What a difference a year makes!
We signed our first commercial lease in December 2019 then buildout began in January 2020. Hiccups happened along the way (oh hey leaking roof, flooding back office, $2k+ worth of inventory that went missing on its way to us…) and it felt like we’d never finish. Right as we were nearing the end, itching to throw the doors open and invite everyone in for our grand opening party the lockdowns began. The party was postponed but the work continued.
Orders came flooding in over the spring… Partners were stranded cities apart; I packed the anniversary gifts adorned with flowers and hand written love letters. Best friends were missing each other and minding the quarantine; I transcribed inside jokes onto cards and sent care packages. Birthdays came and went; I wrapped the special candles for them to blow out later over FaceTime. Co-workers lost loved ones; I wrote your condolences and sent the carefully selected comforting offerings.
Eventually we quietly opened the doors on July 1 and slowly we started meeting our neighbors. We saw their shoulders drop when they came in, we felt them relax almost instantly. This little refuge we’d envisioned for so long was finally being shared!
A writer from Vox recently asked if I felt like I’d “made it.” I said no way! I’ll probably never feel that way. I’m a perpetual self-doubter and nothing is ever 100% done to me. When she rephrased the question to “Have you been successful in your mission?” I was able to confidently answer yes. It’s been an honor this year to be a part of your connection. I am filled with gratitude every day that we can be of service in this way. I am also happy to offer a tranquil getaway. I’m thankful to our partners that have trusted us to share their offerings with our community. I’m extra thankful to the partners that trusted us from Day One two years ago when we had zero audience. I'm working on expanding our collection of talented makers and look forward to introducing new names soon.
And now it's New Year's Eve and everyone is more than ready to put 2020 behind them. I'm ready for brighter days too, but I'm also sitting with my gratitude today. We opened a brick and mortar in the middle of a freaking pandemic and it wasn't a complete disaster. Thank you.