Monday, January 6, 2014

Jump: Part 2

One of the ideas I thought about a lot in 2011 when contemplating what else I could do other than the enamel jewelry is opening up a retail space of my own. I loved having a store open to the public, but in Stone Mountain, it wasn't really ours. We shared the space with other artists, and we had to get approval for anything we wanted to do or sell. 

I dreamed of having a retail store, not a gallery, focusing on gifts and accessories. I have met so many awesome artists/crafters over the past couple of years... people making jewelry, home decor, soaps, candles, clothing, bbq sauce, and everything in between, all original stuff made in the USA.  My vision was a really cool, indie shop that carried the best of the best craft show items... a constantly changing inventory of those interesting handmade items that you can't get at department stores.

But, after deciding to continue with the jewelry biz at home, this gift shop idea was put on the "10 year goal list" and I didn't think too much more about it. 



In early November of this year, we went and ate lunch at one of the Italian restaurants (Amici) in downtown Monroe. It was a gorgeous fall day, perfect weather... soft breeze... we parked across from the restaurant and right in front of an antique store that had a "store closing" sale going on. 

Goosers went to get a table and Nolan and I walked through the antique shop, just looking around. As we passed the front checkout area, I started talking to the lady there, and discovered she lives in our neighborhood... so weird. We started talking about the store closing and she told me the rent/utilities weren't bad at all, she just didn't have the time to keep it open with her other job. I told her a little about my business, and she gave me the building owner's card. I put it in my purse and went to meet the rest of the fam at the restaurant.


Amici's has outdoor tables so Goose and I are sitting there, eating pizza with the boys, talking about how cozy the historic square of Monroe is... how it feels so "small town" and authentic. I told him about the store and the rent being so reasonable. We weren't really seriously considering it, but just dreaming about having a store of our own... and how awesome it would be to have a separate place for Sailor Studio and have our house just be "home" again. 

After lunch I decided to go into the Sanders furniture store, which is owned by the same guy who owns the other building, just to look around. I met Mr. Sander's daughter and asked her about the space. She took my info and said she would ask her dad and get back to me.

The next day, we were nearby with some family so we walked through again and got some other opinions on the space. 

 This was on the front door, might be my favorite part... ha!

Then, a few days later Mr. Sanders (who I liked immediately- such a sweet man, so positive and encouraging) called me and we talked for a little while about the space, about the rent and when it would be available. Then, we toured the space with him when it was cleaned out and took some pictures.

Old hardwood floors... love!! And all the walls are on wheels, 
so they can be moved around which is awesome.

There was also this little white gated area in the back from 
when it used to be a children's furniture store. I think we 
are going to keep it for Hubba and the boys to have 
a little play area.


Basement has tons of storage space

 There is a little loft space in the back which the boys have already claimed, 
it has a tiny window where you can look down into the store.

We decided to think and pray about it for awhile and just focus on the upcoming holidays. Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend were HUGE on Etsy so I was staying busy getting orders out in time for Christmas. 

Also in the middle of all this, I started having odd pains and other little health issues and ended up having a minor surgery in November. Thankfully, it wasn't serious and I was able to get back to my normal routine by the time Thanksgiving came around.

Then at the end of December, after really enjoying Christmas and our vacation with no work talk allowed, Goose looked at the numbers. He added up our sales through Etsy, craft shows, and wholesale orders along with all the expenses for the year. He told me if we wanted to shift focus from a new house for now, and try out the store, we were actually in a good place to do it. We had saved enough money to not have to go into debt for it, and if we move in and start bringing in income by spring, it could definitely be a worthwhile endeavor. 

After that, it became real... I mean if my voice of reason husband was on board, that was huge!

So we decided to just go for it... and on December 30th, 
we met with Mr. Sanders and signed the lease. 

So Goose and I are officially store owners! 

We will set up a studio space in the back to continue making jewelry and expand the online and wholesale parts of the business, and then make a retail space in the front to sell my jewelry along with other handmade items.


There are a million and a half things to do before we open, and I was freaking out a bit about all the "what-ifs" of our decision, but after Goose's parents and my mom and Randy came out and we prayed in the space I feel much better. We prayed that God would lead us each step of the way and help keep our focus on what is really important, and to give us peace about the looming "unknowns" ahead of us. I know there will be ups and downs, but nothing will happen that God is not in control of. 

So please keep us in your prayers as we start this 
adventure... We definitely couldn't do it without 
all the support and encouragement from our 
families and friends!

Love you all!! :)