Things I Love About the South

1. Colorful Phrases: “I’m fixin’ to”.  The perfect phrase.  I’m not doing it now, but I’m doing more than thinking about it.  It’s going to happen but I’m not quite sure when.  I’m fixing to!  I think the South is the only place I don’t mind being called ma’am since everyone is ma’am and sir.  Just walking down the street, morning ma’am.  But my favorite of all is how the Ladies are called Miss.  As in Miss Anne, Miss Gloria, Miss Tracy.  You’ll have to ask Miss Anne about that price.  Yes, I could really get used to that.

Had so much fun at Amy's Antiques with these lovely Misses!

Had so much fun at Amy’s Antiques with these lovely Misses!

2. Iced Tea: I have had more iced tea in the past week than I have ever had in my life.  It’s always a good time for iced tea.  If you don’t asked for unsweetened tea (which…why would you?) you get a concoction that is mighty fine!

For the napkin ring collectors! Had a lovely conversation with the dealer who advised me on polishing techniques.

For the napkin ring collectors! Had a lovely conversation with the dealer who advised me on polishing techniques.

3. Space Time Continuum: People live at a different pace down South; things just don’t move as quickly.  A chance meeting could turn into a two hour lunch.  Saying hello to someone is not a quick chat.  Asking someone about a table becomes a history lesson that includes an entire family background.  A comment about the name on a napkin ring turns into a twenty minute discussion about the 4’11” woman that taught him how to polish silver.  Even ordering BBQ involves a discussion about where you’re from, what Washington is like, and where a person can go to drink good (sweet) tea in Seattle.

4. Food: BBQ is everywhere.  Steve asked his buddy Skip and his friends where they needed to go to get the best ribs.  This turned into a thirty minute discussion (see point 3) that involved a list so long that blew Steve’s mind.  The same discussion might take a minute in Seattle.  One of the porters at Scotts asked me what meat we ate in Seattle (which is in and of itself an interesting query).  When I told him that a lot of people didn’t even eat meat there he responded, Oh you have good seafood.  I said yes, but some people are vegan.  I would pay good money to have gotten a picture of his face at that moment–the perfect cross between confusion and utter disbelief.  He was stunned.  Why people would willingly choose to not eat meat was too much to comprehend.

Steve and his old buddy Skip in front of Chicken Comer's.  Some Truly fine BBQ!

Steve and his old buddy Skip in front of Chicken Comer’s. Some Truly fine BBQ!

5. Friendliness: Everyone here walks around with a smile on their face.  Everyone, and I mean everyone says hello, even if they’re just passing you on the street.  If you’re standing in line, you talk with the people next to you.  If you’re on the elevator, you don’t stand there in awkward silence; you have a discussion about the weather, where you live, where you’re from.  Everyone here assumes that you’re interesting, you have a good story, you’re worth a smile.  When I’m in Seattle, people are polite but not friendly.  Knowing how much I’ll miss it, I’ve made a promise to bring it back with me to Seattle.

packingSo the trip continues!  I will be back at Gracious on Friday with no goodies yet, but lots to come!

I might not be there right at 10, but I’m fixin’ to get there right soon.

Miss Tracy

Goodbye to a Gracious Friend


gracioustd-e1398924674961So I have bad news. After 4 years of driving between Everett and Seattle every day, Deirdre is leaving Gracious. For her sanity, her family and her gas bill, she has decided to stop being an owner of Gracious and find work a little closer to home. I can’t blame her. She lasted way longer than I thought she would, and way longer than I would have. But I am really, really sad. I don’t know if any of you have had the pleasure of working with one of your best friends in your own business, but it has been the most fun and the most work I’ve ever had. I am totally in denial about the whole leaving thing. She is one of the best people I’ve ever known and deserves all the good in the world. Not getting to see her all the time is going to be hard, and lousy and sad.

