Valentine’s Day approaches. Aside from Mr. Peter’s most congenial companionship, your proprietor is unfortunately quite single. Not having someone to love in one’s life gives Valentine’s a decidedly bittersweet edge but one must focus on the joy being celebrated in the lives of others rather than one’s own lack and truly while my life lacks romance it is filled with the love of every other possible sort. I have a family who loves me and I love in return, more friends than perhaps a man has a right to claim, and my Emporium which fills my heart with joy. As for romance, well, I have to fill my needs with discount chocolate bought the day after.
I do hope all of my readers have someone special in their lives. Someone who would be worthy of a special token of your esteem. "Perhaps something from the Emporium. Chocolates are eaten so quickly but our equipage lasts a lifetime!” your proprietor says, with a mischievous grin. For those of you who don’t, or have loves who are frugal enough to wait, in the spirit of the season, write to me and I will send you a Valentine card with the code for a one day 50% off sale on February 15 on everything in the Emporium except our cologne and gym bag. By that time we will finally have our first desk accessories posted for sale as well.
Absent other more intimate engagements, Mr. Peter and I will spend the evening of Feb. 14 at Miss Susan’s Blend atelier, in Buckhead, where our Expedition cologne was created. She is hosting an intimate soiree called Sip and Scent. You can have a glass of champagne while creating your own “Eau de Moi.” Of course, I always wear our Expedition, myself. I’m sure it will be a fabulous evening. I modestly suggest that you might even consider taking home your new fragrance in one of the chic glove leather bottles that I designed for her. I’m told that Miss Georgia absolutely loves hers. It’s invitation only but you can RSVP on her site: www.blendcustomparfum.com where you will find all of her contact details.
In spite of a dubious rumor of snow this evening, Spring is “springing,” as it were. Do we even have winter in Atlanta any more? The quince bushes in my garden have been blooming for two weeks and I noticed daffodils peeking up from among the leaves yesterday. All sorts of things will be springing up in the Emporium over the next few weeks, as well. Check back often! Remember that, if you don’t see something you like in the Emporium, your Proprietor is always happy to work with you on a custom design all your own. I am always In your service.
Happy Valentines Day,
In this Season of Lights, Christmas Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Yule, your proprietor wishes you the happiest of holidays and a fulfilling and prosperous New Year of Joy and Success in all of your endeavors. Many find this time of year stressful and overwhelming. I believe this is largely because they try to hard to live someone else’s ideal. Here at the Emporium, we encourage you to create the person that you alone want to be and live the life that fills your heart with pride and satisfaction. This includes celebrating the holidays in ways that are meaningful to you (or not at all). We humbly aspire to providing you with at least a small portion of the equipage necessary to manifest your vision of yourself in the world. We also recommend that you make your gift giving personal and memorable, not merely obligatory. We are humbly confident that we have things in our Emporium that will bring your friends pleasure and save you the stress of braving the madness of brick and mortar shopping.
We had our first venture into public vending last Saturday. It was a very small holiday gift show put on to benefit several local charities. It was a pleasing success both for the event in general and the Emporium, as well. Our assigned space was most fortuitous and I was quite pleased with our display small though it was. At the Emporium, your purchases are largely made to order, one reason why we can offer minor alterations when requested. Because of that we were reticent to produce large amounts of stock merchandise. Equally important was our desire to display our wares as individual showcases, like the small works art that we believe they are, rather than piles of anonymous merchandise. The response was very good. Your proprietor was especially pleased to show actual pieces to real people. It is one thing to receive compliments on a picture online, but quite another to receive compliments from someone holding an item in their hands. I can humbly say the compliments were generous and prolific.
