I still remember the first time I opened the door to Daisy’s. Of course a business is not as important as your children, but a small business, especially a small retail boutique, is such an absolute expression of who you are and what you love along with much of your time (sometimes all of your time). If people don’t respond in the way you have hoped, it is like having someone reject a major part of who you are. Well I got lucky for 8 years customers have enjoyed the shelves at Daisy’s and purchased goods to keep my doors happily open. My family has spent many a night pricing goods while watching TV, breaking down boxes for recycling or taking care of our daily living chores while I was on shopping adventures. To everyone, I am eternally grateful.
8 years passes quickly and like a child Daisy’s has grown too. We started in a small little place on Encinal Avenue back in the day when I had Jay’s and then moved to a much larger spot on Park Street. 1347 Park Street has been our home for 6 years. In 2011 we added a 2nd home. Montclair Village is where Daisy’s 2nd store felt just right. This little part of the Oakland Hills is where my husband Ron grew up and where I lived when I started working for his families business (long story). We are growing this year just a little more, taking the little Montclair shop from a small space to over 2000 s/f.
What you don’t realize when you open a store is just like when raising a child you grow to love it more each day. It becomes more and more of who you are and the people that walk in the door become a part of your extended family. I have watched little girls who started shopping at Daisy’s holding their Mommy’s hand because they were just toddlers. Now they are young ladies who feel all grown up because they are on their first solo shopping adventures. There have been many girls start off as young shoppers and head off to college only to return on spring break and look more like young women each time they walk in the door. Because life is evolving there have been a few dear customers that have passed away and I think of many of them so often. Some of my customers have become close friends and a few have become customers that work here (we often call it that as much of your paycheck at Daisy’s is returned in the form of purchases).
I was really lucky to grow up in was a family business. It didn’t belong to my family but the business owner treated all of his employees like family and when the kids wanted a job then he put them to work. I was 11 years old when I started working on an amazing variety of things. By the time I was 16 I was pretty confident that I knew each department of a business and little or big its real function. There was no doubt that one-day when I had kids that I really wanted them to experience this. Needless to say the boys begrudgingly flatten boxes, sweep, paint and help mom lots. I know they are bored out of their skulls and have no desire to ring up a sale or wrap a gift however they understand the basics of what I do. But when Daisy’s opened the little shopkeeper was just 2. She has learned so much and everyday amazes me with the new tasks she undertakes without hesitation. She goes on buying trips and actually has a few products we carry she can claim as her finds, she takes inventory and orders soaps and cards. At Christmas time Jillian was the gift-wrap champ and watch out if you are on the hunt for a gift because she is quite a sales person.I don’t know if I would have ever made the decision to grow Daisy’s if it hadn’t become a special place to spend time with my little shopkeeper. So you will find the little shopkeeper and I most days “up the hill or by the water” growing our mini empire. Jillian and I have plans for the next 8 years that will knock your socks off...
Fun memories of Miss Jillian helping with her first window above. Now she jumps right in and comes up with great additions. I would expect sometime this year she does her first one solo. The picture to the right is last summer practicing using her new camera after a long day at the show. She just won't slow down, my little nightlife girl. 11 hours at the show, a walk around Tribeca, dinner at Locanda Verde followed by picture taking on the pier. A quick walk back to her favorite hotel, The Greenwich Hotel. She awoke the next morning at 7. I turned around and the daily agenda was opened and she was reviewing our buying plan for the day. Words can't describe the fun of working with the little shopkeeper.