Roll Call!

Six more days! Just six more days! The LTD7 2016 Fall Market is almost here!

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We have been featuring the Vendors that will be at our Market over the last few weeks, and I wanted to make sure everyone was up on all the news! If you want to read all about our line-up, you only have to join LTD 7’s Event Page on Facebook:

We will have food, fun, family, photography, and great shopping.

The market will be held Saturday, October 29th from 10am to 4pm.  You won’t want to miss it!

But for now, I would like to introduce our Vendors to you. I am betting there are going to be more than a few booths you won’t want to miss. Drum Roll, please!

Briar Patch Bakery

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Charming Finds

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Eclectibles

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The Enchanted Apothecary

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GGs Gourmet Goods

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Grandma Candy

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Harvest Window

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Manic Mermaid Designs

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North Mountain Candle Company

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ReNewed Designs Jewelry

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TFJ Creations

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Threads for Good

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Valentine Photography

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Wandering Soles

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We will be donating 10% of net proceeds to a special nonprofit, namely, Ride with Pride.

To learn more about the Market:

For a “taste” of what our special line up of Vendors feature, and to learn more about the small business owners of these companies, read all about them on our Facebook Events page, https://www.facebook.com/ltd7va/events or LTD 7’s App

Need Help?

Remember, if you are having difficulty signing on to our App we will have a special table set up for you to sign up and ask questions. Special gift for those that sign up on Saturday!

Happy Halloween Downtown

Downtown Staunton will be hosting Trick or Treat for the children on Saturday. We will be joining in on that fun, too! From 10-12 bring the kids to downtown businesses to trick or treat!

We will see you next Saturday! I can hardly wait!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

 

 

 

A is for:

A is for:

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LTD7 has an App! (Insert thunderous applause here). We are SO excited!
Apps (or app/applications) are programs/games most likely being downloaded to a smartphone, computer or iPad.

Some of us “way back when” had a strange relationship to an App like “Angry Birds.” People played it everywhere. Maybe you remember it.

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Here is another App you might know…Facebook.

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Apps are those strange little squares we get/download from an App Store (Apple Store) or Google Play Store on an Android phone and use for some of our phone tasks, like MapQuest or Google Maps- to get us where we are going. Other apps take us right to Amazon or eBay or iTunes for our music. They look like this, on our phones:
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I found this chart interesting. It lists the most popular Apps for January to June 2016. I will bet that you have at least “heard” of one or two of these:

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Retail stores, like LTD 7 are getting in on the Apps, too! We think it is something the customer can relate to. We hope having an App for our store will be easy to use for the customer, and we want it to be your “one stop” for all things retail, before, during or after you visit our stores. Our App looks like this:

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Our App can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play for our Android phone users. Apps can provide you, the customer, with sale dates, store events, special news, photographs and many other pieces of news-all in one handy location.

By downloading our App, you have easy access to us. You can bring up on your phone an item you are interested in purchasing and show us. You can receive special coupons for app users, you can partake in our loyalty program at all three of our stores, you can see upcoming events and you can share pictures with us !
Change is hard sometimes. It might seem way too much to do to figure out how to download an App. It might be something we have to ask the younger generation to do for us. (How do those 6-year-old children know what they know about computers?) but once you have it, we think you are going to ❤️ it.

If you need assistance in downloading our LTD 7 App, the staff at any one of our locations can assist you.

Once our App is downloaded on your phone, don’t be scared to use it! You will find photos, sales, events, LTD 7’s Facebook page, and many other special features-all waiting on you.

Technology is going so fast! Sometimes it just seems easier the old way- the way it used to be. But we think you might be amazed at how easy our new App is to use. We believe you will love having it and we hope it will become an easy way to stay in touch with us, keep up to date, and be in the know about special events, in addition to lightning fast contact with us, if you have a need or a want or something we can help you find.

(October 31 is the last day to use  and redeem points from our old loyalty program in store…..stop in before Halloween…and tomorrow, there may even be a special coupon waiting for you😉 )

Join us on the LTD 7 App today!