We debuted several items at the show. Our proprietary house cologne Expedition is now available for purchase. We have full 750 ml glass spray bottles ready for order. These are wrapped in signature Emporium leather and embellished with an antiqued brass chain with antiques brass charms of a Trowbridge wax letter seal and a vintage brass key. We are working on having smaller sample vials available. We also unveiled our leather covered spectacle caddy which is long enough to also serve as a pen tray on your desk, as well as a Post-it Note caddy for your desk which will come in several sizes. A dresser tray is in the final stages of design and a desk organizer with pen holders is a future possibility. If there are trays of other sizes and purposes that you desire, please let us know. We can add them to our line, or make them to your own specifications. We love to hear from you and we are always in your service.
Felicitations in this Season of Light,
Autumn is well and truly here. The temperature dropped ten to fifteen degrees almost overnight just after the hurricane. Atlanta was most fortunately spared with little more than twenty four hours of very hard rain and comparatively modest gusty winds. The pictures from further south are truly tragic and horrific. Here at the Emporium, our hearts go out to all of those who were caught up in it. It remains to be seen whether the cool weather will last or not given the odd weather we have had in years of late. Alas, now, or in a few weeks, the cold will come. Your proprietor wishes he could offer some spiffing leather gloves in the Emporium but glove making is beyond his expansive capacities. Credit card cases, however are not.
As I’ve mentioned before, when he is not helping out with the Emporium, or serving as my trusted companion for adventures all and sundry, Mr. Peter is a high level business executive. I only mention that to give perspective to the fact that he keeps all of his credit cards and the usual pocket ephemera, secured with a paper clamp. Not a money clip, mind you, just one of those little spring steel heavy duty paper clip things. He does get credit for choosing a silver one over the ugly black ones but still! I told him that it just simply doesn’t do and he sheepishly admitted that other people have made comments. I do have a proper wallet but it is getting old and needs replacement. Classic billfolds are far too large for my comfort and the kind of very small card wallet that I prefer is devilishly had to find. Suffice to say, we now have one available at the Emporium. It is as small and slim as I could make it with four card pockets, providing room for up to eight cards, and a place to tuck a few dollars in for tips and such. I regret to say that if you are one of those high rollers who prefers fulfill your obligations with a thick roll of bills this will not be for you. At a later date I will endeavor to supply you with a classic bi-fold wallet to accommodate your cash. Our card case, however, is perfect for the modern gentleman who prefers to travel light and not spoil the line of his well cut trousers with a bulging pocket. If there are other personal accessories that you need, or simply desire, please share your thoughts with us. Your proprietor is particularly interested in the kind of bill fold that ladies prefer. Until next time, may your autumn be picturesque and your Halloween suitably spooky.
Always in your service,
It is hard to believe that August has already come and gone. Of course here in the South where Mr. Peter and I reside we easily have another six or eight weeks before we have to think about cold weather. Your proprietor would rather not think about cold weather at all, though it does offer more fashion alternatives to a humid sultry southern summer does. The first faint signs of the heat breaking are there, though, in cool early mornings and short stretches of days when the sun isn’t as oppressively hot as it was a month ago. Last week Mr. Peter and I spent the afternoon in Piedmont Park at the Piedmont Arts Festival. It was a very pleasant day. Clouds kept the sun at bay while the humidity wasn’t too high, either. We did get caught in one shower but found shelter under an umbrella covered picnic table next to a delightful jazz band. Unfortunately, the rain came up quite suddenly, catching us without time to find a suitable cocktail for our break from shopping. While neither of us found anything we couldn’t live without, we did find several vendors we thought worthy to join our marketplace and invitations are being sent. However, while we need to be choosy about who we include, we are always open to suggestions so please do encourage anyone that you think might be interested to contact us. There is a short request on our site that they can fill out.
