Happy holidays with love from Boca.

We Hunt-Homans had a simple and low-fuss Christmas celebration this year–no-fuss for us, at least. My parents and grandparents on the other hand went above and beyond during our three-day drive from Omaha to Boca where we’re staying in my grandparent’s house. The guest bed is from the hotel they used to own, and they have the hospitality to match. I came here often as a child growing up and I never dreamed when I was sleeping here in a fold-out couch at age 8 that I’d be doing the same thing someday with my daughter and husband. Being able to bring them here and create this new memory together is the best gift I got this year.

Alice’s big gifts from us were a Lego Duplo zoo and a magnifying glass. We also got her some books and filled up her stocking with treats like Hello Kitty lip balm (we’re very into lipstick), stampers, and a flashlight. My parents gave her a wooden kitchen set and a cardboard fort-making kit from a San Francisco-based company called Bildopolis, and they left it with us on Christmas Eve to set up for Alice’s Christmas morning. At first when she woke up to a living room with a kitchen, fort, and toys set up, she was a little overwhelmed and anxious and went back into her room. After a while she warmed up to the new toys and was soon cooking eggs and cake for all of us in her new kitchen. It’ll be awesome to set it all up at our house when we get back next week.

Dave setting up the fort, which has since become much, much larger and more complex….

Alice playing with some big blocks from her grandparents. We had donut holes for breakfast. There was much more excitement than pictured here, but I tend to end up with a lot of serious pictures of Alice because she is a very serious person. Once I upload the photos from my camera I will share some more.

I love this kitchen–all the little details are perfect. Look at those wooden mushrooms! The salt and pepper shakers make a shaking sound, and the little knobs on the stovetop turn. It’s a really pretty kitchen that I’m sure we’ll use for a long time. I look forward to many carrot cakes and scrambled eggs.

xx

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Alice Elfie’s Day Off

Alice and I stayed home today so we could start making presents for our family. It's hard to find much time to be together and do any of that between getting off work and bedtime, so we both took a day off! We listened to the Mariah Carey holiday Pandora station all day and had personal pan pizzas delivered for lunch, and ate all the cookies we wanted from a cookie exchange we went to last weekend. Here's what we made, including links!

OOTD: Clothes to covet

Today Alice and I are staying home to work on all of our Christmas gifts together! With my new work schedule, there isn't a lot of time between work and bed to finish any meaningful projects together, so we both took the day off to make and wrap all of our gifts. One thing on my gift list is this outfit. If we don't sell out of my size before the holidays, I'll definitely be buying it from the store. Usually I just buy whatever I want as things come in or order extra for myself, but during the holidays I want to give all of our extra inventory a chance to sell at full price before I snatch it up.

Clark & Company: Young guns in the Omaha music spotlight

This summer was the first time I heard Clark & Company’s music. I was at a friend’s house for a big party and the place was buzzing with lively discussions between friends reuniting and new introductions being made. I heard Clark & Company in the background of all this fun, and it was the kind of sound that you at first think is coming through some speakers somewhere. Soon, singer Sophie Clark’s beautiful, soulful voice caught my ear, and I began paying more attention to the music than the conversation.

Starting a Storefront

So I've never worked clothing retail before. In college I worked at a record store for a while, but it was pretty much exactly like the movie High Fidelity and thus not a legit retail experience. As we were preparing to open our first retail location for the Hello Holiday offices, everyone who knows me kept saying stuff like, "Well, I hope you can handle retail." "I think you're gonna find that running a physical store is a lot different." "Well, I look forward to hearing how THAT goes." It's like when you're a parent and you say stuff like, "I'm planning on taking my kid to work most days," and other parents knowingly go, "Oh, YOU'LLLLLL see."

I opened a store. Here’s what it looks like.

On November 25th, right before Thanksgiving, Sarah and I opened Hello Holiday's first brick-and-mortar location. When we started Hello Holiday, we had no intention of opening a physical store, but one thing we are both good at is seeing opportunities when they arise and reacting to them quickly to take advantage of them. We had had some success with local pop-up shop events, and when a retail space came over in one of Omaha's coolest neighborhoods, we knew we had to take it. We're excited for the store because it'll give us the space we need to grow. The front is the retail showroom, the back will be our offices when we finish construction, and our growing online fulfillment operations take place out of the full basement. With this space, we'll also have the opportunity to carry more independent designers from all over the world and take more risks with designers that would be harder to sell online. When customers can feel the clothing, see the lining, feel the zipper, see how it looks on, they're more likely to feel that emotional connection to these designers. It's not just a connection to an object, to an item of clothing, but a connection to a maker--a designer--who may live thousands of miles away. It's someone we believe in and support, and we're exposing their work to hundreds of thousands of new supporters through our store--both online and now with this physical location.
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