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November 26, 2018

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Small Business Usual Chaos

Owning a small business and having 3 kids...or just having 3 kids...or just having a kid...wow it's a lot to say the least! But isn't life meant to be busy, constantly changing, spent surrounded by loved ones? Some days are easier than others, some nights are better slept than others, some days I think I look and feel better than others. But I'm so grateful for the ride I'm on, my kids, my husband, my customers, my friends, and my family, or the customers who have become my friends and often feel like my family. 

I work more than I don't work and even if I'm not physically at the store I'm often doing something behind the scenes for the store or website; answering an email, ordering or reordering something, setting an item up, taking a picture, promoting, planning, etc. I honestly would not recommend retail to most people, even if it's just online or just part time. Being a family owned business in 2018 means I get to compete with Amazon, Target, Walmart, along with all the other online only businesses. So don't forget that when you order from me or walk into my store there isn't a conglomerate or giant warehouse filling your order or helping you in the back. We are a mom and pop store trying to make it. Retail is a roller coaster but we value uniqueness, personal service, and the ability to shop online and in a physical space. Need help? Just email or message us and we will gladly do so! 

Fulfillment

I have always struggled with my career in merchandising. Simplified what do I do for a living? I buy and sell stuff. I don't save lives as a nurse or doctor, fight for justice as a lawyer, teach children the fundamentals of learning, or save animals as a vet. I have always loved all the parts of my career except the part about self fulfillment; understanding my purpose on earth. But in this honeymoon phase of our brick and mortar store it came to me that I'm more than just a shopkeeper; I'm a counselor of people. While my job is selling stuff I don't just do that. I talk to grandmas, moms, dads, grandpas, aunts, uncles, kids of all ages. But I don't just talk about the unimportant things but the bigger than life things. In connecting with my customers I have started to build relationships, share stories of heartache and joy, share learnings and ask questions.

Owning my business means I don't have much to hide. I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend. My kids are often peeking around the corner or out in the open for anyone to see. People see how I parent, how I nurture, how I teach and in turn I see that from others. This sense of community is like none other. It's not a mass market, warehouse, impersonal thing. It's the old fashion mom and pop shop. The one you want to drop in to say hi. The one you bring your kids by because oftentimes they too enjoy it. 

So I say dig deep, evaluate your purpose, and you too may find understanding where you least expected it.

Dear Stranger

Dear Stranger,

I know you saw me when I reprimanded my child for jumping off the couch at home. 

I know you saw me when I disciplined my child for dumping his toys on the ground and didn't clean them up.

I know you saw me when I yelled at my child for crossing the street and not looking both ways.

I know you saw me when I taught my child lying is not acceptable.

I know you saw me when I revoked television privileges for disobeying. 

I know you saw me when I reminded my child to sit still and listen during church.

I know you saw me when I iced my child's bumps and bruises. 

I know you saw me when I rocked my child to sleep when they were sick.

I know you saw me when I cried worried my child would never be listen.

I know you saw me when I nursed him in public and was asked when I was going to stop.

I know you saw me when I prayed I would one day be a mom.

Kids are kids.

Life is full of noise.

If you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all. 

Stop being a bully.

Do unto others as they would do unto you. 

Help instead of hurt.

Love instead of hate.