Mr. Peter’s poodle, Murphy, has a very fine new collar and leash. He is wearing a brown one, although a black one in the Traveler’s collection will be available on the site first. After making the one for Murphy, I found sourcing more hardware to be problematic. It must, of course, be the best quality possible. The collar is just a collar, although double folded and top stitched to make it soft and flexible but sturdy enough to take a leash. Our leash is four feet long, similarly double folded and stitched, with a loop handle secured by a working buckle matching the collar. Mr. Peter says that all of Murphy’s friends in the neighborhood are quite impressed, by which he means that his friends are impressed since I rather doubt the other dogs care much for such things. However, Mr. Peter lives in a very fashionable part of town and I’m sure that if his neighbors are impressed yours would be, too. Please do take a look. Brown ones should be available soon. As soon as I can locate some appropriate buckles, I may add a larger version for large dogs, however, I would also be happy to make one we have longer at no extra charge. I have not made one suitable for cats, although I’m very much a cat person myself. If you think your cat might like one, please let me know. If the interest is there, I will see what can be done. I am ever in your service.
We are pleased to announce that there will be leather collars and matching leashes available in the Emporium.
do hope your summer is going well and, if you live in the United States your Fourth of July was enjoyable. Things have been quiet here at the Emporium although several products move slowly forward.
There is a new development regarding our antique radio for sale. Your proprietor looked high and low, from one end of the internet to the other, to find provenance to no avail. There was no detectable model number on the radio. There were so very many different radios made during that time that, as one radio enthusiast said, you are totally dependent on the possibility that someone has one and decided to post a picture. My dear friend, Miss Dianne Theirault was not deterred quite so easily and discovered what may well be the only picture of our radio on the internet. I did not press her as to how she found it. A lady must have her secrets after all. She has, however, most graciously offered to tackle any other such challenges that I send her way. She says research mysteries are like jigsaw puzzles. So, our radio is a Radio Chassis Incorporated Model 48 c: 1931.
The company was very small and only in business from 1931-34. I’ve tried to email some people for more details with no results yet but that information should be enough for a potential buyer. Given its august lineage, I hope someone will restore it and give it a good home. In spite of its rarity the price will remain the same, $120, shipping included. The Emporium will make a fair profit at that price which is all we need. We strive to always offer our guests a fair deal at prices that are as accessible as possible.
Mr. Peter has an aging poodle named Murphy. I’ve never asked why he is “Murphy.” Everyone must be named something, I suppose, and it’s better than the effete pretentious names so many poodles are burden with. Be that as it may, Murphy is still a poodle. His collar is becoming frayed and, being a poodle, that simply won't do. A new one is in order and there seems no reason to buy one when one can be produced in-house and doubtlessly more stylish than that found in the average retail establishment. We realized that many of our guests probably have fur friends as well who, while perhaps not as aristocratic as Murphy, are equally well loved and deserve to look as stylish as their respective owners. Therefore we are pleased to announce that there will be leather collars and matching leashes available in the Emporium. These will come in three or four-foot lengths, to give your dog as much freedom as you desire. Longer ones may possibly be available by special order and we are considering making collar studs available at additional charge, as well.
Your proprietor and Mr. Peter will be venturing out Friday night after some weeks of hibernation. One must occasionally take a break from the dizzying social whirl. We will be attending our dear friend Miss Oni’s tenth-anniversary celebration at the Heretic, in Atlanta, as usual. The theme is Horns and Halos. This will be a barbeque (there are so many ways to spell that odd word), so your proprietor will forgo his usual formal evening dress for a beige glen plaid summer suit and bowler hat. Since I’m not sure how to arrange a suitable halo on a bowler hat, horns will have to do, if a slight bit of false advertising since your proprietor rarely has the opportunity to get into hi-jinks interesting enough to merit being “devilish.” However, I have no doubt the evening will be quite as spiffing as Miss Oni’s parties always are. And Special Treats are promised. That certainly sounds intriguing. Perhaps small gift bags of assorted candies, or maybe more shockingly raucous entertainment as we witnessed last spring. I’ll share the details next time, dear friends.
Always in your service.
Things have been quiet at the Emporium of late. Your proprietor did journey south into the countryside for a photography workshop in the charming village of Tyrone, GA. Some most generous people there with a photography studio hosted a group of creative entrepreneurs and taught us some things about showcasing the beautiful things that we make. It was quite educational. Learning is always such a very good thing and learning things that improve the Emporium even more so! Your proprietor enjoyed his auction adventure so thoroughly that I am exploring that world in greater depth. My apologies for being mysterious but further details must wait until later but I am most excited about it.
