Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Everything Ramps Up

It's been quite a while since I posted an update about the progress at Hugh, and for that I beg a thousand indulgences! With things moving toward a (hopefully) mid-October opening I thought I'd start writing about some of things I've been doing in this ramping-up period.

One of the most enjoyable parts of having a store is the buying trip, and the trade show I try not to miss is the New York International Gift Fair, which happens in January and August every year. It's kind of the "big show" and an opportunity to see what's new and exciting in the world of merchandise, and a chance to nurture the relationships with vendors and other shop owners you inevitably end up meeting over the years. And of course, it's an excuse to go to New York for a weekend.

I hadn't been in a few years, but I went in January to get the ball rolling on merchandise selection. I found a lot of cool things that will make it into the store this fall, but equally important I was able to talk to a lot of vendors about the Hugh concept and get back on their radar so they send me information about new products as they become available.

Here's a find: Flatlinks
I'm not gonna lie, it was awesome having a chance to see some old friends while I was in NYC too. I met up with my friend Jim Tottis one night, who was a long-time curator of American Art at the DIA and now is a consulting curator at the Museum of the City of New York. He gave me an insider's tour of the new American galleries at the Met and then bought me a drink at Bemelmans, the legendary bar at The Carlyle. A great Upper East Side evening.

Another night I headed to Mas (farmhouse) in the West Village to meet up for a drink with my college pal Clinton Kelly, the style guru for TLC's "What Not to Wear" and co-host on ABC's "The Chew." We sang in the Boston College chorale together and were next-door neighbors in the de-facto gay dorm senior year. Clint is just as fun in person as he is on tv (albeit a bit more R-rated) and it is very enjoyable to see him downplay his celebrity while being interrupted by people who want to say hi. His best quote of the evening was, "I hate it when people tell me what to wear," which would have been a great thing to Tweet, had I had my Twitter act together back then.

We were joined by my friend Jessica Murphy, an art historian and beauty blogger (for Now Smell This, the perfume blog) and one of my oldest and most cherished friends. As my pen pal back in high school (we met in a h.s. summer program in Boston) Jessica was my gateway to 80s NYC art and culture, going so far as to tear down a Keith Haring subway poster to send to me. Basically my early interest in anything cool can be traced back to her (a notion she laughs off but is entirely true).

Also interesting (to me) fact: you've been seeing the news coverage this week of the 25th anniversary of the crash of Flight 255 at Metro Airport. I was actually driving Jessica to the airport that evening when a huge fireball erupted about a half-mile ahead - we had to slam on the brakes and turn around right on the freeway!  We shared a BRUSH WITH DEATH right here in Romulus. Amazing, no?

Old, er, long-time friends.
OK, I feel like I'm freaking Bill Kennedy at the Movies with all these old friend anecdotes. Somebody give me an afternoon local tv show.

I'm heading off to the August show this weekend where I'll be searching for more great stuff and actually placing orders for Hugh. You know it's really real when boxes start arriving! I'll be tweeting about cool finds if you want to get a bit of a sneak preview, and maybe even soliciting opinions about items when I'm on the fence ... follow me so you can weigh in! I'm @joeposch on the Twitter.

More soon, stay tuned!


btrflyy71 said...

Hi Joe,
I have been following news about you since watching the HATCH contest last year. Many congrats! I entered this year and hope to win the opportunity to open a sweet shoppe in Midtown. I would love to do a pop-up cupcake bar at your shop. Can't wait for your shop to open, and shop for the men in my life. Angelique (Treats by Angelique, a Sweet Shoppe)

abrew22 said...

Excited for the opening! I love reading about others succeeding at opening their own businesses as I too am in the process of opening up a live music venue in Detroit. You can check out my blog on my adventure as it continues at Look for my business at

I entered Hatch this year (just like the awesome Treats by Angelique -her Midtown Chocolate Chipper is yummy) and I am excited to compete *fingers crossed*.

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