Too much analysis can create paralysis... It was a dream for me. In 2015 I truly thought I had found Parie Designs “forever home”, The Bowery Warehouse. A huge open space with room to create, house all of our amazing inventory and ultimately a place for weddings & events. Cancer aside, the last few years in this downtown warehouse has been for me the culmination of my 27 years in business in Amarillo. I’ve talked to over 30 brides in the last 8 months telling them we were actively looking to renovate a warehouse, and now I have to come clean.
This isn’t going to happen, at least in the near future. (Read the nitty gritty of the story below….including my run in with “good ol’ boy” politics….) We will absolutely be ready IF AND WHEN, the right building comes along. But for now, The Bowery Warehouse is closed until further notice.
So now, you may ask, what ARE you going to do Parie? Well, to be honest, A LOT!
- First, Parie Designs is ALIVE & VERY WELL! I’ve decided that returning to my roots, flowers and design, is the passionate path forward for me. I have dozens of weddings I’m super excited to be designing this year and look forward to many more in my future.
- Parie Designs will continue with our premiere Wedding Planning & Coordination services as a cohesive add on to our floral services.
- We are no longer doing daily floral and instead will concentrate on weddings, parties and events.
- And... super excited to be setting up a satellite design location in North Texas and plan on doing many weddings there as well.
And I will continue to:
Curate Yellow City Flea (read on for more on that!) & will continue in Pop Up locations (and I have to give a huge shout out to our friends at Six Car Pub for being our home since September!)
Teach and educate across the country, teaching at workshops and seminars
- Freelance for some of the best and brightest floral designers in the US starting this summer in Colorado, then onto Virginia and later in the year will be traveling to Northern California,
- And in addition, I’ve taken a consulting position with Details Flowers Software, a dream for me as this is technology geared for the floral industry and something I’m super passionate about!
The truth of the matter is that too much analysis can create paralysis. Or at least that was the case, until today.
Today I choose to be the navigator of my future. I choose to set aside the crazy “what if’s”, “but if’s” and the other anxiety-inducing self-talk.
So here’s the real story…. The last time I struggled to write an update to my blog was the week I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2016. Three years later and I’ve experienced a new struggle. One that for some reason seems more difficult to me than the cancer BS! So, let’s just dive right in.
In August of 2018 I decided to host Yellow City Flea, a wonderful curated artisan style flea market. I’ve met so many talented artisans and craftsman, and it was so cool to be able to offer this to the Amarillo community. Our First Flea in August was a HUGE success. 2 news stations and the local newspaper came out and did really great stories on the Flea.
And thus began the problem, because heaven forbid that I try and elevate the community experience in our town. (Yes, there’s much sarcasm there). The following Monday, we received a call from the City of Amarillo Building department. It turns out we did not have the correct Certificate of Occupancy to hold the Flea, and as a matter of fact, they would be shutting us down for ALL future events.
You can imagine my horror at the thought of having to tell a bride that her venue was no longer available, so I met with the City of Amarillo, the Fire Inspector and many others to make sure that the wedding and events I already had booked could proceed until the end of the year. I spent thousands of dollars making changes to a warehouse (that I do not own...more on this in a minute) in order to meet their requirements.
I jumped through the most ridiculously high and crazy hoops trying to appease the City, only to be met with “good ol’ boy” politics and one gossipy City employee who actually revealed private information regarding my dealings with the City to one of my current brides. (A clear violation of his position and breach of trust.) Not only was my client needlessly worried that she was without a venue (because of all the hoop jumping to ensure we could stay open!), but I was starting to feel as if I was an outsider in my own hometown. The hometown that I have chosen for nearly 3 decades to raise my family and build a business that’s been the recipient of multiple Awards for Business Excellence; a business that I am very proud of.
Towards the end of the year, after all of my booked events & weddings were done at The Bowery Warehouse, we started the process of purchasing the building. I had the “First Option” in my contract with the landlord. We were unsuccessful in reaching a fair agreement to purchase and thus the search for a new building began.
I’m a HUGE supporter of Downtown Amarillo, and have been, since I had my business on Polk Street in the 90’s. I WANT to be part of the downtown rejuvenation, the energy, the excitement. Yes, we could build an event venue outside the city limits where the Building Safety rules are not in play, which would make our lives SOOOOO much easier. But that is not at all what we wanted to do. That was not the dream. We wanted to be part of the excitement that is Downtown Amarillo.
We subsequently found a new building in the warehouse district just a few blocks from our existing warehouse, but here we are 5 months later, lots of money, inspections, proposals and more, and that building purchase has fallen through as well.
So, I’m starting to feel like this is the universe’s way of telling me, I’m not supposed to be doing this venue thing...and after the way we’ve been treated, maybe even this Amarillo thing….but I’ve spent 27 years in this crazy industry in my hometown, so I’m stickin’ around.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you who have gotten married at our “little warehouse”, who’ve attended an event or workshop, or just came by to smell the flowers! And to all of my friends, personal & industry, who continue to show me the love and support that has gotten me where I am, THANK YOU!! We will still be designing out of the warehouse and would love for you to stop by and say hi!
With all my love and thanks,