An old friend from the Continent reached out to us recently regarding some custom luggage. He needs a few pieces based on things we are doing for our permanent collection as well as a few individual pieces that might also find their way into the collection, as well. It made Mr. Peter and me realize that special requests were something that we had overlooked. Of course, you can always send an email through our contact page, or even post a handwritten missive through the mail. That would make your proprietor positively misty-eyed. Please do include a phone number in that case. As delighted as I am to write back to you, an extended discussion of your needs on engraved stationery, however pleasant, could delay the fulfillment of your desires by some time. You can also, as I believe they say, “ping” us on the Facebook. However, we now have a dedicated conduit in the Emporium web store for you to share your needs for the necessary equipage for your amazing life. We hope to hear from you.
We are happy to work with you on any request you have. Challenges are most welcome! If you need saddle bags for your camel trip through the Sahara desert, we would be most delighted to supply them, but if you simply wish we would hurry up and add a brown leather shaving kit to the Adventure collection we can make that a priority. We aspire to do in-house monograms and tags some day. Our dear friend has chosen to supply his own custom patches that we will affix to his matched set of luggage and we could do that for you, as well. As long as that request was not inordinately difficult, it would be included without further charge in your custom order.
I had hoped that I might announce our ladies perfume but that has been regrettably delayed. Our friend and parfumier, Miss Susan, has suffered a personal misfortune that requires her attention and we hold her in our heart during this difficult time. I can say that we were told that our cologne would improve with several weeks aging and it most certainly is better than ever. We hope before long that we can share it with all of you. I am ever in your service.
Mr. Peter and your proprietor have been very busy of late. Several weeks ago Mr. Peter and I did go out to the Ritual “Unholy Masquerade Party” celebrating the fabulous Miss Oni’s birthday. It was, how shall I say, quite the evening. There was a floor show mid way through the evening rather “Eyes Wide Shut” as it were. Two rather comely shirtless men were propped against a wall by a corseted dominatrix who pretend to flog them with a rather amazing fiber optic whip. Amusing I suppose, until she pulled out the real thing and started raising welts. Oh, my! Quite unexpected to say the least. Mr. Peter had his Tarot cards read. He thought that would be amusing, too, but it left him quite shaken. While he hasn’t shared the details he seems rather pleased with the experience after he recovered from the shock.
Last weekend your proprietor attended an auction. Mr. Peter, never able to resist a business challenge had gotten himself hopelessly entangled. I tagged along and purchased several artifacts for the Emporium. One was a 70’s vintage lamp made to look like a vaguely Victorian blow torch. We’ve added an Edison bulb and it could fit in the right Steampunk room as is but really it is the foundation for a truly amazing work of art in the hands of the right craftsman. The second piece is a vintage 30’s cathedral style RCA radio. I’ve no idea if works but all the parts are there. We’ll sell it as is. I’m fairly certain it could be fully restored in the right hands or, again, be the beginning of some incredible master piece. Your proprietor is still researching it to get a better idea of exactly what is. If any of my readers has knowledge of antique radios I most appreciate and advice you might give.
I really must also mention my afternoon at the Inman Park festival with my two new friends, Mr. Lee and Mrs. Caroline, A most engaging couple. It was far too warm for proper attire and we, regrettablyr, had to dress down for the sake of comfort. Inman Park is Atlanta’s first suburb, an upscale neighborhood of gorgeous Victorian mansions and smaller bungalows that I’ve been told were houses for servants, though I’m not sure that’s true. The festival takes up many blocks of streets with tents for every possible kind of vendors. I think we may well have a go at it next year. We shall see. Poor Mr. Peter was supposed to have joined us but had to send his regrets, still trying to sort out the auction from the day before. This being our first outing after meeting at a social occasion, the Griffins and I got on wonderfully well and I look forward to our growing friendship.