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Living the Dream,

 

Lynne

 

Take a Cue from the Leaves

 

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Find out “what’s in” – in time for your Fall planning and decorating. It’s looking to be another season of warmth, thanks and giving. This Fall, we are loving warm colors, like butternut squash, pumpkin, and blue hues, like the skies. We are interested in using what we have and adding to it. Think velvet, coffee beans, and warm candles. Think nature and take your cues from it. Think LTD 7 for all of your accessories and décor needs…a little or a lot.

Freshen Up the Front Door

Most of us love to decorate the front door and we love a theme that takes us right into Thanksgiving. To give your door and porch a colorful pick-me-up, surround your door with inexpensive cabbage plants, mums, greenery and pumpkins. Saturate the porch with shades of orange, green, and white. Stack a pumpkin topiary with white pumpkins and greenery that will last all the way until December. These looks below give the house a cheery curb appeal.

Warm Up to New Hues: Think Bright Colors!

Don’t limit bright colors to spring and summer; Fall’s hues can be playful too — rely on Mother Nature’s shifting shades to help you pick your palette. Try a splash of pumpkin orange, mellowed gourd green or the saturated blue evident in fall’s clear skies. No need to swap out (or repaint) your furniture for the season, just work in a few colorful accessories to get the look. Take a cue from nature and give an open space a snug, welcoming feel by swapping out pillows in lightweight summer fabrics, like linen and cotton, for luxurious velvet ones in rich, fall shades.

Take a cue from nature and give an open space a snug, welcoming feel by swapping out pillows in lightweight summer fabrics, like linen and cotton, for luxurious velvet ones in rich, fall shades.

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Add Fresh Flowers and Fall Leaves

Nothing brightens up your home for the season like vases filled with fall flowers and foliage. Sunflowers are great choices because they’ll remain beautiful for quite some time. The trick to keeping blooms fresh is to remove all leaves below the water line and change out the water every few days. I love the look of the scarlet maple leaves towering in the corner, with the velvet pillows on the couch. Hints of burnished gold in the pillows, lamp and chair warm up this corner.

Put Memories on Display

With the upcoming arrival of friends and family for the holidays, fall is the perfect time to root through boxes of old family photos, pop them in a frame and create a gallery wall so everyone can enjoy a sentimental stroll down memory lane.  You can spray paint inexpensive frames for a seasonal display.

Turn an Empty Frame in to a Menu Board

Another idea for an inexpensive frame or one you have laying around is a menu board. With just a few supplies from the hardware and craft stores, you can upcycle an unused frame into an elegant chalkboard to display wherever holiday guests gather. Use your finished chalkboard to display a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner menu or just to jot down notes to family. You can revert back to the original frame after the season is over.

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Incorporate Candles

Fill lanterns or tall glass hurricanes with pillar candles surrounded by coffee beans, acorns or candy corn to easily create a charming display for your entryway or front porch, foyer, or coffee table. Remember to bring in those bright colors we discussed with our pillows.If you’ve never tried our battery operated moving flame candles, you must try them this season. You will fall in love with the timer feature as well as the realistic movement of the flame.

It’s Autumn. Time to warm up our homes and our décor. LTD 7 is full of pillows, candles and accessories to help you do the job. Stop in soon, even if just to see enjoy the décor we have on display. We would love to see you at one or both of our locations. Please share your displays and décor with us on our app!  We would love to see your creativity in action.

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Living the Dream,

Lynne

 

It’s Fall Ya’ll

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I hope you enjoyed the weeks of Vendor Profiles and stories we shared on the blog over the last few weeks. I learned a lot and I hope you did too. We have some very special Dream Teams members and it was my privileged to feature them. If you missed any, please scroll back through the blog to catch up.

While we were busy learning about our Vendor Team, the season changed. It’s Fall, Y’all! It may not feel like it when you look at the thermometer outside and we may not be “ready” for summer to pass us by again, but the calendar doesn’t lie and we are headed right into pumpkins and spice and everything nice.

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LTD 7.1 and 7.2, along with Grandma’s Bait are in full Fall mode!

Our stores are decorated in colorful fall colors and we have wonderful new items and outfits for the children, and adults, alike.

We hope you will begin thinking also about what you might need for your fallscape-be it the front door, front porch, table or entry way and foyer. Candles, pumpkins, Halloween decorations, place settings, and the like.

