Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Opening for Business November 1st?!??!

Am I insane?

That's a question I get a lot, often from myself. I have a baby less than 2 months old. I am a single mother of four. I work as a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist over 45 hours per week. My laundry is never finished, my hair is hardly ever done, and I am usually late with my professional paperwork. Life is crazy.

Still, after selling antiques and vintage furniture and accessories at my own shop for about three years, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I would drive by empty commercial spaces, calling landlords, sometimes touring and dreaming about another shop. I also would visit my favorite old antique hunting spots and find treasures. My home filled up, and it soon became apparent that I needed an outlet.

Wherever I went, people would ask me: What happened to your shop? I miss your shop. Abigail's was my favorite store, when are you going to have another shop???

I tried to find a space to rent in another store. Most were just plain full, one promised a spot, but never called, and another offered a room, but it was too small for my enormous furniture tastes. Nothing seemed to fit.

One day in September, I was driving down 4th Street on my way to meet a client. I noticed an adorable old Victorian house for sale. I remembered going inside once- there was a stained glass shop a couple years ago. I called the realtor. She was also the owner, and I asked her if she would be willing to lease the building. She said she would, and just an hour later, she showed me the inside. It was rough, needing tons of paint and other work, but the rent was reasonable and it would be a perfect spot to re-open my shop. I scraped up all the money I had left (I was still on maternity leave and hadn't been paid in over a month) for the deposit.

I've spent late nights painting walls, floors, and furniture. Every penny of my disposable income has gone toward inventory and supplies. I've had to beg, steal and borrow (ok, not steal) for help babysitting and painting the shop. I have been physically exhausted after mowing, cutting trees, raking, then going back to my day job the next morning after waking up every two hours with my baby.

So here I am.

Opening my new shop in less than two weeks.

It's not ready. There are still walls to be painted. I have no signs, no credit card machine, no phone, and not enough inventory. I have no money for advertising. Hopefully, everything will magically come together at the last minute like it always does. And if it doesn't, then it will come together when it is ready. But I will open November 1st.

And the answer to the question...Am I insane?
Well, yes...no...maybe.

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