Don’t Cry, Shop Girl


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I am currently sitting on the floor in our almost empty store writing this post that I have put off for weeks. We are just a few weeks, actually days at this point, from closing our shop. Why am I just now telling you this?? Well a) I’m a procrastinator and b) I’m a procrastinator for personal stuff. Don’t worry, it’s not just you, this is with everyone in my life. I was just telling my husband how hard it is to write this post. Not because it’s a sad post but because it’s not a sad post. And he said ‘well why don’t you write what you feel?” and to that I replied “but I don’t feel sad!” As if I need to feel sad to write a post about closing our shop. I think that’s why I’ve put this off for a while, I’ve wanted to be sad but really I’m excited and happy and relieved. So just so we are clear, this will not be a sad post and I am not sad about that.

At the end of next week, we will be closing our shop. This hasn’t been too long in the works, but has been in the back of my mind for a while. Somewhere between opening the new shop and turning 30, I realized something: you can do some things well, but you can not do everything well. I ignored that lesson for a very long time. When we opened our first store 5 years ago, I was certain I could juggle life, the shop, the blog. And for the most part I’ve juggled with the best of circus acts, probably second-string though, if we are being honest. But in the past few months, the circus act has come to a slow but intentional stop. I’ve come to realize in the past few months that when I think that I am handling stress I am actually stifling it; pretending it doesn’t exist much like a older brother ignores a younger sibling putting their fingers two inches from his face saying ‘I’m not touching you’ over and again. I don’t want to harp on the benefits of turning 30 again and again, but there is a calming peace that comes along with living three decades that quietly reassures you that life goes on. Turning 30 is very freeing in that way and if I could go back and tell my 26 year old self something (that’s how old I was when we opened our first shop), it would be do it now. Do it all. Do it anyways. Because one day soon, one glass of wine will be enough to knock you out until 8 am the next day and that is not going to be enough wine.

But back to doing all the things, I wouldn’t change a thing about the last five years. Not the stress, not the depression, not the mistakes. Wow, I’m really making a positive case for entrepreneurship there, aren’t I? But I wouldn’t change a thing. In all of the aforementioned strife, there is happiness and joy and memories that are so warm and fresh I could almost swear they weren’t 5 years but just a few days ago. There is so much happiness and wisdom in experience, that I wouldn’t change a thing. I just wouldn’t.

A friend of mine has been reminding me of her mantra these days “new conversations, better problems”, she tells me this without even knowing that we are going to close the store. (See? I told you, it’s not just you. I literally tell no one my business. Sometimes not even myself, see Hiding Stress, above for reference.) Her mantra has stuck with me — new conversations, better problems. And then one day it hit me — change. That’s what her mantra really means. To not be afraid of creating new conversations in life, in work, in relationships. To change the landscape of your view, change the scene of your movie. Solve the things you can, let go of the things you can’t. And that’s when I realized, I can continue to do some things but I can not continue to do everything. And for the first time in my overachieving life, I was okay with this decision to let some thing go. And that something is the store in exchange for less stress, more time and a different life.

There is this scene in You’ve Got Mail that I noticed for the first time a few weeks ago after confirming our decision to close. Isn’t it funny, a movie you’ve seen hundreds of time and a scene sneaks up on you and becomes so relevant to your life right now? A movie that most people see as a romantic comedy, I see as a sweet reminder that after a store or a business closes, life goes on. I’ve been here in this exact place before; closing a shop is something I never thought that I’d be so good at. So the scene opens with Birdie and Kathleen Kelly, resident Shop Girl, and her assistant having tea at Birdie’s house, the wiser, older co-worker.

“We’ve decided to close the shop.” Kathleen Kelly says
“That’s the brave choice” Birdie replies. “You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life.”

I realized that is why I am not sad at all. Technically, yes we are closing a business and that’s usually never a positive connotation, but for us it is a positive thing. We are choosing a different life and it’s with less stress and more time and different adventures. And who knows what’s next? I guess we will watch and see. If my 26 year old self could give me advice right now, it would probably be: do it now, do it all and do it anyways.

Don’t cry, shop girl. It will all shake out.

