I will share with you 13 of the most surprising ones.
Why? Because it NEVER occurred to me to bring a coffee, lunch, yogurt or a custom-made apron to a store-owner as a gesture of thoughtfulness and friendship. I have some customers who always call me before coming to ask if I need anything. Wow. Just wow.
2.) As much as I LOVE my collected items, someday, SOMEONE will be rummaging through these things. Outdoors. In the rain. Or throwing them in a dumpster. Treasured photos, collections; everything. I've gotten over it. It's ok. It is just stuff.
I have had women in tears explaining to me that their children don't want their dishes, figurines, etc. Those same kids will come in and say they are having a garage sale when they move their parents to a condo.
4) When someone says they have no idea or don't care what price they get for an item, they actually have a VERY FIRM price in mind. :)
5.) I NEVER dreamed that I would make such very DEAR and interesting friends. Customers and fellow shop-owners! I have met people from all over. I also have had the honor to pray for people and have them pray for me. Such a blessing.
One time a regular customer brought her children in to sing for me. All her children. From age 6 to 22. Just because. Yes. I cried.
6.) Sometimes it is lonely.
One of the promises I made to myself when I first opened was to be OPEN when I say I'm open. As a shopper myself, I learned there is nothing more frustrating than to visit a store that has inconsistent/odd hours or is often randomly closed. It is specially frustrating if I have travelled a distance and find a store closed. So, in order to keep that promise, I am always at the store. Five, often six, days a week. Every day. I have made exceptions for a funeral and my daughter's wedding. That's it. If I want to see a friend during the day, they must come to me.
If I eat lunch, I eat it at my desk, quietly, between customers. I even tend to shy away from dinners out because at the end of the day, I am POOPED! Sitting in a warm restaurant over a meal and a glass of wine tends to make me sleeeepy.... Great company. I mean, who doesn't want to hang with a sleepy friend?
10.) College Interns can be a valuable asset. They are quick to learn, anxious to please, and, let's face it, technologically superior. Thanks to my summer Intern, I have #7 to maintain daily.
11.) Accounting, inventory..... paperwork is not difficult. Staying on top of them and not procrastinating is. It's never bad once I sit down to do it. However, I can think of a gazillion fun things to do "first".
12.) Creativity takes time and LOTS of prayer. It is NOT easy all the time. Sometimes it is.
There are times that I just can't think of anything new and unique to do. I pray and God ALWAYS gives me something, sometimes in my dreams!
I could not do what I do in the store, the displays, lighting, electrical work, without my husband. Anything in the store that is higher than 10 feet is done by my husband.