Reality. I like to think I live there, but really I have my head in the clouds a lot more than I care to admit. Partly, having a floaty brain is what leads me to creating things like Gifted. Other partly, having a floaty brain leads me to wondering if I paid my car insurance. Double-edged sword for sure. But, now that Gifted has been open a handful of weeks, reality and I.... we are becoming close, personal friends. Or maybe "frenemies."
In no way did I think that opening and managing a boutique would be easy. I knew it would be a challenge, but I was and am up for it. All day, every day. What I did not know was about the little heartbreaks that would occur each day. Little doses of reality that are jagged pills I choke down and digest to become a more practical and responsible shopkeeper. Let me 'splain it to ya.
Watching people come into the store is magic sometimes. They see it and they love it and my little heart leaps. But why does it hurt so much when someone comes in and almost immediately walks out? It happens sometimes, ya'll! And I don't even chase them and ask them why. Look at me and my restraint!
Reality No. 1 - Not everyone will love your shop. In fact, some people will walk in once and never, ever return. My affection for this place runs deep, but to most people, it's just a store. A cute store, but still. Perspective check!
I didn't know what to expect as far as the volume of traffic I would get here in the beginning. You hope for the best, of course, but that bitch reality sneaks in and yanks you right back down. Traffic has been decent I think, considering we are still very new. Some days though, this place is a ghost town. Straight up tumbleweeds.
Reality No. 2 - People will not flock to your store. There is no psychic premonition that local women have when a new boutique opens. Folks have to learn that you are there in some way: advertising, word-of-mouth, walking by, luck, press... something. And that takes TIME. It takes more time than you will be comfortable with, but it is normal. Allow it to happen and keep fanning the flames.
And, finally, money. Oh, you are such a bastard.
Reality No. 3 - Whatever idea you had about how much it would cost to run a boutique, you were wrong. It's more, especially in the beginning. There are gaps to fill in inventory, losses on things you thought were great but no one else does, MORE furniture (really??), supplies, advertising and the list could go on forever. Save your cash. You will need it. And try not to cry.
So, there it is. A little bit of my new reality. I'm learning so much and evolving almost daily it feels. This is a roller coaster, no doubt. It is not for the faint of heart, so prepare yourself for a ride if you are boarding. Hold on. You can make it. Just keep going.