“I have a crazy idea,” I told him. And within one visit, a short weekend getaway to Montreal, 8 million calls to my Mom and a lot of sleepless nights, I decided to sign the lease for my very first brick and mortar. It was right after my birthday, the end of June.
Starting on July 1, we went balls to the wall. Facebook marketplace, drives to Ithaca, Schenectady, Syracuse, Utica, Norwich – you name it in upstate NY, I was there with my truck, my boyfriend, and our dog. I did not launch a Kickstarter, I did not have a savings account waiting to open my store, I pretty much had years of slight hoarding in my carport and a big ol’ mission. I started with a few hundred bucks and worked as I made money from each job. I bargained and negotiated my way through garage sales and old barns.
September 1st. I was finally able to get into my little shop and that’s when the real hard work started. Friends from home visited to move most of my pieces. CNY friends worked until the early hours rolling paint, scrubbing floors, and eating A LOT of chicken nuggets. I went through A LOT of whiskey.
And then finally, it was the night before the opening. Jeremy and I said our goodbyes to our friends and worked until 4:30am. We dragged our tired butts home and collapsed with the promise of the next day. After going to work, I rushed home to get ready and headed over to my store, my baby.
And then, we waited. And waited. And then a customer came in! My heart soared more than I could’ve imagined. I was running on coffee, 5-hour energy and pure adrenaline. And this customer even bought something! Holy moly!
We had one of our best days ever, surrounded by friends and family. Maria from The Cremeria came to serve gelato to our guests, and Dusty Lee Elmer and Tavia Hach greeted our guests with traditional bluegrass music. This dream happened because I had so many people believing in my vision, my little shop, my dream. My amazing boyfriend gave his time, energy, and all his strength to stay up with me all night, build displays, and go for ridiculous drives to the middle of nowhere for something I wanted. My parents helped out whenever they could, and made sure to send love from afar. My friends showed up, the best gift they could’ve given me.
Since we’ve opened, we’ve learned so much and I’m so very fortunate to make this dream a reality. We have so many exciting things in store and I can’t wait to share more of our journey thus far. Stop in, say hi, and join us on this exciting adventure.