The really big news, though, is our custom cologne. I mentioned that it was in the works and it is done. One day last week, Mr. Peter and I went to visit, Miss Susan Sexton, a trained french par fumier, and the most charming proprietress at Blend, her shop in Buckhead. Blend is a custom French Parfumerie. It's a wonderful adventure! You can go there and start with sampling a basic set of scents to establish your personal profile and then, after consulting with Susan, build your own custom perfume or cologne. The Emporium is partnering with Blend to create unique Emporium branded scents for both ladies and gentlemen. Your proprietor designing a set of leather embellished bottles for Blend. Creative exchange is a most wonderful thing! Wednesday, Mr. Peter and I collaborated in creating the Gentleman's cologne. As usual, we were in almost complete harmony.
We've been informed that it will take two weeks for the scent to fully develop in the bottle. We will go back then to make any final adjustments and undertake to make a companion scent for ladies. As it is now, our cologne is quite wonderful! I am most pleased! We tried to create a scent that combined old world elegance with a dash of exotic steampunk adventure. I do think we succeeded. Next is something for ladies. I'm thinking romantic mystery with the zing of a pocket ray gun tucked it one's garter. I've no idea what that means but I'm sure Miss Susan will help me sort it out, with Mr. Peter's invaluable advice, of course. I'm quite at odds and ends without him. Today, we two are off to the Wonderroot craft fair hoping we might possibly meet some artisans interested in joining our Marketplace. The adventure never ceases. I am always in your service.
Life goes on as it is wont to do. Not so long ago, Mr. Peter and I went to the Redlight Cafe for their “Speakeasy” night. Our good friend, the dashing Count Kazinsky accompanied us. He’s such a sweet man and a joy to have around. We had the most enjoyable evening. This event was rather 1920's in theme but it was also an Atlanta Steampunk event but we were the only ones dressed, Mr. Peter and I in proper evening clothes and Count Kazinky in a daring red brocade blazer which he assured us is the height of fashion in Poland. I’m dubious but he did wear it well.
The event began with a dance lesson for something called the East Coast Swing. I partnered the count and Mr. Peter found a comely young lady to dance with. She seemed quite charming and a good dancer. In spite of not exactly being a ladies man, Mr. Peter was so entranced by her charms that he had trouble keeping his feet on the floor for staring at her low cut dress. Sadly, there was only one piece played during the evening suitable for dancing. A couple took to the floor and put on such a show that it was embarrassing for we novices to dance next to them.
One of the performers had to cancel at the last minute and perhaps there would have been more dance music if they had been there. Mr. Peter’s dance partner turned out to be a song bird and filled out the show. In spite of claiming to not be comfortable singing in public, she was just amazing with the most exquisite voice. I assured her later that she had nothing to fear and she should sing in public at every opportunity. The dance instructor turned out to be a very good tap dancer, in a dress that seemed to get smaller with every number, but we all agreed that we saw far too much of her. Unlike the songbird, she apparently has no problem at all dancing at every opportunity.
It was just a fantastic evening. The room was set as a supper club with cabaret tables and chairs for everyone. Although food was not offered, my vodka gimlet was mixed perfectly and served in a proper martini glass. Not many bartenders these days can serve classic cocktails. They used to have these every month but now only four times a year. We will absolutely go back next time. Our friend Miss Oni is having a birthday party in a few weeks at the Heretic. I’ve misplaced the invitation but I’m sure the club will have a listing for it. The theme is Vampires. That should be most amusing, though I hope not too macabre. Really, fake blood splashed about is so de trop. Her events are always fun, though, and I’m sure this one will be, too. Do introduce yourself if you are there.
We are very excited! A new item is ready for the Emporium. We are adding a brown leather trimmed gym bag to the Vagabond collection. Your proprietor would not set foot in such a venue for self torture but I know many of you enjoy it and you should at least look stylish while doing so. A somewhat more luxurious full leather one will be added to the Adventurer collection soon. It’s not up, yet. Photographs must be taken in the next few days. I’m debating whether to add one matching the Adventurer version in black leather to the Traveler collection. I’m not sure that black leather is appropriate for the gym but really these bags could be used on many other occasions so perhaps so. I would certainly welcome my readers opinions on the matter. Ever in your service.