46 Notes

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  1. Liz says:

    Congrats on moving to a new adventure in life! Choosing to do something new is much more positive than being forced. Life is still going to be grand!

    04.19.16 · Reply
  2. On to a new chapter! Good on you for pursuing your happiness – congrats!

    04.19.16 · Reply
  3. wonderfully written. I think you’ve found your own mantra– “do it now, do it all and do it anyways.” I always say “it will all buff out”, quite similar to the last line of your post. happy adventuring!

    04.19.16 · Reply
  4. Wendi says:

    The second I read the headline I made the connection. First to the movie that I’ve also watched a few hundred times and second, as I read on, I started to connect with your story. It’s one that happens all too often, and one that is not often talked about. Is it failure, is it pride, is it sadness or just coming to terms with the closing of another chapter in the book of you. It’s a beautiful chapter, whether it’s happy or sad doesn’t really matter since this is your life, your story to tell. I’ve been there, I will say that growing up or getting older allows reflection. That was then. This is now. For myself, I lean on my faith. Although it can’t be seen, I for sure feel it within, and at times in my life it speaks loud and clear. With that, turn your page and start your new chapter. My new chapter is the lifestyle blog I started a couple months ago. I am only on chapter one of this journey, we will see where my story goes.

    04.19.16 · Reply
  5. Rach says:

    Doing something new can be scary but you are so brave to choose a new route with your life and I can’t wait to see what you will be doing next!

    04.19.16 · Reply
  6. Jeanne says:

    I could not agree more with what you said about “you can’t do everything well”! I often have to fight my instinct to take on everything I want to do and instead focus on making sure I give enough attention to the things that matter. Beautifully said, and cheers to what comes next!

    Fashion By Committee

    04.19.16 · Reply
  7. Theresa says:

    Congrats on moving on. I’m actually going through job interviews right now. I have a wonderful job currently, but I just feel stuck & uninspired, so I’ve been looking for something new. But I am SO scared at actually moving on. And after these interviews, it looks like a very real and immediate possibility. I’m so nervous for the unknown, but like your friend said…New conversations, better problems. I need this change to grow, even though it is scary and I don’t really know what will happen. Thanks for sharing with us.

    04.19.16 · Reply
  8. Jo says:

    Good for you! It was hard for my ex-husband and I to close our business but I also felt nothing but relief when we finally did. Here’s to new adventures and a brand new chapter up ahead.

    04.19.16 · Reply
  9. Gwen says:

    Good luck, Kendi! I am happy that you’re not sad. And I am sure that whatever you and Brian decide to do next, will be just as wonderful as running a store was. We humans are constantly evolving. And this time you chose to do it, instead of having the choice thrust upon you, and that is such a good thing. Wishing you all the best (on my birthday, too)!

    04.19.16 · Reply
  10. Kate says:

    “You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life.” I love that! Thanks for saying that it’s okay to do less. In a world where we glorify being endlessly busy and overworked, it’s refreshing to hear it’s okay to have time.

    04.19.16 · Reply
  11. Kelly Ann says:

    I had not watched “you’ve got mail” in about 10 years. I kid you not, it popped up on Amazon last night and I watched it thinking the same thing. Loving that quote about bravery and feeling comforted about her decision to close, move on, change. What a strange coincidence reading your post today!

    What you’re doing sounds wonderful and healthy and happy! Congrats and good luck with your new adventures. Thanks for opening up and being so honest.

    04.19.16 · Reply
  12. Sarah says:

    Choosing to do something new is amazing, but sharing these choices gracefully on a blog, in such a public way, is what really impresses me.

    I hope this is the start of a new, amazing, and wonderful story. xo

    04.19.16 · Reply
  13. Congratulations on a new chapter in life! I know running a shop is so much work and good for you de-stressing your life!

    Can’t wait to follow along with your next adventures!

    04.19.16 · Reply
  14. Maggie says:

    I love your honesty! And of course it will all work out 🙂 You’re successful, driven, and have lots of loyal fans 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!

