I’ve always looked at running a business with two different approaches in mind; either it’s a business that takes the front seat while your personal life is completely separate, or it’s a marriage between your business and your personal life, together as one.
Is one approach the “wrong way”, is one of the right? It probably just comes down to the type of business in all honesty, if we’re were talking about a law firm or an insurance company or something of that nature then I could completely see the separation be appropriate but if it’s a “Mom & Pop Shop” then I think the imperfections and the chaos with family and friends is just part of the charm.
This “Charm” we were looking for would need to include our family and friends in a way that was normal and natural, we decided to ask two of our friends to be part of our journey, both of which agreed.
“Life is good” I thought to myself but I knew that with so much good there had to have been something coming that would be completely unexpected, to ground us back into reality and it was the news of the death of a friend that did just that.
Death has a way of flipping your life upside down while it seems everyone else’s world is still right side up and with virtually no understanding for your personal situation.
Here I was, my world remained right side up but I knew there had been a tilt with friends and coworkers and that their lives had been thrown into this state of sadness and confusion. Had I been affected by the death? Absolutely. But my perspective was very different from a lot of others and I did not see a need in dwelling in a dark place, all questions I had personally were now irrelevant, all concerns, all confusion, they were now buried; this death taught me that.
We decided to raise money for the family, did they have insurance or any kind of assistance? Who knows, who cares, we had to do something to support those left behind so we managed to take part of a fundraiser, offering soap for donations which ended up being very successful for the family.
It was such an odd time, it felt like “Are we supposed to be happy we’re starting this business” are we even allowed to be? But at the end of the day I knew we needed to move forward.
I’d only met the Clancy’s once, very briefly then Joe met them with me right after, even more brief than the first visit.
Kids running around everywhere, a young couple taking on another business and family trying to figure everything out as they went.
I loved it and I was sold. Who knows what impression they got from us, apparently it was not bad right?
We signed the paperwork and slowly began working on our shop, it was one of those situations where money was not just flowing in and at times we would have to choose between eating or sleeping, or putting time and money towards the shop.
We decided to have a preview day, lots of soaps were on the shelves, lots of odds and ends, no candles yet but we simply wanted to share our vision with everyone that’s been following us for some time.
We opened the doors to the “preview day” and were not blown away by the crowd but we were pleasantly surprised to see just how many people came in throughout the day.
We had literally nothing sitting outside, not even half of our inventory out on the shelves and the original sign still hung on the front of the building, even with all of that going against us and the fact that nothing was for sale, it was literally just a preview of the shop, we had an amazing response!
We knew we would be ready to open the following weekend.
While we were both working full time and trying to stock, research and prepare for our shop we found ourselves there until 3 am the next morning and I remembering back several years when the opportunity to run a small cafe became available and my parents and I decided to go in on it together.
It was odd because the relationship between myself and my parents has always been spotty, I guess you could chalk it up to them being young parents with lots and lots of boys, my rebellious teenage years, a lack of want, need or understanding from all ends and so on and so fourth but being forced to spend nearly every day together and work with each other certainly helped to fill in whatever gap there was at that time and that’s something I will always remember and will always be extremely grateful for.
I remember cleaning and cleaning and cleaning that place up, trying to get it ready and stocked. I specifically remember opening day because I was running on probably an hour of sleep, if that. We had no menu and we were absolutely slammed, that was rough.
So here I was once more, about to embark on a business venture we knew we wanted but we’re not quite ready for in all reality. It really helped my confidence when the owners came in around 8 or 9pm saying they could smell the store from across the street. I know I’d been exposed to candle and soap making all my life but I was in no way an expert, so to hear good things before we were open really did help us to realize we were on the right track.
We left the shop around 3am and returned just after 6am. We had decided to open on “Treasure Day” probably the biggest day for our town, Rosebud.
What were we thinking?
We were not prepared for the massive crowd that came in but we loved it. People responded really well with our shop and even if it was a work in progress, we had a lot of support and it looked to be a great start for our dream turned business.