The Gift In The Grind..
Where do I even begin? I left off with a blog that I hated. A short time in my life where I felt I failed the task God had given me. By now you know the first storefront I had began working on, didn't work out. It just didn't feel right. I was at battle within myself everyday not knowing to leave or stay. Wondering WHY WOULD GOD MAKE ME GO THROUGH THIS IF IT WASNT WHERE I WOULD END UP? WHY DID I HEAR HIM SO LOUDLY THAT NIGHT TELL ME IT WAS TIME TO START A STORE? So I was left questioning myself, if I walk away, would I fail him? Would I fail all the people who were rooting for me? It took me weeks of feeling every emotion possible to come to grips with what he was doing in my life. I decided to pull myself and my merchandise out and lock every bit of it, and the idea of a store happening any time soon, up in a storage unit. My heart was broken and my faith was shaky to be honest.
I had finally came to peace with my decision of leaving and continued on with my design projects. Each day I began to feel more clarity of why I had to go through what I did in the beginning. I learned so much in that time, not only about myself, but also a business side to things I had not known before. God tells us to not fear, trust in him. It doesn't mean we wont have stumbles. In fact, that just helps us rely more on him. It doesn't mean we wont feel scared and terrified. It means even in those shaky times we just keep going and don't give up. Know that he will NEVER forsake us or leave us to figure it out alone. Nothing is an accident to him, it's ALL apart of his plan.
Fast forward 1 month later, I was having lunch downtown Shawnee with my mom and we walked by a building that was being renovated. We peeked in the windows and I fell in love with that space. I tracked down the owner and to my suprise it was someone who has held a special place in my life for a very long time. My 3rd AND 5th grade teacher, a fellow real estate agent, and an all around genuine lady. I called her that second and asked what she was doing with her building. She told me she had plans to move her real estate company down there. We were just chatting about the renovations of the historic buildings downtown, when her next sentence changed my entire future. She said she actually had another unit to her building that she was not using and she hadn't made plans for this side. Her and her family had been praying for the right decision on what to do with it and she would love for me to come take a look. I was down there within 5 minutes of that phone call. At the time, this side of the building was boarded up and I didn't even know it existed when I had peeked in earlier that day.
The character this empty unit had was breathtaking in itself, not to mention the excitement that I felt stepping in the door. Something I hadn't felt in awhile. We prayed on it for a week or so and that alone was so refreshing. That she was believing in faith right along with me. We both wanted nothing more than to do it right this time. By this time we knew it felt right to move forward.
A lot of work still had to be done on this unit to make it an actual commercial space. My plan was to open within 3 weeks after renovations were completed. Let me tell you, this was more work than I had ever put on myself while still trying to manage 3 design projects, real estate, my home, and kids. I would not be here today if it wasn't for my family and friends help. My "thank you" will never be enough and I will never forget each person that helped make this happen.
Oh, and about all that training I had learned at the last stop, I was able to set up a point of sale system with itemized categories, blaze through inventory, train my first employee (my sis-n-law) manage orders, organize, set up retail displays, and have the doors open for our first big day within our 3 week deadline! I knew what I wanted, where I needed things placed, and things I needed built because of my notes I had taken that first time around. I had a team of people who I had been in touch with previously that knew exactly who we were and worked within our schedule to make this happen. Never would this have been possible if I hadn't taken so much time before to learn these steps 6 months ago. It was in that time that required more grace, in the time I asked God to take away that gave me the grind to prepare for today! It was a gift after all. When God really wants to use someone in a great way, he prepares a grind. To get out my pride. To get out my self- reliance. If he would have given it to me the first time, I would have thought I had this whole thing under control on my own. Now I can say I don't even deserve what he is calling me to be, but I'm here and its in me. Don't ever give up on a dream/calling, even when you feel unqualified. The winding road will straighten out just around the bend.
Welcome to this small part of Homegrown Design. I hope to see you all in this lil store whether its just to feel inspired, chat, or to add a special something to your home. I look forward to all the memories in this shop and my new family that came with it. See ya soon!