Fairly regularly I stop and reflect on my current circumstances and take a moment to be thankful. I learned to do this after experiencing a time in my life when I felt there was absolutely nothing to be thankful for. I know what bleakness looks like; what despair feels like....and compared to that, everything seems so much rosier!
Perhaps I could never put into words how mind boggling this transition was for me...and I know there are still people in my life that doubt that this is "for real", given the ups and downs I have had in the last 4 years. I have learned to let go of that fear of judgement, since, clearly this is working out OK right now!
I am sometimes embarrassed to admit it, but I only started painting less than a year ago. And it was purely as a hobby with zero intention of creating a business, as I had a horrible habit of starting things and stopping them soon after. My struggle with depression had all but paralyzed me emotionally, and I no longer had any faith that I could be a fully functioning human being again.
I took things (in my opinion) VERY slowly, and put up resistance along the way...I was encouraged to start trying to sell things, but I said no. I didn't want a business because I knew what would happen. I would give up, and everyone would be right about me...I was a quitter. I thought that if I let my friends and family down ONE MORE TIME, it would be more shame than I could even think about bearing. Having been a career woman before, this was a horrible feeling...to not be able to accomplish anything or to feel like I was worth anything.
I stayed at home with my daughter, and thought that painting the odd piece and selling it would be a great way to make some extra money. I was overwhelmed as I knew there were a lot of "players" in this game of painted furniture. I was a small fish, and I figured it wouldn't last. Oh well, I didn't invest any money, so I had little to lose....
I started selling pieces last November (2013) and in January I already had some custom orders! Very slowing pieces started filling my basement to the point that I had to rent a storage unit for the overflow. That lasted 2 months when I realized that I could no longer work in my house, I had WAY too much stuff and I needed to increase productivity and have my own space. I did not have enough money to go rent a store front, so I found a workshop near by with decent rent.
I lasted there 3 months before my orders and requests grew to the point that I needed somewhere visible and presentable to the public! Looking back I can see the progression, but as it happened I just flew by the seat of my pants and held on for dear life! Every step of the way wondering when the other shoe would fall, and everything would crumble.
Opening the store on July 5th was a HUGE risk for me - if this didn't go well, I now had higher overhead and a lease I had to fulfill. This was it.
I am so very pleased to say that the response to the store opening has been beyond amazing, and I appreciate every single person that has taken time out of their day to come and visit me!
So, sometimes when I am alone in the store, surrounded by all the decor and furniture that I love most....I take a deep breath and feel fully grateful for this opportunity, however long it should last. I remember the days when I couldn't get out of bed, and the days when I laid on the bathroom floor sobbing uncontrollably because I didn't want to live any more.....and suddenly I am thankful for those days, knowing that without them, these ones wouldn't be nearly as sweet.
Every single night I spent in the hospital during that first year of my daughter's life, I listened to this song from Mercy Me:
"Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain"
As incredibly difficult as it was, I am thankful for my "rain".
I hope this post conveys to all of you how grateful I am for your business and support <3
Thanks for reading,