When I was about 5 years old, I opened my first business. I sold polished rocks out of the back of my Big Wheel in front of our house on Meadowcreek Lane in Pearland, Texas. I had 1 customer who tried to return his purchase. I didn’t have a return policy, so I refused it. I know…horrid customer service skills for a 5 year old.
I’ve wanted to be a shopkeeper as long as I can remember. My grandfather owned an antiques store in Texas, and my mother has owned several antiques boutiques.
Not giving in and following this dream feels like trying to swim upstream in mountain rapids. I’m giving in and following the current. Terrifying, but maybe this is the way I’m supposed to go.
I signed the lease at 3750 Grand Blvd. in Brookfield, IL this last week. 1500 square feet of air-conditioned retail space right next to the Salt Creek Wine Bar. (No, there’s no secret pass through door. I asked.)
In addition to the items I sold as Bluebird Goods, I’m adding vintage furniture, jewelry, gift ware, candles, soaps, etc. After the initial opening, I’ll be adding Home Ec classes, which should be fun. Bring a bottle of wine, some friends, and learn something new. I met a lovely gal who teaches canning. I think we’ll start there!
Am I scared that our family will starve and live in a box by the river? Yup. I’m terrified. But I had a chat with a very lovely friend who reminded me that corporate America hasn’t exactly been consistently reliable, either. There are no guarantees regardless of who my boss is, so if I’m going to bust my ass for anyone, it’s going to be for my family.
I’ve been working really hard to get the space ready in time for the 4th of July parade, which runs right in front of the store. If I can get it “peek in worthy” by then, I’ll feel good.
Deep breaths…stay calm. Everything will be just fine. Everything will be jusssst fiiiiiiine. Whew.