Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

You know how I can find any excuse to post pictures from Paris and France? Well, this week’s photo challenge is no exception:

petit palais, paris, museum

Inside Petit Palais…

notre dame, paris,

Inside Notre Dame…

chateau fontainebleau, france

Inside Chateau Fontainebleau (superior to Versailles in my opinion). And last but not least…

Beaugrenelle, mall, Paris, shopping centre

Beaugrenelle Shopping Centre- A modern palace of materialistic worship. It opened just last October when I was in Paris. It was so shiny and new which at first was very seducing but when we entered the Zara Home, and could smell the chemicals that are used to prevent molding during shipping, I realized this shininess has a price. Oh well, that kind of pondering is for another post.

If you are interested, the rest of the interpretations of this week’s theme Inside are HERE.

-Thrifty Finn-

 

 

I’m a Victim of a Crime

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Hell hath no fury like a woman whose clothes got stolen. Yes. You read that right. On Friday evening I forgot my gym clothes in the laundry room.  I just went to pick them up and they were gone!

What kind of asshole steals gym clothes??? I reported it to police but I don’t have high hopes. Luckily the suspect list is limited as you have to go through two security locks to get to the laundry room, so it’s someone who lives here.

F*ckin f*ck of a f*ck.

On a side note.  In last three weeks I’ve lost 1 and half clothing sizes. I’ve been to the gym everyday since 1st of September and it shows. I’ve bought tons of new gym clothes, so I wouldn’t have to be doing laundry every day and now some spineless piece of shit ruined it.

Yeah, the stolen clothes were mostly brand new.

Thanks a lot.

 

I Heart Ikea

I’m moving in couple of months, so two days ago, I went to Ikea to get some moving boxes so I could already start packing. But you know how it goes, you NEVER leave Ikea without buying tons more than you originally planned to. Guess how much more I spent? 280%. TWOHUNDREDANDEIGHTY PERCENT!!!

Granted, in euros that was 30€ but still. TWOHUNDREDANDEIGHTY!

The reason this happened was that THIS was the first section on the market floor:

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Yup. That’s the Ikea paper store. I should have walked past that as previous experience has taught me that if you put one tiny thing in that yellow back, soon you will have 15 tiny things there. That one tiny purchase sets off the avalanche so to speak.

I love all the sets they have available but this time I only got things I thought would be handy for Halloween crafting. Here’s some of the loot:

ikea paper store, tags, crafting

Those tags!!! Only 99 cents a pack! I got 4 sets in total. Underneath them is a pack of kraft paper bags. Naturally I got more things but I want to keep them as a surprise. I have few tutorials planned ;)

At this point I hadn’t busted my budget THAT badly but then I got to the fabric section. (Why is it always the fabric sections ruining my finances?) There was a sign saying that this and this fabric for only 2.99€ per meter. There was only one sad roll of black material left and I was a bit disappointed. Then I decided to browse and when I got close to the cutting table, there was this lady cutting cute material. When I peeked at the tag I saw that it was the OTHER sale fabric.  I asked if she was going to take it all and lucky for me, she wasn’t. I got so excited by this I bought 5 meters!

ikea fabric, sale, triangle pattern, dots

It’s enough to make two curtains or bunch of cushions and whatnot. I think there’s a modern Halloween-vibe in it. Maybe because of the colours. Hmmm. I need to ponder what to make.

Anyhoo, as you can guess. I nearly forgot the moving boxes. Damn you and your clever floor planning and merchandise, Ikea.

Thrifty Finn- In a shopping high

 

Crafty Business News: Tiimari

Via noh.ee

Today, a Finnish craft/gift retailer Tiimari announced that they are filing for bankruptcy. Reactions to these news are ranging from couldn’t-care-less to no-not-our-Tiimari and Finnish speaking Twitter is filled with opinions and links.

Naturally, I have plenty of opinions about the matter. I’m no economist but I have some sense of business and I think this situation could have been avoided quite easily. And I will try to prove my case but first, a little background:

Tiimari was founded 1975 by Kari Sulkanen in city of Lahti, and sold gifts, school supplies, and various everyday items for cheap. By 1985 it had 50 stores all over Finland and by 1990 over 100. Things were looking good. When I was a kid, Tiimari was THE place to spend my allowance at and I remember how on Saturdays, the store in Rovaniemi was PACKED with people. Who bought! Spent money! Week after week! There was ALWAYS new inventory to browse through and to want. Not only that, if you needed birthday candles, or pumice stone or what not, you knew you would find what you needed, in there.

kawaii, tin, pencil case, penaali

This one I bought few months ago from a thrift store but this is an example of stuff you’d have found in Tiimari in my childhood.

On 1990 Tiimari was sold to Rautakirja, a chain of kiosks and then again on 1998 and 2006. First to CapMan Capital Management Oy and then to Leo Longlife Oyj, which both are investment groups and I think this is the time period when things started to go wrong.

