QM Treeversary: A Reflection

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QM Treeversary: A Reflection

One year ago today an unexpected storm blew threw Tallahassee and caused a tree to crash on Quarter Moon. The tree may have left an open wound in the store’s roof, but it also created questions and uncertainty among the QM staff and community. Would the fallen tree mark the end of Quarter Moon, a 26 year-old Tallahassee staple? Or would QM grow from the event stronger than ever?

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I will never forget driving up to Quarter Moon moments after a huge old pine tree came crashing down on our little cottage shop. It was a moment that changed the course of our business and also the lives of all of us who work at Quarter Moon,” Wendy Halleck, QM owner said.

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Wendy Halleck, QM Owner

After a night of chaos of shoving merchandise into boxes and once the tree was removed, we were able to assess the true damage. The QM staff spent a few days packing the remaining products to keep in storage. Once everything was moved out, the store felt like a clean slate.

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While QM was closed for just under 40 days due to the reconstruction of the store’s roof and interior, various pop-up shops were organized around the Midtown area to help keep the business afloat. None of us could forget the first pop-up shop at Krewe de Gras, where the support from the community was prevalent and everyone’s hopes were upbeat. After 2 more pop ups at Lucy and Leos Cupcakery and the Manor at Midtown, NAI TALCOR generously gave us a temporary store front at Capital Plaza until we could reopen at Lake Ella. Their gift of a temporary place for Quarter Moon to call home kept us going and kept us all employed!

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Pop-up shop at Lucy & Leos Cupcakery

I definitely would not want to go through it again, but in so many ways, I am profoundly grateful for that experience. That time was filled with many daily challenges and what seemed like endless hours of very strenuous  labor,” Halleck said. “Most impactful however, was experiencing the outpouring of community support and the deepened relationships between all of us at the shop as we picked up the pieces and put them back together.”

August 8th we were finally home again. The store reopened with a fresh coat of paint, new merchandise, sturdy support beam, a different layout, but with the same spirit and vibe we’ve all come to love. Without the community’s support, QM would not be standing tall today.

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“I am forever indebted to my family, our loyal customers, our landlady Ginny Chandler, the Tallahassee business community, and most especially the powerful, spirited women I work with at Quarter Moon who always said ‘YES, we can do this!’” Halleck said.

To commemorate this unforeseen, yet rewarding experience, the QM staff plans to keep the store with them forever by getting quarter moon tattoos next week. Stay tuned for another blog post featuring the QM ladies ink!

We want to thank the Tallahassee community for rallying with us and helping Quarter Moon continue to be a staple in the city. We couldn’t have asked for a better tribe.

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Blog: Step Into Summer, QM Staff Style

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With summer already in full swing, the Quarter Moon girls wanted to share some of our summer staples. Everyday we obsess over our vibrant sun dresses, colorful home decor, and intricate jewelry. Each staff member handpicked their favorite product and what makes it a must-have for any summer outing.

Wendy’s Pick

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“I love this [necklace] because it is locally made by one of my favorite artists. I love knowing about the extensive handcrafting that goes into this piece, and it goes with everything you want to wear.” –Wendy Halleck, QM Owner

Lisa’s Pick

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“I love Mara Mugs because they’re handmade in Mexico; they come in so many fun designs that there is a perfect mug for anyone. They’re a nice thick ceramic that keeps your beverage hot, but also great for chili or ice cream too. I have my morning coffee everyday from my Mara Mug. It’s the best way to start my day.” –Lisa Folmar, QM Buyer and Manager

Katie’s Pick

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“I love our tapestries because of the variety in colors, sizes, and styles we have. I probably have too many, but they’re so versatile! I hang one on my wall, keep several in my car as picnic/beach blankets, and use several as sheets. I love the different printing techniques (block printing and batiks) and several use all natural vegetable dyes!” –Katie Haggerty, QM Buyer and Manager

Megan’s Pick

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“These bags literally carry a small piece of Mayan culture. I love that they are made from recycled handmade textiles and embroidery. If you’re the least bit crafty, you can see the artistry and craftsmanship. These textiles are made using thousands and thousands of threads and hours of work. They are everything I want in a product.” –Megan Milla, QM Buyer and Manager

Allison’s Pick

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“I bought a mid-length Jedzebel wrap skirt just a few weeks ago, and I can easily say that it changed my life. I can’t stop playing with it and creating  new styles every time I pull it out of my closet. I wear it a few times a week, but it’s a different piece of clothing each time. I wear it as a sleeveless dress and high-waisted skirt; it never gets old.” –Allison Kridle, QM Social Media Consultant and Key Holder

Alycea’s Pick

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“I’ve never loved something more than these tie dye pants. I’m constantly wearing them to work, around the house, or even to the pool. Culture Shop (the brand behind these babies) hand dyes all of their pieces, and the colors last for years after hundreds of washes. Not only do I have pants, but tops and dresses as well!” –Alycea Favreau, QM Social Media Consultant and Key Holder

Courtney’s Pick

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“I love Wishlist bralets because they are so comfortable yet stylish! They come in so many different colors and lace designs. They’re a great alternative to regular bras and I never want to take mine off.” –Courtney Piper, QM Key Holder

Rebecca’s Pick

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“I love QM’s socks because we have so much variety. They come in the coolest color combinations making them the perfect gift. There is truly a pair for any inside joke you could think of, or pick  a pair for yourself and curl up with a good book on a rainy Florida afternoon!” –Rebecca Clendinen, QM Social Media Consultant

Take on summer with these special products, or come into the store and find your own favorite summer essential!

