Behind THEIR Counters- Small Business Saturday Edition

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The holiday season is officially here!  It's time to gather together with friends and family to give thanks and celebrate one another.  It is also the holiday shopping season.  With more and more big box stores and chains popping up in communities across the country, it is an important time of year to remember your small, local, specialty stores.  

Shopping local has many, many benefits, including strengthening your local economy, creating more jobs in the area and creating a diverse, vibrant community.  Small business owners are experts in their crafts, spending tireless hours researching the best brands and products and how to create unforgettable experiences for their customers.  I know that at Thistle & Bess, we are constantly curating a unique collection of goods in order to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible.  

When you gather with your loved ones this week for Thanksgiving, please consider showing your local businesses some love.  In Ann Arbor in particular, we are so lucky to have such a lively community of small businesses.  It is thanks to thoughtful consumers in our communities that this thriving collection of small businesses exists and we are so appreciative to be a part of it at T&B.  

This week for behind the counter, we went to some of our favorite local businesses to ask the owners our usual questions behind THEIR counters.  If you haven't visited these businesses, check them out the next time that you are in Ann Arbor.  You won't be disappointed!  Thanks to Heavenly Metal, Sic Transit Cycles, Today Clothing, Spencer Ann Arbor, Sweet Heather Anne and The Lunch Room for playing along with us!  

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you so much for shopping small this holiday season!  

 

Behind the Counter with Derek Smiertka of Lead Head Glass

Fortune's Case Terrarium in the home of T&B owner, Diana Marsh.  Photo by Cat Buswell

Fortune's Case Terrarium in the home of T&B owner, Diana Marsh.  Photo by Cat Buswell

Today we would like to highlight one of our absolute favorite products (and makers!) at T&B, Lead Head Glass Terrariums! Lead Head Glass terrariums are handcrafted out of reclaimed glass from deconstructed homes in Detroit. Lead Head terrariums were one of the first local products that we chose for the shop and they have been one of our most popular items since. Chad Ackley and Derek Smiertka are the artists behind the terrariums- hand making each one themselves. You may have met them at the shop, as they were also the first makers that we reached out to to teach workshops at T&B (We will be hosting a holiday themed terrarium planting workshop with them in December!). Learn some more random facts about Derek in our newest edition of Behind the Counter below!  

Chad Ackley, one of the owners of Lead Head Glass, leading a terrarium planting workshop at the shop.  Photo by Abby Rose Photography

Chad Ackley, one of the owners of Lead Head Glass, leading a terrarium planting workshop at the shop.  Photo by Abby Rose Photography

Derek Smiertka, the other half of Lead Head Glass, looking on during one of our workshops.  Photo by Abby Rose Photography

Derek Smiertka, the other half of Lead Head Glass, looking on during one of our workshops.  Photo by Abby Rose Photography

Behind the Window- Holiday 2017

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It is officially holiday season at T&B! We had a blast revamping the shop last week, particularly designing our Royal Tenenbaum themed window. While I love all Wes Anderson films, The Royal Tenenbaums is my absolute favorite movie.  We imagined what Christmas at the Tenenbaum home would look like- from the family portraits on the wall, to gifts for each family member, and even Chas's spotted mice, we really went for it this year!  Get a more detailed glimpse of our window on Behind the Window below and make sure to stop in the shop to enjoy it in person as well! 🎄 

Behind the Counter with Kristen Drozdowski of Worthwhile Paper

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Today we would like to feature local artist and shop favorite, Kristen Drozdowski of Worthwhile Paper! Worthwhile Paper is a collection of lively screen printed paper goods for lovers of nature, magic and meaningful design. At T&B we strongly believe in working with and getting to know local artists and makers. Not only do we carry Kristen’s gorgeous paper goods and enamel pins, but she has taught hand lettering courses at our shop and has even painted our shop window! Featuring a unique blend of nature and minimalism, Worthwhile Paper’s designs truly bring positivity and love into the world! Come check out Kristen's gorgeous work in our shop and see our interview with Kristen in our Behind the Counter Halloween Edition below! 

Behind the Counter with Shop Dog Pippa Middleton Marsh

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Meet our shop dog, Pippa Middleton Marsh! Pippa is a 3 year old Brussels Griffon. She is obsessive over tennis balls, loves to bark and has a phobia of big hats. Pippa spends most of her days sleeping behind the counter on a luxurious toile dog bed.  We usually take a quick stroll around the block every day at around 3pm, so if you see the "Walking the Dog" sign on the shop door, we are indeed taking a walk!  Check out our latest edition of Behind the Counter below, where we interview little miss Pippa herself! Photo of Pip lounging at home (surrounded by some fab pillows by Minna Goods, available at the shop!) by Cat Buswell.

Behind the Counter with Buyer and Merchandiser Darren DeWitt

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Meet Darren DeWitt!  He is our buyer and merchandiser extraordinaire at T&B. Some interesting things about Darren: 
-He used to sing in the Michigan Opera Theater at the Detroit Opera House.

-Darren absolutely loves shopping for vintage treasures and has a knack for creating an amazing collection. Check out this piece on his gorgeous home with husband, Adrian Ohmer, on Apartment Therapy.

-He's a member of The Swamp, a local chicken coop turned clubhouse, where he plays euchre once week with his best pals and is currently enjoying a ten game winning streak.

-Darren designs most of our window displays at the shop and also buys all of the gorgeous vintage pieces that we carry.

Learn some more random facts about Darren in our latest episode of Behind the Counter, linked below!