    04.19.16 · Reply
  15. Alex E says:

    Thanks for sharing a refreshing perspective on life’s changes, Kendi. That quote from You’ve Got Mail really hit it on the head. I needed to hear that, too.

    I hope you’ll take us on your next journey but understand if that’s not what you have planned. 🙂

    04.19.16 · Reply
  16. Layla says:

    I feel like I’ve been following your blog since you first started, and I really appreciate how you’ve brought us all along on your journey and are so honest. Sometimes it can seem like bloggers have an perfect life. Thanks for keeping it real, it definitely makes me continue to read and follow your work. I’m excited for your new adventures.

    04.19.16 · Reply
  17. Laura says:

    First congrats. I’ve been reading your blog since before you even opened your first shop! I can imagine it’s stressful and you’re thinking about you know and I love that. This post came at a very opportune time. Though opposite. I just quit my full-time job to pursue what I love, pet sitting and my illustration budding career. I’m approaching 30 myself and get stuck thinking to myself… “This is when everyone is really grooving in their career and I’m just starting over.” but eff that. I’m doing what I need to do to be happy, less stressed, and live the life I’ve wanted. So thank you for sharing this. THANK YOU

    04.19.16 · Reply
  18. Traci says:

    So brave of you to make the decision! I’m sure you’ll be successful in whatever you do but I’m glad you’re not leaving your blog!!! I read it daily 🙂 Can’t wait to find out what you’re going to do next.

    04.19.16 · Reply
  19. Kimiko says:

    Good luck with your next great adventures!! Change can always be a good thing 🙂

    04.19.16 · Reply
  20. sasa says:

    yes, I’m glad to read all these and it’ll be an awesome new beginning:P

    Shall We Sasa

    04.19.16 · Reply
  21. Paula says:

    I love this post. I can certainly relate to it. I am so proud of you for making some moves! Good luck wrapping it all up!


    04.19.16 · Reply
  22. Phew! That was some post!! Well CONGRATS on this milestone – and best wishes with your next adventure. Sounds like you’re going to take a breath, look around, then figure out the next direction…just don’t give up the blog 🙂


    04.19.16 · Reply
  23. Aileen says:

    Cheers to your next chapter! *clink* Sending blessings and good vibes from one girl (woman? already?) in her thirties to another. Love your blog and as much as I love the fashion, I’ve grown to love your personal stories just as much. Thanks, Kendi.

    04.20.16 · Reply
  24. Kate says:

    Congratulations on this next exciting stage. Looking forward to following along!

    Kate x

    04.20.16 · Reply
  25. Lois Schroeder says:

    Change is good. I started my life over at 46 yrs. old and have amazed even myself at what I was able to do. You can do it too. Just look at your support group–we are here for you.

    04.20.16 · Reply
  26. Tiffany says:

    Wishing you all the best and cheering you on from PA

    04.20.16 · Reply
  27. Congratulations on turning this into a positive moment for you and your husband! Best of luck to you & can’t wait to follow along with your future!

    C’s Collection |

    04.20.16 · Reply
  28. Allegra Liu says:

    I’m happy for you and glad you have realized this is the best course. No reason to be sad at all!

    04.20.16 · Reply
  29. Rosa says:

    It’s so exciting when you decide to travel in a new direction. I wish you all the best of luck for your future.

    04.20.16 · Reply
  30. Mara says:

    change is never easy but sometimes it’s the best thing. You have to take risks to get benefits. I know you have so many wonderful adventures ahead Kendi! So proud of you 🙂

    04.20.16 · Reply
  31. Jamie says:

    You are all sorts of wonderful. Here’s to being brave and imagining a different life! xo

    04.20.16 · Reply
  32. Monika says:
    04.20.16 · Reply
  33. Great article! Kudos to you for making this decision, you will not regret it. I remember that when I decided to quit shooting weddings, everyone was so worried, asking me “but what are you going to do?” But I felt so relieved and happy to just say “okay I am done with weddings”, no more stress, no more long hours at the service of people I don’t know, no more weekends entirely spent away from my husband and my cats. I would finally start living for me and not just for my business. That was so exciting and such a relief. One year after, yes I make less money, but I have done so many other things. I am exploring new type of photography, I am more available for new projects, I can see my friends, I have more time for me and for my family. It’s a new world. Everything is a phase in life, and we should be worried to close one phase and enter into the new one. So, bravo Kendie! You will be just fine. But you already know it. 🙂

    04.21.16 · Reply
  34. Ashley says:

    This is a gorgeous post, and you are an inspiration. Sometimes the best thing to recognize is that we can have joy even when everyone else thinks we should be sad. I’m so excited for you to do it all, now, anyways.