We have a You tube video that you might enjoy, featuring LTD 7.1. It’s a little long at 8 plus minutes, but a wonderful way to do some shopping at home. You can find it here. If you don’t have time today to watch it, maybe bookmark it to watch at a later time.

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Our Facebook Sales are still in full swing, Alexis is live online each Thursday evening. It’s a great way to see NEW merchandise and shop from the comfort of home. Plan to shop with us! Facebook Sale

Grandma’s Bait “Sales” are in full swing online as well. Have you seen the sales we have been having on summer merchandise? Tons of “steals and deals!”  LTD 7 kids Sales

One of the other B.I.G. events on tap is LTD 7’s Annual Fall Market. It is scheduled for October 29th, 2016. Please mark your calendars and look for more information in the weeks to come. Event page

The bi-annual Outdoor Market at LTD 7! Tons of old fashion Fun, Quality Vendors, Food, & Music for the entire family! No direct sellers-we only accept vendors who run a small business with high quality handmade, vintage, antiques, repurposed, or upcycled goods. One Non-Profit, Ride with Pride, will be awarded 10% of Net Proceeds from our market! An event you don’t want to miss!

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Have you seen our new App? Don’t miss it! It’s available on Android and Apple and it will keep you abreast of all of our happenings in one place! We can all appreciate an App that does that, right? Download the new LTD7 App, today!           Android

That’s about all I can think of right now. Whew! That is a lot of news! As always, if you have any questions, or need any assistance with your shopping needs, Clarisse, Alyssa and Ann, along with our other very capable staff members are always willing to help!

Happy Fall Y’all!

Living the Dream,

 

Lynne

 

 

 

Pillow Talk

A Conversation with Leslie Leedy, Owner of Leslie & Co.

Today I would like to introduce you to Leslie Leedy, a multi-talented artist whose artful pillow creations are featured at LTD2, our Rowe location. I love a good pillow, not only for the design elements they bring to a room, but also, many times, for the messages and scenes and colors they depict. A pillow is huggable art to me!

Leslie is a hairdresser by trade and just recently added a very special member of her family to her team. She also tells me she is branching out in her business. We are proud to introduce you to Leslie Leedy, owner of Leslie & Co, and another wonderful member of our Dream Team!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

 

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“What’s your story?” Tell us about your family and where you are from.

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 I come from a family of artists – art and sewing have always been part of my life, from my grandmother’s carvings, pen & inks, and yarn work to my mother’s painting and quilts – but I have been working towards becoming a serious “wanna be” full-time creator within the last 10 years.

I’m originally from New Jersey but I say I grew up in Virginia, moving here when I was seventeen. The influences of my youth have help mold my love of art and marketing. Taking in the vibes of NYC are a large part of those influences.

I understand you are in business with your mother in law and that you are a hairdresser by trade. That’s an interesting combination.

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Leslie & Co. pillows just recently came to be when my mother-in-law moved in with my husband and me.  I casually mentioned my yearning to create some pillows. My mother-in-law was extremely excited to use some of her time and expertise and meticulous sewing talents.

As of now, Leslie & Co. is a small one person hair studio with a part-time home-based pillow factory (meaning my house is a mess).  The positive side of our recent move from Virginia Beach to this area, is the time I have had to explore my true passions.

Tell us about your company. How did LTD 7 come into play with your business?

Leslie & Co. pillows are new being sold at LTD 7.2 in Staunton off I-81. I feel this shop is a great fit for us as they attract many travelers from throughout the country. Also, the loyal shoppers to LTD 7’s sister store in another part of Staunton are encouraged to visit both locations.

I met Lynne, owner of LTD, by chance – I had been searching for a store in this area that I felt met the “fit” for our pillows and art.  I had a large bag of pillows in my vehicle.  I was making cold-calls…pillow peddling, I call it.  Lynne wasn’t quite sure if we were a fit, but I pushed until she gave me an, “Ok, let’s try it.”  The Rowe Rd. location seemed a great fit for me – everything from management to LTD7’s dream team seemed right.

 Do you dream of branching out? What are your long range plans?

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 I recognized the older I got, the more important my inner creative spirit drove me to become a more complete me. Leslie & Co. has recently dived into another creative avenue – recycling and painting furniture, and incorporating paints with fabrics and home décor to the pillow line. Things such as banners and vintage wallpaper art are all part of a whole vision

What would you like to share with dreamers like you? What one piece of advice would you say pushed you the furthest in your dream?

