how is it having a store?
it's wonderful. i am doing WHAT I WANT TO DO. that's pretty remarkable. i have no crazy boss screaming at me and having unprovoked mood swings. i don't have to ask anyone if i need to leave early. i don't have to go on wild goose chases, i'm allowed to tell people if they are being unreasonable, i pick who i want to as co-workers, i determine what i think is fair and i am proud of what i'm offering.
i work hard. everyday. i keep working when i get home at night. since what i 'do' is also my biggest hobby now, it never ends. after spending the day looking at fabrics and blogs for inspiration and helping clients and ordering things for the store and painting furniture, i come home and look at magazines and walk around our neighborhood at night time peering in people's windows from the street for inspiration. i search for interesting vintage furniture, i clip out merchandise i want for the store, i meet with design clients at night, i go over numbers again and again to make sure i can pay my taxes and take pictures of what we're eating for dinner so i have something to talk to yal about. and then i paint furniture again.
i don't make much money. i'd like to one day. the key is diversifying. retail alone will NOT do it. it's about the store. and the decorating. and the custom furniture. and painting furniture for customers. and the blog. and advertisers. and e-decorating. and selling fabric. and having an online store. and one day, a scent, a china pattern and a line of dog beds.
if i had kids, i don't see how i could do this. i also could not do it without a few really important people who i count on each and every day: keila the intern who makes it all happen and buys me kimonos, david the painter/cobbler/lamp maker who thinks he's hamish bowles, my mom who always shows up with a new mirror, my accountant, deanna who brings me lunch and unloads furniture, lauren brings me coffee and funny stories, caroline helps me remember to stay classy, and rowdy who at the very least gets me outside every few hours - but at the very most is dog perfection. and brian meares, who comes in the store every now and then and says, 'wow, furbish is real'.
it's a risk. every day you have to keep taking them. will people buy this? should i order more? try something different? is this too expensive? is this too cheap? should i paint these chairs blue and cover them in crazy fabric? will people buy them or tell me it's awful? it's not vegas. you can't cash out when you're up. you have to spend money to make money, and that's scary.
and then when you make it, you have to pay 37% of it to the gov't. so one day the bank acct is all dolla dolla bill$ and the next day, nada.
i get lots of emails from people wanting advice, and for me to share my story. i'm not ignoring you - i just don't physically have the brain power or time to answer every email.
i get excited when something sells, or i get a new client, or finish a project i'm proud of, but then you have to go right back to making it all happen.
it's a jump. a leap of a faith. every day.
but it's worth it.