Saturday was our first art show in Toronto and it was a BIG hit. The feedback received was encouraging and the impact made was inspiring and motivational for us to keep doing what we are doing. Thank you to everyone that came by to share your interest and support for Toronto artisans. We will be at the next art crawl event July 10th in the Entertainment District, so if you didn't get a chance to pop by, you can catch us at the next one, see you soon and stay posted for new items posted this week. 

Toronto Art Crawl June 13th 2015!!!!

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This will be our first year participating in the 3rd Annual Toronto Art Crawl Event Sponsored by Cirque du Soleil. We are very pumped as this our first Toronto Event for the summer that {made} by madrigal will premiere! Come show your support for the artisans of Toronto and swing by our booth to have a first hand experience of the work we do and its quality. See you there!