Hello friends, hope all is well!
I sit here in my comfy chair in the early morning hours, unable to sleep, thoughts whirling, ideas twirling. My mind swirling in sundry directions as I contemplate my next project. But this one thought keeps circling back through my planning mode like a jagged little knife, cutting its way through my pretty plans and stifling my creative energy a bit. So, I'm going to nip it in the bud, talk about it, and remove it from my system.
It's not a big issue to discuss, nothing with any real sustenance. But it is something that has hurt me and put a damper on my thoughts. Just one of those fleeting comments by strangers that stings in a place that stings a little more than other places.
14 months ago, I opened a PETITE vintage and home decor store. It is small, just 484 square feet.
It was MY dream to do this. As a child, I often watched Little House on the Prairie. I didn't want to be Laura or Mary or Nellie. I wanted to be Nels Olsen, General Store Proprietor. I was enamored with his store, everything in it, the displays, the old fixtures, all of it. My Mom and Dad would giggle at my fascination with the Mercantile, but that fascination was so real to me.
We live in a small town where commercial spaces are few and far between. We live in a world where rent is outrageous. We live in a world where owning a small business is next to impossible.
But we also live in a world where magical things can happen!
So when a small sign in the corner of an old building IN OUR TOWN less than a mile from our house caught my eye, we decided to check into it. We peeked in the windows and knew the space was small. But a girl's got to start somewhere. And it would be MINE. And it would be bigger than a booth at the antique mall.
When the landlord opened the door, I didn't see small.
I saw POSSIBILITY.
I saw my DREAMS.
I saw QUAINT.
And I saw my own version of Mr. Olsen's MERCANTILE.
I saw an old building with a cute old door with a mail slot. And an old stone step. And a white rusty sign holder. And a great big window for ever-changing displays. And plenty of sidewalk area to bring my wares outside to create curb appeal.
I saw my dreams unfolding in front of my eyes.
And it was like the heavens opened up above 13 E. Waterloo Street and shined the brightest, most illuminating light over that building.
So here I am today, still enamored with my dreams, at least on most days. I get overwhelmed sometimes. I get stressed out and worried and wonder if I made the right decision to open a business during this economic time of government furloughs and recessionary ebbs. But generally speaking, I'm content and happy and satisfied.
Until that random visitor to my sanctuary looks around with a discerning eye and says it.
"Don't you wish you had a larger space?"
Ummm, hell yes, I WISH I had a larger space. I wish I had a big old IOOF building with exposed brick and old tin ceilings and original pine hardwood floors. And let's throw in an antique chandelier dripping with glass prisms. And a back room just as big as the showroom for storage. And my own parking lot. With a parking spot just for me. And a grassy knoll. And a semi to haul all my stuff around. And workers and staff to do everything for me.
But I don't. I have 484 square feet of space. I have a drop ceiling and newly installed floors. I have florescent lighting. I have aluminum siding. I have a "back room" the size of a peanut. I have no parking lot and have to move my car every couple of hours to avoid getting a ticket. I have about 2 feet of gravel out back. And a rusted out beater cargo van. And I have ME. To do everything.
And you know what, I have those things. I pay my rent on time, because it is a space that I can afford. I rearrange and freshen my shop all the time because it is a size that I can manage. I think I create a space that inspires and creates happiness.
Just yesterday, right after I got the comment "don't you wish you had a larger space?", I later got a comment "I had to come get a dose of happy from Georgie's." And another comment "I love the coziness of this place."
While that recurring comment about having a larger space tends to jab at me somewhere deep inside, I will continue to remind myself just how blessed I am and how much I actually love my tiny space in my tiny town with my wonderful neighbors and customers.
"big things come in small packages"
Thank you for reminding me why I did this and why I chose this place.
Or rather, why this place chose me.
Because, you know what, I wouldn't have it any other way.
~ vintage love ~