Friday, August 12, 2011

Milford Memories - MUST SEE!

 Here is a review that Jim and I did for our He Said/She Said column.  It wasn't quite right for the digital E-zine but wanted to let you all know about this amazing store and this inspirational store owner.  Enjoy.

 Inspiration can strike  you in the weirdest places.  At least that is what the He said /She said duo found on a recent stroll thru downtown Milford.  This adventure lead us to a new business, an inspirational story, a comedic exchange and a place we feel you should visit.  On this particular day one half of the duo found her Shangri-La and the other was left in her dust.  What happened next depends on who you talk to…..

Kim:  While Jim was taking a picture of a sign that said “Ask Dad He Knows” to have visual proof of his never ending quest to convince his daughter that he knows what he is talking about, I was drawn by a powerful force toward something shiny.  I gave no thought to my friend and headed straight for the big sign that said BLING

Jim: Stopping for a moment to take a picture of a sign that affirms what all fathers know and all others should come to respect, I was abandoned by my friend.  After ensuring I captured the essence of “father knows best”  in the photo, I turned to find the street as empty as a deserted western town.  Looking to the left she was no where to be found.  Looking to the right I noticed the BLING sign and realized that Kim had been lured away by something shiny.

Kim:  When I  walked into BLING the first thing I thought was “this must be what heaven is like” and I was breathless and couldn't decide what to focus on first.  Everywhere I looked there were shiny accessories, bags, clothes and everything I love.  I completely forgot where I was much less who I was with….

After the initial shock of the shiny stuff waned I realized that the building that housed all these beautiful things was full of character and charm.  This building was originally the home of the Arms Brothers mens clothing store.  In 1836, a general store was established which, over the years, evolved into a clothing store.  Arms Brothers before closing was not only the oldest established business in Milford, it was also the oldest men's store in the state of Michigan.  This building was not stranger to fabulous retail and this new business was no exception.
The story became more interesting when Jim started his normal inquisition about “how did you”. . . .   He found out that in another lifetime Jennifer was a legal secretary for a divorce attorney and later an administrator for a doctors office. Although her time at the divorce attorney inspired her to stay single for many years, she is now happily married to a wonderful man that supports her venture. 

Early in 2011 she decided to leave the world of medicine and continue in her studies in fashion merchandising. In February she came upon the Bling Store during a Ladies Night Out, sponsored by Milford Merchants. Like Kim she was enamored by the store and coincidentally found out that the store was for sale. Her life would change for the better when on April 28, 2011, she bought the store and her dream was realized.
Jim: While Kim and my daughter, Delaney, squealed with delight and rushed from display to display, I discussed the merits of staying single with this obviously happily married woman. I found this controversial topic more engaging than choosing bling.
Kim: I decided while Jim was engrossed in his conversation with the charming owner that this was the perfect time to scope out our purchases while I hatched a plan to convince Jim that Delaney really “needed” these items.  For a minimalist like Jim, the idea of a shiny accessory being a necessity was going to be a hard sell.  Keep him talking Jennifer.
Jim: I have decided that this will be the last time that I allow Kim to distract me while purchases are being selected.  Sometimes I just let her think she is smarter than me for fun of it (Kim: I am totally smarter than Jim.) but from the look in their eyes I had a feeling that this fun was coming with a price tag.
Bling is the place to go if you need any fashion accessories.  You can find everything there from a tiara to tank tops and anything in between.  For the savvy shopper the prices and the selection can’t be beat and the chance to be a part of helping a newly christened entrepreneur in this economy just makes visiting Bling a shopping with a purpose  experience.
Jennifer has made the history of the building part of the stores ambiance by keeping the original sign and displaying Arms Brothers memorabilia around as a part of the decor. She is also a patient and unbiased shop keeper.  After several long minutes of negotiating and bantering back and forth it was decided that Kim would become Delaney’s “Fashion God Mother” and pay for their purchases. I was standing on principal as a parent and wanted to see scholastic improvements before I invested in bling.  I wasn’t buying the necessity argument.  We didn’t want to put Jennifer through listening to our debate on the benefits of bling as she had just be a party to a humorous, yet serious discussion with another customer and her husband about why purses were better than golf.
In the end, Jennifer agreed with my logical but sometimes controversial opinion on marriage as well as capitalized on a purchase from the wandering fashionistas.  She had with very little effort made us all three happy at the same time.  Not an easy task to accomplish proving she was smarter than the three of us.
Jennifer had all ready impressed us with the inspirational story about following her dreams.  By looking around the  store at her creative displays and the expert marketing of her merchandise it was clear that she was a great business woman. Everything about  the store was charming and the owners passion added just the extra spark that made linger and become a part of her success story. The fact that she was so  astute at staying neutral and ending our visit with a sale proves she has what the people skills it takes to be successful.
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