I read once that a true entrepreneur keeps moving toward a goal no matter how large or minimal it may seem to others. If your passion is real, the fruits of your labor will present themselves in a positive way for all the universe to enjoy.

 

 

 

Gone Loopy: A Stamp of Approval

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I hope you are enjoying our Featured Vendor Series as much as I am. Everyone has a story and unless you ask, it’s usually the case that we never know all we could know about a person. I just love getting to know more about our Dream Team members.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Bridget Hoerner, our very own “Gone Loopy” Jewelry vendor!

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What I love most about Bridget and her story is her incredible and genuine kindness. She is one of the strongest women I know. Her story is incredible and her faith is amazing. Her love and devotion to family is wider than any ocean and taller than any mountain. This love sets her apart for me, in addition to her huge talent. She is so gifted!

Just like the other vendors we have featured so far, Bridget sums up what we are all learning through these interviews: Perseverance, or never giving up is the key to achieving one’s dreams. Take a look at how one woman set her dream in motion, and opened a store!

Bridget shares this quote as one that has meaning to her. I couldn’t agree more.

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Let’s find out more. Below is Bridget, in her own words. Enjoy her story!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

Even though you express yourself through your work, our readers want to know:

How did you get started? “What’s your story?”

 For the first seven years of my childhood, I was abused in every way imaginable by my stepfather.  It is important for me to share that so that you all will understand the true lady behind Gone Loopy.  I learned that I was to never, ever, show emotion.  I had no way of expressing myself without brutally paying for it, no matter whether I was sad, happy, or, you name it.

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My mom, sister and I moved to Virginia, from Washington State, when I was seven with my grandparents, right after my stepfather was incarcerated.  My grandpa had just retired and they decided to move back “home,” which is right here in Virginia.

Once we were back in Virginia, it was like I stepped into a whole new world.
I was able to stay outside and enjoy beauty all around me…God’s artwork.  My mom started making crafts here and there and I started becoming interested in them and would help her on occasion.  When I was in elementary school, my teachers started taking interest in my artistic abilities and entered me in contests.  I won several and it helped to boost my confidence in myself. These contests helped me to feel like I really did have a purpose, even though up until that time I very much had low self-esteem.  Creating became a catharsis for me. I soon learned that I could express myself and completely forget about the outside world, and that people appreciated what I did.

In high school, I had an art teacher who called my mom and told her she thought I was special and that I had hidden talent that she wanted to see blossom. She wanted to award me a grant to go study with adults in a fused glass jewelry class.  Other than embroidery floss friendship bracelets, this was the only jewelry I had made up to this point.  I continued for many years making crafts for family members and with my children.

While I was in college, I decided to make a bracelet for a very good friend of mine.  I found it to be very therapeutic.  The reaction from everyone that saw it was very encouraging, so I began making lots of jewelry, even though I didn’t wear any.

 

Eventually my jewelry making evolved into metal stamping on silverware.  This, I decided, was the most perfect thing in the world.  I always loved words and quotes, especially those of encouragement.  So being able to create something beautiful and being able to stamp a word or phrase that could touch someone sent me over the moon.  I’ve been addicted ever since.

 

Tell us about your family.

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I met my husband, Brandon, or “Mr. Gone Loopy” as some call him, when I was seventeen and married him fresh out of high school at eighteen years of age.  I look back now and think, “What were we thinking and how on Earth did we think we could survive?”  Shortly after, we had our oldest child, Sebrina, and then ten and a half months later, our son, Dalton, was born.

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A few years later I was told that it was good I already had children, because there was no medically possible way I could have more, due to being eaten up with endometriosis.  Many, many surgeries, lots of complications, and problems ensued.  We had not planned on any more children, but somehow being told you are unable to have children made me feel broken.  When Sebrina was six, I gave birth to our third child, Kaitlyn.  She was a complete surprise to us as well as to my doctors.  God knew we would need her to complete our family.

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Now, Sebrina is twenty-two years old, and she has just married her best friend. They have given us the greatest gift, a granddaughter. She is such a blessing.  Dalton is now twenty-one, and Kaitlyn is sixteen.  Brandon and I have been married for twenty-three years.

