When I went to another Pier 1 (in Massachusetts) for the first time I was shocked - it was so Pottery Barn esque. My Pier 1 was NOT like that. I don't know how it managed to offer such a different breed of goods... maybe they all did, but then swapped over to a different aesthetic? Was it some sort of franchise owner choice? Who knows - I just know that I looooved the Portland one. It had a marvelous & altogether strange mix of stuff. My mom brought my sister & I there frequently. As young children we mostly stayed in the toy part, but then I got older and bought quirky lamps & lanterns & toiletries & jars &... you get the drift.
The store also served as my Blue Q supplier. If you were my friend in middle school / high school, you got a Blue Q bag from me at one point or another. I also garnered an impressive array of totes of my own and they were a vital part of my college dorm move in ritual each year (they transported my dvd collection, books & shoes). Now I mostly use 'em for groceries & book sales. They were awesome yet inexpensive - a perfect combo.
Blue Q is still awesome (& not only because they sent me a box full of swell goods) & I probably appreciate them even more than I did as a 16 year old because in the 10 (I can't even believe that I'm about to turn 26) years since then I've developed an illustration obsession (evidence here & here & here, & on this blog) and Blue Q has products designed by some of my favorites - Helen Dardik, Nate Duval, Brie Harrison, Inaluxe & more. Just... delightful.
I'm going to cease with the words now. Just look at some of these attractive things...