Blog: Shop Anywhere, Anytime With The QM Lookbook

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Blog: Shop Anywhere, Anytime With The QM Lookbook

Quarter Moon is proud to announce the launch of our completed Spring 2016 Lookbook! Since February, QM staff members have worked together organizing photo shoots and designing page layouts to bring to you the essence of QM. While the lookbook features key spring products, our main goal is to assist people who can’t physically shop in the store find an item that encompasses the QM vibe.

Alycea (QM staff member and lookbook Creative Director) was behind this creative endeavor as she brought to life her vision for how QM embodies spring.

“Working on the lookbook was definitely a chaotic learning experience, but also rewarding seeing the final product come together. We have such eclectic products so putting them together and making a cohesive piece was the biggest challenge, but I think it looks well put together and fun and bright for spring,” Alycea said.

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Alycea, Spring Lookbook Creative Director

QM owner, Wendy Halleck, entrusted the Florida State retail merchandise senior to enlist and style models, design scene concepts and create page layouts. Alycea worked closely with staff members Allison (photographer), Rebecca (photo editor), Courtney (model) and veteran models Selina and Leigha.

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Alycea and Allison

We believe shopping in QM serves as a unique journey on its own, and we hope the lookbook enables you to experience the shop that has been a Tallahassee treasure for almost 27 years. Shop the lookbook and call the store to see if we have a specific desired product or a similar item.

Blog: Fill a Backpack, Fill a Need

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Blog: Fill a Backpack, Fill a Need

What do you need? Tallahassee local, Amy Rodgers, asks this question to homeless men, women and children in Tallahassee almost daily. As simple as the question may seem, it is very telling and the answers range anywhere from food to clean socks or a toothbrush. Whatever necessity the homeless search for, Rodgers hands them a backpack with clean clothing, toiletries, granola bars, cans of soup–whatever she can possibly offer. Giving to those less fortunate in forms of a backpack filled with basic necessities is Rodgers’ grassroots mission called The Backpack Project.

The project started in 2015 when Rodgers and her two sons (currently ages five and two) got together with other moms and a group of kids to hand out toiletries to homeless people in plastic bags. Rodgers realized the homeless receiving the bags have nothing to even carry the Ziplocs in besides maybe a plastic Publix bag.

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“I just started asking people through Facebook if they had any backpacks that me and my boys could have to put the toiletries in, and since there became more room for me to put other things in the packs, I started thinking bigger,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers soon started thinking of adding items like ponchos for the rainy summers, hand-knit hats, fleece blankets, etc. However, Rodgers learned along the way that one of the most needed items, but one of the least donated items is socks.

“One day my boys and I went to the shelter and handed out socks, and it was like I had a 100 dollar bill in my hand,” Rodgers said.

So far Rodgers has received help from the Tallahassee community through item donations and local business sponsorship. Perhaps Rodgers’ biggest helpers are her family–her husband, the owner of Euphoria Tattoo, and her two sons who aid her in assembling the backpacks and handing them out.

“My boys have been involved in it since day one. They’re totally into it, which I think is really neat. They see me talking to these people and learning that everyone is someone, which is one of my biggest things that has always been really important to me. If I could pass on something, that would be it,” Rodgers said.

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When most people drive up to stop lights and see a homeless person clutching a sign for help, many will assume they just want money. Although that is true, the homeless often need something more specific–something many of us use on a daily basis without thinking twice.

“I’m learning something all the time about what can be used or what’s needed. Most of the time when you ask people what they need, they say something random like ‘I need diapers, my little boy is out of diapers.’ It wasn’t ‘I need money for diapers, it’s ‘I need diapers,’” Rodgers said.

Whether the need is food, toiletries, or clean clothes, there is a lack that needs to be filled in the homeless community. For the whole month of May, Quarter Moon is collecting monetary or item donations to help support Rodgers’ thoughtful and innovative project. Join us on Sunday, June 5th during Sunday Brunch as we put together backpacks with the objects donated at the store. A filled backpack means a filled need–a need the community can strive to alleviate.