Is Gone Loopy a full time job? When did you make it full time? Were there days when you regretted your decision? Would you ever “go back?”

Yes, Gone Loopy is very much a full time job.  Not only do I run my store each day, but Brandon and I also work every night and each morning creating our handmade silverware items.

January 31, 2012, I met with the landlord of the building I am currently in and discussed rent, etc.  After talking with my husband when I got home, I decided to go for it. I was still teaching special education in the middle school setting at the time.  Brandon and Sebrina would take turns running the store, starting March 1, 2012, until I would get off from school each day.  I would then run it for a few hours and go home and make more product.

In May of that same year, my grandpa had his first stroke.  He needed full time, 24 hours a day care, and it was then that I decided that at the end of the school year I was going to resign and live my dream full time.

I do not regret resigning from teaching.  I have many special students that have kept in touch with me and they and their parents come to visit me often.  I am a true believer that things happen for a reason.  Right now, my purpose is to keep being the “Loopy Lady,” offering hope and encouragement through my own therapeutic artwork.

How did you come up with the name Gone Loopy?

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The name “Gone Loopy” came from a conversation I was had with my mother-in-law one day while we were in Pennsylvania visiting with her.  In order to help your readers understand the conversation with my mother-in- law, I will share a bit of background information.

I was going to college full time, raising my little family, substitute teaching, wearing many hats in my church, and going through some pretty scary times.  My grandfather had just suffered a massive heart attack and had been flown to UVA not too long before my visit with my mother in law. My youngest daughter, Kaitlyn, was having serious health problems and the doctors were even talking cancer at the time.  I was having trouble with anxiety in a major way and I was concerned that it was going to keep me from passing my classes and moving on in college.

I was sitting in my mother-in-law’s “beach room” as she called it, making jewelry.  She came in to talk to me and check up on me.  After asking about numerous test results for both my grandpa, and Kaity, my school work, and all the other things I had going on at the time, she asked, “Bridget, how on earth are you going to keep from going loopy?’  I chuckled and replied, “I’m doing it right now.” I then followed it up with, “Maybe someday I will open up my very own shop and call it just that.”  At the time, that idea felt far from any possible reality.

 

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Tell us about your store. You sell many things. What and where?

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 My store recently expanded this year. I was able to move into the front of the building, which is a much larger space.  We sell anything from clothing, and jewelry, to furniture, and antiques.  The move has given us room for Brandon to shine. He is a very talented carpenter and has not only built multimillion dollar homes, but has built some pretty amazing furniture.

You never know what you will find at Gone Loopy.  We have a few consignors that are local artists and we are constantly bringing in new inventory.

We are located in Churchville at 3816 Churchville Ave., Churchville, VA 24421.

Is there anything you want to do that for now you are prevented from doing? Did your dream get bigger or shrink over the years? Do you dream of branching out?

 Right now, with having a new grandbaby and getting through the planning of my daughter’s wedding, I am comfortable where we are.  I feel like I haven’t had a chance to really get used to our new space yet.

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A few years back before I opened my shop, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. I almost didn’t make it.  I had a video robotic thoracic surgery to remove my thymus gland, which ultimately ended up saving my life.  Myasthenia Gravis effects every muscle of my body. I had trouble breathing, swallowing, walking, talking-you name it.  I stopped making jewelry altogether.  I almost sold all of my jewelry making supplies, but Brandon had the wisdom to tell me to just put them away and not get rid of them.

Exactly a year prior to the day that I met my landlord, I had surgery.  The summer that I resigned, I went into full medical remission. I feel abundantly blessed to be here today and to be able to continue to do what I love.

I don’t have plans written in stone for the future, but I am excited to see what happens next.  My youngest daughter has stated that someday she wants her own Gone Loopy store and that her store will compete with the sales of my store.

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How did LTD 7 come into your work?

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Lynne contacted me through email and told me she had seen my work and that she thought it would fit well in her markets.  I signed up for my first Market with LTD7 and was blown away by the response from customers and my emptied booth.

