Sometimes you don’t realize you’ve had a dream until you walk into a new bakery, at least that was my experience. I walked into a bakery to buy some bread and immediately envisioned a gift shop inside. I hit up the owners to share my idea and they weren't too keen on it so I kept looking…and started buying inventory for the shop I didn’t yet have. I’ve been romanticizing about owning a little shop for as long as I can remember. I have images on my phone of inventory from years ago that I'd want to carry in my future shop; unique, handcrafted items made by real makers rather than being mass produced. The day I got the keys I pulled up the carpet and the renovations continued each day after. I'd drop my son off at school in the morning and head straight to the shop to do what needed to be done - removing carpet staples one by one, tearing down partial walls, sanding drywall mud, painting, etc. As a small business, I knew I'd have to pinch pennies where I could so I started "collecting" furniture and other items to use as fixtures throughout the summer. Some came from neighbors, yard sales, and side of the road finds. In this space, I didn't have an image for the shop, just a feeling - a place you walk in that feels whimsical, playful, and takes you away from the surroundings outside for a brief minute where you can linger in simple joy. The shop has blossomed into a whimsical eclectic boutique where each little space is filled with fun finds you didn't know you needed. After one of the more challenging days of hard laborious work and questioning my decision to open a full-on shop, I was greeted by a text message congratulating me on an article in the Memphis Business Journal that posted that day. It was a gentle reminder to keep going. So here I am, one week before my grand opening, getting all the things sorted out, feeling exhausted, full of stress to where my capacity to feel excitement is minimal and I find another reminder to keep going; a small vase of flowers on my shop door that forced some of the stress out via tears in order to make room for joy - tears to remind me to keep going. I hope to see you in my new space soon!
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