Tuesday, November 5, 2013

f e e l i n g    b l e s s e d
Two years ago this week I got a phone call out of the blue.
Spaceworks Tacoma called me and offered me a free storefront for six months.
This was a year and a few months after I applied for it.
Honestly, I forgot about it. I was happily selling out of my home studio, in a store as a consigner, had a show under my belt, and was bursting with custom work.
Ah! A store? In.... a month? I quickly started buying up merchandise with all the custom money I had been earning and used the money I earned at a show to pay for a years worth of insurance and start up money for the store {fixtures and whatnot}.
I am going to back up here.
 This post is about how it takes not just hard work to get places but a little luck and having a family of supporters around you.
I would not have applied for Spaceworks if it hadn't been for my friend Molly.
I wouldn't be following my dream if it hadn't been for my supportive husband.
I want to give thanks here to my friend Kathy. She and I started similar businesses at the same time and she is my number one friend I go to when I need advise, or to rant to, or a couple glasses of wine.
As I moved into the space I felt like I needed to share it with other artists. It was BIG and I was small. And I got it for free!
{well, I worked and worked to get there- but the rent was free!}
We made it work! I got the hang of the retail thing and I enjoyed working as a group instead of on my own.
Six months later the store that was The Modern Cottage Vintage Market became Poppy and Co.
It didn't seem right to keep my name on the store. MCC is me and Poppy is everyone involved.
Modern Cottage Co is just one part of the store.
{I feel like I need to explain this once and for all. People always ask me-so you own Modern Cottage AND Poppy?}
Merri is my rock at Poppy. She cracks me up and is an amazing painter. She is my sister and I love her. I can't say how much she means to me. I love co-owning this store with you friend.
{she has so many random pictures of me on her phone, if you ever come into the store when she is working and want to see funny pictures of me ask her about the pickle one}.
Devon kicks butt when it comes to picking stuff and I love her eclectic style. She is so funny and I like it when she swears {although she will tell you I am the one who swears a lot}. Oh, and if you ever go to a show where she has a booth you will fall over in love at how she merchandises.
Julie came to our holiday party last year. She walked around the store with me and told me how she painted pieces and I told her to email me photos.
No one ever does this after I ask.
Julie DID. I said bring it in! You are my consigner! And she brought load after load and I knew she meant business! She is a girl just like me. She will paint her butt off!!! She works so hard. I adore her. She is funny and smart and I have so much admiration for her.
When the opportunity for Julie to come in not as a consigner but her own space after Crystal went her way to follow her dreams, she leapt at it.
Then came the summer. I have NO time to paint in the summer. My angel Michelle came in and started selling with me. Seriously, this girl knocks my socks off. She fits so well into our Poppy family and I hope she never leaves {hear that Michelle?! You better not go anywhere, lol}
I get discouraged in the summer because I am juggling so much.
But I had some fun opportunities come my way.
First as a segment on Evening Magazine, thanks to my husband and the Evening team for watching me paint over the years.
Then my friend Linda called me from South Sound Magazine. Linda and I worked in the advertising world long before husbands and kids.
Blessed again. I sent hundreds of gratitude prayers to up above.
Summer ended and I felt like I needed to expand my business. What was it going to be? I prayed.
One day I got a text from Julie and she said, "I can get a storefront in Seattle".
AH! prayer answered. Gratitude
Thank you God and thank you Julie!
This month Sarah started to sell her pieces with me and I am SO happy she is with us.  Just like Devon this girl can pick! And.. she is a fantastic painter, and she can build things! I have asked her before to join us but the timing was never right. Now it is right and she is doing well with us!

Tomorrow night I will sit on a panel of successful Spaceworks businesses in front of new businesses coming into the program. I will tell the story of our store to them. So I felt like I should tell it to you too.
So here I am two years later. One store turning into two?
Am I stressed....NO! Why?
Let me tell you why. I am giving myself my own advise.
Every time someone is about to do a show for the first time or open up a store and they ask me for a my advise.
I always say...enjoy it, no one knows what you didn't get done but you. This could all go away tomorrow so don't fret about the small stuff {you know, that ONE table you didn't finish!}. Hug those who helped you get there, those along side you and a prayer to the one above you.
Ok, want to see some stuff coming to the Seattle store from Modern Cottage?!