dear citron sweethearts,
I am closing citron. crazy, right?
here’s the down & dirty: the paint business has been in the red, a lot. I should have been selling the paint for about $85 a gallon, because that’s what it costs. but I don’t, ‘cause this is tucson & I NEED the paint, like bad, so I do what any mainlining color addict would do, I work a side job so I get my hands on the good stuff. the other job, interior designer, was cool & generated enough income so I could subsidize the paint biz. which means I’ve been kinda working for free, but I could get smashing colors for free, too. hmmm.
now that I’m single & living part time in oakland (which is dreamy), I’ve realized I work perhaps a bit too hard for nothin’ & maybe I should think about a career where I don’t have to actually pay to keep my job. three things have haunted me & kept me from closing citron a while ago:
1. you, my amaaaazing clients
2. color consulting with you is the best job in the world.
3. like, I’m a paint junkie, okay? you don’t have to make it such a big deal.
imagine this, I’m invited into jane doe's home to help her pick color. she is chill, panicked, unsure, thrilled, stressed out. usually a bunch of those. I sit down & we narrow down how she wants her space to feel & we work through the other stuff & I teach her about color & push her to listen to herself & the palette is coming together & I am completely smitten & she’s sensing that this is going to be frickin’ gorgeous & she’s so relieved & excited & realizes she does have style, gosh darn it & the house will look like her, the real, relaxed, swanky her. and she gives me a hug & I get in my car & think, “I have the best job in the world” & then she paints her house & tells everyone how happy she is & writes me a thank you letter. really, a handwritten, heartfelt note & I get teary reading it & think, ”I am so lucky, I have the best clients in the world”. and then maureen & I go over the numbers & the balance sheet & I stifle a scream & think, “what will I do without the paint, without these beautiful clients? well, I’ll just have to do more design”. see what I mean?
so cheers to you, citron sweethearts, for embracing my baby paint company & helping me raise her. (i was a stay-home mom for 15 years before this, so I needed all your help.) you’ve recommended me, encouraged me, supported me & helped me grow as a colorist & paint-making person. i am so touched by your loyalty & kindness.
you showed up to raise my spirits, exactly when I needed it, with talk about “when citron goes public” (moira), you painted every house you’ve lived in since we met, is it 5 or 6? (jenni), coerced your whole family into hiring me & then painted your home, offices, vacation home & new home (dawn), you drenched every room in your home in citron, had me design most of your house, select your exterior colors, oversee your landscape design & then made your brother in manhattan beach bring me over for the day (jill), you tried a few home depot colors first, cause “citron is kind of pricey” & then realized citron is worth it, & did the same thing again & told me about it each time! (gillian). lordy, you’ve all been so good to me! part of the reason that I am able to step away now is because you recognized how deeply I cared that the colors were exactly right for you & you gave me back so much, that my heart is full. it has been a privilege to know you & be a part of making your home so righteously you.
c j vohs (yep, my new name)
I'd love to hear your feedback - please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment at facebook.com/color.candy.
my second, clarifying goodbye letter
to my citron family,
closing citron has been one the happiest experiences in my life. you have been so kind & so expressive, you are bringing me a joyful closure. your letters & comments & hugs & emails & voice messages are almost too beautiful to describe. & then there are your tears, seriously, guys, I stand in delighted wonder that citron made such a difference in your homes/lives.
i thank you for the freaking honor of creating colors that were good enough for you, because you each deserved delicious, dreamy color. your confidence that i would only make colors that kicked ass, made me feel so, well, confident. I thank you for inspiring me & sharing your homes & hearts with me.
bravo to us for wanting something more from such a basic commodity. for wanting paint to not suck, for wanting smoochiness in our houses. we were a part of seeing if a tiny color-obsessed paint store could shift the spectrum of buying paint. and by jove, we did! we learned to see color in a way that allowed us to imagine beauty & put it on our very own walls. paint colors that disappeared (or, dista-ppeared as my niece would say). we figured out that the walls could actually look amazing & our houses grew into something better. a client told me, “your colors make my walls melt into the desert.”
and yet, did I say that the industry is tough? that tucson is a small market shouldn’t mean that much, but its prideful frugality is what i think is killing so many locals entities, like mine. we should probably steer clear of the conversation about “color matchers” & how they drained our resources & siphoned about 80% of our biz. hmm, I think I sidestepped that nicely!
I’d like to take a minute to clarify:
1. I currently live in both tucson & oakland, with no set schedule. I may be remodeling an old house here in tucson, I may find more permanent digs in the bay. I may do both.
2. I am not sure what creative venture is next (a friend made me promise not to start a new company until january, a promise I just may not be able to keep, teehee). I will be doing some things for sure: skydiving, TIG welding, son-visiting, bronze casting, yoga-ing, volunteering.
3. I am interested in selling the citron line: my palette & formulas.
4. I’m also interested in not selling the line & seeing how it might evolve in the next few years.
5. I have several ideas percolating, so please stay connected with me through facebook & this email list.
thank you again for the outpouring of support. you guys are rockin’ my world.
c j vohs (smells like rose)
p.s. yep, I’m single, I’m just sayin’
click here to continue to the CITRON website.
the studio is CLOSED until our final, final SALE at the studio including design & paint goodies, furniture, fixtures, office supplies, home décor stuff, & more!
when: 10 - 6, thursday to saturday, november 14th to 16th
where: our studio at 7041 east tanque verde road, tucson, az 85715.
please note: we can no longer take paint orders.