Let’s be honest, this is NOT the blog I thought I would have been writing a month ago. I planned on talking about our 10 Year Anniversary celebration, the amazing people and projects that have walked through our doors and into our hearts, and the growth that we’ve seen over the years.
Today however, is a new day in the face of our country, our world, our economy, your kitchen table, and for small and big businesses everywhere. How does one even begin to translate what is happening into some cohesive sounding blog? All I can keep saying is “this is crazy- this is weird- this is surreal.” And then I think…this is just a blip, a small part of a bigger story that is life…and really do you want me pontificating on anything but positive thoughts?
So, in the spirit of positivity, I hope you will indulge me as I share some thoughts about the past 10 years…
10 years ago this month, we were in the final stages of receiving orders, painting floors and walls, and building our service desk. We were nervous and excited about opening the doors for the first time to perfect strangers. We were working countless hours, hustling 2 middle schoolers to school, swimming, track and soccer (we even celebrated Davis’ 11th birthday in the store!) We had friends helping us unpack, price, and set up displays with our new home accessories. And we were doing it all because I had this dream. A dream all of those lovely people helped make possible. It was amazing to see so many help us out, Bob and I were excited, exhausted and oh so nervous.
In these last 10 years, our store didn’t grow to the size of a Chip or Joanna (maybe in the next decade?), but what has grown is our hearts. Each time someone walked through our door and greeted us by name, who we hugged and talked about life with, our hearts all grew a little bit more. So, if this is as far as you get in this month’s blog (but you really should keep going because there are some fun things down the page), please know this-the PEOPLE are what have made this business what it is today, 10 years later. And those PEOPLE are the ones that will help us get through this together. And I also know that during a pandemic we should all be blessed with the people that I have in my life.
Until the time when we can welcome you back into our store, here are some of the highlights of these past 10 years:
- Do you know what the first item was that I sold in the store? A bird, a big bird. The funny thing about birds is that they are NOT on my list of favorite things to offer customers! Okay, I said that too gently. I DIDN’T want to sell birds in my store, but I was told I HAD TO. Well who’s laughing now? Maureen! Ironically, birds are some of our biggest sellers!
- How about some of the first design clients, John and Joanne, Janice- all still some of our favorite people…and they are kind enough to keep coming back for refreshes on their homes. How lucky are we??!
- Lynn, my store manager that we all know and LOVE: went home crying on her first day of work…over a lamp…Needless, to say she came back the second day…and 5 years later she is the glue that is keeping this all together!
- Thursday nights are the BEST. You know who you are- and you have made Thursday nights special for all of us for years!
- What started as a family business with my awesome husband, Bob, handling all of our marketing, deliveries, etc- the kids working in a multitude of ways including computer work, deliveries, and so much more, had grown to 12 employees. The bottom line is that I couldn’t have done any of this without my family supporting me. The funny part- I think I wore them out. I can barely get them to come to the store let alone work in it!
- Dozens of employees have walked these concrete floors, and their feet have more stories to tell than most! I am a better human thanks to many of these lovely ladies, and yes- we have been a full-on Women in business model since day one (Bob and Davis excluded). See, my goal was to offer a place where a woman could work part-time in order to have a flexible schedule for whatever reason she needed it. Along with that, I wanted a place where there was fun, positive, build-each-other-up feel every day. I hope that everyone that has graced this place feels that way today and always.
- Being part of the Downtown Business Association. I have the pleasure of celebrating 8 years as part of this great group. It has been a joy to be able to contribute to such a dedicated group of business owners, community members and of course, the amazing Diana Kenny.
- WE are MORE THAN just a STORE- My favorite Lynn quote. Truly, that summarizes the big picture of what my goals were all those years ago. To offer a kind word, a source of inspiration, a glass of something and a place to meet and make friends. I hope that you have felt that every time you have stopped by our store.
- This TEAM- To say the last year has been without challenges would be an understatement. Did I mention we moved? The team that is with me today, has had my back for these past 11 months and they are truly awesome. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I would not have survived without you. Thank you all.
- The future- There has not been a day in 10 years where I have not thought about the future of the business. Today is no different. And although none of us ever know what the future holds, today’s situation is something none of us could have predicted. For the first time in over 10 years, I don’t have an answer (ask my husband- he’d say I always have an answer). But whatever the future brings, it will be GREAT!
When this is all over (and I pray that it is sooner rather than later), and we are able to gather again, we will talk about our days filled with new found creativity, new ways to connect, new skills, new self-discoveries, new found joy and appreciation; it is then that we will look back and realize that we are stronger, we are better, we are more resilient than ever thought possible and then… we will hug.