By tomorrow morning (maybe even in about an hour) I am probably going to regret I posted this but right now, I have to. This morning as I opened the store I went outside to add our open sign and a funky porch chair we keep out front was accidentally left out overnight. I look down and see a scribbled note attached to it and a comment on the tag, this is what it says:
Whether a person agrees with my chosen inventory, aesthetic or style is one thing, but to take the time to write a note so brutal is another. I cannot help believe it is a rival; jealous or not or just someone who loves to point out things that make them angry.
I have shopped this nation for antiques in every kind of venue, from junk store to high end, and in the zillion times I have turned a tag over I have chuckled to myself often at the price a dealer may put on things- WE ALL HAVE. Do I leave a note? Never. Do I say to myself, "Good luck getting that price!" Sometimes. One thing I am certain of, this person is not a retailer.
I do not share much personal info on this blog, it is none of your concern how I am doing emotionally, spiritually or financially but today I will make an exception. Small business owning is tough. More tough than anyone who has never done it will ever realize. (Just ask one of them.) Surviving in this economy with hundreds of online options for customers to choose from in a click of a button is insurmountable. Just because this store has gotten a blessing full of national press does not mean we are flying high- or any other business you may think of. We live and breath by the results of the cash register every single day. We keep smiling and working along waiting for the next great day, next holiday, next good customer, next election, whatever it may be- wondering if that will help. Nobody, and I do mean nobody knows what is going to happen to retail in this new electronic age and economic downturn. The mom and pop shop or your favorite little boutique is surviving one day at a time. Even when the owners may tell you with a smile, "We're doing ok"- they're not. We have all learned to suck it up because, heaven forbid, the rumor gets started this shop is hurting or that place is closing... all of us are keeping up appearances because it would be tragic to tell you the truth, tragic to not appear as fabulous as you think we are, tragic to be human.
We try this product, that gimmick, this trick to see if it will help. We order another item, buy a different something, have another sale but customers are not only holding on to whatever money they might have, they are simply not shopping like they used to. There is a depression in the air; a lack of national encouragement, positive outlook or overall hopefulness. Then I see a comment that breaks my heart and adds another layer to my struggles of shop keeping and it makes me feel that it is not going to take much more for me to say, "I'm done."
On the other hand: To all our lovely customers and fans that continue to support us, you will never know how much we adore you; how we talk of you and how grateful we are for your visits, your encouragement, and your purchases. You may not like every item we carry or our prices on some things but you manage to find something to love and a good word to say. It means everything to all of us and it is you that keeps us going for another season. Thank you so much!
Now I have to see the landlord about our surveillance tape!