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!

A Day at the Fair

Over the Victoria Day weekend, (I know #latepost) we participated in our first fair of the summer, and it was great! Although, it was extremely hot, we had a fantastic turnout and the feedback was really awesome! Thank you to all those that came by to visit and support us, especially a big shout out to our families, who helped us set up and answer customers questions. Stay tuned for upcoming events in your area that you can attend and see {made} in action!

WHITE WASHED

We know you have seen it time and time again, the white washed, weathered, barn board effect. But it is not always done correctly, or with the right contrast and at times runs the risk of just looking messy, or quite artificial. The photo above is of a pine tabletop that we had intended on keeping it stained, when we decided to enhance it by adding more depth to the wood with a white wash finish, and we think it turned out pretty awesome. Then that got us thinking, we can use this technique for other colours, like teal, orange, or a true blue. Stay tuned to see how that turns out!

Spring is Here!

As the temperature changes and the frost lifts, so does our haze of hibernation and depressing gloom from the winter season. "We can see clearly now," (the single by Johnny Nash plays in my head) and our home decor looks as tired as we have, and it is that time to give it a face lift of freshness. There are a few simple steps to achieve this feel and look in your existing space.

De-clutter 

The perfect place to start is to, get rid of the old and bring in the new. However, that does not mean everything has to be "brand" new, in order to achieve a fresh, airy feel. As you de-clutter sort through furniture that is sentimental, but makes a statement. Once you have selected the items that will bring a desired character to your space, DONATE and or have a garage SALE for everything else. If you do not give away the EXCESS, your space will always feel small and claustrophobic! Keep in mind, just like we trim our bodies down in preparation for summer, the same should go for our home.

Re-arrange it

Find a new place for everything! The main objective of this step is to improve the functionality of your space, As a rule of thumb, move anything that blocks a clear path to your new space. This is where storage solutions become key, which we will make some suggestions in upcoming articles. But for the larger furnishings such as a sofa that is blocking a window, this is the time to move it against a main wall so the daylight can pour in and your windows are free to open. Texture opportunity: you can change your drapes or window treatments to tones that are neutral and textured to bring a warm-airy feel to your space.

Colour Your World 

Now for our favorite part, and not just pops of it, but enough to make a statement. Caution, we do not mean your favourite colour everywhere to set a theme, rather a statement should be made in your space while the rest of the decor lends to support that statement.  It is very easy to overdo colour especially if there too many competing primary hues or overkill with simple pastel shades, the key to avoid this BALANCE. For example, choose a furnishing that is either bold in structure, or delicate in design and refinish it in a soft pastel. Who says that white is the only way to create a light, heavenly-lifted space? Bright soft colours such as petal pinks, mint greens, lemon zest yellows, and ice blues are a great way to gently mix colour into your decor and are easily transferable into the summer season. These colours are sweetly balanced with warm navy blues, greys and natural tones. White sofa throws, cushions, window treatments and small accents add a fantastic modern, crisp cleanliness to your decor.

Layer it up! 

Adjust the dial of your room to a temperature to make it cooler or warmer by adding textured surfaces on pillow cushions and throws. Leather pillows in bright colours offer cool touches and natural tone alternatives in silks for warm moods. Texture is also found in patterns such as bold stripes, abstract graphics, delicate florals and other culturally inspired textiles.

Make your space bloom with decadence, by making it a clutter free, function-friendly, bright and energetic with colour, patterns and texture.

Eclectic at its Finest!

So we love this look! We decided to play around with paint and instead of colour blocking, we used various shades within the same hue to create a gradient effect. This is a fresh twist to the essence of French Country and looks brilliantly styled with our Florence Harvest Dining Table. Our favourite part of this project was the “scavenger hunt” for odd chairs, but with similar lines and structure. It was loads of fun going from various antique shops, street fairs and estate sales to find the right mix. This project is really simple to do and a great way to repurpose those odd chairs you might have lying around from various dining sets acquired through the years. 

The Harvest Table

Ah yes, the elusive and feverishly alluring harvest dining table is a style that is popularly sought after. The reason being is that,  its sheer rustic weathered appeal and solid wood structure (which is hard to find these days) brings an inviting  warmth to your living room without having to compromise on function. So it’s perfect for frequently trafficked areas of your home. Especially for those large families whose functions, while memorable, require their furniture to be sturdy enough to withstand the bumps and bruises of crazy festivities. I know this to be true, because our family is much like what I have described. When we bought our new home, we looked everywhere for an affordable harvest dining table that can fit 10 people, with a style that was elegant yet family-friendly. However, everywhere we searched, the dimensions did not fit the space we needed, or the look was not quite to our taste, and often it was insanely overpriced! As such, we decided to make our own, and thus The Florence Harvest Dining Table was {made}! This table has been a huge hit with our customers, primarily because we make our tables completely customizable, in dimension, type of wood, stain, finish all of which is beautifully paired with an antique, all-wood, refinished base. Visit our website at www.madebymadrigal.com, and check out our various styles offered and get started on your made-to-order Florence Dining Table today!

Inspirations from Around the World

In our recent travels to Abu Dhabi and Thailand, we were marvelled by the beautiful patterns, bold colours and intricate designs of textiles and small decor furnishings. At every point, we were inspired to integrate these geometric, tribal-esque patterns or floral delicates into our existing polished vintage furnishings and simple elegant style concepts. Stay tuned to see how we manage to encourage you with these inspirations into your next home decor design.