Tuesday, January 7, 2014

y e a r   3  

This month marks my entry into year 3 of retail.

Everyone shop owner I know has told me by year 3 you will have a good handle on the basics. When it comes to the furniture business- same shop- it can be seasonal. It takes time to build a client base and have people find you! Having a few years to look back on it is interesting to see the highs and lows and how they correspond with the time of year. 

Year one was about keeping my head above water and building. Building my business without debt, building lasting relationships with partners and clients. Building my skill set, being an even better painter and stager. Figuring out my price point {actually making a profit maybe?!}.  Figuring out what sells.
{What the original Modern Cottage Company store looked like Jan 2012 my first move in day}

Year two was about learning from all my mistakes from year one and actually taking home a salary {even if it is a small one!}. The biggest thing I learned from year two was to still dream big, but at the same time, setting more boundaries for myself. I stopped custom painting. I changed what I wanted to sell. I spend more money on my pieces upfront, a lot more money. I don't just paint what I know will sell right away but I push myself to paint what I think is right for a piece- even if it is risky. At the end of year two I found myself painting for two stores! Exciting, unexpected and I stopped taking home a salary for a while so I could now help stock two stores instead of one! At the very end of year 2 I stopped working at the store on the weekend and volunteered to man the store during the week. It is nice to have two days with my family every weekend {even though I am still answering emails and picking up and dropping off pieces both of these days}.
{It was in year 1, and still is about having a business where I can spend more time with my family}

What has stayed constant. 
I still love finding and painting furniture, maybe even now more than ever. 
I am SO happy to be around talented painters. Seriously, there is a great community of painters in my area and it is fun to support one another and even become friends with one another.
I still have really good months at the store when I can't keep up with demand.
I still have bad months at the store when I think that no one likes my painting and question myself. 
It ALWAYS evens out!
This week I am thinking about my year 3 goals. 
Hmmm. I don't even know if I want to have goals. 
I kind of want to celebrate in year 3. Still work hard, but enjoy the process more.
I have found over the last few years if I work really-really hard, pray really hard, and allow myself to dream a bit-amazing things can happen.
 I do know that year 3 would not be possible without you.