Summer goes by in a FLASH around here.
Save for a couple weeks leading up to Christmas, summer is our busiest time of year here in the shop. So busy that I haven't had a moment to stop and take note of all that we've been up to these last couple months.
It's been a fantastic season here in the friendly town.
The weather has been perfection and we've easily had our most successful summer since opening five years ago.
I (half) joke about the shop being my "loss leader" as far as my businesses go. It's my most faaaavourite revenue stream, but with the overhead (and stress. Oh the stress!) that comes along with having a brick and mortar, it's by far my least profitable.
Without being dramatic I actually think most people would be shocked by how much totally crap work is actually involved in running a retail shop. My strengths are surprisingly limited when it comes to the actually RUNNING of the business.
Bookkeeping? Yeah, no.
Having hard conversations with staff?
Not my favourite.
I really just want to source cool stuff, turn customers into friends and manage the marketing.
Ask any of my staff what they hear me say most and I would bet they'd tell you it's "We should have a staff meeting. Next week when things aren't so crazy." (Either that or "Please don't leave me.")
But I'm newly hopeful that I can get my shit together. I mean it's been 5 years.
I've made some new investments in my shop this year.
From hiring professional help (shout out to my Bash Sisters) to keep our windows fresh and taking a step back from the front of house to focus on working ON the business rather than IN it, to bringing on a full time assistant to alleviate some workload, and dedicating more effort to growing new projects. I am finally getting a grasp on what a truly sustainable career in retail looks like.
Our beautiful and SUPER colourful summer window display. By the Bash Sisters.
It quite literally is taking me a village.
Maybe THIS is what they mean when they say it takes five years to build a solid business. You need this much time to learn what works.
You can't fast track this stuff.
I have an amazing team here at the shop, and that's something that's taken time too.
I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have these women on my team.
Michelle, Emily, Julie and Tamara. Not pictured: Chloe, Emily and Maddy #dreamteam
With their help we put on a fantastic birthday bash to celebrate our five years on Mill Street.
We greeted each of our guests (2 legged or 4) with a free "Handmade Cheerleader" tote bag, a cupcake bar and a chance to "spin to win" a discount or free gift.
I love our customers beyond. Thank you if you're one of them.
Earlier in the summer I hosted our 2nd annual Canada Day Market at the Almonte Old Town Hall.
Featuring a pop up cocktail bar and approximately 4o makers. On the hottest day of the summer.
Last year it poured buckets, this year we did.
I don't know if I can do it again tbh.
We'll have to see, but I have been doing a bit of soul searching lately and I think when 2018 comes to a close you might see a few tweaks to the ole business plan.
Events that hinge on the weather may no longer be my bag.
It was well attended given the weather, but it didn't meet my expectations for the amount of effort I put into organizing it.
You watch. If I cancel it next year the weather will be a breezy 24 degrees.
And now summer is behind us and we get a teeny tiny break between tourist season and Christmas.
I always worry in the fall, as sales slow down and the streets empty out, but this year I'm trying hard to be grateful for the opportunity to take a step back, pause and plan for exciting times ahead.