 

Inside the Making of a QM Lookbook

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At Quarter Moon, we tend to embrace change–especially when spring is right around the corner. After the tree fell on the store in June and after renovating and redesigning the shop, we all knew that being inventive and seizing an opportunity for change was in our favor. However, the store’s makeover is not done. Considering it is the time of year for rebirth and growth, there has been a consensus between QM’s owner (Wendy) and the staff that our website also needs fixing up. Instead of having separate pages on the site for clothing, jewelry, and crafts with photo icons, we are designing a Spring Lookbook that will showcase our best items in a creative and comprehensible way. A lookbook features a collection of images and descriptions that creates a feel for the store and it’s merchandise. If you are viewing the lookbook from home or out of town, you can call the store and we can ship you the item you are interested in purchasing. Our goal is to bring QM and the shop’s eclectic vibe to you. Wendy and a few members of the QM staff have started organizing photo shoots, selecting featured products, setting up scenes and editing photos. We are so excited to share our visions and new spring styles in our fresh and stimulating lookbook! Stay tuned for more updates as we continue on this journey with you.

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QM staff (Alycea and Allison) with models, Selena and Courtney

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Alycea carrying props to a photo scene

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Alycea and Allison taking photos

When a Tree Falls…a note from Wendy

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When a Tree Falls…a note from Wendy

There are many things that happen when a tree falls into your shop. The first thing that happened in my case was experiencing an overwhelming sense of relief when I learned that the people who were inside during the storm were safe. After that, there is a chaotic burst of activity. There are immediate decisions that need to be made and immediate actions that need to be taken. Everything that needs to be done seems to have the same pressing urgency…move the merchandise away from the rain that is now coming in through the ceiling…tarp whatever you can, secure a space for storage… gather up some boxes and vehicles…call the insurance company.
But then this other thing happened all by itself…the word got out- and suddenly there was a team of people, some of whom I don’t even know by name who appeared just to help. They brought tarps, and vehicles, they put together boxes, they packed, they moved heavy cases out of harms way, they brought cool heads, bottles of water and great comfort.
It took the entire staff working very long days to carefully and fully pack up the shop and move it into storage. People brought by food and treats to us on our long packing days. As it became apparent that the repairs would take a significant bit of time, we began to look for ways to generate some income.
We had offers from many locally owned businesses for temporary space for us to sell our merchandise. These offers came from our neighbors in Midtown, but also from businesses in Market Square and Railroad Square. We had bands contact us offering to play music if we needed to have a benefit. We have always have felt very connected to our community, but we never realized how connected our community felt to us. I can’t begin to describe how fortunate we feel.
We chose not to have any benefits, but to try to remain “creatively employed” with the Pop-Up Shops. Our first was hosted at Krewe De Gras. From there, we set up at Lucy and Leos Cupcakery and this week we are at Midtown Manor. It is pretty hard work to pack up, transport and unpack over and over again. Somehow though, we have had so much fun as a team doing this. We have been so graciously welcomed, that I can honestly say it has been a pleasure. We get to see our loyal customers and friends and family. Some left without purchasing merchandise, but tucked donations into envelopes which we did not come upon until after they left.
With our warehouse storage unit full, my home became operation central for new arrivals. At this moment, boxes fill my dining room and we have a makeshift office. Every day we have a planning meeting and every day, new circumstances derail our plans, but they don’t derail our team. I am so proud of our staff at Quarter Moon. Everything–everything we have had to do, has been with met with a can-do attitude. They are seriously the best.
Yesterday a new opportunity presented itself. NAI TALCOR generously donated temporary storefront space to us in the Capital Plaza in Midtown. That is the plaza that houses Red Elephant and we are just a few doors west of them. We will have our last traveling Pop-Up Shop this Saturday at Midtown Manor near Finnegans Wake from 12noon-6:30pm and then we will move into our new temp space on Monday July 20th. We expect to have our regular hours there, but please stay posted on Facebook.
We are realistically 3 weeks from re-opening at Lake Ella. This week the internal structure of the roof was repaired and the shingles are on. Next week, the internal repairs in the actual shop that are the responsibility of the landlord will be finished. The following week will be spent on repairs that are our responsibility and then the third week we will transport all the merchandise back into the shop and get it set up. Our fingers are crossed for a Grand Re-Opening on Saturday August 8th. We can’t wait!
There are so many people to thank, it seems impossible but special shout outs to all friends and family. All of the daily calls and texts of concern and support have been wonderful even if I have not returned your calls! The team at NAI Talcor, Stephanie and Chris at Krewe De Gras, Jean and her team at Lucy and Leos, all of our new friends at Midtown Manor, Centennial Bank, our amazing groundskeeper/fix it guy, Tom at Lake Ella, Joe and Pete from Joes Bike Shop, Brenda and her team at Big Easy Snowballs, Bill Davis Contractor who showed up on that first stormy night to put up support beams so we would be safe, Ginny our landlady who has assembled a top notch fix it team, all the business owners who offered their help, our wonderful customers and of course the amazing group of superwomen I work with every day! I am sure I have forgotten to mention a few people here, but I assure you that every single gesture of kindness has been deeply felt.