    04.21.16 · Reply
  35. Linda Z says:

    Here’s to lots of new adventures, Shop Girl! 🙂 My husband and I did a self-guided “You’ve Got Mail” tour of the Upper West Side last summer, and that was a pretty fun adventure! I especially loved the garden in Riverside Park.

    04.21.16 · Reply
  36. beautifully written. Whatever you do and wherever you go, I am sure that you will rock it! good luck kendi 🙂

    04.22.16 · Reply
  37. I love this post for so many reasons! But I think the main one is that you’re one of the few people who says ‘letting go is OK’. We’re taught that we can have it all, and therefore we should do it all – but sometimes it’s just not right anymore, and letting go is the best and sweetest thing for so many reasons. So congrats, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you! x

    04.22.16 · Reply
  38. Kate says:

    Congratulations Kendi on moving forward! I’m a long time reader and I remember when you first opened your shop. It’s been fun to see you grow and change, and I know you’ll do great in the future too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    04.28.16 · Reply
  39. Nat says:

    It’s such a bold decision. I know, because I’ve done it. I closed a health practice after 21 years and I have not regretted it for one single moment. There was the added pressure of my patients being incredibly disappointed and helping them to find someone new was an agonising part of the process, but it was an amazingly liberating exercise. I had always been aware of how much time my practice ate up , even though it was only part time, but until I closed it, I wasn’t aware of how much emotional energy it sucked up. I closed it down almost a year and a half ago and my life is better than ever. Cheers to you!

    05.01.16 · Reply
  40. Leah Wise says:

    I’m a big believer in quitting. If you don’t love it, if it keeps you from doing what you want to do, if you know you could have a more meaningful life, then just quit. People are so afraid of being perceived as failures, or afraid that the life they want for themselves won’t show up when they move on from other things, but knowing yourself well enough to know when something’s not working is the key to being who you want to be. Best of luck to you!

    05.02.16 · Reply
  41. Jess says:

    Thank you!

    I’m in my office holding back tears because I’m closing a chapter, too. And it’s hard but it’s necessary and as someone who has consistently done too much, it’s difficult. It makes me sweat and anxious and feel like I’m making a mistake but my stress– oh my stress! I can’t wait to cut back on my to-do list and think, maybe this time, I deserve to enjoy my time, too? I’m excited for your next adventure, you deserve it, sister!


    05.06.16 · Reply
  42. Nicole says:

    Probably my favorite movie of all time! Best wishes to you as you’re daring to imagine your new life!

    05.07.16 · Reply
  43. Dee says:

    I havent been reading your blogs daily or even weekly for that matter since I left NYC/advertising (2013) and became my own boss. Something told me today, while working our shop, that I should check in and see how you were doing with anxiety, the shop, and the blog. I soon found this and want to congratulate you and honor you for the bravery you always put out there and the FAITH that you have in life and its progression! Bless your heart! My husband and I own a store togetherand I quickly realized in our first year that being a shop girl was NOT my thing, and that I needed to focus on my growing skincare business and teaching barre because it was where I thrive and feel alive. So in the second year of our shop, I began to take a back seat and support more than do. SO GRATEFUL I honored those feelings I had and I am grateful you did too! BEST WISHES! – Dee

    08.25.16 · Reply
  44. david says:

    Good luck with your next great adventures!! Change can always be a good thing

    01.18.17 · Reply
  45. david says:

    Congratulations on a new chapter in life! I know running a shop is so much work and good for you de-stressing your life!

    01.27.17 · Reply
  46. david says:

    I know running a shop is so much work and good for you de-stressing your life!

    01.31.17 · Reply