It's Not Perfect . . . Yet?
Updated: Oct 15, 2022
All right, you did it!
. . . And now it's the same ol' same ol' of going to work every day. Your feet/back/neck hurt(s) because you never sit down. There's never enough time. I can't possibly stock every single little thing someone's looking for. Not all the stock is in (or you're always caught re-stocking and people have to confirm you're actually open and don't have some elvish nightshift for that). People's attention spans are short. People don't read, no matter how much bright paper you use at eye-level. People are excited and promise to come back; foot traffic is heavy and sales are light. Apparently I've "got a lot of neat stuff" but compliments don't pay this rent. Yes the space is huge, but that doesn't mean it's empty (like, do people want to be enclosed in caves of shelving or something? Does clutter help hide the emptiness within oneself?). Someone comes in and touches almost everything and puts it back down wrong while complaining how gross kombucha is. Traffic and sales are completely unpredictable (and therefore so is my mood, apparently). People are somehow confused that my prices are the same as a local artist's retail cost or manufacturer prices online. Sometimes I'm underprepared for class. Everything takes longer to cook with tiny hotplates and ovens. Don't even think about looking in the back (it's a bona fide mess). I think I knew it would be like this in theory, but that is-this-going-to-work feeling is awfully strong.
It's not perfect! But - people still can't stop welcoming me and telling me how glad they are I'm here. I've met so many people in the last few weeks and everyone has been nice (even booch-is-gross lady). And once I get over myself I realize - I am still getting to do what I wanted: to meet people, to support local artists and products with intention, and I do occasionally get to play with food. Sometimes I even get to do it outside. I've met some amazing teachers and experts in their fields. I've met fierce older women and genuinely nice guys. I'm gifted surplus produce, or experimental pickles. I've gained an Auntie. I'm pretty sure my granny would never expect visitors to be so interested and amazed by a quilt she made just for simple necessity. There are so many opportunities for growth, both in the business and the space and in my personal life - y'all don't know how friendless I've felt in the last few years and I think I'm finally finding my people (now if I could just remember everyone's name!). And there are more of them in this town (including visitors who feel at home here) than I ever expected!