PS. Mr. Peter has suggested we meet up with Atlanta Steampunk Society at the Red Light Cafe on Friday night for Speakeasy. It's an evening of cocktails and burlesque featuring that terribly modern music called Jazz which your proprietor rather enjoys. Someone by the name of Duke Ellington is on the program, though I highly doubt his title is genuine. There will also be swing dancing. Watching Mr. Peter dance should be quite amusing. Trying it myself may prove rather humiliating but I'll give it a go. I'll tell you all about it next time.
At any rate while flowers are blooming in the garden, possibilities are blooming for the Emporium as well.
I said I might not write until I had something to write about and, at last, indeed there is! Spring is springing here in Atlanta, although the meteorologists prognosticate (one last?) freeze later in the week. I know I have no right to think March would be warm, let alone February, but, dang it, when it gets warm your proprietor does wish it would stay that way even though cooler temperatures certainly make a proper wool frock coat more comfortable. At any rate while flowers are blooming in the garden, possibilities are blooming for the Emporium as well.
Your proprietor doesn’t feel it is prudent to mention names until deals are done but just a bit of bragging is irresistible. Mr. Peter has made the acquaintance of a talented Parfumier in our fair city who has expressed interest in possibly creating a signature scent for the Emporium. Such exciting possibilities! What would a sophisticated Steampunk want to smell like? I’m thinking something like “Emopria for Ladies. The scent of elegance.” or “Trowbridge’s Cologne for gentlemen. It smells like adventure!” Or perhaps not. Really! What scent do you imagine? Violets, gardenias, lemon grass, absinthe and a hint of myrrh? Earl Gray tea, pipe tobacco, oak moss, port wine, and ...coal smoke? We would love to hear your suggestions.
In other news, a reporter from a local online Lifestyle magazine fell in love with our pictures on the Instagram and has promised us a mention in her pages. Your proprietor finds rotogravure to be far more pleasing but Mr. Peter assures me that photography is a necessary innovation and we certainly want you to have the best possible impression of our Beautiful Things. At any rate, the Instagram and the Twitter are very much Mr. Peter’s domain. If you haven’t already, please do follow our Instagram at [www.instagram.com/thetrowbridgeemporium]. The Facebook is as much as your proprietor can keep up with. I have a hundred friends now, though, and I’m quite delighted and gratified by such an outpouring of amity and support. The talent and brilliance to be found there rather takes one’s breath away, too.
New brown leather journals are being added to the Adventure collection. Much like the black leather ones in our Traveler collection. Small steps to be sure but steps none the less. Your proprietor hopes to get his other obligations sorted out soon so that things may develop faster. In the meantime, your proprietor and Mr. Peter are planning on a trip to the Wonderroot Artist Market at Ponce City Market on March 4. We tried to go last month but bad weather and other obligations prevented it. Next Friday evening, at the Heretic nightclub, our dear friend Miss Oni will host another Ritual event. This month’s theme is Quarantine: Medical Mayhem. Given your proprietor’s aversion to people in white lab coats we will probably not attend, unless Mr. Peter insists, but please do go if you feel inclined. No doubt it will be an entertaining evening. Next month is Miss Oni’s birthday and we will almost certainly attend that occasion.
Until next time, try to stay warm...or cool...depending on the day. Do get out in the fresh air and sunshine. It’s good for both body and soul! The Con season is almost upon us. Where will you be going? What events should Mr. Peter and your proprietor absolutely not miss? We would like to know. We are ever in your service.
The Trowbridge Emporium is the convergence of many of my life long passions. It is a showcase for my love of leather and skill as a leathercrafter, an opportunity to buy and sell the antiques and collectibles that I love, and a gallery in which to share things of beauty and quality with the world, presented with the style, elegance, and impeccable service of days gone by.”