On April 30th, we are closing our beloved store front, bloom.
I sure do know how to open a blog post, don’t I?
I have tried to write this post over and over, as eloquently as possible, but this is a post that is just slightly surreal to write. I tried to poetically put together a post that told the story in full but without that first piece of the puzzle, the fact that our store front will be closing, it just didn’t flow. So now you know the ending, here is the beginning:
We learned last December that our building was going to be up for sale. We operate bloom online on the second level and our retail front on the first level. We were saddened by this news but only because we loved our landlord so much. He had become a friend in the process and a mentor. (He’s a kind man who believed in two young people who had no previous experience, little capital and just a plan. That says a lot about a landlord, trust me.) But other than losing our sweet landlord, we didn’t think much else of the news. We went on with December by celebrating the holidays and looked forward to make 2014, and our third year in business, the best year yet.
In January, we learned that not only was our building definitely selling but the prospective owners wanted to move fast. The catch was that they would buy the building for their own use. In other words, we would no longer be able to rent the space we have come to know and love as our first venture into retail. And with that everything changed.
B and I have gone through just about every option you can imagine. We explored most of them to the point of exhaustion. When life gives you lemons, you add vodka, sugar, take a swig and get to work, right? So we went into this as a willing change; something we could not control but we would make the best of it. Lemons to lemonade, we kept saying. B and I both agreed that the sale of the building was actually a good thing; we had talked of change but talk is just talk until you do something about it. Now we had no choice but to put words into action. Pumped at the possibility of bigger and better, we began to explore our options. We decided it best to stay in McKinney, as we love our local customers and we love our little town. We looked for other places to rent around the square and the few options that we explored never turned out right for us. (Just to give you a quick overview, bloom is located on a historic town square in Mckinney, Texas. It is an adorable, should be on a movie set kind of perfect town square and because of this, it is also 98% full with other businesses.) Therefore finding a space that a) we could afford and b) that fit our business model was becoming a reality that neither one of us saw coming. The reality was that what we wanted, needed and could afford just wasn’t available.
Many days ended and many sleepless nights began as we thought / fretted / worried about our business’ future. Why was every door shutting hard in our face? Why were there not MORE doors opening? I won’t lie and say that I didn’t think ‘why is this happening? We were just getting the hang of this! We were growing every single month!’ Every day these questions begged me for an answer. And as a business owner, I had no choice but to look for every solution possible, even if none of them were the right ones.
One day while fretting over everything I remembered this quote from Oprah (of course), and it just kept finding it’s way back into my head:
I finally realized that every door closing was actually God whispering little hints to me. We stepped back once again and looked at our situation for what it really was: we were about to become a store without a store front. Our options to stay in downtown McKinney were limited at best. We were two very tired people who had given a lot of themselves, their marriage, their time and money to make a business successfully work and grow over the last three years. And now we had hit that proverbial brick wall.
After a good and long ugly cry and a bottle of wine or two, we started to look at our lack of options as an abundance of opportunities. I will continue to believe that there is always, always, always a way — but it may not be exactly what you were looking for. Once we realized that the option of closing the store was real and right, that’s when a small door opened up. Immediately we started seeing other possibilities of what we could do and not what we couldn’t do any longer. We, of course, have our online store, we could travel and have pop-up shops, we could move houses, cities, states, we could go on a vacation every once in a while, have full weekends again. We realized that although a lot is happening right now (and seriously every day is a new twist in the plot it seems) we do not have to fold. We just have to find a new way.
So right now, I’ll be honest a lot is up in the air. (Well besides naps, vacation, weekends. Those are definitely on the shortlist.) And I won’t lie and say that this has been an easy decision. It’s hard when you begin something, like a business, to then imagine the end of it. But I don’t think this is the end for bloom. Maybe it’s just the beginning. Either way the truth is that this is life. Uncontrollable, crazy, and unexpected, but every day I wake up with a peace knowing that this is the right thing to do.
Perhaps this is an opportunity that we wanted all along. We’ve been wanting to grow bloom and make changes, but we just weren’t sure how to move forward. Truth be told, we still aren’t sure how to move forward. I guess that’s the beauty in all of this. We don’t have to know right now. So for now we are moving forward with the certainty of complete uncertainty. It’s actually quite thrilling not knowing our next move. We have a whole world of possibility, something we’ve forgotten to look for when it looked like all opportunity was closing it’s doors on us. Instead it’s the complete opposite: when opportunities looks like failure, that just means you aren’t seeing all of the possibilities.
So back to the beginning: We are closing our store front on May 10th. We are not closing our online shop, but we will slow things down so that we can re-evaluate what we really want bloom to become. If you are in the area between now and April 30th, we will be having major sales in-store (winky face) and a “going away for now” party on April 5th that will indeed have spiked lemonade. We want this to be a celebration of (almost!) 3 lovely years and a send off to what is coming next.
The other side of the coin is that I live my life in a visible medium called the internet. What I’ve always loved about the internet is the idea of positivity, that you-can-do-anything attitude, the constant source of life and inspiration. I’ve racked my brain to find a solution that doesn’t include closing our store front so that you too will feel inspired to keep going with your dream, if you’ve ever found inspiration through my own. But like I said, the other side of the internet is real life. Sometimes you can’t control everything; and choices you have to make don’t make sense just yet. This is one of those times. I always want a plan to forge ahead with but I’m standing in front of you guys saying I have no plan. But I promise to keep you updated when I do find that plan, even if I have to try out a few until I find the right one.
Thank you for your love and support since the beginning of bloom. It’s been the best experience I could have ever asked for and I can’t wait to see where we go next.
(Also, congrats on making it to the end of this post. It was a long one. Thanks for sticking it out.)
image source: glitterguide