Lynne then asked if I would be interested in being a consignor or vendor in her shop.  I was at the time afraid to become a vendor, because I had just taken a huge step in opening up my own shop.  It wasn’t until later when she asked me again that I decided it was time.  I shortly went from being a vendor in not one, but two, of her shops and I have not regretted one minute of it.  The Dream Team is very much family.  I am proud to be a part of LTD7 and the Dream Team.

What was the biggest obstacle to pursuing this dream of yours? Has that changed over the years? In what way?

My biggest obstacle was myself.  With my background, I had low self-esteem.  Plus, with getting married young and starting a family early, we weren’t exactly set up for taking risks starting businesses and such.

After making it through Myasthenia Gravis, it was like I had a whole new lease on life.  Life is very short.  We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.  I decided I no longer wanted to be a “people pleaser,” desperately trying to live my life the way everyone thought my life should be lived.  I didn’t want to be an eighty-year-old lady, laying in my bed saying, “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”  Especially after I have told my children to never do that.

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My husband, children, friends, and customers have helped me realize that even though things come natural to me, I have talent that not everyone has and that I should have some confidence in myself.  I will always be modest, but the idea that I have talent is one I am learning to accept.

What is the strangest request you have ever received? What is the most unusual thing that has ever happened to you while working/selling? 

My grandpa decided to order alligator teeth from Louisiana after watching Swamp People.  He then gave me these teeth and expected me to make them into necklaces and sell them in my store.  They were very peculiar looking.  I used them and believe it or not, sold quite a lot of them in my shop.

The most unusual thing that has ever happened while working in my shop was the first Fall that I was open.  A lady came into my shop and I did my standard cheerful, “Hello, how are you?” She then asked, “Do you sell marijuana or pills up in here?”  I laughed at first because I thought she was joking.  She became very angry and started shouting, “I thought I hit the jackpot. I drove up through here and saw Gone Loopy on the sign and the other business sign that said, Out on a Limb and, “YOU MEAN TO TELL ME YOU DON’T HAVE PILLS OR MARIJUANA?”  I said “No ma’am,” very politely, and she said, “Well I’ve have never!” Then, she slammed the door and took off.  Brandon and I immediately looked at each other like, “Did that just happen?”

Do you have any long range plans? Such as to grow in a new or different direction?

Right now my long range plans are to keep doing what I do; to always be true to myself, and to my customers.  My business is constantly evolving because I am always coming up with fresh, new ideas.  I plan to continue to pass along my skills to my daughter, and maybe someday my granddaughter, so that Gone Loopy will live on, long after I am gone.

I have had an idea brewing in my mind for quite some time and just recently made a prototype.  I am creating blessing bracelets to randomly leave in places for someone who may need it. They can find it or pass it on to someone who does need it.  The bracelets will all have an encouraging word or phrase on them.  I’m hoping to be able to hear from some of the recipients to see how far they travel.  Encouragement is huge to me.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through or what you will go through, if you have encouragement and support, you can make it over your mountains a heck of a lot easier.

What would you like to share with dreamers like you? What one piece of advice would you say pushed you the furthest in your dream?


I would say never give up on yourself or your dreams.  Never live your life for someone else.  Live for you, and your dreams.  Don’t be that little old lady at the end of her life who is filled with regrets.  Don’t let an empty account dictate your dreams either.  Things have a way of working out.  I started with little to nothing and I’m still going strong.

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When I was deciding whether to open up my shop or not, my husband said, “Dear, it’s like this, if you don’t try, you will never know and you will always wonder.  If you try and it fails, at least you will know.  If you try and it is successful, then great!”  That has helped me over and over.  I constantly tell myself that I need to keep pushing or I will never know.

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The other thing that has pushed me is the naysayers.  Growing up I was constantly told I wouldn’t amount to anything or that I threw away everything by getting married and not going to college.  It has given me a determination to keep pressing forward, keep being myself and living my dream, and to keep dreaming bigger and bigger.  The sky is the limit! I guess you could say I live up to the meaning of my name: Bridget means a woman of resolute strength, marked by determination.

 

One Scent Sational Woman

Call her the Poo Lady, call her “Miss Sunshine”, call her  our “game for anything” gal, she is our beloved Wendi, a joy to behold, source of so many smiles, a talented and multi-faceted phenom-a- woman empire. Enjoy a special glimpse into the life of dear, Wendi B.True.  She has her own artistic bend, a special range of products and that mysterious & specialized scent we all know and love.

