As many of you probably know by now, at the end of July we moved our operation to a building at 42 1/2 Garfield Avenue, East Palestine, Ohio.
You've seen the pix of the shop transformation:
My dad, working on the new work/classroom table.
My wall of doors:
My repurposed jewelry displays and hillbilly wineglasses:
In this tough economy, you might wonder why in the world I made the choice to move to a building NOW. I mean, we were out of my house for 24 years! It was working out okay....wasn't it?
It was pretty crowded, but we managed:
This is back when Rachael worked with us. Here we are for a group photo a few years back:
Rachael and Chelsea worked with us each about six years. They have both moved on but we love and miss them. Jordan, Lauren, and Shelley are still here.
Now we have Rob and Andrea, my nephew and niece!
It's been a long, long haul, beginning with when my son was a baby. Back then, I was trying to do something that fed my soul...and bought diapers.
Now, I'm trying to do something that feeds my soul, helps others, and keeps my family together.
And buys some decent coffee!!
ANYWAY.... here's the REAL dirt:
Some years ago there was some flap about the City of East Palestine, where we live, doing an annex on the end of the street where my house is located. This would have been a good thing, because all of us have homes built 1940's-60's, and the septic systems are all old.
In the State of Ohio, you can't just replace a septic tank that goes bad. If you are able to rebuild it from the inside out, you might attempt that and be left alone, but you can't dig it out and replace it. Oh noooooo.
Instead you have to replace the entire system. The runs required are enough to service a small trailer park; the law is ridiculous. BUT. It IS the law.
And a whole new septic system costs $20,000.00.
The neighbors got together and petitioned the city to go ahead and do the annex. But there seemed to be one issue after another; some wanted it, some did not want to be involved. Money was raised for a lawyer and entrusted to a spokesperson. The spokesperson ducked out of town with the money and never paid the lawyer.
Needless to say, nothing went forward and we were all stuck.
Then, Unity Township, where we technically live, decided to run water and sewer down our road to the city limits; we are about ten houses from the city limits of East Palestine. This would have facilitated a popular car dealership to buy a piece of property at the end of our road, which would have been great for his enterprise and also very good for Unity Township.
Well, they started the project last spring, but the car dealership thing fell through, the township ran out of money and the project was stopped cold---only three houses down from us.
So close, but so far away!
We may actually have to move OUT of our home if they do not finish it sometime soon, or John finds a way to keep our system functional. So far, it is, so I'm not stewing about it.
At the same time, though, is IS deteriorating constantly. Because of the regulations about repairing it, and the sewer lines too far away to connect to, it was not a good thing to have all these people in the house every day using water and um....flushing.
To save my business, my husband, John said: YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE.
Okay, going back to the bad economy: HOW? Usually when you move a business to its own place, you need a nest egg. NO NEST EGG. The price of brass and plating has gone up a number of times in the last three years--especially really good quality plating, which I insist on, and then my Ebay business of many years, fell flat. The harder times required that I use that 'rainy day' money, and, incur debt as well.
Oh sigh. Oh well. Been there before. Carry on.
So he says, MOVE. Where to go?
Well, JUST at the same time, this darling place became available, right straight down the street at the other end of town:
It was just big enough for us, and the rent was low. Still, there was the issue of money I didn't really have, but, time to take a leap of faith, maybe. I will be very honest with you: I prayed about it. HARD.
Everything fell in place for the move. I began to feel content in my heart that it was the right thing to do. Off we went!
The idea of a wall of doors as a petition was a life-saver; it cost only about 125.00 for the doors and hinges and paint. John provided the new pegboard and tables for me, and built them, along with my dad. My mother helped me get enough silk floral together to start doing a bit of that for the front of the store, as this WAS a flower shop, previously. It seemed appropriate; I used to do silk arrangements and gift baskets in one of my incarnations, so okay. It's not like I don't know how....
We love it here.
Already it feels like home, and we can't wait to welcome visitors. I've even joined the Chamber of Commerce.
There's just one problem: ever since we came, we've been falling behind. Usually summer is slow, well...summer held its own. Then, right after Labor Day....boom.
It's been curious, as this is a time when things *should* pick up. Jordan and I have been putting our heads together to make a plan. There have been some very anxious days.
So many anxious days, in fact, that I began to second-guess the answer to my prayers. I wondered, wow, what did I miss? We COULDN'T stay at the house any longer. Did I miss a cue? Downsize, maybe? Sell out? NOT an option. Our family HAS to stay together.
Strangely--- every time in the last few months that a door slammed shut on us and caused us distress to the point of grief---a window opened. I was encouraged by so many who wrote and out of the blue, shared THEIR stories with me. My goodness, many lost homes to floods and fire, lost husbands, dealt with even more serious illness than I had, divorce, problems with children. They overcame tremendous obstacles and were happy making jewelry. I felt bad for ever worrying about things here.
Then on Saturday, a package arrived..... Amazing, because the last thing I needed for the shop was a SIGN, and I hadn't made arrangements yet:
*I* did not order this sign.
Evidently about 35 or so of my friends, Facebook buds, customers and colleagues went together, and using the logo from my website, had this sign custom-made for me.
Of course, I couldn't bear to leave it in the box for another day, so I made John come down and hang it. He was impressed, but! of course, there had to be some kvetching about the extra chore required of him, and the hardware Rob bought downtown to hang it:
That's John on the ladder, kvetching at Rob about the hardware. You can see that Rob is standing right up to him, LOL
In no time, they had it up:
That looks MIGHTY fine.
I got a fabulous sign for my shop, and some even more fabulous people provided it for me. I don't think I can ever thank any of them enough!
But that wasn't the only sign I got:
My lesson here is that I need to stop being anxious. I need to pull up my 'big-girl pants', as Wendy Baker says, and stop doubting my blessings. I need to remember how wonderful it is to work with my family every day and that somehow, everything will work out okay......not only for me, but for ALL OF US.
We all struggle with self-doubt, worry, health issues, artist's block, financial issues, relationship problems....you name it. These days we live in are not easy to endure; sometimes just the day-to-day feels like it it's just. too. much.
I was reminded by these wonderful people, yesterday, by a sign. A sign of my blessings, their belief in me, and why I should believe in myself.....
And why I continue to believe in all of you, and always will.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRfTeO9inRY Video link to the box-opening.
Like the song goes:
"Life, I love you....All is Groovy....."