I've been slack blogging lately, but for good reason!
Since I closed the former Shops On Depot store that I had taken over from a friend, I have really wanted my own place, not just for the store, but for workshop space, storage for projects in the works and also a Studio to hold my classes in. Honestly, those were my favorite things about the former shop. Since I had taken over ownership of that store, it was setup and run in many ways that would have been different had it been mine from the start. Don't get me wrong, it was an awesome experience, I had wonderful vendors and our customer base grew daily. It was exciting to see my vendors doing so well, but it became much more "work" and requirement of me than I was ready for at that point in my life.
The old downtown building that store was in was beyond costly to heat and cool and in taking over that shop, in addition to assuming what was already in place...costly vendor software, security system, insurance and all else that goes along with running a shop of that size and amount of vendors.
When the stress began to bleed into my personal life, I hired several people for various aspects of running the store, painting furniture,etc. Little did I know, that would hurt me more than help.
In my personal life, I was dealing with so much. My adult daughter is bi-polar and at that time was struggling, off her medication and self medicating with an addiction that was taking it's toll on our entire family. That, along with all else going on personally at the time would have been enough to cause most anyone to need to pause, and so I took the advice of a couple I hired and allowed them to manage the store, including the financial end of things, so that I could get re-focused and de-stress.
Needless to say, as I mentioned that hiring assistance hurt more than helped, the entire time I was "away", not a single cash deposit was made. The only funds that went into the bank were what was automated - credit cards. By the time I realized this, the damage was beyond repair and combined with my personal life at the time, I just could not see past the moment and decided to close.
It took me the entire year and then some to get over having been wronged by people that I trusted so openly. And to forgive those that were involved in teaming up with them, unknowingly, and trying to damage my name as a means of shadowing what they had done. The lies that they created and tried so very hard to get others to believe were only a reflection of them. My vendors who had been with me so long, as well as those who knew me on a personal level knew better. Still the bottom line with the huge bills at our location and my personal situation made it a relief to close the store at the time. It was bigger than I ever intended it to be, which was wonderful, but not what I needed or wanted at that point in my life.
I was so happy to go back to just doing what I love, painting furniture! However, I missed having the workshop and began to really want a space of my own...just a little place where I could work and show my pieces. Nothing huge or in any way as big as the former shop.
I believe everything happens for a reason, and how I came to finally decide to pursue a store for Thrifty Little Things now seems so meant to be. God always has perfect timing. Sometimes, circumstances that seem unfair or negative in the moment turn out to be His way of pushing us through a door we might otherwise have only stared at.
For the past several years, I had maintained my booth in a local antique mall. I also taught classes for their brand of paint. My 20 year history with all brands and types of paints eventually led me to the decision to no longer promote that brand because I felt that I was misleading customers. It looked great and painted well, but over time, I began to realize that the pieces I painted wore very easily and excessively. Although my promotion of that paint brand had nothing to do with my booth which had been their long before that paint even existed, once I told them I would no longer promote the brand, I was told I had 30 days to dismantle my booth. I was shocked and at the time upset, because one thing had nothing to do with the other. But I now know it was God's way of pushing me to the next level. I would have never moved out of that booth, otherwise.
And so, here I am! The perfect location became available the same week that I found out I had to move my booth. One thing led to the next and Thrifty Little Things store is in the works!
I can't wait to share photos and more details of the new shop with you all. I have great plans for it! However, it will be my own small space, with workshop, Studio classroom and all that I want for my own business, just how I want it, so that my passion continues to be my passion :D
Stay tuned! We're opening soon and the first Chalk Paint class in The Studio is October 15th!
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