Today we feature a woman with a true heart of gold and one of LTD 7’s biggest team players: A vendor at both of our locations, Wendi B. True.

Enjoy!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 7.46.06 PM ~ Sep-4

Even though you express yourself through your work, our readers want to know:

How did you get started? “What’s your story?”

 My Dad loved photography.  For the first ten years of my life, there was always a Polaroid camera sitting on the china cabinet, loaded and ready so we wouldn’t miss “that moment.”  When Dad traveled, he would use his 35mm camera and shoot slides.  Upon his return home, I would sit down with him in the kitchen and watch him project each image on the dining room wall. He would tell me where each picture was taken and then he would critique his images.  I found the whole process fascinating!

I carried my Fisher Price camera with me everywhere.  My father passed away when I was 10 years old of a massive heart attack, but his love of photography quickly turned into my passion as I hit my high school years.  I joined the yearbook staff and took photo journalism.  I was living the dream! The school furnished me with an amazing camera, film, and I got to attend every event the school had and capture it on film.

“Santa” bought me my first 35mm camera, flash and zoom lenses my freshman year in high school.  The summer between my Sophomore and Junior year, Mr. Burdick, our Principal, contacted me and asked if I would be interested in learning how to operate a dark room.  Of course,  I said, “Yes!”  The school purchased all the needed supplies and allowed me access to the dark room that was already set up in the AG department.

I grew and learned so much those last two years in high school.  Being able to take my work from raw material to finished product was such an amazing feeling.  I went on to Blue Ridge Community College where I became a photographer for the SCA.  I photographed and sent to press the very first, “People and Places of BRCC,”  a calendar of students in a variety of places in and around the communities that serve the school.

From there, I went on to work at Clemmer Photography, running the dark room, and assisting on photo shoots and weddings. I learned to frame and cut mats. Then I went to Gitchell’s, F-Stop, and eventually I opened my own business.  In my prime, I photographed over 40 weddings in one year, photographed more sports teams than I can remember, took photos for UVA alumni weekend formals, Spinsters, and all of the individual class photos for Mary Baldwin College’s yearbook, and did the photography for one of Dr. Fox’s huge capital campaigns. I also photographed her Christmas card for three seasons. The list goes on and on… Staunton has been very good to me.

 Is this a full time job? Do you think some day it will be?

 This is not my full time job.  At one time it was, but the timing was wrong.  I was a single Mom, with two small children and it only took 3 years to realize that owning my own business was not the best option for my family.  I do not see it becoming full time again until I can retire from my current Marketing profession.

You are an animal lover. How did you become so attached/interested in animals? I understand you have a service animal. That is a special bond. Please explain.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 7.49.47 PM ~ Sep-4                                   Artemis /Wendi:    TWIN DAY AT WORK AND MIGHT I ADD.. WE WON!

 I have always loved being around animals. To this day, I still want a Monkey.  Growing up, I had a Persian cat, named Sam.  He lived to be 19 years old.  I had fish, lizards, hamsters, hermit crabs, and a couple of dogs.

I have a service dog named Artemis.  It is very hard to describe the amazing bond she and I have.  I adopted her when she was 4 months old.  We started training together and once she completed her intermediate training, she began spending every moment with me….and  I mean-every moment. She went to the bathroom with me, went to work, shopping, sleeping-you name it-she was there.  She “learned” me, basically.

After a lot of training and “together” time, she learned to detect if my heart rate was too high or too low or if my blood pressure was too high or too low and she can also detect my blood sugar levels.  I recently got a pacemaker and she was in the hospital bed with until they wheeled me into the procedure room. She was waiting to get back in bed with me as soon as I was wheeled out.  We are a team.  I look after her and she takes care of me. 

What else do you do? Why license plate art? That sounds interesting. Is there a plate you don’t have and want? Where do you get them?

License plate art just kinda happened.  I started by purchasing a few plates at local yard sales, then it grew into bulk ebay purchases, because the demand became far greater than what was available locally.  I make key chains and signs on old barn wood. I have also offered license plate coozies and bracelets.  Some letters are much harder to find than others and you really have to search to find them. I get creative sometimes: a “7” turned upside down can be an “L,” in a pinch.

