Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Big Announcement & A Long Post

I'm going to apologize in advance for the length of this post...it's going to be a long one. I was going to post Part II of the honeymoon (but who wants to read about that anyways????) : ) I can't wait any longer to announce the big news. Bear with me - this may seem a little random....

I have been collecting these pictures for a while. I've always been intrigued by storefronts.

In design we always talk about first impressions and small details. A front porch, a walkway, or a small entry can set the mood for the rest of the house.

For a store, it's the first thing you see when you walk by, and usually (if you're like me) I make up my mind from the sidewalk, whether I'm going to like the inside or not.

Most of these are stores I have never been to - but would love to visit. And a few are one's I've been to.

That last picture is particularly near and dear because......it's my storefront! Or I should say OUR storefront. I have had the extreme luck, fortune, blessing of meeting my business partner, Betsy. We have both had the idea of having a retail space, stored in the back of our brains for a long time now. For me, I thought the reality of my dream coming true was pretty far into the future.

Over a glass of wine with Betsy, Bixby & Ball was born. However, it still felt like something that was going to take quite some time to actually happen.

Later that week, Betsy discovered that a little historic cottage located in the design district of Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach, was available. Unbeknownst to either of us, this was a spot that both of us had always loved and eyed for a retail space.

{A peek inside Bixby & Ball....}

We called the owner of the cottage and she told us that she already had two people interested in the space and was just deciding between the two of them. We pleaded with her to just sit and meet with us, and hear us out.

{You can see the top of our fireplace!}

We got the space a few days later. : )

We moved in August 1st. Worked our tails off everyday. I got married August 28th. Left Betsy alone for two whole weeks to honeymoon (it was planned before we started this venture - I promise!) I came home, and hit the ground running again, to open last week. Which explains the lack in blog posts!

I would have blogged about this sooner but we were waiting for our own blog to be up and running. It's still in the process of being designed and I couldn't wait any longer! We celebrated our opening with a little cocktail party with our friends and family that you can read about here.

There are so many people that have given so much support to me throughout my career and this process that I could not have done any of this without. There are too many to list - but you know who you are and I am beyond grateful.

As soon as we launch the Bixby & Ball blog, we will post all about the moving in and setting up process. Plus, as a bonus, we have our first design project up and running, and I can't WAIT to share pictures.

Well, there's the big announcement! I'm hoping now that we're open, and we have set some-what of a schedule for ourselves, I can give this little blog a little more love than it has been receiving for the last couple of months. Have a great week!

The Lettered Cottage


  1. hi melissa,

    i knewthis was you. i read about it at grace's place. what a fantastic store you 2 have created. i too love storefronts and yours is def one i'd walk or run into. beautiful. one day i'll come down and visit, i promise. now you come over and fix my house.


  2. Oh my oh my oh my....what a store! The grand opening party was something to behold - great people - great food (thanks Lockwood and Zinc) - great liquid refreshments - great musci. Melissa and Betsy are two of the most amazing young women. It will be fun watching Bixby and Ball grow into something unique and grand!

  3. i am so proud of you melissa for following your dream!!!! the store really shows your hard work and talent. it is just beautiful to the point that i have a hard time leaving every time! can't wait to shop again:) xoxo

  4. Congratulations on both of your exciting events. I am so happy for you. The store looks absolutely amazing. If I lived nearby I would be a regular customer. Can't wait for the shop blog for regular updates and more gorgeous photos. All the best, Lori

  5. Saw the opening photos, the shop looks amazing! Definitely going to stop in next time I'm down there. Congrats and many sales to you and Betsy!:)

  6. welcome back to blogging!! Cant wait for the bixby & ball blog.

  7. Congratulations!! I love reading your blog and visit San Diego often. I will be there over Thanksgiving and I can't wait to stop by and check out your new store then and buy some goodies to take back to Chicago w/ me!

  8. What a dream endeavor! Wishing you much luck, and I'll stop in when I'm town!

  9. Hi Melissa,

    I have been reading your blog for awhile now...I live in La Mesa and my husband and I like drive up to the Cedros design district at least once a year. So it will be great to visit a new store...congratulations (on your wedding as well) and hope to meet you in person some day soon! Will look forward to your blog too! :)

    Linda S.

  10. Oops, I meant to say "like to"...I'm not a Valley Girl I swear.


  11. Congratulations on your beautiful store!!! I will let all my San Diego peeps know about its awesomeness and wish you lots of luck!

  12. This is brilliant! I am so happy for you!
    I will definitely make a point to come and visit and meet you in person one day. What an amazing start to your new life!!!
    All the best to you and your partner.

  13. This is a beautiful store, congratulations. The storefront photos make the point right on the mark! I will be watching out for the new blog. Come visit me at Hollywood forever, Kevin. Good luck and break a leg!

  14. Melissa! Congrats..wedding and new store! I would like to do the same thing one day, but still have yet to meet someone like you to partner with (that's in my neck of the woods I might add). Good luck on your new business venture!

  15. What a blessing - the timing really has been crazy. And to think how stunning everything came together to set the path forward! Can't wait to come shop this weekend!

  16. Congratulations..what a beautiful space! I think we are kindred spirits as well.. I have a thing for great storefronts, and the retail space is a one day dream! I wish you SO much success, I wish I wasn't so far away, I'd love to pop in! xo

  17. AMAZING - I am so happy for you both for taking such a big step, adn risk to go out on your own!! I love the shop, it is perfect and I know I will be reading lots about it.

    Cheers to you both, I admire you!

    what a dream come true!!
    perfectly beautiful!!
    here's wishing you much success!!

  19. Congratulations! I am in Los Angeles- I'd love to drive down one day soon and shop! It is absolutely gorgeous!!! Hugs xoxo, Annemarie

  20. Congratulation!!! I am so excited for you, it looks amazing! Wish I was closer so I could stop by.

  21. What a beautiful store! Congratulations! I'm very happy to have found your blog, it's wonderful.

    I recently started my own blog here in Vancouver, BC - check it out www.lovinthat.blogspot.com I'd welcome your feedback.

    All the best to you!

  22. Hi Melissa, I have been wanting to send you a note about your fabulous store....I love it. I remember that little cottage from my days living in Solana Beach! I always thought it (the cottage) would make a great little cafe or something, but you have brought it to life! How wonderful and fun for you and your partner! I used to shop at an antique mall in the Cedros area...is it still there?

    Congrats and keep us all posted on your shop and the goodis you have for sale!

    xx kelley

  23. Oh my gosh! So happy to have met you today! Your store is adorable. Can't wait to grab wine one night.
    Best of luck with your new venture!
    Amy Meier

  24. Love, love, love these pictures! So need to get in and visit this darling store! I'm so proud of you Melissa and your great adventure. You are truly amazing and talented at what you do. I know you will be beyond successful.
    much love,