Tales From the Returns Line

Harper Grey

OK, so you didn’t get exactly what you wanted this year. Or maybe you got what you wanted, but it was broken when you opened it. Or maybe you got what you wanted but it was the wrong size. Poor you… now you’re in the Returns Line, which is akin to Dante’s nine circles of Hell. I was a really lucky girl this year; you won’t find me in the hellish Returns Line. But I’ve gathered tales of woe, from this year and years past for your reading enjoyment. (more…)

Gift Exchange and Giving Goats

 

Harper Grey

Every year I attend several parties that host a “fun” gift-exchange game. I bring a $5-$15 wrapped gift and put it in a pile along with everyone else’s offerings. Then I get to unwrap a $5-$15 gift that someone else brought. Yay! Or not.

OK, I get that Christmas has turned into a holiday of consumer-driven madness. And hey… I’m a shopper. I even get paid to write about shopping! So I’m not going to go on a rant about how wrong it is to buy, buy, buy during the holidays. I like presents. A lot.

But I hate the give exchange game. Because what can you buy for $15? Not much. (more…)

Let’s Talk About Your Holiday Decorations…

Retail Insights with Harper Grey

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… but can we talk about your holiday decorations? Every year, I look forward to the weekend after Thanksgiving with both excitement and trepidation. The neighbors rummage through their crawlspaces, basements, garages and storage sheds and drag out all the Christmas bins. They hang a wreath on the door and lights from the eves. They install the Christmas tree in the front window. By mid-Saturday morning, the yards up and down the street are looking fabulous. (more…)

Tiny Java and the Challenges of Entrepreneurship

Retail Insights with Harper Grey

This week the articles on the Signs.com blog have been all about home-based entrepreneurship. Brad Manuel’s guest article on Monday told us about Nothing Knew, the business he started from his home in order to keep track of his three busy teenagers. On Tuesday, our copywriter Catherine interviewed the owner of Pear Tree Preschool. Libby Monson’s in-home business allows her to spend the day with her four-year-old and be finished with work in time to care for her two school-aged boys. On Wednesday, Catherine shared seven of the traits she’s seen time and again while interviewing successful small business owners. (more…)

Harper Grey: What We Are Thankful For

Harper Grey: What We Are Thankful For

 

My job at Signs.com involves writing a weekly column for the blog that provides readers with an insider’s view of my shopping escapades, eating-out adventures and experiences with customer service, both good and bad. I love to shop (that’s why I landed this super-sweet gig). I love to eat out. I love to indulge in services—everywhere from the nail salon to the carwash. I’m a consumer—it’s one of my best skills, according to my husband. Even though I am very talented at spending money (and then writing about it here), life’s not ALL about the stuff. Sometimes it’s about something more. (more…)

Harper Grey: A Better Idea for Black Friday

 Retail Insights with Harper Grey

I write a column every week about shopping. Obviously, I like it. A lot. Too much, some (read: my husband) might say. I enjoy browsing through shops, looking for great clothes or fun gifts. And I love, love, love a bargain. But what do I NOT love? Black Friday.

I don’t do the wake up at 3:00 a.m. and stand in line in the freezing cold just to save $10 on a video game thing. I’d much rather stay in my nice, warm bed and do my shopping at a more reasonable hour, thank you very much. (more…)

Is Your Sign Vintage or Just Old? 5 Ways to Tell

 

Retail Insights with Harper Grey

Oooh I just love vintage stuff. Maybe I’m just a sucker for nostalgia, but I love everything about vintage (real or just copycat). Shows like Mad Men have many of us wishing for the “good old days.” Not that they were really that great. I mean really, do we want to go back to the time period when everyone smoked a pack a day and women were expected to land a good husband and quit her secretarial job so they could move to the suburbs, have babies and rely financially on men? But you have to admit, some of those vintage signs were pretty darn awesome. (more…)