 Tell us about your letter photography? That is very specialized. What made you become interested in that genre?

Lynne Breeden inspired my letter photography.  She called me one day and said, “Hey, what do you think of this?” and told me about the idea.  I said, “Let me try.”  Then the bug bit me! I loved it!  It was not uncommon for me to head downtown or to a college campus and get lost for hours looking at the architecture and roaming around to find “letters” hidden in the most bizarre places.  I can easily say that not one week goes by that I don’t add letters to my collection.  Even my kids love finding them and telling me about them.  The best was when my daughter was a freshman in college; one morning, I get a text from her with an attachment and a note saying” “Hey Mom, my waffle looked like a great ‘E’ this morning. Thought you could use it.”  I did use it and I still do.

 How did LTD 7 come into your work?

 I met Lynne through The MaDee Project and we became friends.  She knew my work ethic and my drive in the entreprenurial world.  She called me one day and asked if I was interested in being part of a new adventure she was about to embark on. Without hesitation or even knowing what she was going to do, I said, “Yes!”

Do you ever encounter resistance from the public, taking pictures, or with your animals?

The biggest resistance I encounter with taking photos is that people in general hate to have their photo taken. I try to explain to them that it only takes a second and if they keep throwing their hand in front of their face it only prolongs the inevitable and gives me a challenge to get their photograph. Landscapes and still life photos are much easier.

I have a million stories I could tell you about Artemis and me in public.  People just go bonkers when they see an animal in a store or a restaurant.  Ok, I know it is out of the norm, but we have all seen dogs before, so why do most folks act as though it is their first time ever seeing a four legged creature?  One of the best stories I guess is when the greeter at Applebee’s in Suffolk asked me if I needed a Braille menu.  There are a lot of misconception about service dogs.  They do much more than help the blind.

What is the most unusual thing that has ever happened to you while working?

The most unusual thing that has ever happened to me while working happened during a wedding, many years ago.  We had just arrived at the reception after a beautiful ceremony at a nearby church.  Everyone was milling about, getting their seats and such.  The bride and groom came in, were announced, and things were going well.  But then, one of the guests comes up to the groom and states, very jolly and bright, that this wedding was “…much better than the groom’s first and he hopes this one is his last.”  Well, guess what?  The bride did not know her husband had ever been married before!  A huge upset happened and the bride and groom left and the reception was ended.  No cake, no nothing.  That is still the craziest thing I have witnessed on a job, to date.

You have a nickname…the poo lady. Can you tell us about that?

I am the POO lady.  Funny though.  Until, I became the POO lady, I frowned upon folks talking about their bathroom #2 escapades and especially jokes of such nature.  Then I saw a Poo Pourri ad.  I thought, “How fantastic!”

Spritz the bowl before you go and no one else will ever know.

What a great jingle! What a wonderful way to “cut” down on all of those #2 smell jokes. Our customers loved it!  Then I became obsessed with POO.  I have carried note pads, made from elephant poo; and sold elf poo, snowman poo, and reindeer poo mints at the holidays. Lynne has had to veto quite a few of my POO items.  She has had to be the voice of reason or I would have the most bazaar poo items that are at best, “tacky.”  (Thanks, Lynne, for keeping me in check.)  But fear not, I am always on the look out for the best POO items.  

What would you like to share with dreamers like you? What one piece of advice would you say pushed you the furthest in this dream?

To all of my dreamer friends out there:  Stay focused and never loose sight of your dreams.  Strive everyday to do one thing, be it 1 minute or most of the day, toward your passion and dreams.  Surround yourself with like-minded people and get rid of the ‘Negative Nellies’ in your life; there is no place for them on your path to success.

The one idea and inspiration that has stuck in my mind the longest, came from an older man, over 25 years ago, and I don’t even know his name. He said to me, “I barely know you, but I know that whatever you decide to do in life, you will be successful. Follow your dreams.”  I found it odd at the time, but as the years pass, I find myself remembering his words and thinking, “I can do it.”

Other items carried by Wendi: Locally made dog treats(Augusta), gourmet dog bakery (Augusta) treats, Corkcicle (Rowe) and Swell bottles (both locations) Snow-to-go