EVER NEED A LITTLE DIRECTION? JUST A LITTLE GUIDANCE TO SEE WHICH WAY TO TURN?
"Don't part with your illusions.
A little over a year ago I wrote a blog post called
Lessons From Mr. Magorium (and my own "Wonder Emporium") in which I shared my dream to expand to a large storefront -- an as yet unrealized dream.
In the last year I have not lost that dream and in fact I would have to say that it has grown even clearer for me and in many ways I stand amazed that I even still consider such a move.
I mean, to listen to the talking heads on television, it would seem that no one in their right mind (key word "right mind") would even consider expanding a business such as mine.
Oh, I don't need to list my entire store here -- but you get the picture. Its all wonderful stuff, but in times that we're being told are "legendary" and the "worst in decades", why would I even entertain the idea of expanding a business based on "elegant essentials & sensible luxuries"?
Because regardless of whatever may be happening "out there", women still seem to want/need that little extra something that makes their home a bit more cozy, a bit more "homey" and beautiful.
I've recently heard of something called the "Lipstick Factor" (or something like that). Basically, it means that no matter how "bad" things get, women will always find a way to give themselves a little pick-me-up -- even if it's just a new lipstick.
I'm seeing the "Lipstick Factor" in spades in my shop.
Perhaps it is the fact that we are staying in more. We're choosing relaxing evenings at home with the family instead of big nights out on the town. Spending the vacation at home in our own towns instead of a big family trip across the country.
As such, we're focusing more on our homes and truly making them our havens. So, that means a beautifully scented luxurious candle you just received in the mail is lit at night after dinner while you watch your fave show.
Maybe as you walk through the house doing your homekeeping (because maybe the maid service was one of the first expenses to be cut back on), your eye catches the impeccably made linen pillow on a chair.
Your hand reaches inside the pocket on your cute apron to retrieve the tin of lavender-scent furniture cream and you're off to lovingly dust off the hall table - leaving the fragrant memory of lavender behind when you're done.
See what I mean? Even in hard times, a woman will typically still find some way to fill her daily life with beauty for herself and her family.
So back to The Beautiful Life and why I'm still more intent than ever on expanding to a large, fabulous storefront....
In the last year I've connect more with "locals" from my own town as well as surrounding towns and the common remark/theme is "Oh I wish we had something like your store HERE! We don't have anything like it!"
Now I'll be first the admit, flattery will get you EVERYWHERE with me! :) But somehow the words of these many women rings true, as more than just empty flattery.
So, what would you do? I've had some say "Stay put! Why would you go out on a limb at this time? Rather than spend more money expanding, sock that money (or even less) into more national advertising, more inventory, employees to help lighten your load.
Well, this does make sense. But tell that to the dream inside.
The dream that WILL NOT BE QUIET. The dream that says "See, I told you so" everytime yet another woman pleads with me to open near them.
I told someone last week, when mentioning my recent stick in my hand with a sharp ink nib (and she was mentioning a recent wound she got cleaning a beautiful glass chandelier) something like "Hey, the way I look at is this: if you're not gettin' hurt, you ain't livin', baby."
That keeps coming to mind with regard to my "dream", the idea of expansion. Some would say that you won't fail if you don't try. I say the greatest failure would be to never try. I'd rather try and fail (of course I'd much rather NOT FAIL) than to have always wondered....
I was once asked "What makes you cry?" Without hesitation the answer came - unrealized dreams.
I even have what looks like a "perfect" storefront in mind. It's in the old, historic section of town; a fabulous old brick wall runs the front-to-back of the store; there are tin ceilings, a large area (almost like a porch) outside in front of the store with a black wrought iron short fence between the side walk and the store. I can just picture how I'd have that porch area decorated throughout the year already!
Counting the first & second floor areas, it totals almost 10,000 sq. ft. (yeah, it's fairly HUGE). I'd LOVE to live above and have the shop below. I've always dreamed of doing that. I could invite a favorite customer (you!) up for an impromptu cup of tea. Walk my dog off and on throughout the day (in the FABULOUS town-square park across the street!). Doesn't it sound dreamy?
So again I ask...what do YOU think? What would you do if you were me? Play it safe for now? Bide my time and continue to dream but move a bit more cautiously, for now? Plunge right in? Sign the papers tomorrow? :)
Its just nice to have you guys to "talk to" -- this has all been spinning about in my pretty little head for so long now and I just wanted to put it all out there and see what the girlfriends think.
So am I nuts, or what? :)