I’m back in the recliner today. But I have a very good excuse. It is a very damp 39 degrees outside with an 11 mph wind. The skies are gray and a drizzle of rain is still falling. I know that compared to other parts of the country this is nothing; but, weather is relative and for me this is nasty. That damp cold just cuts right through my body and all I want to do is stay inside under a nice cozy blanket. In fact…no wait, I can’t do that. I have a mess to clean up today. And that mess is precisely why I am back in the recliner.
The closet in my whimsy room is far from whimsical. In fact it is downright frightening. This is where I shoved everything when I decided to make the room magical for Christmas. Opening the door invites bodily harm, possibly even suffocation by wool.
I finally went to work. I pulled out plastic containers of yarn, partially finished projects (WIPs: Work In Progress), odds and ends of crochet and weaving that I collect because I just know that I am going to create some magnificent fiber art masterpiece one day, a couple of boxes of leftover product from my retail days that I fully intended on selling at fiber art shows where I was going to be a vendor (another business idea gone bust). Nearly every encounter with the stuff from the shop owning experience leads to longing and a dream.
Before I knew it I had my beautiful little room cluttered with so much stuff I was overwhelmed. So I ate.
I did not go back into the room after dinner. And that is why I’m in the recliner. Here we are, a brand new day, and yesterday’s mess is still staring me in the face. I have a choice. I can close the door and wait for the fairies, elves, and gnomes to come make it cute, pretty and functional, or I can get up off my ever spreading rear end and go take care of business. The jury is still out.
Recurring Dreams & Lessons Not Learned
Do you have a recurring dream, or have you ever felt there is unfinished business in your life? I have a couple of them. Currently this is the one that keeps replaying over and over again.
Right before going to bed I saw a post on Instagram about a business that is either closing or moving – it was vague about that. Part of the space that is involved is attached to a coffee shop and one that I thought would make the perfect yarn and fiber boutique. It is small, like 8×10 small. The size of a bedroom. But it is adorable and folks could gather at the coffee shop for knitting and crochet groups and I could sell the things that I love. What a dream come true! I am completely sure that is what led to my recurring retail dream.
As is always the case, in the dream, I was trying to keep my business open or reopen a yarn shop after it had closed. This time, and I really like this concept, there were three businesses sharing a space. For some reason the space is usually some type of portable building that has been divided into sections. This dream was no different.
My mom was going to have a gift and home decor business (something she has done), I was doing yarn & fiber, and we found a couple of men who built furniture and they were going to occupy the third space. All three categories complimented one another as I was going to sell handmade items for the home in addition to the yarn & spinning fiber. Each one of us would be independently responsible for their own business but we would share the expenses of rent and utilities.
I dream about doing retail again on a regular basis. I have a very strong love hate relationship with it.
What I Love
I love having someplace of my own to go everyday. I love creating a beautiful shopping experience for people who love the things I love. I love finding special items, a beautiful yarn, luxurious fibers, and inspiration for fellow crafters to use and enjoy. I loved the look on people’s faces when they came in for the first time and just stood in amazement of all the beautiful things they could choose. I loved building relationships and sharing lives.
Community is at the heart of yarn shops; that safe place people could come to escape the world meant everything to me. Maybe it meant too much as I was much better at that than I was being a businesswoman. We are still paying off the debt incurred during those years. But I continue to dream of such a place again.
What I Don’t Love
Waiting. Sometimes it felt like endless hours waiting for customers to walk through the door. I never got over the “this is my shop and if I want to watch tv while spinning, crocheting or knitting, I can. I felt guilty if someone came in and “caught” me doing that.
I also didn’t love the accounting. Shockingly, I am not a numbers person.
My Dream or Devine Destiny?
I miss the good and think, if I were ever to try this again, I would have a grip on how to handle the not so good. Life gives us lessons that it seems we are doomed to repeat until we get it right. Maybe doomed is the wrong word…it sounds kind of dark. Maybe we are allowed to repeat certain things until we learn whatever it is we are to learn.
Is that why I keep dreaming about having another shop? Unfinished business?
When my business partner and I opened Yarntopia we were sure we were doing something, if not ordained, certainly guided by God. There was a sense of divine purpose. We were to be a safe place for people to belong and the yarn was to be the vehicle for bringing folks to us. At some point I think we both lost sight of this and took matters into our own hands. We made decisions based on our own wisdom – or lack there of – and that is always doomed to failure. We did it as a team and I did it as a sole owner. I placed my trust in the wrong place.
A Changing World
This morning I read that J. C. Penney is fighting to stay alive and relevant in today’s world. It is feared that they are headed down the same path as Sears & Roebuck (yeah, I’m old enough to remember that). What does this say about our world and the direction we are heading? Will we all stay in our jammies in a recliner and never leave the house? Now that groceries can be ordered online the delivered to your doorstep, and Amazon is poised to take over all retail shopping, is there really a need to go out and deal with all the crazies?
I would argue that there is a reason, and that is exactly what I will explore tomorrow on Thoughtful Thursday.
As for today, I’m going to have some brunch; I never seem to eat breakfast on time so I just combine them into one fabulous meal. Then I’m going back into my room and I’m going to assess what I have, and try to make good decisions about whether or not it fits with the direction I want my life to go. Much will get donated. Some will get discarded. And a few things will stay. I’ll keep you posted.
Until tomorrow…keep looking up, embrace today and go have some fun!