Here’s why:

Tiimari brought Hello Kitty and Kawaii-style to Finland and that’s what grew the business to such, that investment companies wanted to buy it. That and those everyday items you use and need to replace often. Founder Kari Sulkanen said on Helsingin Sanomat that he tried to offer his help on three different occasions but was rejected every time. He continued:

“They weren’t trendy. As a retailer you can’t leave products out just because you don’t feel like selling them. These are the items like coffee filters and so on. They wanted to sell pretty gifts. The real base comes from everyday items, specialties are just an add-on.”

From my experience as a re-seller, I can tell this is true. Even high-street clothing labels talk about “bread models“, t-shirts and other basic items that you use all the time and buy all the time. They are the ones that bring in the money. The more special items are there to sell the basics. The following comment from Kari confirms something I’ve thought about as a Tiimari-customer and as a consumer in general:

“Tiimari didn’t know how to make sales anymore. They bought from wholesalers when they should have been out there in the world, looking for the next new thing. Stupidly they left out the things that people have to buy every day.”

People want new things. They always have and always will. Tiimari used to be store where you went to browse and then always bought something. These days, there are always the same things in same colours. Pink, blue, lime, orange. Colours that were trendy in 2002. The inventory now is full of lame home decor items, costing up to 30 to 50 euros and that’s not something you buy on a whim anymore. When they started to expand to more specialized craft goods from the standard cardboard, pens and glues, I thought, great, it’s going to change. But no. Unreliable inventory on that part killed my shopping experience.

Current management said on Kauppalehti:

“Consumers shopping behaviours changed over the years. It’s now more about what’s necessary and the purchases are thought thoroughly.”

Explain Ikea. Explain Tiger, which is a Danish company that sells…Paper goods, gifts and everyday usable items for cheap. Does that sound any Finnish retailer you know? Blame has been also put on the general transformation of the industry, ie. online shopping, but who really buys and pays postage for 1 to 5 euro items? No one. Another point is that if you knew your customers are changing their shopping behaviour, you should have changed with them. Or in reality, they changed their inventory, alienating their loyal fan-base which in turn killed the sales. How badly has Kawaii been doing? In the past 5 to 6 years it exploded and became mainstream-style.

Tiimari was brought down by management ego that ignored the wants and needs of the average customer.

Thrifty Finn- Meaning business

P.S. A little inside gossip…In Tiimari, there are many managers, one for almost every product line. All of them think/thought that their line is the most important. Obviously that made dealing with them a nightmare because nothing got done from all the power struggles. Who pays for this? The poor sales staff on the floor who had nothing to do with any of the drama.

P.P.S. Remember in the beginning of this post, I said that Tiimari used to be packed with people? Yeah, now Tiger is packed with people who used to shop at Tiimari.

Pinteresting vol. XVII

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My, oh my how time flies when you are having fun. I had a plan to blog while I was up here in Lapland. I HAVE lots to blog about and I even had access to computer the entire time I’ve been here but A. I didn’t want to and B. I’ve noticed I can’t focus as well on someone else’s computer and C. No one I know up here has a Photoshop and D. Only one has a mouse. How can you edit pics without a mouse? You can’t, I tell you.

woman's guide to Europe, vintage, book, cover, illustration

I thought I’d start today with this vintage travel guide. At first I thought this was some kind of Halloween-graphic because it was amongst other Halloween-pins and well, the colours and the pointy end of the scarf made think that the woman in the picture is a witch. Could have confused anyone. via Pinterest. (If you can read the name of the illustrator, please let me know).

yellow polkadot blouse

Apparently I’m in the mood for yellow…I immediately fell in love with this shirt. When I had red hair, I had to steer away from polkadots because, hello, clown-association but now I’m ready to take back the missed fashion opportunities. Anyhoo, couldn’t get the original link to work, so…via Pinterest.

cherry on top satchel by Charlotte Olympia

My 11-year old cousin told me to post this one. And I agree, this is awesome. Back in the day I used to wear cherry lip gloss and there was this boy and he said…Well, never mind what he said but let’s just say, I remember those days fondly.  (Back then I had abs too). Anyway, I remember seeing a documentary about plastic few years ago and the founder of Alessi said in it that in future, plastic will be “the” antique. Highly valuable, highly collectable. This purse is valuable already today. Costs $1,595 with ($798 deposit). Via modaoperandi.com

ikea, bekväm, stool, DIY, pimping, hackAnother pick by my cousin. From 1500 dollar purse to a 15 dollar Ikea-hack. She has range! I asked what she likes about this and she said that somehow everything about this is wonderful. I agree. Again. Anyway, I assume you all recognize this as Ikea Bekväm-stool if you want to hack one yourself. You can also buy this at fliffa.com if you are not in the mood for DIY-ing.

french bulldog, puppy, tumblrMy dog fever is not getting any better. Just yesterday, Finnish pet rescue associations launched a shared website, kodittomat.info,  where you can find ALL pets in Finland needing a home. The site actually went down almost immediately because of too many visitors but that’s only a good thing right? My favourite is Nemo. (There’s a Finding Nemo-joke here somewhere). Anyhoo, until I can commit to a dog, I have to console myself with cute doggie pics on Pinterest. Frenchie image via Pinterest.

Thrifty Finn- Getting pestered by an 11-year old to go out and get some fresh air.