Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Becoming a Shop Girl...

Things are about to get really good...

Almost two years ago, I was flying back from a fabulously fun trip to Florida. I helped throw a fun baby shower for my cousin and "dream life planned" with my now creative partner, Aunt Mary. We had visited the Rifle Paper Co. flagship store and our minds were racing with the dreams we shared for many years to open a beautiful store of our own. Flying home, I wrote out all of my shop dreams in an O Magazine (it was about transforming your life, so it seemed like the obvious dream pad choice).

Fast forward two years and the plan has been in action. I started with an Etsy shop, then expanded to a website and attended some shows. From there I worked on fun orders and even had a booth at Holiday Galleria. Then a website remodel was needed and I expanded the offerings in the shop. After making an appearance at Holiday Galleria and an open house, I started to get the itch for being in front of people and having a space where they could see everything in person. Wichita has an open gap in the market for a pretty paper and party supply store, and I knew I wanted to be the one to fill it. I kept checking commercial real estate websites for available spaces and was discouraged by the high rent prices. Dustin and I looked at an affordable space close to our neighborhood, and as much as I wanted to see the potential, it gave me a lot of anxiety. Not a great first impression. I obviously love character, but I also love basic functionality. I was discouraged on making my dream work.

Then, after talking with my cousin, I realized there was potential with another neighborhood gem located at Douglas and Hillside. I had to find out more. I reached out to the landlord and he was able to show me the space. I LOVED IT! I seriously walked in and my heart melted. Dustin, Teddy and I had walked by a couple (few) times before I was able to see the inside and I was so excited to actually get in there. It didn't disappoint and I couldn't refuse. I hope you will agree:

That wallpaper, obsessed. It's so bright and cheery and at the same time, neutral. The ceiling, an amazing touch of character, especially with that crown molding. For the floors, we are still scrubbing off the dust and can't decide if we want to keep them light or stain dark - would love your opinion on this! In the back of the space, there is a loft that is perfect for my office. Unfortunately, a past tenant removed the original railing, but we are going to replace to keep the classic vibe. The wood paneling covering a portion of the East wall will be removed and a white wall will be going into that framing. Overall, it's going to be a great inspirational and photography setup, especially with the amazing windows that line the West and South walls. I can't wait to show you how we clean everything up!

So, I bet you are all curious on my shop plans. You couldn't read the tiny writing in the Oprah magazine?! Just kidding, but it is crazy that 2 years later, I'm still going in a similar direction. I am planning on splitting the space into business in the front, party in the back (yes, I went there)! Retail displays will take up the front half of the space and the back of the space will be for events - kids' birthday parties, adult birthday parties, showers, meetings, workshops and more. I think this is something Wichita could use and I'm so excited to fill this need! Plus, I am making it so the retail displays are movable, in case someone wants to host an event in the entire space. I want people to avoid stressing about hosting a party in their homes and come host in the LOC space instead, with items from the shop or brought in. Flexibility is key.

As for me, I am keeping my day job as an accountant and will have the shop open up to the public on the weekends, plus some nights here and there for special occasions. Once I finalize the schedule, I will share it with everyone and post updates. I can't wait to share this with all of you! I am truly so excited for this little gem. I have danced around to the new JT song in here multiple's just so good! All I can say is, don't give up on your dreams. Have goals, work towards them and make things happen! Cheers to that.

We are hoping to have things up in running within the next month. I will have a better feel on this after my trip to New York this weekend for the Stationery market and after we firm up a couple maintenance items. Make sure to follow along on Instagram to get updates on our progress, as well as checking back here on the blog! In the mean time, shop on our website and reach out with any questions. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Lots of Love,