Three Month Recap
This post started out as a monthly recap but then things got crazier and crazier and before I knew it weeks and months went by so here we are - three months later!
It has been a ROLLERCOASTER - I’m not at all exaggerating. As a small business owner I have hit the highest highs—new friends, great sales days, great press—and the lowest lows—finding balance between working non-stop and relaxing, having a ZERO SALES (!) day, some shady situations, etc.
Opening the doors isn’t the end game for the months of behind-the-scene work to legally start the business. It’s the end of painting the walls and stocking the shelves. The behind the scenes stuff— getting the permits, painting the walls— all that was the ‘easy’ part it turns out. The Grand Opening was only the beginning, the intro to a book that I hope ends up being very long, entertaining, and makes the bestseller list and insert other positive book-related metaphors here.
Going in, I never said it was going to be easy. And I always knew that I was in this alone. But man, is it hard, and oh so lonely. I knew that it was just me but you guys, it is JUST ME. 6 days a week. I would say 11 to 6 but I am working before I come in and long after the doors close. I am constantly thinking and even, dreaming about so many little details at all hours. I’m the only one ordering inventory, running the Instagram, answering emails, planning the events, and working on freelance work so that I can do fun things like pay my bills and feed myself. Admittedly, it’s a lot. I’m not complaining, but it can overwhelming some days.
Running a party shop is not always going to be cute, although I have had my share of freaking awesome moments too! I got to do a news segment and be on New Day Cleveland to promote my brand new business. It was the first time ever being on TV and I didn’t make a fool out of myself (I don’t think anyways) I’ve done some interviews for local publications, like Freshwater Cleveland and Cleveland Magazine. I’ve hosted events and pop-ups and met some really cool local business people. I even have a few regulars that come in! That’s honestly my favorite part of my job, chatting it up with the people that come in. Sometimes they just look for a second or just get a card and sometimes we end up being besties by the end. It’s honestly why I wanted to open the shop. The connections I get to make with everyone along the way is what makes some of the hard stuff all worth it. I’m tired, poor, stretched thin but happy, really happy.
I am glad I opened in the summer, especially in my neighborhood which gets pretty busy being near the West Side Market. I kind of had an unfair presumption when I opened that I’d be an overnight sensation that changed the game, because who wouldn’t be dying to buy all of this cute stuff?! And that has maybe been true some days, but not most days. Retail is crazy and anyone who says there are patterns are lying. It’s the most unpredictable thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been dead on beautiful, temperate days and busy on rainy, ugly days. I’ve had big sales day on Tuesdays and really slow Saturdays. And vice versa. How does one really plan for that? I think where the anxiety really comes into play is that I’m new and I’m fighting for my life here. The first 2 weeks I took it personally, which it’s not and I know that but it’s scary to put yourself out there in a very big and vulnerable way with just the sheer hope that people really want what you bringing to the world. I think people want me here, I hope they do, and it ultimately just might come down to time. I’m never going to stop working hard on marketing myself and making friends but it just may come down to time.
I learn something new every single day and I am truly happy to come into the shop and I feel like that’s the tell-tale sign of doing the right thing with your life. I love Cleveland, I love my neighbors and I love Oh Pink! Party Shop. I’ve got a lot up my sleeve in the next couple months so I am hoping my next blog post will be filled with a little less insecurity and a lot more fun!
Remember that shopping small (and it doesn’t have to be although that would be nice) makes a really BIG impact. The prices might be a little higher than at a corporate store but just know that your support goes directly back into the business. Tell your friends, leave nice reviews, all of that is SUPER helpful :) I appreciate you all!