Tuesday, March 29, 2011

flash me.

a smile that is.

we have all heard about it. you know, that inevitable topic after dealing with some sort of sales establishment.

customer service. there seems to be a delicate balance between helpful and intrusive. i have spent a large portion of my time in the working world in a customer service role. my first job was in a concession stand at a neighborhood pool making pizzas in the texas heat. i know, you're jealous. i then went on to work in retail for the better part of 4 years and find myself still behind a counter. so i get it, the whole 'customer is always right' thing. i understand the need to be helpful and knowledgeable. i do think it is important to be pleasant when engaging with people, but where is that line? ya know, the line between 'hey, what can we get you this morning/afternoon/evening' and 'holy crap we are so happy you're here we are going to jump from the rafters and we may actually have ponies coming out of our ears!'.. a bit much? i thought so too.

at vintage heart i want you to feel comfortable. not overpowered by a mask of forced enthusiasm or hindered by a sullen attitude that leaves you wondering if you should jump behind the bar and hug your barista. while i strive, in my personal life, to be a loving and light person, i want vintage heart to carry that same air. i want real people serving real people. and that starts with you and me.

so flash me.

take a moment in the next week and smile at the checker at the store. i don't mean smile while you are shoving your debit card back into your wallet, i mean look at them. look into their eyes and smile. you don't have to say anything, just a glance of thanks.

those people you just saw car-dancing to your right when stuck in traffic? smile at them. if they are terrible dancers, smile bigger.

i won't push the subject, since i fear it will start coming across as cheap or trite, but smile. it doesn't take much and your parents probably spent a lot on those teeth. show them off.

if nothing else, smile a bit with your eyes. the people on the receiving end will be grateful, and far more likely to pay it forward.

i would love to hear from you guys throughout the week. let me know if anyone was caught off guard by your *flash.

take care.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


the week is upon us.

i will keep this short and informative as i'm sure you are currently attempting to double-fist your free beer and tacos while finalizing that list of 'secret' shows that you will be fighting hundreds of other people to get to. haven't made it to any of the interactive or film portions of the festival? it's okay. we know you are resting up so the next 90 hours you can be focused on what's really important: keeping up with who is tweeting from where and how long you have to make it there before you miss the best-unknown-show at south-by. oh, and more tacos and beer.

vintage heart looks forward to being a part of the festivities next year, and in an attempt to help make this year's festival the best we can for you, here is a somewhat comprehensive list of places to find more comprehensive lists. so helpful, right?

let's start with twitter, for 'official' sxsw tweets:

some people i recommend following:
@vintageheartatx - various friends of vintage heart will be chiming in to let you know where we are.

our friends over at Austinist have been so generous as to compile a list of their must-sees. check it here. you can also create your own schedule using that site.

show list austin also created a badge-free, unofficial showcase listing here.
looking for side parties? austin 360 can help.

who are you looking forward to seeing? know of any other resources? let us know in the comments section! follow us on twitter and let us know who you saw and where you are heading.

everyone enjoy the festival, take advantage of the freebies out there, and make sure to take a cab if you need to. we want to see you around.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

we used to wait.

i mentioned earlier my hope to lessen the reliance on the 'to-go' cup. now, this is by no means saying that you can never drink coffee on-the-go, because we all have those moments where time is short and we need it. yes, need. but we'll get to that later.

there are really two reasons i hope to move away from this: one being the amount of waste that comes with cups that leave and never come back, and the second being that we are moving so quickly we may not even notice the time as it rushes past us.

for now, let's slow the world down for just a moment.

i think we move too fast. i, for one, am guilty of this. i tend to overbook myself so as to be in 17 places at one time, with no room for error. that's all fine and efficient, but the moments that have always carried the most weight came during the still. what if we allowed ourselves the time to sit and really enjoy the moment? to fully engage in the person we are meeting with. to enjoy our coffee.

one thing you can look forward to at vintage heart is an array of coffee mugs. you are probably thinking, 'uh.. yeah, i hope you would have coffee mugs.' more specifically, there will be a wall upon entering that will have hanging from it an assortment of 'in-house' mugs. go ahead, grab one and we'll fill it up for you. we'll make that perfect latte right there in the mug of your choice. more a fan of straight coffee? first, i applaud you and would love to talk to you about your favorite roast/bean/region. second, we'll fill it up for you, right there in that mug of your choice.

so how does this benefit you? i plan on working a cup discount into the menu. if you use one of our in-house cups, you just saved yourself (up-to) 50 cents, not to mention a tree or seven. what about if you bring your own? same. i am working on keeping cost low for both you and myself. with that said, the more reusable cups, the less you/we pay.

my hope is also that, by taking a brief second to select mug that you like, choosing the drink that you want, and having a seat to enjoy that little sip-of-heaven, you have slowed down your world for just a brief moment. i hope to provide a space that is conducive to conversation. a place to come as you are and meet with others. all the while sipping that perfect drink.

until our doors are opened, try to make a place for the slower moments in life.
take care.

oh, and if you see this cup on the wall, i call it.