Four years ago, two old friends (and I mean long time!) decided to open a store. I’m sure if we had given it a lot more thought, we might have been nervous, considering the failure rate for most small businesses. But we jumped in with both feet and went for it. I will always love her for that. Most small businesses fail because they don’t pay attention to the details. Deirdre is a secret weapon. She set the whole thing up and had us on track from the beginning. We paid off our loan and operate on a totally cash basis. That is Deirdre all the way. I’m sure a little part of her is cringing when she thinks of what the beautiful books she has kept to meticulously for the past four years will look like in 6 months, but I hope we can keep it going. Well, not exactly the same, but I hope we just don’t screw them up too badly.

What does this mean for Gracious? Well, we will still be here, although the hours may change. Things may look a little different, because Deirdre is the one who keeps things from looking ‘too much’. And there will definitely be some strong language coming out of the back as we attempt to keep things on track. And things might be just a little less Gracious, because she is gone. But we look forward to bringing you more beautiful and unique things. Even though one of our favorites is gone.

– Tracy

What’s New at Gracious?

As you know, we had our annual Garden Party, where we debuted our gorgeous new outdoor vintage items. Friends from near and far came to see our patio items, outdoor decor, and new Spring-inspired furniture. The store was (and is) stocked full of new vintage items ready to be taken home.

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Now that winter is finally over — well, hopefully over, it’s time to get your house ready for Spring. With this new season change, it’s time to add more color to your home decor. Even by switching out lamps in certain rooms, you can brighten the space entirely, making it more inviting and welcoming. We have gorgeous new lamps that add just a touch of Spring to your home.

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Or maybe you have spring fever and you’re ready for more of a dramatic change. Don’t worry, we have you covered with daring vintage items that will change your space completely. This gorgeous chandelier will make any room stand out.

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We also have stunning new jewelry from Jewels by Jules that we love. All of her jewelry is handmade and her pieces can dress up or down an outfit, so come in and try one of these on.

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And if you need a place to store all your jewels, we have you covered with these vintage decorative boxes that are useful for many of your personal items.

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There is so much more wonderful vintage pieces at the Gracious store, so stop by to see what we have for Spring!

What Makes Gracious Unique?

Vintage items have become ever more popular, and now that you can order almost anything online, your options are endless. We know you’re really busy and clicking around for vintage pieces is easily done, but sometimes it’s better to see an item before you buy. Sometimes it’s nice knowing the real story of your furniture piece before you bring it into your home. So why should Gracious be your go to source for vintage furniture? We’ll tell you!

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1. We’re Environmental. Seeing as we sell repurposed vintage items, we are very aware of the environmental impact (or lack thereof) our pieces carry. Decorating with vintage furniture not only saves the piece from ending up in a landfill, but it also is probably very durable, as it’s lasted over the years. Maybe the item needs a little work, but in the end, you’re greatly reducing your carbon footprint when you buy vintage. And the great part is – we do the work for you. When we get an item, it’s almost never perfect, so we paint, polish, shine (all with environmentally friendly products) so the item is ready for you to take home. We also update some items to make them fashionable, relevant, and more usable for our shoppers.

2. We’re More Personal. Shopping online is far from a personal experience. Though buyers can rely heavily on reviews, it’s not the same as talking to one of us face-to-face. We truly value all of our customers so we give them all relevant information about each piece. Since we also hand-select each item in our store, it’s sure to have a story behind it!

We also have design services, so if you’re unsure how to decorate a room (or maybe just want a second opinion), our experts are here to help! We always have in mind how each piece will look in a space, so questions are always welcome.

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3. We’re a Local, Ethical Business. All of our artisan products are created locally, and all wages are fairly compensated. When shopping at Gracious, you can rest assured that our items are produced in the most ethical way. And, as we hand-pick all items, we don’t have any mass-produced pieces that just anyone has. Whatever item you buy from Gracious, you’re probably the only one around who owns it.

At Gracious we’re truly passionate about buying vintage, so each of our items is carefully selected with our shoppers in mind. We know the other option out there, but we pride ourselves on giving our customers a really unique, comfortable, and personal experience when shopping at Gracious. We love to work with customers to find specialty furnishings – so if you’re hunting for a hard to find object, or collect something, let us know and we will work with you to find it.

So if you’re in the Seattle area, be sure to check out what we have in store!

Beach Themed Table Setting