Each January, when most everyone is either shaking off the past year or looking forward to the new one, Blue Raccoon reviews the previous 12 months – the customer experience, sales, what we can do better, etc. We also review the parts of our mission that mean the most before we head out on our buying trips:
• Everything we offer at Blue Raccoon must balance form with function
• Hand made in the USA is often better than an imported item
• Support relationships, quality and the environment
We build our wish list of things we’d like to find for the store and travel to several cities for both buying and inspiration, but the big one is definitely the New York Gift show. It takes us about three days to browse, consider, check our budget and write orders with new vendors and recurring ones to pull together an assortment of home goods that we believe you’ll love. Of course, we have to love them, too, and that makes new discoveries and finds rewarding, like these new cool-colored beverage bottles:
They keep liquids hot for 12 hours and cool for 24. We will have a great selection of colors to choose from. They will be $35 each.
We also loved discovering these linen throws, hand towels and body wraps from Turkey. They are beautifully made and easy to care for. Drape one over the back of a sofa or drape around your shoulders to take the chill off a summer night. We thought these would make a great graduation gift as young adults head to the beach before going back to school.
Of course, we’re super excited about our new furniture from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and have many new pieces to show you. These are starting to arrive and will be on our floor soon. As always, like us on Facebook to get this info as soon as we post it.
Clifton Sectional and Zoey Chair
Something we’re continuing to explore is a commitment to quality jewelry. In addition to our great gift ideas, you have told us how much you love handcrafted earrings, bracelets and necklaces. We will be introducing 3 new lines of exceptional pieces in April. Here’s a preview:
We’re thrilled to announce the return of MATCH™ Italian Pewter and are pleased to reintroduce this exquisite heirloom quality pewter from Italy at Blue Raccoon. We love this line and many of you have asked for its return. We’ve ordered a nice, representative selection to arrive in April and will be adding more items throughout the year. Their catalog is extensive, covering bath, kitchen, dining, barware, serving dishes, picture frames and more. If you see or want something we don’t stock, we’ll get it for you within 5 days.
Finally, no trip about NYC would be complete without recommending a few places that we love. We had a delicious lunch at Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village; great sushi in Soho at Blue Ribbon Sushi on Sullivan Street; and knock-out steak frites at Flea Market, a cozy bistro on Avenue A in the East Village.
Best of all was our visit to the Jazz Standard on 29th Street off Park Avenue South, one of NY’s best jazz clubs and eateries. This is a first-class club and restaurant that’s neither stuffy or pretentious (they serve up southern cuisine with a side of TLC.) They book top jazz acts and with two sets at 7:30 and 9:30, you can make it an evening with dinner or slip in to hear a great gig. In between sets, the musicians gather at the bar and are completely accessible for praise or great conversation. We had a great time seeing the Vijay Iyer Trio (really, the hottest piano trio in jazz right now,) bassist Ben Williams and his band, Sound Effect, and the singer/pianist Patricia Barber and her quartet. Do yourself a favor and check it out on your next visit to the big Apple.